Brain, I Worry About You

I know you’re not exactly a normal brain. Between childhood meningitis and a massive head trauma in our late teens/early twenties, when we lost the ability to form new memories, you’re no longer the shining, fast thing you once were.

I’ve talked about my biggest phobia before. I am afraid of losing you, brain. You’ve already lost a lot of function and it’s only going to get worse as we age.

What worries me are the little things. I will get up to go do or get something and you forget what it was I that I was supposed to do three seconds later. I know this happens to a lot of people, but with us, it’s almost every single time. I have to keep repeating whatever it was we were doing like a mantra otherwise you will forget.

I have had my car for almost a year now and you still can’t seem to remember that the window controls are on the center console and not on the door.

I wake up in the middle of the night not knowing where I am. I wake up with a dog and a cat on me and panic thinking it’s the monster from my childhood.

You couldn’t remember the code to get in the front door to the office this morning. I’ve worked here for just under two years.

You can’t remember half of my co-worker’s names. I usually just say “good morning!” instead of “good morning, Joe!” just in case I’m wrong.

Sometimes you can’t remember keyboard commands. Or passwords. Or phone numbers. Or to do things that I really need to do.

I wrote a check to renew the dog’s license in October, put it in an envelope with a stamp on it and you didn’t remember to mail it until two weeks ago.

You tried to use a driver’s license to buy gas the other day instead of a bank card. And those little diagrams showing which way you’re supposed to swipe your card seem to really confuse us more than they should.

Wait, which way?
Wait, which way?

You couldn’t remember my PIN number at a store and I had to have them cancel the transaction and run it as credit instead while a line of people waited.

I just sat down at my desk and you tried to put my seat-belt on as if we were in the car. My seat-belt. At my desk. What was that about?

I’m afraid that one day, we just won’t be able to hold a job anymore. If we do go back to school, I’m afraid we won’t be able to learn anything.

I will become a vegetable who knows and remembers nothing with only you for company.

I will be one of those people you see in a nursing home who sits in a wheelchair with no discernible purpose at all.

I don’t want to be that person, but we’re already halfway there.

“Who are you again, dearie?”

All brains decline with age, but for us, well, we had a big head start on the not remembering game and I’m afraid that our decline will be more precipitous than most. So, please, brain, can we try a little harder?

I will try to get more sleep. I know this waking up at 4AM thing like we did today is hard on you, but really, aren’t you mostly responsible for that since you started right in with the thinking?

Let’s not lay blame. That’s not what this is about. This is about us working together. This is about you and me not letting these little things get us down. We’re all we’ve got, brain. Go, team, go.