Is this a thing? I mean no disrespect to those who actually suffer from real, medical dementia, but I had no other word to describe it. If you are a D- Mom or Dad (parent of a diabetic child, for those not yet in the know), I bet you know what I'm talking about.
Here's why I ask. I was running a class for kids at my church the other night, and I ran out of lesson with 20 minutes to go. I always do, but part of that is intentional, so we can play games. This evening, we played Heads Up, Seven Up. (For any of you who had a deprived childhood and missed this one, basically, everyone puts their head down on the table and closes their eyes while a few "it" people tag them quietly. The tagged people then have to guess who tagged them.)
We had a small class. Everyone had to play, and even then, it was a pretty even match. Still, after the 18 seconds or so it took for everyone to pick, I could not remember who I picked when I was it. I kept hoping not to be it, because there was nothing I could do to remember whom I picked each time! I wound up assigning a teen helper to remember for me.
And that's not it! Daily, I forget something. I have checklists galore, and my kids are set into routines so that they can pretty much fend for themselves. I leave the youngest child's lunch box out so I remember to pack it every day.
And still, when giving the kids dinner, every day - EVERY DAY! - I forget to give the D-child her milk, for which I have already bolused (given insulin). Sometimes, she will start to dip at night before bed, and we are chasing our tails, trying to figure out why she's going low. Yup. Open the fridge, and there it is - the cup of milk I poured and never served at dinner. SMH.
Please tell me this happens to you too. Tell me that your mind is so pre-occupied with trying to calculate insulin and time meals that you forget important things too. I've heard we only use 8% of our brain's actual capacity. Don't you think God might want to open up another percent or two for us to store things like our children's names and whether or not I put the wet clothes in the dryer?
Maybe He did grant me that extra percent, though, and my brain has just been mishandling it. I mean, I have been TRYING to use it for important things, like memorizing my kids' social security numbers, since I have to use those so often for insurance, it seems. (I'm almost there! I have one of the three down…) and putting all the correct supplies in her diabetes bag each time we go out. BUT then, sometimes, my brain will instead occupy itself with the constant reiteration of that annoying My Little Pony Song. Grr...
Playing mind games is supposed to keep your brain sharp, and other tricks too. So I work my daily Jumble puzzles and brush my teeth with my left hand on occasion. When I remember. I also have a bit of OCD, and can't stand odd numbers, so I can't end my Jumble game with an odd number of points. It almost makes me afraid to play the next game. Like I need one more thing to worry about! So just forget it.
Now I am filling my brain with all kinds of other new information too, like which university is conducting the trials with the BCG vaccine, how the the bad T-cells might be suppressed, and what the status on the bionic pancreas is. That is the hopeful stuff.
Then there is the junk I need, but I'd rather get rid of, like which doctors take our secondary insurance, who can be considered a PCP, how to get a medical release in the right hands, and what the due date for certain insurance information is.
That stuff is crammed in there, I guess to replace words that my brain no longer thinks are relevant in life, like, "blender." (Yup, couldn't come up with that one to save my life last week.)
I guess my brain knows what's important for now, and it's apparently not the word "blender." It's being as well-informed as possible about the newest developments in the world of diabetes so that when the cure is found, we are the first ones in line for it. (I promise I won't push any of you out of my way, though.)
In time, after she is cured, perhaps D-Mom Dementia will go away. Maybe I will remember my kids' names, and who I tapped in Heads Up Seven Up. Life will be more fun and carefree then.
But I just hope it happens before I'm old enough for regular dementia to set in.
While We Are Waiting...
My youngest child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014, when she was 7 years old. This blog tells the stories from our life with T1D, while we are waiting for a cure!