Hello, Brain? Are you there? It’s me, Ashley!

I was very hesitant to go on short term disability, but eventually Mike and I decided it was the best thing for me personally.  As the time got closer to when I was supposed to go back (instead of short term) I realized I was not ready to come back.  I’m not functioning normally.  I’m kinda dumb these days.  Seriously.  I’m not joking.  What’s even scarier is that I asked my electrophysiologist about this wondering if it was a possible side effect from the medicines I’m on or a side effect from cardiac arrest…he basically said (the nicest way possible), “umm…I haven’t had anyone complain of that before.”  Great!  Just great!  I’m losing my intelligence!  I haven’t even paid off all of my student loans from my 3 degrees, and I’ve already lost my brains.  Maybe I can find some loophole and get some loan forgiveness out of this nonsense!  It is a very bizarre feeling.  I feel like someone will ask me something and instead of my brain going through a rolodex of files in my head to find the correct file with the correct info, my mind is just a big ole blank space.  Blank.  Nada.  Empty.  Sometimes it will finally come to me, sometimes it won’t.  Sometimes I’ll have the exact same conversation with friends that I had 10 minutes earlier with them, and I am CLUELESS!  And when they tell me, “Ashley, we just discussed this,”  I’m like, “We did?  Really?  Seriously?”  ‘Cause I got nothing!  Several of my friends are reading this right now laughing because it’s happening with them…a lot.  Thank God they love me!

Are my brains going to come back?!  Mike thinks I’m probably concussed from the fall, and he also throws me a bone and says I probably have chemo brain.  Either way, this is no bueno.  I do not like being slow on the uptake.  I need to be sharp again!  I recently feel like I have a part time job going to doctor’s appointments.  This week alone I’ve had 3…and it’s only Wednesday!  Fortunately, I’ve had several doctors tell me not to stress and that there could be several reasons causing this:  cardiac arrest (my heart did stop and I didn’t have a pulse for a bit, so that could cause a bit of stress on my brain), new meds (one causes confusion, tremors and light headedness), and chemo (well, because chemo just plain sucks).  The best news I heard was that it should come back to me and not to stress!  All I can think is thank goodness I’m not working right now- how long would it take me to grade papers or come up with a lesson plan with half my brain missing?!

So, all of that being said, I am VERY thankful that I’m taking short term.  I can’t imagine if a student asked me a question right now, and I just stare at their face awkwardly.  I’ve got a few weeks to get my act together…y’all what if I don’t get my smarts back?!  Yikes!!  No.  No.  That can’t happen. Nope.  I won’t let it.  I’m going to put down this blog and open up my crossword puzzles, bust out some Sudoku and then find some brain teasers.


7 thoughts on “Hello, Brain? Are you there? It’s me, Ashley!”

  1. Don’t stress girly…I feel the same way sometimes and I haven’t been through all you have! ???? You will be back in the groove in no time.

  2. DON’T FREAK OUT…I know how you feel! Although I haven’t gone through what you have, I take similar meds and know how you feel! The chemo brain is awful. The feeling of being so slow and half there all the time is real! My processing is definitely OFF and I’m always on REPEAT! Add that to the other category X drugs and it’s a horrible cocktail of misery! Your upbeat outlook is fierce and will get you through all this! You’ve inspired me to not be so down and I thank you! Enjoy your time!

  3. Girlfriend you are going to be ok!!!! It’s been just a litttle stressful for you lately don’t you think???????? I personally call them brain farts!!!! If you are having a bad day call me!!!! We will go do something or just sit around and visit!!!!!!!

  4. Give your body and brain time to heal! You’ve been through so much – a heart attack, surgery, a possible concussion, and then there is the chemo! Most of wouldn’t be standing up at this point! Enjoy the holidays, family time and the fun of the season.

    You are the strongest person I’ve ever met. You’ve got this!

  5. I also struggled with the decision to go on leave 11 years ago and didn’t have near as much on my plate as you do. However, it was the right choice for me then and will be for you as well. Enjoy this time with your family. The chemo brain is real, not to mention the other stress you have experienced. With your attitude and fight you will beat this too. I never forgot the Pythagorean Theorem!

  6. Ashley, you are the kind of person that walks in a room and your energy is felt by everyone. Give yourself time to keep some of that energy for yourself to heal, . Meanwhile the rest of us will have to make it on our own less vibrant but Ok energy.!. ..

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