In London, still–with work obligations out of the way, and where am I this afternoon? In my hotel room lounging in a robe, watching a movie (“Away From Her”), reading a book. Maybe it’s all the times I’ve already been here, maybe it’s because I’m utterly tired…but I find myself strangely attracted to the bed and desk and not the sights and shopping, only occasionally peering out the windows into a landscape with its old brick buildings and winding streets that hollers, “Europe!”
I love the town, it doesn’t matter that it’s outside my window. I’m still HERE, and somehow that’s enough for me this afternoon.
Watching “Away From Her,” and thinking “soooo sad!” It’s brilliant. Susan is soo right in her love for this movie and story. I wish my husband were here sitting next to me watching it (instead, he is on a sales call elsewhere in London for the afternoon).
Aside from a great appreciation for lifelong loves…the movie makes me think about my own memory problems—mine are improving, unlike those with Alzheimer’s of course, but still I found myself strangely relating and empathizing just as I related to “Finding Nemo’s” Dory the Fish in the initial months of my recovery.
I remember going to places and thinking, “This place feels familiar,” but not being able to recall a memory or a connection to the place. And I say “FEELS familiar,” because that’s what the sensation is–the place doesn’t seem familiar, it FEELS familiar, like I’ve been there before, so strong I can feel it in my bones. But there are no facts to back it up. And so I can easily tell myself, “I must be wrong. Maybe it’s just deja vu…”
In the initial months of my recovery, I remember, haltingly, saying something like, “The potato chips are in the cupboard…” and then utterly doubting myself, leaving off the words, “Aren’t they? Right?” Or met someone and said, “We’ve met before,” wanting to add “Haven’t we? I’m so sorry if we haven’t–I just feel like we’ve met…” The list goes on and on. My brain was a blank slate, my world covered in fog. The memories were in the mist somewhere, I just didn’t know how to get to them. I felt entirely helpless at times, happily ignorant the others.
I questioned the gut feelings–most of which were generally true. My gut feelings, I began to realize, were the most honest thing, the key to my memories.
And I realized also that I hadn’t, until after that stroke, relied on my gut very much at all. Because I found myself doubting it most every turn, so heavily did I rely on my memories until that point. But my gut as I said before, were mostly right.
My gut has become a good friend to me these days. And in turn, I trust it a whole lot more often.
There is a happy ending to this story…I get better everyday. The prognosis is good. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the memory I had before (like I tell people–when I had migraines, they were like a computer reboot…this stroke was like a hard drive issue, we had to do a reinstall. I function again, but there are bits and pieces lost forever)…but I am getting better. I never thought I’d get to the cognitive state I’m in today, so anything further is a big plus for me!
The movie? It does not have such a happy ending, such is the case with Alzheimer’s.