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6Aug/150

Losing the plot

A scientist friend of mine told us, when we first told him we were expecting, that he had attended a lecture by another scientist recently, who elaborated about the shrinking of brain matter of pregnant women, and it being transferred to the baby in the form of 'brown fat'. Like some sort of start-up capital for the baby's brains. We joked for the rest of the evening, about me being able to say: "It's not me, the baby ate my brain!"

These days, it's a little less funny, as I frequently catch myself thinking: "What the........?" With massive question marks in my eyes and my brain. I am so demented, it's just not funny anymore. I can forget something I did five minutes ago. It's not like I put the sugar in the fridge, or try to keep the milk in the shoe cabinet. It's more like I am extremely absentminded.

I haven't told you yet that we got a car (WE GOT A CAR! YAY!), or that I got two keys with it. And that I put the spare key away, in a logical place, so as not to lose it. A few days later, Levi asked me, seeing only one key, if we hadn't gotten a spare key? And I said: "Yes, we did." He said: "So where is it?" And I drew a complete blank. I started to doubt if there had been a spare key after all. He got mad at me, for forgetting whether there was, or wasn't a spare key, and how could I forget where I put it?! Of course he found it, in the drawer with all the other spare keys..... (See? It wasn't in the fridge or anything!)

Yesterday I did something I still can't believe I did. I went to work, no big deal. I am still, every day, thankful for the car and happy that I am spared the daily 2,5 - 3 hour travel time by public transport. When the workday was over and I approached the car to leave for home, something odd happened. I was unable to find the car key. I was sure I remembered putting it in my bag. But for the life of me, I could not locate it in there. I looked, and looked. I put my other bags down next to the car, and as I bent over, my eyes strayed inside the car... where the key was still dangling from the ignition.

You know that sinking feeling when you know you've done something unbelievably stupid and there's no denying it? I was sinking, fast. Worst thing: I knew I would have to call Levi, at the very least to tell him I would not be making it home in time for dinner. In the end, a really nice colleague, who also lives in Amsterdam, offered to give me a ride home. Meanwhile, Levi took the spare key to the car (thank god he knew where it was, and that we have one!) and made his way to my office via public transport, driving the car back home. I said I'd do it, as it was my fault, but he just said: "You're nearly seven months pregnant, and have trouble making it through the day in one piece, I am not letting you make the hours' worth extra journey."

So yay for lovely colleagues who help you out when you're demented. Yay for lovely husbands, who blow gaskets, but then save your ass (and the car). Not so yay for me, because I have a little over two more months of this insanity to go. I know it's really hard for Levi to understand too. He doesn't recognize the sieve he lives with, that is not the woman he married!

I try, I really do. I try to be careful, and not do stupid things. It's incredibly frustrating, as my memory and my brain were always the things I could count on. I make notes, and lists, and try to leave things in as logical places as I can. And I suppose I'm lucky, this is supposed to all go back to normal once the baby is born. But for once I get an insight into what dementia might remotely be like, and honestly, it's a bewildering experience. I can't imagine what it's like to really lose your marbles to dementia.

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