Monday, August 3, 2009

I Almost Forgot to Write My Post on Forgetting

No really, I am not making this up. If Jenn hadn't commented on the french fry thing and I hadn't re-read that post, I would have totally never gotten to this, because that's how forgetful I am.

First, the back story: I've had issues my whole life almost. Nothing big and scary, but stuff all the same. I shake. Sometimes it's not even visible and sometimes I can barely write. I blame my horrible handwriting on it even when it's not that bad. I get hot. Really hot. When other people are shivering. I get tired. I get so tired I can sleep for 12 hours and still wake up tired.

Most of this has gotten worse since Maren was born. I went to my OB/GYN for something totally unrelated and we were talking and she started to think I might be anemic. I get this a lot. I have these dark circle under my eyes and I kinda don't ever wear make-up and so they are wicked obvious and doctors always think I'm anemic. I tell them I'm not. I offer to show them the baby pictures with the circles under my eyes. I give up and take the blood test. They are amazed that I am not anemic.

But since this doctor is one of the best doctors I've ever had (or heard of really) she ran a whole battery of tests along with whatever they run for anemia. And found a problem. A basically-you-don't-have-any-thyroid-hormone problem. So, they sent me to my GP.

Who is also awesome and believed me about the anemia and looked at the tests and ran a whole bunch more and explained to me that having almost no thyroid hormone means that you are hyper active in the thyroid department, which made my head spin off my shoulders and roll around on the floor. Then she sent me to a endocrinologist.

Who is the weirdest doctor I've ever been to. Not in a bad way. In a I-learned-how-to-be-a-doctor-watching-TV-shows-about-small-town-doctors-but-then-set-up-shop-in-a-moderate-size-city kind of way. What I'm saying here is that I like him, but I feel like I've stepped into a time warp and should be wearing a beehive or bobby socks every time I go there.

He, too, ran a bunch of tests. Have I mentioned here ever that I am afraid of needles. I didn't used to be, but I am. I hate them. With a passion. I also have hard to hit veins and the tendency to pass out when they try to wiggle the needle around in my arm. Which sucks. Because then, apparently, they have to discard all of that blood and start over. Who knew?

Anyway, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease and Hashimoto's Disease. And it turns out I'm not crazy. Okay, well, I may be crazy, but it really is hotter inside my body than it is on the other end of the couch where The Husband sits wrapped up in a blanket and throwing me dirty looks. Which makes me feel better, but not like I should turn the thermostat up any.

I've been taking medicine and my temperature has normalized a little and the shaking is only bad in the evenings now. But, I have developed a new symptom. Something this doctor and I are going to have to discuss. Because I hate it.

I can't remember anything. Now, many of you know me irl and everything and you think that I never could remember my head if it wasn't attached pretty securely to my body and you are right. But there is a manageable level of forgetfulness. And this is not it.

I've always been forgetful, so I've always got reminders. To do lists and little things I keep around to tickle my memory. I have procedures in place that are basically obsessive compulsive routines that ensure that I don't forget things. All of this makes me look super-organized, but all I really am is super-self-aware. I know my limitations and I try to compensate for them.

Now, there are holes in my systems. For instance, I hardly ever have my cell phone on me. I try, I really do, but I forget it a lot. And when I do remember, it's sometimes not charged. I lose words. I actually have a pretty decent vocabulary but sometimes I'll spend ten minutes trying to think of the word for that too-sweet red stuff that kids put on everything and has a squirty bottle thingy and comes in picnic sets and oh-ketsup. And sometimes I spend two weeks. I see people and I know that I know them and sometimes I know why I know them (I went to high school with that guy or her mom used to work with my mom) but I couldn't tell me their name if lethal weapons were involved.

But this, this is worse. This is the kind of memory problem where I look at that to do list and I can't remember what "Draft No Candidate letter" means. What I am I supposed to do here. I know that I'm writing a letter but to who, about what, I have no idea. And Thursday, I forgot Brynna. Completely, just drove right past her. Was halfway home before I realized she was still at the sitter's. I stare at things and I can't remember what they are doing there. Did I go looking for scissors? Why am I holding scissors? What did I need scissors for? It took me almost a week to remember to call my doctor and ask for my most recent test results.

I'm sure it's an adjustment to the medication and hopefully will even out soon. I'll mention it to the doctor. Provided I remember and he'll ask if there are any other new symptoms and I'll say no because I will have forgotten if there are and he'll adjust the prescription and I'll be back like the old days in no time.

In the meantime, however, if I forget your name or your kids' names or where I am or why I am wearing my nightgown in Wal-Mart, kindly take pity on me and call my husband. Whose number you won't be able to find in my phone because it'll either be on my coffee table or dead.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Wow. Sorry to hear about the whole memory thing! I had major memory problems when I was pregnant with my boy (memory so bad I forgot to use potholders when taking a dish out of a 400-degree oven - seriously!), but nothing lasting (TYJ!). Here's hoping the medication can get adjusted soon and the memory gets better!

Anonymous said...

So, you've had this all your life and they're only now finding it? I think I would be so relieved to know what was going on with me. I hope everything gets better soon, including the memory thing.

I did my montessori math training two weeks ago and I loved it so much. It was so much fun. I hope your daughter is doing tons of math, and that you get to watch her at an open house sometime.


Suze said...

Oh my! I hope the medication issue resolves itself soon. My aunt had her thyroid destroyed (radiation) for Graves...hope it doesn't come to that for you.

Jessi said...

Thanks for the well-wishes. I do feel like it's improving and all the initial tests are going well, it's just the memory loss that's bothering me, right now.

Suze - That is the last resort for me, I think. We are trying to fix it with meds first. Although there is a piece of me that would rather go that route and get it over with.

Steph said...

I have the same aunt with Grave's disease as Suze and I'm hypothyroid myself (easier to control with meds than hyper), so I know how the thyroid being off can make everything totally wonky. And those weird inverse relationships between the hormone levels...yeah, I know, they're whack. I hope you're getting things back to normal! Our aunt's worst symptom was a racing heart; it went like that constantly and just about made her insane until they figured out what the problem was.

Jessi said...

Steph - Thanks. My heart was doing little flutters, like it felt like it was stopping and then trying to catch up. That was the first thing the meds fixed. I'll never miss that feeling!