December 1, 2021
Last week, when I gathered the materials I knew I needed for this season, I came across a small holly themed Dollar Store notebook that I had used for several years as a place to keep running lists of Things To Do for the Holidays. I paged through it, trying to remember how and when I had lost the focus I once had for this special time of year. The last notation in the book was labeled “Holidailies 2017,” and the numbers 1 to 31 were neatly inscribed line by line down the page. Only one, the first, had any notation, and that was only a title and a URL, indicating it had been published: Jingle All the Way.
In case it’s “TL;DR” for you, I’ll tell you that in it, I announced that one of the reasons I hadn’t been blogging very much was a kind of brain fog that short-circuited my concentration, my memory, my interest in most things. A visit to my cardiologist, neglected for two years while I walked my husband through his lung cancer ordeal, determined that I had severe aortic valve stenosis and needed a new valve ASAP.
“I’m optimistic and full of forward motion,” I wrote of that diagnosis and the plan to treat it. “I’m ready to Jingle All the Way. Come with me. Happy Holidailies!” I had the valve replacement a few weeks later, and went about my business.
After almost four years, the new valve is working perfectly. I was in a clinical study, and clinical personnel would come into my imaging procedures to exclaim over my results. (“Just look at that apex!”)
But then the brain fog came back, worsening over the summer and then into the fall. I took an online class to further my novel that I couldn’t keep up with because I kept misinterpreting the weekly assignments. One evening, Ron asked where the colander was, and I said, “It’s in the . . . the . . . the box for laundering the plates.” The dishwasher, a word I could not retrieve, though I was looking at the appliance at that very moment.
And here we are again: stenosis of the right carotid artery. Just how severe will be determined on December 20. Again, I am optimistic. Again, I ask you to jingle along with me.