It’s the third time the neurologist has said the list aloud, asking me to repeat the words back to him. I get three words right the first two times and on the third, I remember four of the five.
‘Wagon’ eludes me. It isn’t on the tip of my tongue. I am not close to spitting out the word. I feel as if I am blindfolded in the woods, grasping in all directions for some sense of where I am. I couldn’t even guess what letter that fifth word starts with.
I can feel my brain contracting, pulsing and squeezing like a muscle as I try to jump through the cognitive hoops the medical and psychological professionals present to me.
On the forth round, I hit “sandwich” and then pause. It’s a long pause. I somehow find ‘wagon.’ None of the visualization techniques or mnemonics I would normally use to remember things are working. Instead, I find wagon because I suddenly heard in my head the somewhat awkward way the doctor said the clunky word.
Wagon. Continue reading