05 January 2006

Brain Fade - Yet Another Side Effect of Lead

It has been quite some time since my last post, a direct result of the neurological challenges I face thanks to multiple chemical exposure. My once-wickedly-fast mind chugs along like a battered ’57 Volkswagen with a bad plug trying to make Grapevine pass in a snowstorm.

Days at a time pass in a fog, where I forget things that are of importance to me. I used to love going fishing, yet I haven't wet a line in a year. I live within a mile of four creeks and two rivers, yet I'm not sure where my fishing gear is stashed.

I used to love wandering the forests, armed only with a camera, capturing the wonder of God's creations on film; darned if I know where my camera is nowadays. I cannot recall the basics of shutter speeds and lighting, yet at one time, I was a professional and recipient of several awards from ITVA (International Television and Video Association).

I have six grandchildren who are the light of my life; I do not know their birthdays.

Even when I bravely attempt to use tools (a circumstance guaranteed to make my family run for cover), my hands shake so badly I can't function. Worse yet, it has become necessary to refer to instruction manuals to get the smallest task completed.

This state of affairs is a far cry from my days as a 'C' Level micro-miniature repair technician and instructor. It is light years from the day I memorized Morse code during an hour-long bus ride. It seems even longer from the days I followed Silva Mind Control and could will my mind to do whatever I wished.

A friendly encounter with a peace officer, while parking the wrong way on a downtown street, was a blessing in disguise (well, perhaps not for the officer). I finally grasped the extent of deterioration and began my search for answers. I found them in an article about welding. BLESS YOU, Stumble Upon!

If you wonder what it is like to cope with such unexpected changes, perhaps I can offer examples. You know that sinking feeling upon realizing you are 20 minutes late for a very important date?

That frustration as you run out of gas in the middle of morning rush hour?

That panic as your brakes overheat on the downhill side of a 7% grade, and you don't have a jake brake?

The realization you've made it to work in spite of all, only to discover your shoes are mismatched?

It's like that nowadays, when I try to think. There is a tangible point when I can feel processes shutting down. It is as if my brain's electrical impulses, frustrated at the myriad detours and dead ends, simply say "'I'm outta here!" Curiously, I'm not sure which is worse: the absence of coherent thought or its unexpected return.