Sunday, May 11, 2014

Celebrating Mothers

Today is a day for celebrating mothers. A day to remember all the things our mom did right, all the ways she made us feel loved, all the times she was there for us.

My mom is one of the greats (IMHO.) She takes care of us still. When I don't know how to handle a situation, or just plain don't feel well, she's the first person I want to call. When I need a shoulder to cry on, she is that shoulder. It doesn't matter the distance we are from each other, she will always be that person.

But what about all my "other" moms. The ones who have taken me in when I need a mom who is physically here, but mine can't be. I have more of them than I know what to do with sometimes. I love every single one of them. They are my friends, parents of my friends, people who love me and love to watch out for me.

Then there is celebrating my close friends who are wonderful mothers to their children. Children who I love as deeply as if they were my own nieces and nephews, and I love seeing them taken care of. I love seeing the joy in the eyes of my friends when they talk about their children. The pride in who those children are and who they are becoming. The hope for the future when we talk about those children.

Saving the best for last, there are my own children. They are the reason I get up every morning, breath in and out all day, go to work, smile, laugh, have hope for the future, and enjoy looking at the past. They mean the world to me, and I love them with all that I have in me. They are everything a mother could ever hope her children would be. Loving, kind, smart, and even as teenagers (or almost teenagers) they love me unconditionally. I could never ask for better people to have in my life and thank God for them every day.

Even when I didn't remember any of you, you all never stopped thinking about, praying for, and loving me. When I didn't remember my mother, she wanted nothing more than to hug me and make it all okay. When I didn't remember my friends, they wanted to make sure their children understood what a wonderful person they all saw me to be (even, or maybe especially, when I didn't see it myself.) When I didn't recognize my own children, they hugged me and loved me, they missed me and wanted me back in their lives. No matter how much I've hurt those around me, I've never stopped being and feeling loved.

For all the mothers out there, and all those with a "mother's" heart, I want to wish you all a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! Thank you for all you do.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dumbest Question Ever (to pose to an amnesiac)

I've been having some severely incapacitating headaches lately. Bad enough that I actually dragged myself into the emergency room Thursday night/Friday morning. For those that know me and wonder if I'm suffering some sort of brain damage, it will make you feel better to know that I completed a 10 hour shift at work with that awful headache before I went to the hospital. So, y'know, still normal (I know, I know. Fine, normal for me.)

I'm in the hallway on a bed, because they are so packed that they don't have a room for me, with my coat over my head to block out the glaringly bright lights, and the doctor asks me "Have you ever been hospitalized for any headaches like this before? Have you ever had a CT scan? Have you ever had a lumbar puncture?" Ummmmm....question #1: I don't know. The rest I'm pretty sure they did 3 years ago in the hospital in Joliet. "How can you not know if you've ever been hospitalized for headaches?" Sigh. Where's my medical history expert when I need her. 

At this point, I realize I have to go into a somewhat detailed explanation of what happened. After I was done, he asked me the dumbest question I get asked all the time, "What all do you think you don't remember?" REALLY!! You're a doctor and you're asking me that. Honestly, I thought I was doing really well lately, until he started asking me questions about my medical history that I just couldn't be sure of. But, that does not mean I will ever have an answer for that question. How can you know what you don't remember? Think about that for just a minute. Let it sink in, nice and deep. Now, look in the mirror. That confused expression on your face....add a little bit of disgust and that's what I look like when people ask me stuff like that.

Back to the matter at hand, I have to wonder, will it be this way for the rest of my life? Will people ask me questions and I have to answer with something ambivalent, like "I don't think so", "maybe", "it's hard to say", or my favorite "I don't remember"? (The expression people pull with that last one is priceless.) Or, maybe we can put our head together and come up with something classy and clever. Got any suggestions, people?

I have now had nurses, insurance consultants, friends, family, non-friends/family, and A DOCTOR ask me a question about amnesia, that if you took 10 seconds would realize will get a look from me of the "are you kidding me? That's a really bad joke right?" variety. The doctor was the most shocking of the bunch. If my neurologist pulls out a question like that, it will trump them all. (And, I may have to fire him, because I don't want you in charge of diagnosing my head if you ask something like that. I'd be questioning everything you tell me from that point forward.)

Le sigh!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


So, my recent foundiversary post made me think of all the things that I faced in the early days of my new existence. As I sit here an write this post, I think of the biggest, most profound change of all.....computers.

