Diary of a Dead Man Walking. 6/27/17. Putting the Dog Out.


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A few more memory diodes short-circuited today. I can tell when they blow. It’s like a mosquito landing on a bug-zapper. Zzzz… It’s to be expected. I’m hopeful with time this disease will wipe out some long-term memories I’ve been purposely trying to forget for years. Multiple System Atrophy can have its distinct advantages.

We all sometimes forget why we walked into a room or where we placed the soup ladle, only to later have it turn up in the freezer. Come on. Admit it. Relax. It’s normal. Something not so normal happened today. My wife and I are avid dog lovers and the proud parents of five fur babies. The oldest is almost 17-years-old so it stands to reason the first thing I do in the morning is to make sure she is still breathing. She’s blind, can’t hear very well, and has some trouble getting around. But boy can she eat. Living in a hot, humid, tropical climate, the sun was toasting ants on my cement driveway today. It was in the 90’s. This afternoon, I let our matriarch dog out in the backyard to fertilize the landscape and forgot I had done so. Two hours later, I went to get her for supper and realized she wasn’t in her bed, right next to where I sit. It took her awhile to recover but fortunately, she is perfectly fine. The consequences could have easily been different.

Now, before doing anything, I will make a conscience note of what I am doing. I know it sounds odd, but by making a statement to myself, it’s sort of like writing it down.  I never thought thinking would require thought. If you don’t understand what that means it’s only because your mind is still 100% intact.

Next month I am scheduled to take a neuropsychological exam so the Doctor can tell me what I already know. I’m so glad I don’t have to pay for this crap or I probably wouldn’t do it. I’m a veteran so I receive my care from the Veterans Administration. Gasp! I’ve heard the rumors about those places too, but they’ve done a decent job so far. As far as I can remember.

MSA has a lot of symptoms. Some people get some of them. Some people get all of them. The end result is the same either way. Memory loss is one of those symptoms. If you are the caregiver of someone with MSA who might be struggling with holding on to their thoughts, spring a question on them every now and then. Ask who the Vice President is. Remind them to do things. And by all means, keep an eye on them so they don’t kill the family pet.

Until we meet again… For however long that may be… Treat each given day… Like it’s the last one you’ll see…


4 thoughts on “Diary of a Dead Man Walking. 6/27/17. Putting the Dog Out.

  1. Your observations are very helpful, as I try to understand where my MSA husband is in his head. Thank you for sharing g. You are a wonderful writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems like all of us with MSA experience symptoms a little different from one another. I understand your difficulty in knowing where your husband’s head might be at any one given time. My wife goes through the same thing with me. Depression can be worse at some times than at others so please be aware of that. Memory can float in and out, sometimes being clear-headed and other times, not so much. Please be patient and understanding, as it seems to me you are being. (Bless you for that). It can be very frustrating at times, not only for the inflicted but also for their caregivers. Hang tough, Rosemary.


  2. Still writing with grace, insight, and wit, Gary.

    Maybe I have an inkling of what you are talking about from having had a stroke in ’01; for a while I felt like I was sitting on a chair in my brain, watching it try to take action, almost as intrigued to have this inner view as I was disturbed by it.

    Appreciate reading your thoughts, all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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