Saturday, January 2, 2010

Out of Order

I've noticed that, lately, I've been catching myself messing up some of my very important routine tasks.

This morning, I woke up seeing the contents of my open closet very clearly.  After the initial "wow, I can see pretty well" moment, I realized I'd slept with my contact lenses still in.  I don't do that.  I always take them out every night, with very rare, but always intentional, exceptions.  They are monthly disposables, but I still take them out and soak them each night, as I have dry eyes (as many of us fibromites do) and frequently feel irritation in my eyes.  The nightly refreshing helps a little bit.  This time, however, I got into bed without having realized that I'd completely skipped this step in my nightly routine.  I also noticed I was wearing my t-shirt.  I usually sleep naked.  Again, I do this with rare, but always intentional, exceptions.  This time, it was just completely overlooked that I'd left my shirt on for bed.

My nightly routine is a very complex sequence of events.  I have devised this sequence to help me ensure that each step is completed.  Over the past months and years, I've been using the same sequence, and it's been working fine... until lately.

Here's what I do each night before bed:
  1. Check for / remove jewelry (one ring, earrings) and contents of any pockets (usually a tissue or two, sometimes my cell phone).  I put these away in their places immediately.
  2. Use the toilet and wash and dry hands thoroughly.
  3. Remove contact lenses for nightly soak in solution.
  4. Fill my jelly jar with water for my medications.
  5. Use a Pond's cleansing cloth to remove any makeup from my face.
  6. Remove all night time medications from my basket and set on the right side of the counter (at the near edge of the counter).
  7. Remove the morning medications from my basket and set them near the clock on the right side of the counter (at the far wall).
  8. Use one inhaled medication (Serevent, for asthma maintenance).  Set near the morning meds, for a morning dose.
  9. Use the other inhaled medication (QVar, also for asthma maintenance).  Put away in the basket for the following night.
  10. Open the appropriate day of the week in my blue, nighttime medicine organizer while making sure I am on the correct day, and put all five meds into my hand.  Take each pill, one by one, with the water from my jelly jar glass.
  11. Put the blue, nighttime medicine organizer back into the basket for the next night.
  12. Move the jelly jar glass to the morning meds area on the counter for the morning.
  13. Apply a gob or two of GenTeal eye gel into each lower eyelid.  Place the gel tube back into the basket for the next night.
  14. Floss, if necessary.  (I don't always floss, but every few days is good.)
  15. Take a swig of mouthwash, swish a bit, spit. (I like Tom's of Maine Peppermint.)
  16. Squeeze out some toothpaste onto my toothbrush (Tom's of Maine Peppermint) and brush my teeth thoroughly.
  17. Apply a dab of petroleum jelly onto my lips for the night and leave the bathroom.
  18. On the way to the bed, the clothes come off and I climb into bed.  
After all that, I sometimes get distracted with other minor tasks I want to jot down before sleeping, or some computer task I want to do quickly, or I climb into bed and pick up my journal and review my day's experiences and symptoms.

Somehow, despite my fibrofog working constantly to thwart me and make me appear idiotic to any witnesses, I have successfully managed to keep to this routine and get it all done, mostly without thinking much about it.  Lately, however, I am troubled to realized that things are not running so smoothly on the Benia nighttime routine train.  Sometimes I do things out of order and miss steps, and of course it does not become apparent to me until it's too late.  

Is this it?  Am I losing my mind now?  Should I say goodbye to the last semblance of control that I thought I had over my body?  I don't like this feeling.  There is still some kind of me left inside this brain of mine, no matter how funny I sound when I try to speak or do stuff.  I noticed some interesting movements in the kitchen this morning, during breakfast preparations as well.  Heading to the fridge and not knowing what I wanted from there.  Walking away, wondering if I really meant to go to the cabinet next to the fridge for crackers?  No, it was mustard - it WAS the fridge.  I had to say it outloud so I wouldn't forget it by the time I'd opened the fridge door!  Plus I wanted my witness to remind me in case my thought escapes again at the worst moment.

I'm not ready to be stamped as senile or some sort of idiot.  Thank goodness I can still type some sort of sense down.  The luxury of time is not given during live action verbal communications, but here in my safe haven, I can type and retype and correct and change and think as long as I need to before delivering the final version of my perfected message.  My new dream for income is to involve my writing skills and allow myself the time to spend to make sure it is how I want it.  I don't yet have a plan, but it's bouncing around in my head as an idea.  Besides, if I ever get too slow-thinking for my dayjob, it's good to have a fallback career idea to try.