Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is it early stage Alzheimer's or just busy Mom syndrome?

People tell me all of the time, “I can’t believe how much you can get done. How do you manage to fit everything in?” By everything they mean being a full time wife, mother, and chiropractor in private practice… a drummer in the church praise band, writer, blogger, sometimes good cook, and hopefully soon to be published author.

What they really don’t know is… I am not really that organized. Actually I am a complete unsystematic mess. The only reason I have any efficiency whatsoever is that I tackle tasks immediately. If I do not tend my mental garden soon after the seeds have been sown, all information seems to be permanently rinsed down the drain, never resurfacing. Just this morning we showed up at my in-law’s house and my partner said, “Kara, tell them why we are here….” I had no recollection of why we were there even though we had been just talking about it in the car. The problem was we also talked about refilling our coffees, where we were going for dinner, and how my editor commented on the final cuts.

Lying in bed at night I wonder, “Is this how Pat Summit felt: overbooked, overcompensating, and overwhelmed, trying to avoid the diagnosis of early onset dementia?” I make a mental list of my symptoms, most of which could go either way. I usually remember at least 2/3rds of the grocery list although I rarely find the need to write it down. I can remember complaints a patient had two years ago, even if they haven’t been in since then. I don’t necessarily get lost on the way home, sometimes I just get so absorbed, singing at the top of my lungs as the bass rattles my brain, “I’m sorry but I’m just thinking of the right words to say. I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be. But if you wait around awhile I’ll make you fall for me I promise. I promise you.” I have only driven past my road a handful of times.

Maybe it really is nothing. My partner and I are managing to have sex at least once a week, my five year old still crawls into bed wanting to snuggle with me, and although I have set up a workstation on my treadmill so I can get more done while I get my workout, I am convinced that I appear to be well contained on the outside. A couple of days at the beach should really slow me down enough to get myself back together. But until then my motto has shifted from “Get it done” to “Get it done right now or I will have no memory of it.”

If there are any other busy moms out there that can relate to this level of hysteria please let me know… if only to put both of our minds at ease.


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