Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where'd I put that?

I've brought this up in other people's comments, but since February 18, 2007, I appear to have lost my short-term memory. And many of my other memory facilities as well. I hazily remember skimming an article within this year proclaiming an identifiable link between PTSD, depression, and other such mental traumas, and memory loss. I can't remember whether the article said such loss ever returns. But, it appears that from the shock, the depression, or the antidepressants, I have fried the egg inside my cranium. My memory prior was actually fairly decent; as a kid I memorized musical scores, as a teen and adult, scads of sports (oh, and of course, historical) trivia. I was never on the level of Bob Costas, but within my own team perspectives and branching out a tad relatively speaking, I was pretty impressive. Recent lapses include:

-- moving and then losing a book of local maps in December (that would be, last month). Decided it didn't belong on Family room shelf, so I moved it somewhere more appropriate. I remember very clearly holding the big book of maps, and saying, "You would be far more useful to me [HERE]." Please let me know where you think that might be in my house, or where I might store a book that is roughly 1.5" thick and 16" tall. I have yet to find it.

-- Forgetting John Stockton's name when asked, "who was that other point guard in the west that was so good?" I could actually visualize him, with his Jazz jersey neatly tucked in, doing an academic pick and roll with Malone. (Most of you are scratching your heads going "huh?" but those who know me and my fandom of the Suns and all things west-coast are now off googling "signs of early Alzheimer's.")

-- Starting a Christmas List in my new iDevice and then forgetting I had started it.

-- Pointing out something to Mr. ABF TOTALLY FORGETTING that he has a vision defect from birth that makes it impossible to see what I'm seeing in certain (distinctly obvious) situations. I've been with him 20 years, people. Jeebus.

I could go on. But it scares me a wee tad.

And yet, now that I'm rounding the 11 month marker, I'm turning up frightening and frighteningly mundane memories from the last few naive and innocent moments of my life last January, and some of the lost detritus from the wretched week in February.

I have vivid memories of folding tiny green and beige laundry for my surprise sex child circa week 37. The patterns on the clothes, the textures.

I remember going to REI for warm socks for Bella, and having her point out a pair of panda socks. (Pandas are among her favorites.) I told her they were too small, so she asked if we could get them for the baby. I dutifully washed and folded them, too. I think they're in a plastic container somewhere in my basement.

I remember my husband had a work due-date a few days prior to the baby's. Bella had come a week early, and so we spent a week talking fervently to my stomach, please, please, whatever you do, please stay in there. Just for the week. We shouldn't have bothered; whatever Maddy's numerous limitations, some mechanism in her clearly realized it was better in than out and we induced at 41w.

My grandfather's 90th birthday was the weekend before my Monday induction. It will forever be my last happy family event: someone, somewhere, has photos of it, and I refuse to see them. My last moments as me, a normal albeit somewhat snarky yet hopeful mom, ready to end this particular saga and get on with the business of caring for a baby. I can't tell you what I did yesterday, but I remember my grandfather had a lemon cake.

I remember the outfits I packed in my hospital bag for my return home, and for the baby's.

I remember what we were going to name Maddy if she had been a boy.

I remember the morning of my induction, crying a little in the car to be leaving Bella for what I thought would be 48 hours, the longest I have ever left her. (Poor kid, I essentially left her for almost a week.) I remember getting undressed, and putting on my hospital gown. I remember that, lying there hooked up to everything before they even started the pit, I started feeling contractions. And felt comforted knowing that I wasn't messing with the universe's plan too much by having a baby today.

I remember the book I read while waiting for the Pit to kick in. I remember hearing a baby cry from somewhere on the floor and feeling happy.

And I remember almost every waking minute following, for six days.

I also remembered, quite out of the blue, a conversation with Mr. ABF in the fall of 2006. I remember telling him that this all seemed too good to be true -- the neighborhood, the house, the beautiful warm clear day, our toddler on the swingset. I remember telling him I was rather waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I remember exactly where I was standing in the yard when I asked him, "you don't think the baby is the other shoe, do you?" And he simply looked at me and smiled.


Julia said...

Are you sure you are not living in my head? I just thought my clearly worsening memory issues were old age or sleep deprivation or yeah, early Alzheimer's.

I hear you on the little things from before. Seasonal for me too-- started coming out of the woodwork with the advance of the season. The only thing we did was paint the room, and yes, I can tell you the whole story with the colors and the multiple trips to the store, and the clerk who screwed up and gave us different blue for the wall and the wall guard. And about the other shoe. I keep promising, but one day I will tell the internets my crazy ass story.

Waiting Amy said...

I don't have the trauma you have been though. But I do have some of the memory loss problems.

There are fairly significant people in my past whose names I can't remember. Like my first serious boyfriend (like really serious).

I'm not sure if its age, chronic fatigue or what. But many days I'm lucky to find my way to the store.

Hope you find the maps. And the recovered things aren't too painful.

meg said...

I think I have been in shock for these entire 5 years. So I completely understand your short term memory thing. I can't remember things all the time. And those details that I can...I wish I could forget, if that makes sense.

Photographic Memory said...
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niobe said...

Memory is so unpredictable. Somehow, I've completely erased practically every detail surrounding the death of my twins. It's true that I don't want to remember, but it's also true that I couldn't even if I wanted to.

CLC said...

Your comment about the waiting for the other shoe to drop struck me. My husband and I had a similar conversation months before our loss about how blessed we were and how everything seemed too good to be true. I never could have imagined what was in store for us.

Coggy said...

My memory is abysmal now too. I really couldn't tell you what I've been doing for the past four months. My ability to remember lasts till just after J was born. Then it's all white noise from there on in. Even yesterday at work I couldn't really say what I did.
The stuff I want to forget, I'm crystal clear on. Right down to the very last detail.

Megan said...

There are actually things I wish I could remember.
They had me pumped so full of Versed when I was giving birth to Georgia that I can't remember anything between seeing she was dead on the ultrasound monitor and having her handed to me, swaddled.
Of course I wonder if I did something so unforgivably awful that no one will tell me.

Bon said...

i used to pride myself on my memory. i coulda been a Jeopardy contender. and now, even after almost three years - with a few recent extra bumps - i stand in my living room, stunned and furiously shamed with myself for not remembering.

yet it makes perfect sense, in a way...trauma compresses things, etching those related to that particular place in time, some of which are all i have of something i can never get back and thus...i'm glad for them, even though they cut deep, those memories. whereas the location of that thingy for work? sure, i'd like it now and i hate that i can't remember, but wtf will that mean to me in five years?

charmedgirl said...

the smell of the radiators kicking in during the first cold days of late fall/early winter bring me straight back to meeting my ex-satanhusband. and i can't remember the normal stuff, either.

i am dreading so much the smell of spring; the smell of warmth on the ground. fresh cut grass. rain on the hot, hot road. i was miserably pregnant then. i can barely look out my kitchen window and not see myself, feet in the toddler pool, huge belly.

this sucks.

kate said...

I'm sorry....listen, though, my brain came back. Not, perhaps, as sharp as i used to be, but yeah it did come back.

Carole said...

I totally hear you on this. Details...the smallest details came flooding back as that one year mark approached. My memory is better...but still not what it is...especially when I get stressed. Not sure if it's my way of protecting myself or not?

Thinking of you...