Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Uhhh...You Know, That Thing.

Argh! my memory/word finding/cognitive function or whatever the hell it is, is driving me insane...well MORE insane than I already am. Yesterday and Monday in my classes it was intensely bad. At home, the same thing. I am not sure what "encourages" the memory loss...but it is bad. Here are just a few examples of my declining cognitive function:

1) In my Youth class...teaching how to stretch a canvas:
  • I am talking about the canvas and how we are to tear it, rather than cut it, because the cloth has a "insert unfound word here" that will ensure the line tears in a completely straight line. So I revert to explaining the long way that by tearing rather than cutting the line will be straighter.
  • It takes me at least 30 seconds to remember the name of the wooden slats that make up the frame of the canvas ("stretcher bars")
  • I pull out the "tool that stretches the canvas tight over the stretcher bar frame". God knows what the hell they are called. I used to know. I am actually not even certain today, but I believe they are stretcher pliers...At the very least I should have been able to remember the word "pliers"
  • I absolutely cannot remember any one's names, even though last week I remember doing well at this task. I am getting everyone mixed up despite this being the 7th class with the group.
  • I look at my Assistant...and I can't even remember her name for what seems like forever. It sits on the tips of my tongue, and I'm starring at her trying to pull her name out of my head. Finally, I remember because a song finally pops into my head with her name in it (I had "attached" her name to the song when I first met her).
  • I look at the O.T., who I have known for at least a year. Her name has escaped me. When it finally comes to me I call her by her formal, full name, rather than the name she goes by in the studio...I feel like an idiot.

2) Then yesterday in my Drawing class:

  • I am showing someone where supplies are kept and I am saying to her "those things, you know...I begin gesturing with my right hand twisting clockwise, and my left counter clockwise..."you know the...." (still not there). "I 'm sorry, I am having trouble with..." (I can't even remember or find the word "words" to complete the sentence. We laugh. It is agonizing for me to feel this inarticulate. She begins guessing the word I mean...finally she says "pencil sharpeners". "Yes, yes I reply. That's it. They are kept here".
  • I cannot think of the word "hairspray" (We use it as a fixative for charcoal drawings)
  • I cannot remember what a studio orientation is supposed to include...even though I have been involved in several orientations.

3) I forget to call a friend I have made an agreement with to call at 10:00am everyday (despite my e-mailing her at approximately the time I am supposed to call).

These are just a few example. It is actually ironic that I can remember them!! I know there were more problems, but I cannot recall the other things...ha, ha. Sort of. All week it is has been as though the memory centre in my brain has been on vacation. Frustrating.

4) I am setting off to rooms in my house, entering them, and completely forgetting why I am there. Sometimes if I stand there and really really think hard it comes after a minute or so. Sometimes the reason I am there escapes me completely.


Lola Snow said...

Oh that last one!!! Yes yes yes. See this is how OCD must start, I'm sure. People probably start out just totally forgetting if they switched the stupid light off, or locked the door, thats probably how it gets started!
Do you put things in the wrong places? I left the kettle in the bathroom yesterday and about three days ago I found myself wandering about with a wooden spoon. Nope I wasn't cooking. Clearly I had been planning on doing something with the spoon, i never remembered what though. I seemed to be pretty attached to it for a good long time though!!!
was the word from the first one paragraph "Grain"?


PS I've been looking at your paintings, Aqua you are really talented, I never twigged when I first started reading your blog that you painted - like I know duh! You do the art class teaching thing, really I should have spotted the connection!! Do you ever worry that someone from the real world will see your site and realise it's you from your art? It's pretty unique!

Hidden Sage said...

Interesting post there.

I highly recommend two books (and two Dr.'s]

Change your Brain, Change your Life by Dr. Daniel Amen.
You can visit his clinic at


Brain Longevity by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa

Enjoy :)

Tamara said...

I have no idea if this is what is going on with you but my husband cannot remember things and it is because his mind is always 3/4 off worrying about something else and he doesn't even realize it.

I have not read the "Brain Longevity" book that hidden sage recommended but Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa wrote "The Pain Cure" that was my bible in dealing with fibro and lupus pain. So, my bet is that his "brain" book is excellent.

Good luck with remembering better but also don't be too hard on yourself. I know it is frustrating but we all do it from time to time for various reasons and, as you saw with your student, it is something that you can just chuckle about and move on.


Immi said...

I can so relate to what you're going through. I had a horrid case of it when adjusting to my bipolar meds, and at every dosage increase. The only thing I can say for it is that it's gotten MUCH better over time. It could be meds or the illness itself either one. I hope gets better for you too, whichever it is. In the meanwhile, try not to beat yourself up and find ways to compensate, like lists, alarms calendars, or whatever works for you.