Monday, August 6, 2012

I Used to be a Writer

Before I got sick (BS I call it), I was just coming into my own as a writer. I mean, I'm going on almost ten years of blogging but I was finally getting things published. Mostly online, but also submitting to magazines once I realized I wasn't such a crap writer after all.

Then I got pneumonia and spent six months in and out of the hospital and sent home with tons of different drugs. Drugs that are affecting my memory and recall. My after sick (ASs) is totally different than the previous life. I don't have the memory for words that I used to. I can still spell, thank god, but the other day I stood in my kitchen mid-sentence, trying to remember the word for pancakes. Instead I found myself asking my 6-year-old son if he wanted the round things in the freezer with syrup for breakfast because I couldn't think of "pancakes."

This happens more than I want to think about. It's always easy words and they fall out of my head as I'm about to say them. Tip of my tongue then lost. Sometimes if I stop and think for a bit, they come back, but sometimes not. It can be embarrassing depending on who I'm talking to. My son's principal, not so fun. My girlfriends, kind of funny - depending on the word. From now on, I think I'll have them interject naughty words when I get stuck, just to break my brain lock and make me laugh.

But as an aspiring writer, this is not a good development. It was bad enough when I couldn't transcribe like in the past because of the pain it causes in my hands and the swelling in my feet/legs from doing it. Now I can't even remember basic words! I know the meds are keeping me going, and I never ever want to be where I was in April ever again. I just want my words back. That and for this moon face to go away!

I'm hoping as I taper on my meds that my brain bounces back as well. The word loss has been really difficult for me, even more than the pain sometimes. Words are everything. If I lose those, I have nothing. Maybe editing others' words is the new direction I need to take. I like fixing grammar/spelling/content when I see errors. I don't know. I'm not okay with this weird memory issue though. I just hope it goes back to how it was in my BS times.

3 comments:

Liz said...

Jenn, you STILL are a writer! And a very good one at that. You have a way of expressing yourself that helps your reader empathize with you. I just want to encourage you this morning - as you have done so often with me. This too shall pass...don't give up. There is hope! BIG HUG!!!

itsmyositis said...

"the round things in the freezer with syrup for breakfast" love this! Do you use the wrong words 4 things too? Like my kids fave when I called a handbag a handburger! I have PM too and am on immunosuppressants too. Do you think all this language thing is the PM or the meds?

Jennifer said...

Thanks Liz! I appreciate the vote of confidence!

My son gleefully teases me when I say wrong words for stuff! I hope that saying the wrong words and forgetting words is the meds! I assumed the meds because it's been worse with this last round of immunosuppressants & steroids. But then I thought it might be due to the lack of oxygen caused by the pneumonia.

Yesterday I called the stove "the thing that gets hot in the kitchen" bc I was too annoyed to wait for the right word to come. If I stop and wait, the words eventually pop in my brain. It's the waiting that I can't stand.

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