One of the worst things to lose with the diminished cognition of my messy scrambled eggs is my sense of direction. I have toured in the UK for years, decades and was always good at navigation. My parents or more likely my dad taught me and my siblings how to map read. When on holiday, we would sometimes be entrusted with choosing the route to go – straightforward or picture-skew (picturesque is not a particularly English sounding word and skew is sometimes how our routes took us).
Now I know my thalamus may be shrinking - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseaction/show/pageid/1264 but it seems harsh that I cannot remember the simplest of what-should-be-familiar routes. Driving back from our friends’ house on Christmas Day I had to ask MyMan which way to go, repeatedly. I use my satnav more than anyone should. Or is this a case of me just being more normal now? When I bemoan my faulty memory, a friend tells me that before I was exceptional – knew too much, remembered everything (not true) – and now I am just like a normal person. If only. Or rather, I am glad ‘normal’ people do not have to endure what I go through.
Today I saw my GP. She is excellent. Great communication skills. Thorough and dependable, except she works part-time so it can be tricky getting an appointment. Today we went through my 3 point list – moving from Oxybutynin patches to pills, looking at dosage of anti-depressants, and reviewing my Gapapentin in light of a new annoying symptom (stinging soles of the feet).
She knows I have to write things down. Without making me feel awkward or stupid, she jotted down our plan of action – it was ‘ours’ not ‘hers’. The progression steps for each drug. The way forward. Except… I look at the list now and cannot see what I am supposed to be doing with my anti-depressants. I made the next appointment (three weeks’ time) whilst at the surgery as my GP suggested so I wouldn’t forget. I know we are going to review how things are going with the changes. I went to the pharmacy with the prescription and have new Oxybutynin tablets and new dosage Citalopram meds. I have the plan for the Oxybutynin. I have the suggestion for changing Gabapentin. But where are the instructions for the anti-depressants? I hope I am right in thinking I just jump from 20mg to 30mg daily.
Sometimes going on a new journey can be exciting. I quite like driving and not deciding in advance which way to turn. Making it up as you go along. At least I always used to know whether I would need to turn right or left to get near to where I wanted to be.
Nowadays, I have no idea. Everything seems to have gone skew-whiff and it's not pretty. Where do I go from here?