Since my accident, it feels as if I am floating in the universe without any sense of being anchored in time. The only things keeping me in place are my careful notes that I make in my planner, the little reminders that I leave on the kitchen counter, and my constant questioning to everyone of “what day is this?” and “what day is such and such an event?” and “how long until we leave?” because my math skills are pretty much still nonexistent, unfortunately. This is complicated by the fact that vision is still very problematic and I don’t see lines at all well, and I frequently get mixed up and write something down in the wrong box in my planner, thus confusing everyone. Sigh.
When I first woke up, it was much, much worse. I couldn’t even comprehend how time worked, what it meant, which way it ran, why everyone kept saying “It’s time for___”. I used to get really upset and annoyed, because I really didn’t understand and I thought they were just making something up to bother me with. Everything seemed so random. Gradually it started to dawn on me that time moved forward and not backwards, and that days were divided into mornings and afternoons and evenings and nights. After that I started to further understand that they were divided into hours, and that people kept track of those to create schedules, although I still thought that the sole purpose of those was to bug me.
And there’s the challenge of my almost total loss of any sense of time passing, in any sense of the word Minutes and hours can go by while my brain is frozen trying to think a concept through, and I don’t even realize it. I understand now the fact that weeks flow forward, but they go so FAST!!! I could swear something happened just yesterday and someone reminds me that it was actually three weeks ago, which is pretty upsetting. When I try to express this to people, they often say something like “Oh, that happens to me too! It’s a natural part of aging!” But this is not. This is much more extreme. I lose actual months, weeks, days. I know normal aging, I was experiencing that before the accident. This is very different. On the bright side, I was speaking one time to a group and the question came up “How do you fill your time?” I deferred to the other panelist to answer it first while possible answers were racing around my head, like “disengage my brain and stare at the wall until everyone gets home” or “forget what I’m doing and spend the whole day trying to remember” which too often the truth. The only things that save me from these dismal outcomes is my pretty strict regimen of activities that I adhere to on an everyday basis, so that I don’t have to figure out a schedule every single day. That way I know approximately how much time a single task takes me, and that keeps me from losing too much time. Otherwise I’d be lost in space.
Upsides: I’m never bored, I’m always…I’m always…I forget. More about this later.