Want to know the scariest thing about my life right now? It's not the fact that I fear having another stroke, or the zombies or any of the other stuff that could scare me. The thing that is the scariest in my world as I set about rebuilding a new normal is getting lost. I fear that my family is gonna turn on the tv one day and see a "not so Silver Alert" with a description of my 15 year old minivan and myself roaming the countryside in search of something that I thought should be there. In all seriousness though, I do get lost...a LOT. More than just the "dumb blonde" kind of lost too. For instance, yesterday I was going to a friend's home. I've been to this friend's house at least a good bazillion times before in the past. She only lives about 5 miles from me. Before I knew it, I was seriously wandering up and down the back roads near Guthrie trying to figure out where I was and where I needed to be.
Of course, any good Okie knows that these types of roads are not marked with street signs at intersections, so I couldn't even call somebody and say, "I'm at crossroads ABC and XYZ...how do I get to SPOT W?" This is when panic sets in. True, pure panic. Because even if I call somebody, the only description I can give them is "a field on the left...a field on the right...oh wait...the field on the right as 14 black cows in it..." And because my lovely van is 15 years old, don't think the compass works on the dash. Nope. It went out a long time ago. As a general rule, I normally know which direction is North, South, East and West. But when I get lost, I seriously lose all orientation. I remember last year after stroke1 that I had exited another friend's neighborhood the wrong way and truly could not figure out where I was. I sat at the little pull off to an oil-well (ya know the partial driveway things that lead into a field) for at 10 minutes before I called Tommy for help. Of course he was at work so he couldn't help me because I had no nearby street signs to give him. After 30 minutes of driving, I found out I was literally just 3 miles north and 2 miles west of my house. I had no clue of that the entire time. This part of my brain has just died.
The other thing that scares me and that I am trying to figure out a good way to resolve is my forgetfulness. It's on everything it seems. I forget to do tasks around the house (like charge the iPad, or move the laundry from the washer to the dryer...which I know is normal, but I have to seriously concentrate on these things to keep from forgetting them). I forget to take my medicine some mornings. Even though it is sitting in the same spot every morning. I have been known to forget it. This morning I got up and got dressed and walked around my house for 20 minutes and most of the time I kept thinking, "I've gotta get new shoes these are fitting weird" and then I look down and I only have one sock on one foot...so of course the other shoe is gonna fit weird. I've tried setting reminders on my phone, but they are too easy to turn off or just ignore and they disappear after about a minute and I don't even know where they hide after they pop up on my screen that first time. Couldn't tell ya. My phone is like a big black hole to me. I've tried writing notes to myself, but have yet to find a good place to put them. The bathroom mirror doesn't work. I've tried the computer monitor but what happens is I take them off of the monitor and set them on the desk next to me to do "after I finish whatever I'm doing at the computer" and then get up and leave the pile of reminder papers sitting on the desk. Only to come back the next day to a pile of stuff that I've forgotten to do. I swear I am experiencing some type of earlier dementia or something. It's super scary.
These are reasons why I stick close to my home. I don't like the idea of being lost in the middle of nowhere or forget where I am going. One time in the past year after Stroke1, I was driving down 39th street in OKC. I got to the intersection of 39th and Tulsa and was at the stoplight. As I sat there I looked at the street sign that said, Tulsa on it. I suddenly had a panic attack because I couldn't figure out how I had gotten to Tulsa. Why was I in Tulsa? Didn't remember where I was going. I pulled off onto the side street (Tulsa) and had to call Tommy because I was in a true state of panic because I didn't know where I was.
This dear friends, is StrokeBrain at it worst and it happens at least once or twice a day. Some days it is little stuff....some days, it is big, wandering through the fields, talking to the cows stuff. And it's scary.