Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New milestone

So many things we do, each day in life, we don't give a second thought. We take it for granted, because we have always been able to do it. You don't realize it until it is taken away from you.

This morning, I read 2 chapters in a book! Big deal, right? Yes, it was! When you have Cushing's, you get this foggy brain, and there is really no other way to describe it other than foggy brain. That's what we all call it. You can't concentrate, you forget things very easily, and your comprehension is down.

I've always loved to read! I had noticed it was hard for me to read things. I had to really concentrate, and even then, it was hard to comprehend what I was reading sometimes. Some days were better than others, but overall, it was hard, always. When I went to California for testing, in 2007, I bought a new book to take with me to read. I had not read a book for a long time. For the most part, I'm just too busy, but it was also more than that. I had gradually lost interest, and really had not realized it for a while. When I tried to read that book, I only got to about page 3, and even then, I had to read it over and over, and realized I still was not comprehending what I was reading. My mind was thinking of anything and everything else while I was reading! I suppose it's similar to what an ADHD person experiences. I gave up on the book. I tried once or twice after that, and the same thing happened.

So, this morning, I got up to take my medicine, and I was hungry, so I got a bite to eat, and I'm awake for a while. I read my Bible, and then I was looking in my end table, and found that book. I decided to give it a try. I read to chapter 3! Not page 3, CHAPTER 3! I remember what I read. It was not totally without difficulty. I had to focus to learn who the characters were, and how they related to each other, but overall, I got it, and it stuck! Before, I just couldn't make myself do it!

I've never considered myself a genius, but I always got good grades in school. I have always enjoyed learning. Our entire life is a learning experience, and I feel like a sponge, trying to soak all of it in! It's very hard for people with Cushing's because you feel like you've been "dumbed down" for a lack of better words. I would always think this must be what it felt like, on some level, for my dad, when he had Alzheimer's. He was a very smart man, and he lost his thinking skills and his ability to comprehend. I know it was very frustrating for him, and scary. I felt the same way, until I realized mine was from Cushing's, and I knew once I got rid of the Cushing's, I'd get rid of my cognative problems.

It became very hard to spell. I was always a good speller, before Cushing's. Suddenly, I would spell words, and they didn't look right to me. I'd try a different spelling variation, and it didn't look right either. I'm talking about words we have known all of our life, and should come easily to us. You look at it and it looks like a foreign language to you. That's just so bizarre, and until you experience it, you probably can't comprehend. We end up having to think of another word, that means the same thing as the one we want to spell, but pick one we do know how to spell. It is very frustrating! When I get to typing really fast, I sometimes type words completely backwards, or I scramble the letters and make a whole new word. I usually see my mistakes, and correct them before I hit send, or publish, but I still miss a few! In speaking, I've created new words that don't exist. They just come out of your mouth without thinking about it. The excess cortisol does something to our brains, plus, having a pituitary tumor could have something to do with it!

Maybe that will help some of you to realize how much joy there is in reading just 2 chapters in a book! Try to never take the small things in life for granted!

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