3 Things To Remember When You Are Faced With Memory Loss

| September 16, 2019
Three things to remember when facing memory loss...

“Say ‘blue, hat, table.’”

“Blue, hat, table.”

“Again.”

“Blue, hat, table.”

“One more time.”

“Blue, hat, table,” I wanted to roll my eyes. I had a migraine, but I wasn’t stupid.

“Remember those words, I’m going to ask you to repeat them again in a minute,” the neurologist said before moving on.

Fair enough. I knew my migraines were affecting my memory.

“Spell ‘world.’”

“W-o-r-l-d.”

“Now spell it backward.”

As I sat there in complete silence, I willed myself not to cry. Spelling ‘world’ backward shouldn’t have been that hard. I should have been able to do it in my sleep.

I thought through problem-solving techniques; spelled it forwards thinking I could just do it one letter at a time, but before I could say a single letter, I was lost all over again.

Eventually, I quietly responded with ‘no.’

The neurologist I thought patronizing just moments earlier brushed it off as if that were an everyday occurrence; acted like nothing was wrong. He might have made a note about my cognitive abilities, but then he continued with his tests.

He was my new hero.

Facing The Truth About My Memory Loss

Walking into that doctor’s office I knew I couldn’t think as good as I used to. I knew my migraines impaired my memory. I had no doubts about it. However, experiencing such a tangible example made me realize the depth of it. It’s one thing to joke about losing your mind, it’s another to be faced with the stark reality of it.

It’s one thing to joke about losing your mind, it’s another to be faced with the stark reality of it. Click To Tweet

I was trying to spell ‘world’ backward long after the neurologist had moved on. We were in the car and several miles down the road when my dear friend spelled it aloud. I grasped ahold of those letters and clung to them. As soon as she did it I had them. I don’t know why it was so hard before, but it was like a dam broke and if he asks me next time, I’ll be able to do it.

D-l-r-o-w.

Three facts to remember when facing memory loss #CandidlyChristian

But it’s not just that. I was talking to my husband on the phone today and he asked if my head hurt more today than yesterday or if I was feeling better.

And that’s when I realized that I didn’t remember yesterday… Like at all. I couldn’t recall a single moment to make a comparison. No task I had done.

I’ve heard people say they couldn’t remember what they had for supper, but this wasn’t that. I was missing the entire day.

I wanted to cry.

The worst part is that I don’t know how long my memory has been this bad, so I don’t know if it’s getting worse.

Just A Recap…

For those of you who don’t know, in July of 2017, I got a horrible migraine and spent over two weeks in the hospital. I had the Epstein Bar Virus and Meningitis. While I was made well enough to return home, I have basically had a migraine every day since then (please don’t offer your advice or opinions).

Having a migraine affects my ability to think and remember.

Apparently more than I realized.

But there are three things I know I will never forget…

3 Facts To Remember When Faced With Memory Loss

1.) God Loves Me

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

2.) It’s Okay

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

3.) I Am Not Alone

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

I know that am not going through this alone. In addition to my amazing support system, I know God is with me. I know that He knew I was going to have these migraines before I was even born. And He knows just how long they are going to last (Psalm 139).

If I forget everything else, I know that I can trust in Jesus.

And that’s enough for me.

If I forget everything else, I know that I can trust in Jesus. Click To Tweet
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12 Comments

  • Reply Valerie Riese September 16, 2019 at 7:33 am

    My heart breaks for you Heather. The same realization and loss of previous cognitively abilities drove me to the very darkest place. Last week I left my daughter and husband stand in the rain for 20 minutes. Friday after I’d emailed about how excited I was for a concert, I closed my laptop, grabbed my keys, and realized I was supposed to LEAVE at 5:40, not 6:40!! I cling to my identity in Christ as my lifeline. I sincerely probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the knowledge of who and what Jesus says I am. I still hear John Hagee’s voice booming “YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!! ACT LIKE IT!” because that’s how I imagine Jesus would do it. He claims all of us with the most bold, booming declaration.

  • Reply Debbie Erickson September 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    It’s heartbreaking to know someone is going through something like this. But i do believe that Jesus is all we need, but it is still not easy to endure at the time. I do pray for God’s healing over you.

    • Reply Heather Hart September 17, 2019 at 8:24 am

      Thanks, Debbie. It gives me just a small look into what people go through when they advance in years and start experiencing things like Alzheimers and Dementia. I know it’s not the same, but even just a small glimpse gives me a whole new perspective.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Can Chronic Migraines Cause Memory Loss?

      • Reply Lois Flowers September 17, 2019 at 7:08 pm

        Oh Heather … Thank you for sharing this part of your story. It’s awful and I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this for so long. Memory loss is scary, no matter how old you are or what’s causing it. At the same time, I appreciate your perspective about God’s presence and involvement, both in what you’ve written here and also in the post you linked about praying for a miracle (amen to that whole thing).
        Lois Flowers recently posted…When God Makes Our Paths Straight

      • Reply Heather Hart September 18, 2019 at 9:14 am

        Thanks, Lois. I was talking to my mother-in-law this morning, and my one hope through all of this is that God would be glorified. Yes, it hurts (a lot), but God is always good.
        Heather Hart recently posted…Can Chronic Migraines Cause Memory Loss?

  • Reply Jessica Schneider September 17, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I am so sorry that you have had to deal with this. Praying for you, and thankful that you know the 3 things that matter most 🙂

  • Reply Alexa Hart September 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I love you mom! Hope your head gets better!

  • Reply Tiffany Montgomery September 18, 2019 at 6:18 am

    What a beautiful perspective! Yes, memory loss happens. True you are not alone. Yes, Jesus always loves us… that’s one I pray never to forget. I too suffer from memory loss and that brain fog that just makes it hard to think… It’s nice to be reminded I am not alone too!
    Tiffany Montgomery recently posted…How Personal Revival Leads to Unity in the Church

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