I need to blog more. I know this. Some days it’s just easier to think the thoughts in my head & not get them down on paper. Some days, I think of something to post & an hour later, couldn’t tell you what it was. A year & a half ago I started taking two medications for depression. An unexplained, out of nowhere depression. (You can read about it here if you haven’t followed me long.) At first I took one & then when it seemed to be lacking something, added the other. And together, those two medications have done wonders for me. I don’t feel I can be without them & be a good wife, mom & friend. However, about 9 months ago, I really started to feel like I was constantly in a mental fog, forgetting to do stuff, not remembering that I had already done other stuff, repeating the same stories to Chuck & my friends, losing my train of thought ALL the time, reading a book and then realizing I couldn’t tell you what was in the first chapter if I was tested on it – you get the idea. So, of course, being Noelle, I went to WebMD and diagnosed myself with early Alzheimer’s, dementia or a possible degenerative brain disease that would end my life in less than a year. Because that’s who I am & what I do…. Now, normally I would go to my doctor, explain to him that I was likely dying, watch him smile his sweet smile and let him talk me down from the cliff. But this time, I decided to just deny it for a while. Surely if I played some memory games or worked crossword puzzles or memorized all the Oscar-winning movies, you know, stimulated my brain, I could convince myself that it was just something that came after hitting the big 4-0.
A few days later I photographed a senior & the mother told me how the child had been suffering from depression but had not been able to stay on her first medication because she couldn’t focus in school, couldn’t remember things, had virtually no short-term memory necessary for success on tests & assignments, etc. It was a tough call but ultimately they decided she just couldn’t take it. It was the same medicine I take. (And I’m choosing not to name it because different meds, especially anti-depressants, affect people differently & I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying a specific medication if their doctor thinks it might help get them off the floor of the shower and back into life again.) I went home and read everything I could on the medication & its side effects & came to the conclusion that this had to be what was happening to me. Right now, I’ve decided to just live with it and I think the benefits outweigh the fog, but I have to admit it’s getting really frustrating. A few weeks ago I was at lunch with friends & they brought up the movie, “There’s Something About Mary”. I knew I had seen that movie but I couldn’t for the life of me think what it was about or who was in it, or even where I saw it or who I was with. That is just not me. Thankfully my friends couldn’t think of Cameron Diaz right away either so I didn’t look like a total freak. It’s hard for me because I used to be the queen of pop culture & Trivial Pursuit & now I’d almost be embarrassed to play. I’m hoping eventually the memory issues leave & if they get worse, obviously I’ll do something different. I haven’t left the kids anywhere yet or forgotten their names but I did have to make a conscious effort to remember their birth weights the other day. That was previously burned on my brain. Thank God I’m not Michelle Duggar or I’d be screwed. Three kids aren’t that hard to keep up with in the grand scheme of things. My phone and it’s notes & reminder features are now my best friends. Just be patient with me if I seem a little scattered. But the best news is that a year and a half later, I feel happy, content and ready to have a fun, relaxed summer with my family. And I even have those new teeth to show off when I smile 🙂