A bit shell shocked.
I have been having a bit of memory problems for the past year or two. It was worrying me. The most obvious clue was not being able to remember the names for rosemary and tarragon.
In the case of rosemary, I could see the plant in my head, but when I tried to find it’s name it was like there was an empty bubble in that spot. Now with tarragon I could remember it’s nickname, The Dragon, but not the herbal name.
Then I went out to make a video of my garden flowers out front and suddenly couldn’t remember the names of many of them either! So, now I am really freaking out! These plants are perennials and biennials that I grew from seed and suddenly I can’t think of their names.
I didn’t post the video because I was embarrassed about my lapses. I will post it at the end.
Bringing this story to a rapid close I will share with you that after a visit to the neurologist and a massive amount of testing, I have apparently has several small strokes in the past, which he claims are normal for my age. He says it isn’t Alzheimer’s, but still prescribed medication for memory. I need to do a lot more research on this, because before being prescribed the medication, and with a concerted effort, I was able to make a new pathway to the name for rosemary! If I can do that without the memory med, then shouldn’t I be able to make new memory paths for the other lost names?
OK, so here is the embarrassing video.
One last thing, finding all this out and being able to retrain my brain has really lifted my depression. Not being terminally depressed has made me a maniac in the garden this spring, and having Bob home full-time to help me (yes, he is finally retired) means that I, make that WE have really gotten a lot done in preparation for spring and summer this year. Color me very happy!
❤ ❤ ❤
Video tour of Garden changes coming soon
33 thoughts on “I’m OK, but…”
I feel your pain. Not mini strokes in my case, but chemo brain. I find it incredibly hard to retain new information, names, or dates, and I can’t retrieve words I’ve known and used all my life. The worst is forgetting a name the moment I’m told it. It looks incredibly rude and careless, but I’ve learned to be upfront and explain: “I’m sorry, I have chemo-brain and find it hard to retain new names. Do tell me your name again?” Rarely are people mean enough to give me a hard time about it. Embarrassing, yes, but only really disagreeable people have an issue, and why would I want to remember their names anyway? It sounds as if you are working on your management strategy and your doctor is across the problem, so I have hopes that you’ll be fine long term. Hugs and sympathy from a sister in forgetfulness!
Thank you, Kate. I never realized that chemo could affect your memory! But, don’t feel too bad about names, I have had problems with names for years. Always had to write them down immediately, even sometimes on my palm when no one was looking. It seemed to work for me. Anecdote: My little students never appreciated how long it took me to sort it out, after all, they could remember MY name! But then, in that instance I suppose that was a little different. There were usually about + or – 15 of them at the beginning of the year. 😉
We were never allowed to change seats in class after Day 1 of a new school year, and now I realise why. The teacher probably had a schematic of all our seats and filled the names in when we introduced ourselves!
I knew a lot of teachers who did that. It was easier for me to put their name on a tag and tape it to their desk. With kids in the 6 to 8 yrs range I had to do a lot of desk switching to keep the class focused and on task!!! 😯
I’ve been in the garden all day again and made hash of the sentence on name tags (fixed it). Sheesh, an I tired. LOL!
I hope that the brain training works well and that you can keep off the meds if possible.
Good luck with the garden plans.
Tom, me too! The memory rerouting seems to be working fairly well so far. Comparatively, my garden plans are going quite well! I have been out working it almost daily for the past two weeks. Garden work is a balm for this old soul.
It is balm for everyone. 🙂
OK. I’ll confess it. I chuckled as I read this, because I’ve been struggling for two or three years to remember the name of the Google program that let’s you compare words or phrases, to see which is most used. The name of the program is Ngram — and I didn’t have to look it up just now. But most of the time, when I want to use it, all I can think of is ‘Nimby.’ Of course that’s the acronym for “not in my back yard.” How those got confused in my mind I don’t know, but it’s taken some work to keep them properly sorted.
As for plant names, I’m having more and more trouble with that. I’ve noticed that the more plants I become familiar with, the harder it is to recall their names. Sometimes I’ll remember the family, or the scientific name, but sometimes it’s just a blank. I read a very interesting article that I’ll try to find for you. A study had found that memory problems as we are has to do with brains that literally are too full. Our little neurons or whatever have so much to sort through, it takes longer to find what we’re looking for. That’s why so often a word will come to us in the middle of the night, or even days later. At least now we have Google, so we can go searching for things like “cooking herb with purple flowers”!
Linda, well then, until there’s a cure we have Google! I look forward to reading the article if you can find it for me. Also, I get your scramble on Ngram and Nimby. Both are five letter words beginning with the letter “N”. In my very unprofessional opinion, they are logically not such a far stretch to mix them up. 😀
Oh bother! It’s good to know that your doing okay though.🤗
I am, Deb. Thank you! I am spending most days in the garden, weeding, making new beds, growing seeds in a cobbled together greenhouse and in general feeling much better for being able to get out into the garden again. Even if I can’t remember all the names for things I grow, build and do, I still feel happier for being outside and doing it all!
So sorry about the memory, stroke problems, but Good that you have found strategies to help. Always better than oodles of drugs and their side effects. I enjoyed the tour of your garden, thank you.
