Five weeks. Five weeks?! I know. I won’t make excuses. Shame on me. But I will tell you a little about what has kept me away for so long, especially after blog-teasing you with a ton of extra posts leading up to my disappearance.
I went to visit my PCP three weeks and a day ago, and he suggested fibromyalgia. It had been suggested before, by my rheumatologist, but dropped quickly once she tested me for tender/pressure/trigger points. Though I don’t have the trigger points, my PCP still consider fibro a likely option. Once doing my research, I do actually fit the bill, as all of the symptoms fit except the triggers. I have also done
my a ridiculous amount of research on ME/CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome, currently in the process of being renamed SEID, systemic exertion intolerance disease, by the Institute of Medicine.
Both ME/CFS/SEID and fibro have key symptoms of pain and fatigue. Both are debilitating at times. However, an often overlooked symptom of these disorders is memory loss and lack of concentration/focus. In fibro, this is referred to as “fibro fog.” While my pain and fatigue are ever-present, strongly impactful, debilitating at times, and nine days out of ten, pose the biggest problems for me, this past month has been strongly cursed with the fog.
If you don’t know me in real life, you likely don’t know that I carry around a planner. Like those agenda books you had in school? Mine is just as detailed, even when I’m not in school. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, reminders that I tack to my computer, my phone, the front door. I do everything short of tying a string around my pinky, and it has always been enough. I am always organized, on top of things, and ready to embrace any challenge, in a logically-prioritized order, at the drop of a hat. My days and weeks are planned to the millisecond, but it works for me.
Well, it did work for me. Up until this last month. My long-term memory has never been one to make someone jealous, and I have always insisted that I could probably count on my hand the number of actual memories that I have outside the past few years. Childhood memories under age 6? Maybe one. (Imagine my surprise when I entered the Mental Health Counseling program and took a class that suggested that a lack of early recollections was indicative of unresolved conflict in one’s childhood.)
I’ve always managed to deal with this lack of long-term memory, and brushed it off, studying up on family photographs and hanging on to my mother’s every regurgitated word. But now, my short-term memory is slipping, and it is honestly unraveling the organized foundation that I am used to standing on. I can’t keep straight the clients that I talk to on the phone. I can’t remember what I’ve ordered on Amazon. And now, I can’t keep straight Aubrey’s PreK musings. This last one is kind of my breaking point.
Aubrey’s PreK February newsletter indicated that last Wednesday was “Wear Red Day” as the kids would be taking pictures for a Valentine’s project. Imagine my surprise when I picked Aubrey up Wednesday after school and saw a bright, grabbing sign on the door that said “Don’t forget to wear red tomorrow!” My heart broke for her. OF COURSE I hadn’t remembered to tell her father to dress her in red. Actually, I hadn’t even told him about it in the first place. OF COURSE I hadn’t remembered to check her on her way out the door that morning. I slowly opened her classroom door, anxiously awaiting her disappointed and avoidant glare, when I spotted her in a checkered red and black button up. HUH? Surely, dad saw the sign the day before? Nope. My four-year-old beamed with excitement and pride, happy that she had remembered her teacher’s urgings the day before to wear red on Wednesday.
Luckily, Aubrey has a good memory, because mommy certainly doesn’t. This wasn’t my only four-year-old faux pas. She also brought home an assignment that I interrupted when I picked her up, and I left it in my bag for three days before I remembered to have her finish it. Her classmates’ had been hanging in the hall for two days. She doesn’t blame me for these memory lapses, but let me tell you how unnerving it is to lose the organizational skills that your entire life has hinged on for over a decade. I built myself this Type A, OCD heaven, and now that I can’t remember the way in or out, I’m quickly slipping into a frazzled hell.
And now, you, my faithful readers, have anxiously (well, a blogger can dream, right?) awaited a post for over a month and here I am, finally writing but only to make excuses. No, I haven’t forgotten about this gracious blog for five weeks straight. My husband even mentioned it a couples times, wondering if my absorption in the latest book on Kindle was really a blog attempt. But even when I remembered that I should be blogging, I lacked the concentration and focus to do so. I am so thankful to have those of you that read my blog at every post, and I know this one will probably bore you, but I had to offer some explanation and apologies. I might pencil you in to my planner. I could possibly schedule blogging days and added to my recently-instituted active calendar that I installed on my phone. Or perhaps, I could find a doctor that asks the right questions, and gives the right answers, but then again, that’s a post for another day.
If you’re in my area, I hope you’re staying warm and safe on this bitterly cold day. Until next time. XOXO