Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still Changing?

My brain feels different again.

For whatever reason recently, every-day things are triggering washes of memory. It happened here, when I wrote about my association between the perfume bottle and my mother (something I think about every day, often several times, and have for years) and ended up with Ritz crackers and peanut butter for lunch in grade school. On the white plastic plate with a line sketch in blue of a boat.

It happened the other night when some TV show (Grey’s Anatomy?) had someone in an operating room for brain surgery, which transported me back to my operating room experience: I didn’t move myself from a gurney to the table the way it was portrayed on TV. This wasn't just a recollection, it was the sense of being overwhelmed by the memory, as all of these incidents have been. When I call it a wash of memory, that's what it feels like.

It happened last night, when my dreams were flooded with people from my childhood about whom I haven’t thought in years. The mother of my childhood best friend featured prominently in last night’s dream, though in it she was more than six feet tall and I don’t think my friend’s mother was.

These intense recollection experiences are strange and seem particularly concentrated right now, at the same time as my thinking processes are becoming more fluid, if that makes any sense.

Since this adventure began, I’ve had the sense that my thinking feels different than it used to. I’m not sure that, before this strange series of events, I ever really thought about how it "felt" to think. How it "feels" has gone through a number of distinctly different phases. None, at least not so far, are like it used to feel when making connections, integrating and synthesizing information. At the same time, I’m closer to my old self than I have been, while still being aware, acutely, of the deficits. Each one of those deficits can be compensated for, but that doesn’t make them go away, it just covers them up. Still, that's good enough for me right now, when you look at the overall balance.

Now, I’m going to see if I can locate the family of my childhood best friend somewhere and send them a card.

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