Thank you, Nana Cathy. I’m out working in it daily and waiting for it all to start over again. Lots of changes this year and plenty of sunshine to keep my bones warm while I work it all out.
Whew… it’s not fun as our bodies tip=toe forward. You did well to seek answers, and probably relieved for what you discovered, vs the uncertainty of ‘wondering’ about a handful of scenarios.
Long ago, I went through a maze of trial and error, of tests, of ‘dart throwing’ – and some of those possible options were like yours – possible TIA, possible MS, Myasthenia Gravis, etc — and to my relief, the ‘trigger’ was in my kitchen – aspartame in artificially-sweetened drinks.
Gardening is such a healthy option – and again I recall those beautiful lyrics, ‘I go to the garden alone.. while the dew is still on the roses…’ — there is a strong connection there to our creator, and through the garden/the earth, we are stronger and at peace.
Sending you a big hug from the equator.
I haven’t thought of that song in ages, and yes, there is a strong connection to our creator in the garden. Your words brought tears just now. Good ones. It seems no matter how tired I am, how achy, I still am drawn out to the garden, unless the weather is foul. It’s always a blessing when what ails you is as simple as not eating/imbibing a substance! It was a relief for me 40 years ago to find that simply eliminating gluten would stop my wasting. When after the testing and biopsies the Dr. said, “Don’t eat it”, well I never looked back. I’m glad your solution was also so simple!
The sun is coming up, birds are singing the day’s beginning, and I am looking forward to a sunny, warmer day in the garden. I’m feeling that hug, thank you, and sending one back to you my friend.
Love to you too,
Ah, if we pause, we can find so many reasons to feel blessed – and even now – to live in an age where we communicate with others we’ve never met in person, yt they are in our lives for positive reasons…. and we get the honor of witnessing all of this…
This morning I awakened and hobbled about 20 steps as my back protested — yet I also reached for mental appreciation of my awareness of that pain, and the knowledge that in half a minute more it would be just ‘history’ and my spine would adjust, the pain would cease – and I sent thanks that yes, I know pain, yet am grateful that it doesn’t consume each waking hour of my life – unlike many who live with constant pain. Yes, I embrace the pain, a gift to always have empathy for others.
I hope that you continue to adapt to these new changes and resume with high quality for each day. Love, Lisa
I got a bit worried when I read this my lovely friend! Sorry to have lost touch!
On Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 11:29 PM Life on the Farmlet wrote:
> Lynda posted: “A bit shell shocked. I have been having a bit of memory > problems for the past year or two. It was worrying me. The most obvious > clue was not being able to remember the names for rosemary and tarragon. > In the case of rosemary, I could see the pla” >
Julie, this explains a lot about so many things I have left drop by the wayside. Like blogging. I think about it and suddenly it seems like such a CHORE. For a perfectionist like me it is very hard to sit down and string words into sentences and find all the errors. The words are usually spelled right, but not always strung together coherently. The medicine seems to work, and then suddenly, when speaking, my words turn to marbles in my mouth and stutter, say things that are next to it, but not the word I wanted. It gets worse when I am tired. I’m tired a lot. The only thing I have been doing with verve is gardening, and that is on a shoestring! However, I have been making what I need from literally nothing. Composting, using free wood chips, saving rainwater (that, because it is better for the plants). Use it, use it again, and use it once more, til it decomposes and feeds the soil which feeds my veggies and flowers. You will likely see a few of these sentences again in my next post… if I can drag myself in from the spring festivities and actually write a post. Maybe expect a video and I’ll make cue cards for myself so I remember the names for the veg and flowers. 😀 Thank you for checking on me.
PS: I haven’t visited you often enough either, so I’m sorry too. We can work on that. ❤
Oh Lynda – you are so marvelous in so many many many ways. I feel terribly guilty for having lost touch but I have basically been off blogging for ages now (with the exception of posts after Anthony died). I had no idea you were struggling with your health – plse keep in touch as I really do care!
Thank you Julie. Please, do not feel guilty. Strangely, I didn’t realize how bad off I was, with the exception of Bob’s frustration when I didn’t remember things he said to me. That is, until I started the videos. It was quite obvious to me then. Do you still have your old email address, or do you have a new one? Also, if you don’t mind, I would like your new mailing address too. xx
I’m sorry for your shell shock but grateful for the reassurance the neurologist gave you. As far as I can tell, we all—even people decades younger—get stuck for a name from time to time.
This March 22 would have been my father’s 110th birthday.
Thank you, Steve. The Tarragon is now sticking, and I also find that Bob is getting less frustrated with the things he asks/tells me about and my lack of memory that he said anything about it (whatever “it” it was). I put a timer on my phone to remind me to take my insulin, prep out ingredients for recipes and place them in order on the counter so I don’t need him to read them to me. Being well planned ahead has made things less stressful and helped my confidence. Less stress and more confidence means I have less “bubble” moments too. Or, at the very least it feels that way.
