Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something's Not Right

Last year, in July, my grandmother would stop by the office/garage everyday on her way out of the neighborhood. This was normal. She complained about feeling badly and forgetting things. This was not. We would say, "Annie, it's normal, you're getting older. Are you taking your Aricept everyday?" She was insistent that it wasn't just that. She would get riled up and say,"There's something wrong with me!" At the time, we just thought it was a normal, inevitable progression. But she knew something wasn't right.

It wasn't until 2 months later, right after her 81st birthday, around Labor Day, that we found out something wasn't right. She was a breast cancer survivor, in remission for 2 years, but last year it metstasized to her brain. She wasn't forgetting things because she was getting old, she was forgetting things because there was an intruder. And she knew it. And we doubted her. I replay that in my head sometimes and wish I hadn't brushed away her fears like they were unimportant.

I am going to write more about Annie in a few weeks - part 2 of my Tale of Two Grandmas. Today, I wanted to make a point that we should all pay attention to our bodies. If you feel that something isn't right, take care of it. Trust yourself.

Lately, I've been forgetting strange things. Which toothbrush is mine. My dad's cell phone number. My address. Today, I flashed my brights when I was trying to turn on my windshield wipers. I'm not assuming I have a brain tumor, but something is wrong. Maybe it's as simple as stress or lack of sleep, but those are still important things that can affect my quality of life.

I'll be fine. But that's because I'm going to start paying attention and acting on what I feel. Like my yoga teacher, Sharkee, used to say, "Listen to your body; it will tell you everything you need to know."


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