LOST!! Searching for cognitive maps and a few nice memories. Text if found!!

March 28, 2018

Lost and Confused SignpostOn Sunday I was reminded of a Physical Therapy appointment with my new therapist, Brenna on the following morning.  In trying to estimate how long I should allow for travel I had to jog my memory to envision where I was going.  Very quickly I recalled the location and thus my travel plan (when to leave, how to get there, ensuring I knew where the key to my car was, etc…), which was important because my husband was going to be out-of-town and unable to assist me if necessary.  The appointment was in a well traveled and known area — so I was completely comfortable with my travels to the destination.

On Monday morning I very assuredly left 20 minutes prior to my appointment, which even allowed for a check-in 5 minutes early.  I arrived extra early so I took a minute to answer my husbands text.  Then I gathered my supplies and walked into what I thought was the right door entering into the right building to see my physical therapist.  Not only was the door locked but inside the glass I could now see the building was empty.  So, I looked at the door to the left and assured myself it was the right entrance.  Yet again, I was wrong.  I could see people working to put together a new business.

By now it was getting near my appointment time and I did not have any idea of how to get to appointment, which stirred up anxiety.  I got into my car, struggled to remember the name of where my physical therapy was, then quickly put the address into the lady in my phone that helps guide me.  She kindly reminded me I needed to drive to the building right behind the one I was at.  Sure enough I drove 1-2 seconds around the corner and saw a huge sign announcing I had arrived at the correct location.  I checked in with the receptionist right at my appointment time.  In fact before I had a chance to sit down Brenna was in the reception room ready to work with me.

The whole experience was immediately gone as I was absorbed in my work ahead with Brenna.  Later, in processing with my husband, he said it should take 10 minutes to get to the physical therapy appointment.

A few days later I was recalling my need to BLOG and I wanted to talk about some special people I had met last week during SPRING BREAK.  It was a crazy week with kids here and there and I kept having to put BLOGGING off but I continued to recall the people I wanted to speak about.

Last night, as things are getting back to normal,  I was thinking I need to post to my BLOG. So, I started jogging my memory to recall what I wanted to say.  I could recall my idea was about some special people I had met, but that was all I could conjure.  I went to bed, hoping that if I slept on it I could find what I was looking for in my short-term memory.  In the end, I still can not recall those people that really spoke to me when I met them.  It makes me incredibly sad that I can’t recall anything about them or ever where I was when I met them.  Further, I am even more saddened that I did not write down any reminders for myself about them.

The point is — my memory is struggling lately.  A few years ago my Neurologist recommended I go to see a Psychologist at KU Med Center to measure my memory.  I saw the doctor, who was a incredibly kind and caring man, or his bubbly assistant for 2 days as we played games, problem solved, and processed thinking patterns to measure my cognitive abilities.  The doctor took into account my education level, my age, my career/position and its responsibilities.  He then took my results  and compared them to others similar to my age, education level and career path.  In the end my executive functioning and short term memory were my weaknesses.  There have been days when I can not even remember how to get to a familiar place on a well known path.  There are also a lot of days when I am just fine, perhaps slower but good.  Lately, I am realizing that I have to acknowledge and be aware that perhaps I am having a short term memory episode and need to use some of my ESOL Scaffolding Skills to support myself (if you say it — write it, visuals are important, notes are helpful, re-tell your plan/write your plan/explain the details of your plan to someone, review/practice, etc…..).

In the end, life is good, people are kind and I will be just fine, more thoughtful about my weakness but incredibly grateful!!




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