What an inspiration you are, Lynda – that you understood the gift in seeing your life a bit differently and rolling with it in a positive manner! My thought process is not what it used to be, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. Situations that used to demand my attention have changed, and I find I have to focus appropriately at what needs serious attention. I have been away from blogging for a long time now. Mostly, because demands in Nebraska have come along, and my help was needed there. Normally, I would have griped and complained about a trip up north this time of year and having to dive into family chaos and trauma again… but I went with a helpful heart, and amazing things happened. We never know what we can experience unless we go with an open mind and try to find the silver lining. Your story is an inspiration!! Blessings to you and Bob!! I think retirement will be grand for both of you!
Lori, you have no idea how happy I am to know that you went (that’s such a long drive) and have returned safely. Often when we change our heart, no matter the task set before us, we find the things we face are far easier to endure.
Just so you know 😉 … the last months before Bob retired I was seriously thinking we would be miserable and fighting all the rest of our days. Sigh. He was very irascible which caused me to fire right back. But then I prayed about it and decided that I had to have a change of heart and try harder not to react. Now that he is home all the time I can’t say if it’s his lack of stress over the change or me trying harder (Maybe both?) but we are much more agreeable and really accomplishing a lot.
I believe your mention of the heart is the key. ❤
Hi Lynda, don’t feel sorry for the names you forget..it is just the same for me! we are getting old and this a good excuse, we can’t be perfect! good thing you Have Bob to help you now.
I enjoyed your video and it needs no names. I am surprise you are still doing such a great job in your garden. Lots of goodies ! lovely flowers too and I have been following your shadow with your hat on and your lovely cat.
Thank you so must for sharing and for your king visit in my garden who grows alone now as I can’t do anything in it now. But it is very kind with me giving me lots of flowers.
Take care Lynda and have a nice week.
Chatou, Gardens do have a way of continuing on even without us! I have visited many a garden where the home has long since gone away, some only leaving the chimney standing as testament to the home, and the lovely garden remnants to prove that once a gardener lived there.
Two thoughts come to me from advice and commentary I have read in books and on the internet.
1) NOTE: the timing on this one varies from 5 to 15 minutes: Chose a job to work on and set a timer. Do that much each day and sooner than you think the job gets done… I try really hard to do this, but often end up ignoring the time limit. Sigh… then I feel it the next day.
2) Gardener’s always have lovely benches and seats to sit and admire their hard work. But you will never see the gardener resting there, because as soon as they start admiring they see something else and needs their attention!
Thank you for your visit and your lovely comment, Chatou!
You are so right Lynda! I’ll try to do that!
I haven’t been writing as much….7 months went by with nothing at all.
Hard to be creative when everything is so depressing!
Almost unbelievable what is going on all around the world.
Now with the ever-rising cost of gas and diesel, they are warning that there is a possibility of a food shortage on top of everything else. Sometimes all I can hear in my mind is FEAR.
on a different note–
I think we are about the same age, and I also worry now every time I forget something.
(Even though I have been rather forgetful for my entire life, with my head floating in the clouds).
Years ago, while I was in college, I was walking and reading a book at the same time and walked straight into a cement column. That made me more attentive–for a short while.
Lost count of how many times I have lost my glasses on top of my head over the years.
Scary thing for me is, I do have relatives on both sides of my family who were diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why I originally started my blog in 2012 and named it “Before I Forget”–Stories with No Books. I figured that I better start writing things down while I still could (My father died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in 2011). What are the odds that it will happen to me? I don’t know. What techniques are you using to create new memory pathways?
I love to garden too, but I need to change some of the plants in my yard. I live in Texas and the weather is now anywhere between 102 and 103 every day. So, I have a lot of drought tolerant plants with thorns like cactus, agave, and yucca. In October 2021, while I was trimming a yucca plant in the backyard–one of the thorns got embedded in my index finger (right hand). That gave me cellulitis. Then a doctor gave me “Bactrim” antibiotic and I had a major allergic reaction to that. Sigh.
Finally, in January 2022, I found a good hand surgeon who was willing to take the thorn out of my finger (it was stuck in a sensory nerve). I definitely need to find some softer, gentler plants that can handle the heat!
Anyway, it’s sooo nice to virtually talk to you again!
I will try not to be gone so long this time.
Mary, I agree with everything you said! And, yes, I think we are about the same age. I would like to talk with you, but maybe we can email each other? If you are comfortable with a more direct communication, then please send me your email through the “Contact” tab above, or we can just communicate from there. Thank you for sharing and reaching out. I look forward to hearing from you. ~Lynda
Reading this blog post I am ever more grateful that you took the time to stop by my lil blog AND to say something. How blessed I am. Thank you again for doing that.
Won’t it be SO WONDERFUL when “No resident will say ‘I am sick’ like mentioned in Isa. 33:24”? Soon, we ain’t got long. 🙂
Lyric, you always have something good to say and I enjoy your writing. I used to live in fear of the end, mine or humanity’s. Now, at my age, while I feel 24 between my ears and 124 in my bones, I am glad to know I can claim God’s promises and await His soon coming.
I’m with you sister!
Have a better than great day. It is to work for me. Chicken buying time this afternoon OR tomorrow. Depends upon how I feel after my shift. LOL!