Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Decline in Function

I am forgetting things.

The usual stuff of reading glasses, keys, where I parked the truck has escalated to stuff like forgetting my volunteer pass at the Main Gate when I enter the prison to do the writing workshops.

They had to bring it to me at the gate to one of the units last Saturday. Without that ID, I cannot leave the prison. Not so smart. Should pay more attention.


Yes it's getting bad. I forget where I am going when I run errands, suddenly lose my orientation in cross-town traffic, and draw blanks with names and words that used to be second nature.

Second nature -- that automatic, hard working capacity to just go without thinking -- is declining. Maybe it has already declined and I am just waking up to the fact.

My horizons are narrowing. I don't see as far into my array of multi-tasking as I used to. I can manage just a few things in the here and now. Forget anything like planning. What's that?

Reading anything beyond novels and essays is slow and onerous.

It takes so much work to focus. I force myself to follow the train of thought in meetings and on the news. I notice that I have less passion for abstract issues. I have a harder and harder time getting worked up about anything.

And I am low, probably depressed, almost all the time. My affect leads to my not wanting to do things I have to do for my job. The administrative stuff of report writing, spread-sheet filling, web site setting up, making lists, keeping track of minutiae all make me just short of catatonic.

I feel like I should be doing something else.

All I want to do is ride my bike, spend time with friends, eat, and do creative stuff.

Forgive my vagueness, but I want to make something out of this life. I want that thing to endure, a kind of amalgam of what I have learned that might serve others. I want to believe that what I did with this life made a difference (a good difference). Time and ability may be shorter than I thought.

I am either entering early dementia or turning a corner into a new phase of life -- the late-life, contemplative, final phase.

Soon, I will have to admit that I need help, or at least some kind of diagnosis. Tomorrow I go in for an all day cognitive test. I'll learn something from that, whether this is neurological or psychological at the least. From there I'll have to decide what to do, where to go.

Whatever the outcome, I need to cultivate a simpler life. That or let people who rely on me down, big time. 

If I don't quit, I'll likely be laid off or fired soon.

This aging is a hell of a thing.

Is this the fall of the mind or the rising of the soul? Or both?

I hope the test will tell.

My wings are ready when the time comes.

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