Saturday, 24 September 2016

Even deeper thoughts

One of the things I like about Facebook is that I feel close to people I would have lost touch with; another is that it's enabled me to make new friends, or to understand old friends better.

That presumes that people are open and honest and not looking to wrest thousands of dollars out of you.

One of the things I don't like so much about Facebook is that I follow people who have friended me but seem to want only that one side of the process.

Oh, I get it.   That's not about Facebook.  That's about my feelings.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I don't always get it right

Today I was trolling the Rideau Centre, pretending that I knew exactly where I was when I found a new cosmetics store, and thought I could pass a few minutes checking it out.

It was a fun place, great music and opportunities to sample everything, and once I had my rhythm going, I really got into it.

Two of the customer service people had been catching glimpses of   the rainbow at my wrist. Sometimes people come over and ask me if I'm a lesbian---no, an ally, I say which isn't always helpful.  These two just gave me broad smiles and went back to rearranging sequin-loaded nail glaze.

I poked around for a bit and decided to try out the two lipgloss colours that appealed to me. I put Raspberry on the top lip and Purple Gaza on the lower one, placed myself in front of a small mirror and tried to decide which one was more flattering.  Couldn't make up my mind, so I went over to the two young women, made sure I had their attention, pushed out my lips and asked them "Bottom or Top"?  They just looked at me, so I tried "Top or bottom?" and finally one of them told me "Top", so I bought the Raspberry one and headed out for the rest of my errands.

I was back home before it hit me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Und du, Lorna?

Our book club is reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel, and I've been putting it off.  I read it when it was first translated from the French, and remembered being awed and shocked, and dragging myself around in blackness until long after I'd finished it.

It wasn't that I didn't know the circumstances.  I actually lived for a while in a small village in Germany that had been a training centre for the Gestapo during the war, which prompted me to read everything I could about the Holocaust.  I couldn't make myself accept that my neighbours, who loved my children and bought me beer at the gasthaus and taught me about washing my windows every Wednesday, could have been part of what I knew to be true. 

I think I took a deep breath and did the ostrich thing.  Or fantasized about alternate worlds.

Book Club is Thursday and I just finished the re-read last night.  I see it slightly differently than I did when I was in my late teens and it is even more distressing as I realize that although I was affected, I did nothing other than to choose one of the Jewish boys I knew as a boyfriend.  That's a perspective I'm not proud of for so many reasons.

I'll be dragging my feet to the meeting even though the host-of-the-month always provides fine canapés and a broad choice of beverages.

When I grow up though, I hope I am an activist.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

From here to there

At almost 20, seeking maturity
at 74, singing along to the Beatles
I was so amazed at the reachout from The Memory Project at the Bruyère Hospital.  They called me last Thursday and I was tested on Friday!  David came with me as they suggest it's a good idea to have someone there who knows the person being tested.  Knowing Dave's strong curiosity, I thought we might have a problem, but he was perfect: sat beside me, supported me and helped me when I needed it but otherwise,while he may have had questions, he didn't put one forth.

The test was not hard, but some parts of it were tricky, such as the time I had 30 seconds to name as many 4-legged animals as I could and found myself screeching "whales" and "chameleons".  Did I mention I'm competitive?

I was really surprised to see how I didn't use straight lines for connecting similar or consequential things and that I had a hard time with the perspectives of images.  My drawing of two connected hectagons looked like the work of a 4-year old architect.

When all the boxes had been filled in, the questions answered, both mine and the nurse's, I was told that they needed a CT scan, and to compare my answers to the formal questions with the general conversation that went on among the 3 of us throughout the meeting. 

I can expect to hear back from them in 4 months.  If I'm as seriously affected as I think I am, they'll start therapeutic and supportive work, and I'll be able to deal with a reality that I can manage for a while.  If not, they assured me that taking the test was a good thing to do given that I was so confident in my own assessment.

Strangely, the minute we were outside and walking to our car, I wanted, wanted, a glass of wine, but when we got home, I made myself a  cup of hot lime juice.  I shouldn't have said "strangely" though because I was appalled at my answer to how many glasses of wine I had in a week.  I lowballed it at 15.

Oh, the wide and winding road!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Not the best lunch ever....

Today I had lunch with a dear friend whom I haven't seen for ages, for several reasons, hers and mine.  Because we remembered how good the food was, we went to a restaurant in mid-town that always has great reviews, and of course, for that reason, was crowded and noisy.

We should have backed away, but we chose not to, and spent our lunch time yelling family disaster stories at each other and trying to eat the beautiful and extremely tasty salmon burger.  So much food!  I had to leave most of the meal, although I did manage my expensive glass of Pinot Noir.  Next time, my dear friend, we will choose a quiet dark place with crappy food, just for the balance.

AND, I forgot to take the picture I had intended to include in this post.

My (early) old age crisis and what I'm doing about it.

I was surprised to see that I haven't been back here since early July, and at the same time, not surprised.  The "not surprised" had to do with the anxiety I've been feeling this year, which I would normally have written about but held back because I didn't want to be boringly bonking anybody over the head seeking consolation.

I live a privileged life: I'm strong and healthy for a person of my age, my husband, my children, my grandchildren and my friends seem to like me and retirement  has been, for the most part, a joy.  Yet I kvetch internally and externally about how I don't feel I'm pulling my weight, about how I can't seem to get access to my own relatively large set of words, about how uneasy I feel behind the wheel of our car, and even often as a  passenger.  I regret the stubbornness I brought to the volunteer work I used to do which unfortunately has left me a person with lots of passion and no platform.

So, I got a rainbow tattoo, and started going to counselling.

I talked to my counsellor and my doctor about my fear that I was heading rather rapidly towards dementia or Alzheimer's and finally today, started the process of being tested.

My doctor ran me through a test I'd taken a year earlier, and as I feared, told me I was just fine for my age; I replied that I'd done well in the test because I'm competitive and described for him the monotonous frustration of deciding to do a task and totally forgetting the task and the reason for it during the time it took me to get to my laptop.  I told him how I could look at my grandchildren and not remember their names; I told him that often I have to search for the words to describe things that I've known the names of since I was 6.

He told me he would make the referral for the next set of tests that would be carried out by a "memory" group at a local hospital, not because he thought I needed it but because he knew I needed it.  He is a compassionate man.

I almost ran home.