Okay, I've already got the mega-high cholesterol, and super annoying epilepsy, to deal with. Now, after staying awake for over 24 hours to get the results to the MRI I took last week, I'm told that I have "prominent atrophy" ("prominent" for a person my age; for an 80-year-old, I'd be doing great, which is just so damn reassuring) which is causing my brain to literally rot away, filling the empty spaces with "cerebral spinal fluid" and putting pressure on what's left of the tiny little pea brain that I'm currently using. It sounds like a horror movie, don't it? (Notice my use of the word "don't" instead of "doesn't" indicating the progressive decline in my grammar.)
My family doctor has tried to put a nice spin on this whole thing. He's not a neurologist, and he doesn't really know much more than I do, regarding my incredible shrinking brain, but he's guessing that it's okay. For all he knows, my brain simply developed like that, and hasn't atrophied at all. He says that it's "mild" atrophy, but also says that it's "prominent." He even told me that it could be "nothing at all" or "really serious." At least he narrowed it down for me.
Although my doctor doesn't think it's worth worrying about, and doubts that it's anything significant, he does think that I should see a neurologist, so I can, "sleep better at night." He didn't take into account that I sleep during the day, but I got the idea, which is actually fairly amazing, being that I'm a newly crowned retard. To think, last week I thought I was a normal guy suffering with some memory problems and a bitch of a never ending migraine.
For the last few months, I've had an increasingly hard time concentrating on, and remembering, films that I see, or television shows that I watch, or books that I read. It actually started pissing off my friends. Well, it really only pissed off one friend, but she was pissed enough to make up for all of my other friends combined (in her defense, she says she was never pissed, but that she was just "irritated" when I would slam a movie that I didn't fully remember, and then she brought up Gosford Park, which I liked, as an example, and I reminded her that I liked Gosford Park, and suddenly wondered if it isn't just me with an atrophying brain).
My friend Heather, who shall remain nameless, told me that it seems like I "space out during movies" and "don't pay attention." I think that she said that after we watched The Brain Who Wasn't There (did I get that name right?). I'd like to tell you for sure, but you have to remember that my memory no longer serves me in the way that it once did back when I wasn't busy applying for the Special Olympics.
This isn't normal for me. Seriously. Not the forgetting of films or the Special Olympics application. The first time I ever noticed the movie (lack of) memory thing happening was during Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. At this point, I can honestly tell you that I don't remember more than 5 or 10 minutes of that entire film. That's pretty creepy, being that the movie isn't even six months old. At the same time, I have no trouble remembering a complex film like Mulholland Dr., which I saw AFTER Gosford Park and Harry Potter, when, in theory, my memory should be getting even worse. So, although I thought this newfound forgetfulness was weird, I chalked it up as "2001 Syndrome." Since movies sucked so damn much in 2001, I figured that I finally just stopped paying attention.
I would have probably left it at that, and thought nothing more about my recollection problems, but another problem was laying in wait, like a big fat woman ready to seduce me when I'm at my most vulnerable. I was continually forgetting whether or not I had already told somebody something, and started accidentally repeating things to people. More and more I was hearing the dreaded comment, "you already told me that."
I would have probably left it at that, and thought nothing more about my recollection problems, but another problem was laying in wait, like a big fat woman ready to seduce me when I'm at my most vulnerable. I was continually forgetting whether or not I had already told somebody something, and started accidentally repeating things to people. More and more I was hearing the dreaded comment, "you already told me that." Unless it's "I love you" or "it gets bigger?!?" people don't usually like hearing the exact same thing twice.
***Anyway, along with my film related forgetfulness, I started having trouble remembering certain words during a conversation. I'd spend half the time that I talked to someone asking, "what's the word I'm trying to think of, here?" As though I was playing some sort of perpetual guessing game. This was really the last straw. I sat around fretting, updates became harder and harder to write (hence the current lack of any lengthy updates on The Juicy Cerebellum, written by me, not counting this one), and I didn't even WANT to talk to friends anymore, because I was becoming embarrassed over my idiocy. Now, I just needed a way to explain this to the doctors without causing them to think that I was making all of it up.***
When I finally did tell the doctors, they immediately blamed it on *surprise* anxiety, lack of sleep, depression, epilepsy or a boring life. Then they asked me if I was on drugs. I swear that it had to be somebody other than a doctor who discovered most medical disorders, being that a doctor wants to blame EVERYTHING on STD's Stress, Tiredness, Depression and Drugs.
I can only imagine the first person who came in with a lump on their breast trying to deal with a doctor. "Well," the doctor would say, "that's simply anxiety building up ... on your tit." The first person dead of a gunshot wound would be considered an insomniac who went a little overboard trying to fall asleep. First heart-attack? What else? "He died of a broken heart ... related to depression."
It wasn't until I came down with a SEVERE migraine -- one that had me out of commission for about a week -- that a doctor ordered me an MRI. I went in and took the thing, waited for the results, was told that I'm rapidly becoming a moron, and that brings me back to the beginning of this story. Unless I'm remembering wrong.
So, what are my options? I can wait it out until I see a neurologist, which won't be for a couple of months. I can skip the neurologist all-together, and hope that it takes a long time before they're basing the sequel to I Am Sam on my life. Or I can take the "glass is half-full approach" and think of all the great things that could come out of a full-fledged brain drain. Just think what could happen to me if I learned to excel in my dumbness!
1. I could become President! Look at George W. Bush. The majority of Americans are pretty damn stupid and if there's one thing they HATE, it's somebody smarter than them in the White House.
2. I could move to the deep South and become a scholar.
3. I could become a hit with the ladies! Two words: Forrest Gump.
The possibilities are endless. Especially in the United States of America. Can you even imagine how cool it would be when I'm able to ... So maybe this ... what was I talking about again?
Anyway, I'm sick of writing this article, and as my brother in brains would let you know, "that's all I have to say about that."
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©2006 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I will find somebody smarter than me to hunt you down and sue you!
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