All in a muddle

I cannot remember if I have written about this or if I’ve just told so many people that it feels like I’ve written about it.

At school I loved maths and science, it made sense to me, facts, formulae, equations, it was logical and I just got it. At university I studied Engineering and later on I gained a second degree in Health Sciences. I worked in financial project management. Everything I did or wanted was researched, planned and executed. Anything that didn’t fit into my tidy logical boxes was disruptive to my need for order.

But then a certain life changing event occurred and suddenly I couldn’t plan, schedule and organise. Suddenly I was at the mercy of hospital and clinic appointments, waiting lists, test results. Even when I thought there was a plan, we didn’t stick to it because of adverse reactions to drugs, or new test results. I couldn’t organise my life in the safe and ordered way I was accustomed to because there were too many unknowns.

Physical health, mental health, recovery timescales, setbacks – everything was conspiring against my need to know the what, when, where and why (and how). My mind went from being a still lake to a whirlpool, a gentle breeze to a hurricane. As though a thick grey fog had descended over everything that I knew.

And time went on, and treatment finished, and physically I became stronger, but my mental health problems persisted. And the fog persisted. But the fog was now joined by a feeling of indifference, as though there was actually no point in planning because fate would derail whatever plans I came up with. I’m desperately trying to think of the word I want to use but, hey word recall is a huge issue for me…

As is memory. In brief, I cannot rely on my short term memory. I think of something and by the time I’ve picked up a pen and paper to make a note of it, I can’t remember what I had thought of. I have dreams and enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard to turn my dreams into reality but I can’t plan. I can’t organise, make lists, prioritise, or process what I need to do.

My logical, organised, neat and tidy brain has become wild and free. It cannot live by the constraints of time, resources, rational thought, instead flitting from one thing to the next as I remember something else and forget the first thing. Any task seems to take an exceptional level of concentration to complete, and even then it takes longer than it should.

Take this post as an example. I started writing this with a view to saying how I want to be a successful published poet but I’m rubbish at planning stuff and very forgetful!!! And here I am taking you on a guided tour of my rambling mind and getting precisely nowhere.

Bullet points (simple and short ones)

  1. I want to write poetry
  2. I want to publish (at least) one book of entirely my work
  3. I need to find a publisher
  4. I want to enter my work into competitions (preferably free ones)
  5. I need to organise the poems I’ve already written (in some way)
  6. I either need more hours in the day or I need to use my time better
  7. HELP!

Having just read back what I’ve written I’ve actually remembered the real point of this post, which was not ‘that I’m rubbish at planning stuff and very forgetful’, it was actually an observation that my GP made. He said that it seemed like my brain had been reprogrammed – from logical and scientific to creative and scatty (my words not his!).

Is this even possible? I guess after a stroke or something that physically alters the brain, but is it possible in me? From the chemo drugs, depression, ptsd, shock, ongoing meds (tamoxifen and anti depressants)? Am I destined to be ‘creative and scatty’ for ever more? Or could my brain gradually flip back to organised?

It certainly makes me think! And these thoughts go round, and round, and round, with no resolution…

Karen x

p.s. well done if you made it to the end, this post mirrors what my brain does when I want to put salad cream (just an example) on the shopping list, which reminds me I need to actually get salad cream before it gets rebranded as sandwich cream, seriously leave the name well alone, Heinz.

Have a great evening folks xx

Comments

10 comments on “All in a muddle”
  1. kertsen says:

    Let me give you another most amusing case : a keen photographer friend would not let his wife touch his expensive camera in the days before camera automation. He only trusted her to press the shutter and even then he was on edge although he had completely set the camera.
    I suggested he underestimated her almost to the point of embarrassment ; hand her the camera I suggested and she will ask if she needs to know. It was not too long until he had to buy her an expensive camera. There are still many men who believe women are not technical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kertsen says:

    I had a friend , lost now but remembered with pleasure ; when any one asked him how he was he always answered ‘ fair to muddling ‘ a neat corruption of ‘ fair to middling ‘ . To plan in detail is a hazardous affair and to my mind asking for trouble . Life is like a journey between two towns and the traffic as well as the vehicle is unpredictable. If we leave nothing to chance , chance will be sure to punish us for such an insult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      I openly admit to needing a sense of control to ensure things get done to my satisfaction, like if I entrust it to someone else I’ve only got myself to blame when (not if) they mess it up!
      I am working hard on releasing control, and my muddled brain is helping with this. I will blog about holidays at some point to illustrate my brain reprogramming further.

      Enjoy your weekend 🙂

      Like

  3. Cherilyn says:

    It sounds like you went from being left brain hemisphere dominant to right brain hemisphere dominant. We all use both sides, but usually one side is a little more dominant than the other, and sometimes front and back is also a little more dominant (like Right, Front, or Right, Back, and Left, Front, Left, Back). Some can even be a little bit of both, I’, Left, back and Right, front if I remember right.

    There is an assessment you can look for, I am not sure if there is a cost for it or not (I took it when I first started University a few years ago now) Whole Brain Assessment. I’d say do a search, but I want to look up the assessment I took and see who made it and to do that, I have to be at home, on the home PC (I won’t be for a few hours)…give me a couple of days.

    And I’m by no means an expert but I wouldn’t necessarily give up all hope. Have you talked to your GP or a Neurologist about this? If a cause for this can be determined, then a determination could be made on whether this can be reversed or not, if you would want to. Being Right brain dominant isn’t bad, just different from what you are used to is all. It certainly is known for being highly creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks for this, I’ll google the assessment. I’m very happy to be creative right brain dominant, I just wish my left brain functioned enough to help me organise myself. It’s very interesting that the brain can do things like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cherilyn says:

        It may be able to do so if it is a matter of recuperation or maybe a medication creating the effect. Hence why talking to a neurosurgeon may shed some light on it. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Karen says:

        I’ve just found this book which talks about how in times of stress the right brain can take over as it is responsible for the fight/flight response. I’ve bought it on kindle, looks like it might answer my questions!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cherilyn says:

        Awesome! I love Amazon and my own Kindle. 🙂 Keep us posted on what you find out.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ashleyleia says:

    I wasn’t giving your “creative and scatty” brain quite enough credit when it came to your shopping list, until I discovered that salad cream sits right there next to branston pickle on the shelf of strange unique-to-UK food items.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Salad cream is gorgeous, if you’re ever in the UK you must try it! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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