When I was still in the hospital, part of my memory therapy was looking at pictures. Of course, in my brain, looking at pictures was having a big box of photographs with names and dates (sometimes events) written on the bottom, gotta love those old polaroids, or back to remind you what you were actually looking at. Not so much. My parents walk in with a laptop. I didn't even know what a laptop was, let alone how we were supposed to look at pictures on that thing. To me computers were a rather foreign concept. What computers I did vaguely remember, were not sleek, little, one piece devices. They were big bulky thing, with big bulky screens.

Still, once I got the concept, I enjoyed looking at pictures.....until my mother invited me to touch the computer. I was sure I was going to break the darn thing. She showed me how to use the mouse pad, I touched it, the screen changed, and I jumped like a killer clown had stepped out of the shadows or something. It was pretty strange. Still, obviously over time I grew more confident with computers. Once I got my own stuff back from the police from the investigation, I got my laptop back and promptly taught myself how to use it, all the software already installed, how to type (so I could do things like this), and basically how to survive in today's society where nothing is done without computers anymore.

Then there was the cell phone. Oh the dreaded device!! I'd seen my parents talk in their phones and asked them about what they were. I knew there would have to be a day when I would talk into one of them since, apparently, no one had regular sturdy house phones anymore. You know the kind, with the cord that you play absentmindedly with while you talk to the person on the other end, or that annoyingly tangles up the second you try to walk anywhere away from the base that it's attached to. The first time my mother put her phone in my hands, all I could think was "So......breakable...." I didn't even want to touch it to my face for fear it would snap in half. That wasn't a phone, it was a teeny, tiny, fragile piece of plastic that voices magically came out of.

Here's one I'm sure no one thought The one in the hospital wasn't too bad, lots of channels (way more than we ever got with OUR antenna) but at least it was a tube television. My tv was the one that boggled my mind. Flat screen, super clear image, extra bright colors, and cable was awesome!!

Lack of manners was horrifying as was the price of...well, everything. Most shockingly was that people had to be reminded to get up and move, including kids, and eat healthy. Having grown up on a farm, fruits and vegetables were a staple and I realize I wasn't exposed much to how unhealthy people ate even back then, but the fact that healthy was expensive and hard to afford for most was challenging to accept. Light bulbs were oddly shaped sometimes, cars were fascinating (and far more numerous than I remembered), and anything I wanted to learn about, I could. Just ask Google. The internet was a wonderful thing to learn how to use, because it allowed me to learn about nearly anything else and connect with people on a level that never existed before.

So many changes, both for the better and the worse. I periodically lose my fascination of the world and how much there is to learn, see, do, taste, experience, etc., etc., but whenever I get that passion back I go crazy with it. Mostly because Google is still my friend.

Monday, May 5, 2014

3rd Foundiversary

Happy Foundiversary to me!! Oddly enough I couldn't find any foundiversary songs on You Tube. Shocking, I know. I may have to bend my talents to coming up with one.

Yesterday I had a milk shake from Steak and Shake and I remembered my first trip out after getting out of the hospital nearly 3 years ago. My parents asked if I wanted to go to McDonald's and I, of course, said yes. To me, food was food. It never occurred to me how something as inconsequential as a visit to a restaurant could throw me. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake. What they gave me was a cheeseburger, crispy things they called fries, and this pink swirly thing in a clear, plastic cup. WHAT WAS THIS?!? WHERE WERE THE SOGGY, OIL SOAKED VAGUELY FRENCH FRY SHAPED STICKS OF MY YOUTH? AND.....YOU CALL THIS THING A MILKSHAKE?!? I was horrified.

Milk shakes from McDonald's were supposed to be perfectly blended masses in a white paper cup so hard to suck through the straw that it collapsed in on itself with the force of trying to draw a minuscule amount of deliciousness into your waiting mouth. Not prettily swirled color/flavor syrup pseudo mixed into the vanilla base, in a clear cup, with whipped cream and a cherry like they thought they were a fancy ice cream parlor, and so soft it came up through the straw without any effort whatsoever. AND IT TASTED TERRIBLE. Well, in comparison to what I was expecting anyway. They were just trying too hard, and it was just one more thing that had changed.

McDonald's broke my heart that day. They proved to me that nothing was safe from the huge changes that were life now compared to the childhood I was forced to relive. Sadly, the only thing that was the same was the cheeseburger, and quite frankly I never liked them much, but the chicken nuggets growing up were worse so I chose a cheeseburger that day. Oh the woes of not knowing better at the time.

Oh the deliciousness of my youth, sorta.

 Well, close enough.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.

GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.