The Worst of It

All in all, I’d have to say my recovery from my recent bout of illness is going pretty well, but it would be wrong to assume that I am completely unchanged. I’m not quite the person I once was. I’m a little weirder. I knew that it could happen. This disorder doesn’t discriminate between bodily systems. It’s an equal opportunity annoyer, but exactly how annoying came as a surprise.

The world is smaller, tiny, even. Someone has clearly been messing with the settings on my computer because I can no longer read my regular fonts. The same tricky little turd has also shrunk the labels on my medication bottles and every, single one of my books. I can’t read anything easily anymore.

I can’t keep my kids straight, either. I call the Padawan “Squish” and vice versa, and I call Girl-child by the cat’s name. I am unsure if this loss of cognitive function is entirely related to my illness, or if I’m just becoming my grandmother. Fortunately the kids are quick studies and have learned to respond to “Whatever your name is.” I’m thinking of having it embroidered on their Christmas stockings.

My spelling has gone to heck in a hand basket. I can’t quite orient myself on a keyboard, and often I look up and find that my brilliant treatise contains far more z‘s and x‘s than one might expect to find outside of Eastern Europe. The proper letters may even be there, but they are in a creative completely unrecognizable order. I’m trying to pass it off as Olde English. Are you buying?

I used to be modest. I wouldn’t even go barefoot in front of company. Now when we take a walk, it’s my husband’s responsibility to keep me from taking my pants off when the waistband of my shorts chafes my scarring and I forget that I’m standing in the school yard. When he says “For God’s sake, woman, put your clothes on! Think of the children!”  I understand he’s not rejecting me, he’s trying to keep me from getting arrested. It’s sweet, really.

But the worst of it is that for the first time in thirty years, I’m confusing my homophones. I don’t know if it’s a problem with visual perception, but I am no longer certain which word to use. They all look right write rite correct to me. A few times,  I have almost had to email sj to ask her if I had chosen the correct one when I was writing. Don’t ask me to take a high school English class right now because I would fail.

This too shall pass, right? But in the meantime, if you happen to be driving down the street and see some myopic old lady in her underwear, it’s probably me. Be sure to say “High!”

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44 thoughts on “The Worst of It

  1. I’m calling these experiences “liberating.” It sounds a lot better than acknowledging that I just don’t care whether or not my jeans are unbuttoned in public. Grab a pair of readers at Walgreen’s and join me!

    • I got my first pair of reading glasses a couple of years ago. But it seems like a disproportionate amount of time is spent reading because they never seem to be off my face!

  2. Olde English needs to make a comeback anyway. In the midst of yolos and txt speak, I could use a couple extra z’s and x’s in my life.

  3. I’ve spent a lot of time being sick. It does these things to you, whether they are visual or auditory or linguistic. As you recover your abilities will too. But mention this to your doctor. Seriously. You never know and it may be the effect of a drug you’re taking for which there is a substitute that won’t make you, ummm, less yourself.

    When I get sick I become stupid. I cannot concentrate. I cannot write, I cannot read. In earlier days I knew the moment I really needed to go to the doctor. Because I could watch Charlie’s Angels followed by Love Boat without screaming. The thought of it scares me still.

    • NO! I have not sunk to the Charlie’s Angels level yet, thank goodness!

      My doctor knows at least some of the issues. Fortunately, many have improved. I have regained feeling in my fingers and strength in my hands and arms. At the moment, I’m only on one medication and at a low dose, but I am definitely keeping an eye on it. As a writer, it’s a little scary to lose the ability to, well, write!

  4. I hear you. After two awesome surgeries, I was wondering if I’d ever get back to feeling like a normal person again. It takes time, but it happens. I think rite is the write word by the way.

  5. I was JUST telling my mom my vision is doubling in the afternoon and I almost can’t see anything. I’m also shaky – my hands. My beautiful handwriting is illegible and when I ate dinner the other night, Hot Joe shouted, “YOU ARE SHAKY!!” And the worst of it is I’m a medical transcriptionist. I type for a living. That’s how I make money. My fingers are all over the place.

    I have diagnosed myself with Parkinson’s.

  6. Sometimes it’s so hot here I want to just go out on the porch completely naked. I haven’t yet, but it has totally crossed my mind. When that happens, I force myself to keep my pants on (literally) and eat a bunch of popsicles.

    Get well, my little chickadee!

  7. I hate to tell you but it has nothing to do with your recovery and more to due with getting old. Wait, that’s me!

    Sometimes I reread something I have written and I scream in horror as I see that I typed “there” instead of “their”.

  8. The truly shocking thing here is that you haven’t confused your kids’ names before now. My mom called me by my sister’s name (and sometimes my brothers’ names, my niece’s name, and occasionally the cat’s name) my entire life.

  9. I don’t know if I missed it, but did you ever mention what surgery you had to have? It just sounds a lot like what a lady in my life is going through right now. Although she’s always called me by the dog’s name, so…

    Hang in there, Mama!!

  10. Those definitely sound like annoying things to have to deal with. Maybe it’s just your body’s way of rebooting after the surgery, and so it has to reconfigure various programs like Vision and People’sNames, and WTKOPO (When To Keep One’s Pants On). I don’t know, that’s just my random theory 🙂

    My brother had a major sinus infection about ten years ago that almost reached his brain (it didn’t, thank goodness), and made one eye swell up a lot. The doctors were able to drain all the fluid, but his vision was affected ever since, so he has to wear glasses for reading. Of course, most of the people in my family wear glasses, so even if he’d never had the infection, the not-so-great-vision gene might still have kicked in eventually.

    Hugs, and sending you speedy-and-complete-recovery vibes!

  11. Are you certain you aren’t mixing pharmacuticals? No? Well this is just a phase then and don’t worry it will pass. In the meantime, enjoy it you will have a great excuse for embarrassing your children and great stories to tell around the dinner table in years to come. I know my family tells stories of my recovery, still.

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