I’ve been contemplating the subject matter of my next post all week. There are topics that keep popping into my head only to jump ship before I can write about them. Drowned in a sea of forgetfulness. I have problems with short-term memory. Often it is frustrating, frequently inconvenient, and always a source of concern for me.
It all started many years ago when I had a ruptured disc and had to wait a week for surgery. The only two orthopedic surgeons in my community were attending the same medical conference. Was that poor planning or what? The first one to return got to do my surgery. In the mean time I was given morphine for the excruciating pain. That drug messed with my mental function.
I used to have an excellent memory; that much I do know. At the time I assumed I would regain my mental acuity. It’s been over twenty one years. I’ve yet to regain the level of memory I had prior to that time.
If something manages to get into my long term memory then I have no problem. But getting there isn’t easy. Unless I have the ability to jot down a thought immediately it is likely to float away into the nether and be irretrievable. Even voicing a thought does not guarantee I will remember it a few minutes later. No one ever warned me that memory could be affected by even a week of taking morphine. If I had known, maybe I would have opted for something else.
As the years have passed it has gotten worse. More easily everyday things are forgotten. Where did I put that? What did I want to do? What did I say I would do? Who did I tell? Why did I come in here? These are the kinds of questions I ask myself daily. Recently I’ve had the experience of not remembering a book I beta read for an author. I encountered an unanswered email regarding the book. I looked at the chapters and they did not ring a bell. I liked what I read, too. To my surprise the author said I had gone through the whole book and made my suggestions. I can’t remember doing that; I can’t even remember reading the book the first time! I’ve since re-read the whole book and it was like reading it for the first time. Even my resident author remembered that I had beta read it and discussed it with her. She remembered the basic story from our discussions without ever having read it herself. This worries me. So many daily questions. What have I forgotten already? The one question I ask only occasionally is, “How much longer will I be able to lay down long term memories?” What will I remember?
Have a wonderful and memorable week!