Lost: Brain. If Found, Please Return!

Remember that old anti-drug commercial? “This is your brain.” (and they drop an egg in the pan.) They then fry the egg to a sizzle and say, “This is your brain on drugs.”

No, I am not on drugs. I am a victim of weather-related disaster and my brain is still as fried as if it was on drugs. In fact, there are times when my brain is completely out to lunch.

I did a lot of research before writing this blog, and found that there is a reason why I have lost my brain. Multiple traumas this summer have changed my normal, rational, multi-tasking, highly functional brain to a scattered mess. So many details still to attend to in addition to our busy lives, and a long checklist of things still to be done weigh on my brain. This is why I have lost the brain I knew and depended on, and it is not pretty. It is a common phenomenon.

In fact, a funny but true story in my neighborhood with no names mentioned as there is some embarrassment about it: Two elderly ladies flooded and both go to the same hairdresser’s place. One lost her car too – a Lexus, (very common during the flood) and was driving a rental car when she parked at the hair salon. Another flooded woman there had her Lexus parked outside as well. Hours later when the first woman emerged, she forgot she had a rental car and used her key fob to find her car in the parking lot. She unlocked and drove off with the second lady’s Lexus, leaving her rental car in the parking lot. Lady number two reported her car stolen, and for a few days lady number one drove the stolen Lexus not knowing what she had done until her son came to check on her and knew, and reported the VIN number to the dealer. Lady number two then got her car back and the two woman laughed about the mixup.

These confused brains are normal when experiencing trauma, but that doesn’t comfort me to know that. Many of the flood survivors are talking about their scattered overloaded brains, in forums, at groups and events, and so I know I am not alone. Yet still I keep searching high and low for the brain I had, because I want it back.

Just like I searched high and low for not one lost iPhone, but TWO lost iPhones in the past few weeks. (Don’t ask.) Yes, you read that correctly, and I must say in all my many many years of cell phone use, I have never lost a phone before and have had them continually since the 1990’s. NEVER. This is not only embarrassing, it is ridiculous. I have lost many of two years of great vacation photos never downloaded properly, and gone forever.

UPDATE: Second lost phone was a backup old iPhone 4 FOUND! It was the one I used when the newer one got lost on a beach and then I put it away at home when I got a replacement phone – see update 2 for news on that. I looked where it was found approximately 12 times, but it was on it’s side by the edge of the drawer and therefore not immediately visible. Phew!

UPDATE 2: Thanks to the unbelievable generosity of a friend, I got an iPhone 5 gifted because a family member just upgraded to a 6, so I am set with an iPhone that I hopefully will not lose. (Thank you again and again for that gift dear friend!)

Recently I lost sunglasses, flip-flops and earrings as well. I never lose things like this, absolutely never. (except for earrings that have fallen out of my ear in the past.) I am fairly organized and can keep track of my things no matter how much I have going on. Not so lately. Not that I have an abundance of free time, with a huge to-do list waiting for me at every turn, but I find I am spending that little bit of time wandering around, searching high and low for lost items. Retracing my steps just doesn’t work like it used to for me any more.

NOTE: As I have written about, my short term memory has been a bit challenged, though my long term memory is still beyond capable. I can’t shake all of my long term memories, not even to make room for my short term ones. It is annoying to me that other people from my past have amnesia, where I remember absolutely everything, but I guess I am a rare breed.

Back to the point of this blog: I can’t concentrate on muliple things anymore: I kind of shut down. I can’t multi-task like I did before either. I am trying mightily to get the old me back and it stubbornly refuses to return.

As much as I want to plod on, carry on, and muddle through the many demands of my current life, I am just not all there. I aspire to be that person I was, I am willing myself to be that former person, and I am hoping beyond all hope to return to normal soon. My personality, wit, and humor are almost back intact and my smiling is back to normal in appreciation of all the great people that surround me. The brain though, hasn’t gotten the memo.

Can anyone help give me tips to cope with going from a highly with-it personality to an absent-minded professor? And by the way, if you find my brain, gray-mattered in color, please return it to me as soon as possible.

One comment

  • I have always been a multi-tasker. People at work were amazed at how many things I could be doing at the same time. Even at home, I was always on the move. My problem was menopause. It took my energy, my patience and my ability or even my “want to” of multi-tasking. I don’t know why it seemed to hit me harder than most of my friends but it was scary for awhile. My husband was afraid I was suffering from early dementia or Alzheimer’s. I was forgetting so much and misplacing the simplest things. I was making mistakes at work and after working there for 30 years, I started to wonder if I was going to be able to continue doing my job. After trying a few different medications through my doctor, I can tell you that after a few years of not feeling like myself, I now say to people “I’m back!” That’s how I feel. Like I was gone but now I’m back. I thrive under pressure and love accomplishing the impossible again. For years, I fought my doctors suggestion about taking an antidepressant and how that works exactly is very odd to me but I can tell you 100% that I’m back and I never felt better and my memory is as sharp as it used to be. There is such a stigma associated with medication or I feel like there is so I won’t be specific here about what I’m taking. However, my email address is on here so if you ever want to know, feel free to email me. Good luck as always to you. I hope every day is just a little bit better. Love, love the Lexus story!

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