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[cancer] Molasses of the mind - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-10-04 06:14
Subject: [cancer] Molasses of the mind
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, family, health, personal
Yesterday, Dad and I spent about two and half hours going very carefully through my COBRA extended health care benefits in my post-employment environment, as well as Cover Oregon, my state's Affordable Care Act implementation. It was cognitively and emotionally exhausting to review that much detail. When we were done, I was wrung out and depressed and could barely track what was going on. That melancholy sense of vulnerability stayed with me all day, only to be reinforced by further events.

Over lunch, I was told that one of my family members had observed that in these complex insurance and financial discussions I could follow the topic for while, then I would lose the thread. While this is exactly my internal experience of the process, I was sad to learn how obvious my drop in capacity is to observers.

Then yesterday afternoon Mother of the Child told me I'd mailed out her new Netflix disc without opening it. No one got to watch it. Luckily the post office brought the disc right back to us. I'd seen the red envelope and misunderstood it.

Last night, I had to spend close to two hours coaching [info]the_child on finishing a major homework assignment. I was desperately tired, and very hard of thinking, and she was not especially organized or focused. I feel like I did a terrible job.

So, yes. Molasses of the mind. I do okay some days, and some days I am just goofy. Even on my best days, I seem to have two hours or less of intellectual focus.

This is what years of chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals will do. This is why I no longer work or write fiction.

I hate this.

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joycemocha
User: joycemocha
Date: 2013-10-04 14:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugs.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2013-10-04 15:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Much, much love.
Kari xxx
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-10-04 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I feel like I did a terrible job.

dont, you are there for your kid.

After my Dad's accident, I would go visit him in the hospital after work and stay past visiting hours, some nights all I did was hold his hand, and when I would try to leave, his grip would tighten. All that matters was it was Daddy and Kid, together. Nothing else.
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Karen
User: klwilliams
Date: 2013-10-04 21:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have that problem, too, with MS. Things that used to be obvious to me, aren't. My boss, who is very smart, is also very chaotic, and I am on the lawful end of the spectrum. I have a hard time following some of his thought processes. So far, though, he likes what I'm doing.
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2013-10-05 01:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heartbreaking. Hugs.
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Elial Shadowpine
User: elialshadowpine
Date: 2013-10-06 00:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My sympathies. I was on a medication for my fibromyalgia that affected my memory so badly that I would, mid-conversation, forget that I had even started the conversation, the entirety of what had been said, and start at the beginning. Unfortunately, even after going off it, that particular med has had permanent effects on my memory and cognitive function; while I can for the most part get through a conversation now, I am forever forgetting who I had said talk with, and often end up repeating things to people who have already heard it. FRUSTRATING and, frankly, fucking terrifying.

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this too. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
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Teal: glowing cuttlefish
User: teal_cuttlefish
Date: 2013-10-14 05:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:glowing cuttlefish
Would you be so kind as to PM me the name of the medication? And is that horrifying side effect common? I have several friends with Fibro and may have it myself, though my doctor says she can't do any more for that than she is already doing for my chronic pain.

I took Buspar for two months in the late 90s. I started having painful twitches during the day. Then my husband told me I was flopping about like a fish out of water at night. I also developed tremors. The tremors hung around for about 10 years and still occasionally turn up. I still have random twitches. So it isn't memory, but I understand the horror of a tenacious side effect.

Jay, you were there for her, and that's what she needed as much as anything. She has teachers to help with the final bits of understanding, and I'm sure you made some progress, if not as much as you are used to. And she still needs you. I lost a little memory with a stroke last year that is still causing issues, though far less dramatic. (Yes, I have a horrifying but not terminal medical history, which is neither nor there.)
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