This will come as no surprise to many of you…

…but for the record I’ll make it official – I am an air-head.

I’ve considered lately, with a bit of anxiety I might add, the possibility that I have early onset dementia, but the truth is that my air-headedness is nothing new – and in that I find great relief.
I’ve noticed that my air-headedness is selective. I have the ability to forget to do things that: (a) I REALLY don’t want to do, (b) require too many steps to accomplish, (c) are a change in well-established routines, and (d) ONLY have to do with me.

Let me illustrate. If I really, really, really don’t want to do something, I will honestly forget to do it. Quite some time ago, I was chosen to be part of the first open-heart surgery team at a hospital where I worked in the intensive care unit. It will please my readers to know, I’m sure, that I was not air-headed as a registered nurse. I took pride in my professionalism and paid close attention to every detail. I loved nursing, my co-workers, and my patients, but I did not love public speaking. When the hospital administration scheduled me to speak to a group of other hospital nurses about my experience as the ICU open-heart recovery nurse, I simply forgot to show up. Honest.

And if a task has too many steps and I don’t have everything I need on hand to complete them, I often forget to continue. It isn’t that I don’t want to complete them, I just get bogged down in the middle, other projects and events come along to distract me, I lose valuable components, and then I forget to finish what I started way back when. My illustrations are too numerous to mention.

My friend Jane and I work together to help an elderly widow friend in our community. Once a week we help her get a shower and clean her house. Occasionally we also take her to physical therapy, the doctor’s office or hair appointments. Once the schedule has been determined, I have no problem remembering who is doing what when, but if we change it, I’m lost. Just a few weeks ago Jane needed me to take our friend to physical therapy on a day she was scheduled to do so, and I totally forgot. Totally.

I’m determined to not let that happen again. I plaster my computer screen with sticky notes the night before and have my google calendar send me an email and special alert message. A last minute change in the schedule for this week meant that today I needed to take our friend to physical therapy and to the doctor’s office afterwards for a B-12 shot. I had to laugh when early this morning I read the reminder message I had written last night: “Take JT to PT then to DR to get SHOT.” Considering the consequences of getting shot, Casey wondered if the PT might be pointless.

Which brings me to my final and most embarrassing air-headed illustration. I truly pay very little attention to myself. I forget when I take medications, when I need to make appointments, how long my contacts have been in (30 days is good), and apparently, which contact lens goes in which eye. Yesterday I had a regularly scheduled 6-month eye appointment during which it was discovered that my distance vision, which has never been good, was so bad that I wouldn’t pass a driver’s license test, all because sometime over the last 6 months I switched the lenses and began wearing the contact for distance vision on my dominant eye and the contact for near vision on the eye I was supposed to be wearing the distance vision lens.

I can explain. I really can, but it’s a long story, and though my eye doctor and his staff assured me that I am not the first person to do this, I do wonder if after I left the office they looked at each other and said, “What an air-head!”

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