Cognitive dysfunction really gets me down. It is not the same as fatigue, which is a monster in itself and something most people don’t experience until they have full-blown ’flu’. Fatigue is like a lead weight in the top of your skull. It weighs on every thought and slows your entire body down. It is unrelenting, unlike tiredness which comes and goes and improves with sleep and rest. But its principle effect is straight-forward, as if your brain is running on Low Battery. And if you have it for years and years, your expectations fall and you have a new concept of ‘tired’ which is what everyone else might refer to as ‘exhausted beyond comprehension’.
Cognitive dysfunction is more complicated. For example, today I can’t spell. Word (where I am typing just now) is underlining about every third word I write in read. If I typed this in Blogger without a spell-check, it would probably be illegible because I wouldn’t notice my mistakes. I am usually a pretty good speller and I am usually a very fast typist. I can speed read. But not today. Today the English language is a strange and complicated tool. As you can imagine, this is taking me ages to write.
But there’s not a whole lot else I can do. I had an order arrive from a craft catalogue, but I can’t remember what the heck I was going to do with the stuff that I have bought. This should come back to me, but it is disappointing because I know I was looking forward to getting the stuff. I had been trawling the craft catalogues. Panduro have discontinued Luminous Stiffy. Panduro are a Swedish company, you see. You could spray Luminous Stiffy on stuff to make it luminous and well, stiff. I never bought any but it made me titter. Like the hobby of Teabag Folding, right up to the point where you learn what it actually entails.
Having a brain that doesn't work brings me down much faster than having a body that doesn't work. I am my brain. When it fucks up, I am fucked up. One of my earliest memories, my earliest memory of terror, was when it occurred to me that all the person I was had little to do with my body or any part of me I could see. It occurred to me that there was no good reason why I didn't float out of my body and find myself in someone else's head, someone with a different Mummy and Daddy, someone starving in Ethopia for example. I remember this occurred to me whilst on our way to pick Rosemary up from primary school, so I must have been about three at the time. I began to cry but couldn't explain what was wrong and couldn't stop crying.
I imagine that if I could put this in a different way, everyone would think, "Oh yeah, I remember thinking that" and I wouldn't prove to be the only toddler who ever underwent an existential crisis.
However, clearly, I am still here. I am still myself. Even if I am a somewhat dyslexic version of myself who managed address a parcel to Leiceiceicestershire this morning. There is really little difference whether the dodgy mechanics are in my head or in my body. I really ought not to take this so badly.