One of the more fucked up things about a lifetime of epilepsy is that after a few decades of excess electro-chemical energy, faulty wiring, memory damage and fifty thousand or so pills you can feel the executive functions slipping away. I used to be extremely organized, now I’m growing slipshod. I use to be able to plan ahead. Now I catch myself winging it. I’m missing bill payments and having trouble budgeting. I lose track of the days, of the hours. I forget where I’m going, or what I’m supposed to do. I miss freeway exits. Forget names. Forget events. Forget what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. I still haven’t the replaced the tail light in the car. It’s this slow and steady slippage. It’s not like Alzheimer’s, it’s not awful and there’s no confusion and bewilderment. And it’s not all the time, either, and I still figure out new fixes to things, but I’m sure not what I was a decade ago. Losing your mental edge, they call it. Of course, I’ve seen this all before…when my wife came back to life after her four of five minutes away from us all, she had near total amnesia and her own executive functions were blown to hell. She regained much of her memory, and some of her executive functions. One thing I noticed she was doing was something I used to do–that is do some of the exact same thing in the exact same order everyday. You ritualize something it becomes automatic. It’s just she did more of that on a daily basis than I did. A whole day like that, with lots of time off for reading and solo scrabble games. She rebuilt much of her damaged brain that way, by reading and scrabble. And it occurred to me a couple days ago that I am now doing a lot of the same things the exact same way everyday. Like if I didn’t, chaos would ensue. The weaker the brain’s executive functions become, the more you cling to pillars of time, solid blocs of ritualized behavior, otherwise there’s nothing to hold the day onto.
Sigh…what an ideal couple we make. Though I wish to hell I’d noticed I hadn’t paid the gas bill in ages. They’re threatening cold showers. I used to write this down. Had a monthly calendar. That way I wouldn’t forget to pay anything. Apparently I forgot I had a monthly calendar. And what do I do about it? I blog. That’s brilliant. At least I can still write. Though in shorter pieces. I drift off if I blather on too long. Hence the short essays now, a couple hundred words, a single paragraph. That’s about what I can do now. That’s how I think. Fortunately that matches the world’s own ever decreasing attention span. 140 characters or less. I got a way to go before that is too much.