Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm Losing My Keys; Am I losing My mind?

This first happened about a month ago. I was cleaning up a bit--doing laundry, emptying trash, tidying up, making trips from the little house to the big house to change the laundry from the washer to the dryer, bringing clean clothes into the little house to fold and put away. And somewhere between here and there, I misplaced my keys. I hadn't left home so the keys are here, somewhere, unless I tossed them in the trash when I poop scooped. I searched pockets and purses, I looked under furniture. I emptied trash and looked behind the garbage cans. Nothing. And all the while I looked I grew more panicked, more desperate. Two friends helped me look. Nothing. I finally gave up and started over getting a new set of keys made. Once I'd done that, I moved on, forgot about finding the old set and resolved to hang on to the new set. Well it's happened again, and in much the same circumstances. It's not like losing a key. This is a gob of keys on a key ring with a bright red plastic tag.

Keys are a metaphor for a lot of things, but the one that worries me most is my mind. Am I losing my mind?

Losing keys was one of the things my mother started to do when she lost her mind. She first lost her keys. Over and over again, she lost her keys. Lost keys was not the only thing that was going on with her, but it might have been the first sign. I wasn't living in Santa Barbara when all this loss began. But by all accounts of the progress of her illness vascular dementia, it began with her losing her keys and then moved on to losing control of her bowels and bladder and not even realizing it. So I'm terrified.