I have talked on this blog a lot about memory loss but today I wanted to go into more detail about the practicality of this consequence of my bleed and it's effect on my everyday life. There is a lot I could say on this subject, but I shall start with the lighter side of it first.
Over the course of the summer, as we have enjoyed sporadic sunshine with occasional downpours, Amy and I have spent a lot of time reading. I'm forever having to remove books from on top of Amy's nose as she has fallen asleep mid sentence. In the last few weeks I have attempted to read my first book since my bleed occurred. It is a task much harder to tackle without a working and reliable memory. It probably doesn't help the book of choice is Inferno by Dan Brown. I'm pretty sure I've read all of his other ones, normally on holidays, so I thought why not get in the holiday mode? I could have maybe started with a short story, but I've never been one to make things easy so I am soldiering through with my 500-page novel! There are two main problems I have found while reading this epic story. One, I can't remember where on the page I finished reading and two, most importantly I can't remember what has happened so far in the story. Both very frustrating but I am enjoying using parts of my brain that have become a little rusty. I see it as training it back up again so hopefully one day I can sit and enjoy a book cover to cover and remembering all in-between.
We have managed to see a lot of Amy's family over the summer, who love playing card games, complicated card games. Now, I am a ruthless rummy player, I can chase an ace like nobody's business but these are all ingrained in my memory from before my bleed. Over these last few weeks Amy's family have taught me 'wizard' a game not just about winning but placing bets on how many hands you think you are going to win. I could not get to grips with the different layers of the game and kept forgetting the trump cards and playing to the suit. Hopefully, one day, the rules will sink in and I can become a real contender, although Amy's brother is a bit of a wizard at 'Wizard'. We have also played 'Scip Bo' (Thanks Micky!) which became a bit of a team effort as we were all learning together. I had a good tactic of looking helpless so people came to my rescue, I wish I could claim this as a clever act. I'm much better at this game, with a little help.
One thing which is most annoying is there is no order or pattern to what I do or don't remember. I remember clearly crying at my birthday, yet I don't remember which pyjamas I wear at night. The metaphor I have been given is our memories are like a filing cabinet where everyone neatly organises memories. Mine has been tipped up and all of my new memories are thrown on top of the pile, so are harder to find. The rules for Wizard are somewhere in there but it may take a few more rounds for me to pick up the right file.
There is of course a certain sadness about my failing memory. When we are somewhere amazing, or at a special occasion, I am extremely consious of the fact this moment may be fleeting, trapped somewhere in my subconscious or lost somewhere I may never be able to retrieve it from. This is the darker and difficult side of memory loss, I'm afraid to say, and is especially hard on Amy and my family as they are always aware everything we experience will, in all likelihood, be lost in time. For us, to reminisce over good times, I have to be reminded of most parts but small details will be lost in the retelling, which is incredibly sad, for everyone. It is, however, nice the sadness is forgotten in moments of laughter when attempting to remember the rules of 'Skip Bo' or re-reading the same page ten times, it is nice to always be able to see the light in the dark.