When Benedict Ambrose forgot to add the fish to the fish dish he made last night, the penny finally dropped.
Not at once, however. It wasn't until I typed "cognitive impairment after brain surgery" that all was made clear.
What a relief! The reason he has been acting like he has brain damage is he has brain damage. Finally--an answer!
The stress was just killing me. B.A. would come home from work sad and frustrated abut this or that task he had found challenging, and at one point I shouted, "Am I the only adult around who can see that there is something wrong?!"
Poor B.A. is such a mess physically--muscles aching, weight plummeting--that I have been focusing on that and not on why he can't remember anything and needs me to go with him to the doctor and so on and so forth.
This last week---boy, it was tough. First, I started my full-time job for Life Site News, and I was completely confused by all the new technology: their systems and my ergonomic stuff.
Then my column at the Catholic Register was cancelled. Gurgle, swish! Down the drain. Good-bye, column! Good-bye!
Then I realized I can't lead the Polish-learners Club this summer, that I wouldn't be able to make it to Polish class that night, and that I may never be able to make it to Polish class from now on. Skonczyło się.
Then there was another complication from the time zone factor: one interviewee didn't get back to me until 11 PM my time; great for him in his time zone, not so great for me.
Then last night B.A. made dinner serenely unaware that the chopped fried chorizo was not the main event but the topping for the cod. Which, not remembering why he had put it on the counter, he had put back in the fridge.
What makes it particularly stressful is that we have no family in town. No family. None. Living far away in romantic Scotland sounds all very wonderful--until something goes very wrong, and it is all up to two little people to get through it somehow.
This morning I decided that I would learn to stop walking so quickly. I'm naturally a fast walker. However, if I am walking with B.A., who was always a slow walker but now moves along like a wounded snail, I try to match him, step by step. Before today it was incredibly frustrating. Maddening. But now that I know--really know--that B.A. isn't being lazy or just isn't trying---it was okay.
I also decided that he is going to get the help he needs to get his sharpness back. The fact that no doctor warned us that this would or could happen---I'll let that go. Maybe they did tell us, but we were just so scared he would die, we blanked that part out. That's in the past. We are going to focus on the now and work towards the tomorrow he is healed.
We were introduced to six children after Mass this morning. On the way home I quizzed him on their names. He worked really, really hard to remember. I told him the names and quizzed him again. We played this game on and off all the way home.
"This must be very boring for you," said B.A. as we crept like wounded snails towards the Historical House.
"No," I said. "It's quite interesting, actually."
And now that I know what it's all about, it is.
Update: Here is a guide to caring for real wounded snails.