Living with Memory Loss…

I’ve been on hiatus for the last week…digesting my Thanksgiving meal, catching up with family and friends and overall…just resting. WOW did that feel good! So sorry if you’ve checked in and wondered if I went missing! But sometimes I think we all need some time to re-group!

We journeyed to Maryland for Thanksgiving 2010 for a few days, to stay with my husband’s parents. Since I lived in his hometown during two different periods of my life, I have many friends and acquaintances there, so as is typical with our visits, there were many reunions with people from my past. And, also typical…there was much anxiety and frustration.

I’ve written several times about memory loss and the aggravation and stress that go along with it, but visits like my holiday stint last week really add to my difficulty of living this life with Epilepsy.

It’s one thing to not recognize people you meet or bump into, but it’s entirely a different story when you can’t remember important times in your life. Life events and our memories of these times really identify us and help form our personality. They shape us. So, when your mind tosses out these memories, it’s almost as if you become an incomplete person. That’s where the frustration lies.

My brother-in-law is a huge off-shore fisherman. But it turns out, my husband once loved the sport, and I had little or no recollection of that. I vaguely remember weekend days when he would go, but it was very sketchy to me, and that was overwhelmingly upsetting. My very sweet sister-in-law is accepting and understanding of my affected brain, and almost automatically, she takes it upon herself to remind me of events and moments in my life. But still…to not remember something so important to the one you love? For some reason, this holiday trip had a bigger impact than usual on my ability to remember. My memory loss affected me more so than usual.

So, when I returned home Monday evening, I began to dig…dig into my past. I looked through literally hundreds, even thousands of photos which are stored on my computer, some are prints…in books and bins. I came to the conclusion that I barely remember certain events, but the pictures certainly help trigger my memory.

Memory loss due to my seizures is something I know I will always struggle with, and the fact that it will most likely worsen is quite daunting, but I’m thankful for my close friends and family who can tolerate and console me.

Worth remembering...me, accepting the 2009 Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan Flame of Hope Service Award