“Why am I here?”
You would not believe how many times I say this these days. No, I don’t mean that I’m getting all philosophical on you. I’m talking I get somewhere and really don’t know why I’m there. This happens almost every time I go to the garage. My garage is where I keep glassware, canning supplies, and other kitchen related items that I don’t have room for in the house. It’s also the home of our two big freezers. So I go to the garage at least once a day. And nearly every time, as soon as I step inside I say, usually out loud, “Why am I here?” The garage sits about 20 feet from the house, which apparently makes for just long enough of a walk for me to acquire amnesia these days. The problem is not that the required information doesn’t stick. Oh, it’s in there, but good luck retrieving it! Usually, within a minute or so of asking myself why I’m there, and after the application of much concentration, I’m able to remember why I came. But not always.
I try to warn people that I don’t remember things, but they don’t seem to get it. They say things like, “I’m the same way!” Ha, ha—no, you’re really not. Thanks to tamoxifen, I just lose information in my brain somewhere. It’s like my brain is the junk drawer of my body or something. Sure, what I need is in there somewhere, but I’ve got to mentally dig through a bunch of twine, pencils, scotch tape, and a nut cracker to find it.
Two weeks ago I was driving into town to take Mini Me to piano lesson. In a deviation from the normal routine, I was planning to run by Goodwill before hand and drop off some items. So, we ride into town, pass the turn to piano, and head for the Goodwill. Except as we approached the intersection where I’d need to turn, I suddenly did not know what I needed to do. “Do I need to turn here? I don’t remember where I’m going. Where am I going? Think, think, stupid brain, where am I going?” Tick tock tick tock. Finally, at the last second I remembered, “Oh yeah, Goodwill,” and made the left turn. Then last weekend, I was getting ready to open a can of tuna. I carried the tuna over to the drawer where the can opener is kept, but when I got there I just stared at the contents of the drawer. “What am I looking for? I need…something. I must need it out of this drawer since I opened it. What am I doing? Uh…opening a can. And what’s the tool I need for that? Uh…” Really, it should not take so much effort to remember that you need a can opener to open the can you are holding in your hand.
Either of those things ever happened to you? Probably not, unless you’re on tamoxifen. They never used to happen to me, either. Thankfully I have both a sense of humor and a supportive spouse. A big reason why I‘m able to laugh at these incidents is because I cling to the assumption that once I’m off of tamoxifen, everything will go back to normal. But it’s not all bad anyway, because like I said I have a supportive spouse. Hubster has been great about recognizing that the tamoxifen has caused memory recall issues for me. So, what’s he gonna do, get mad? No, because I can’t help it, right? I’m not forgetful because I’m an insensitive and self-absorbed lout who is too wrapped up in herself to remember to pick up Hubster’s toothpaste at Walmart. Nope, it’s the drug’s fault–I’m handicapped! And while I would never, ever exploit this, it does offer a certain advantage for those times when I am just an insensitive, self-absorbed lout who got too distracted by a new bottle of nail polish to remember the toothepaste.