Thursday, February 23, 2012

I can't remember.

  • 35-47-17
  • 685-2810
  • "When I'm With You" by Sheriff
  • August 13, 1987
  • Dilaudid, Darvocet and Dolophine
  • Kramer's Resort
  • February 5, 1940, June 22, 1938
  • "There's a time you got to go and show you're growin' now. you know about the facts of life, the facts of life."
  • Michael Jackson, Thriller
  • Grease, River Hills Theater
  • Olives, wine and textiles
  • Uncle Jack's tacos
  • Brown leather with a three-inch platform heel and a Happy Days t-shirt 
  • By looping a piece of rope around his fingers and tossing the end of it out a car window
These things probably don't mean a damn thing to you, but these are just a few of the random pieces of information I have floating around in my head. My best friends will tell you that I can remember details as if events happened yesterday. I pride myself on my memory. When people need witnesses for important events, they call me.

Since my surgery, my short-term memory has taken a few pings. Not huge ones, mind you; I could remember the random shit above, after all. But I'm starting to forget the names of everyday things. Like the other day I couldn't remember what waxed paper was called.

Waxed paper, for God's sake. I was holding the box in my hand. IN MY HAND! and couldn't think to look down at the box to figure out what the name of it was. Who does that?

Yet tonight, I sat here watching "It Could Happen to You" on tv and recited Nicholas Cage's line about getting leprosy from the water when he roller-blades into the lake in Central Park.

Two days ago, I forgot the name of that yellow creamy stuff you put on toast but remembered that I needed ¼ c of it to put in the macaroni with the orange powder that comes in the blue box. Tonight, I recited a recipe for my garlic Parmesan salad dressing without missing a single ingredient - except I couldn't remember what the white dressing was called that Hidden Valley makes.

The other day, the cable company asked me for my zip code. I drew a complete blank. (Then, of course, I panicked, thinking the woman on the phone would think I was somebody posing as me trying to hack into my account, which just made it that much worse.) But I could remember the last four digits of my social security number without an issue.

Hubs and my friends tell me I'm being too hard on myself...that this isn't a big deal. That I'll relax and get back to my old self in no time.

But to me, it is a big deal. And what if I don't get back to my old self? What if I have to carry around a notepad for the rest of my life with my own damn phone number written on it because I can't remember it? I'll be at the grocery store trying to buy food for my family and forget which debit card has the grocery budget on it...then struggle to remember the pin when I do figure out which one to use.

I hold myself to a very high standard and I know that. The thing is, up til now, I've been able to meet (and exceed) that standard. I've forgotten things now and then like everybody, but when it comes to remembering to pay the water bill or mailing a birthday card on time? I don't forget those things. EVER. This month I forgot them both. I pray the problem doesn't persist and it's just a side effect of all the damn pain pills I've had to ingest over the last month like my husband thinks is to blame. But knowing that memory loss is a side effect of an oophorectomy, I'm not overly-optimistic. (I'm also not WebMD'ing my ass into an asylum yet either, so relax. I'm just trying to stay realistic.)

Until then, please just bear with me when I ask what seem like really stupid questions. I promise I've been paying attention. I just don't recall at this point in time where I put my memory.


The things above, by the way, are:
  • 35-47-17 : my 7th grade locker combination
  • 685-2810 : my first phone number
  • "When I'm With You" by Sheriff : the song I danced to with Dusty Smith at a school dance (December 10th, 1988, btw)
  • August 13, 1987 : the date of my first period (*Overshare, I know)
  • Dilaudid, Darvocet and Dolophine : the cocktail of medication my mother took on a daily basis when she was battling cancer from 1987-1990
  • Kramer's Resort : The place we always went to on family vacations when I was growing up
  • February 5, 1940, June 22, 1938 : My parents' birthdays
  • "There's a time you got to go and show you're growin' now. you know about the facts of life, the facts of life." : the lyrics to the theme of one of my favorite childhood TV shows
  • Michael Jackson, Thriller : The first "grown-up" album I ever bought
  • Grease, River Hills Theater : The first movie I saw in a theater. (And have seen no less than 400 times since then.)
  • Olives, wine and textiles : The main exports of Portugal. This was on a 4th grade social studies test that I studied my ass off for (and only got a C+, I might add.)
  • Uncle Jack's tacos : The restaurant I ran to in the food court at Southridge Mall where my mother was standing in 1979 when a janitor walked close to me and I panicked and thought he was there to kidnap me. (He wasn't. He did, however, throw my food away. Bastard.)
  • Brown leather with a three-inch platform heel and a Happy Days t-shirt : What I was wearing Easter Sunday in 1976 when I tripped and fell on the sidewalk and skinned my nose. (The t-shirt was mine. The heels were my sister's.)
  • By looping a piece of rope around his fingers and tossing the end of it out a car window : How Ricky Schroder nearly got his fingers amputated as a kid


  1. Girl, that's been happening to me as well. And I haven't had surgery! I've taken to playing word games. Not sure if it's helping, but I'm telling myself it is. "They" say learning a new skill or language helps with memory...

    I'd say 'go easy on yourself, Mel' but since I don't dare say it to myself, I wouldn't dream of saying it to you!


    1. I've been playing more word games and those that require hand/eye coordination, so I'm hoping that helps. I am trying to go easy on myself, but when you're used to things being a certain way and suddenly they're not, it's tough not to feel frustrated.