Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Doctoral Dissertation

Were I a medical type person, the type to understand biochemistry and thyroid function, the type who knew the difference between tarsals and metatarsals and could explain why one's pee gets, well, funky when one eats asparagus, I'd have a brilliant idea. Were I that type of person, the smart kind with all sorts of initials after my name, the type who understands why when one looks at a white wall sometimes globs of floaty things seem to pass in front of one's eyes, the type who could explain the difference between the cold medicines sold in front of the counter and those behind, I would have a great research project, a doctoral dissertation.

And here is my brilliant query, the answer I would like solved and presented to me on a silver platter, along with the proper medications to actually correct the problem. My question is this, "Is there a medical reason to explain the phenomenon of feeling as if one has actually lost brain functioning, lost the ability to reason, to follow a train of thought, to write coherently, to think of common words when needed (the other day I couldn't remember the words baking soda when explaining a recipe and had to refer to it as the "risey stuff"), to multi-task after giving birth to a child (heck, maybe it happens with adoption too...I didn't think of that, since I can't think too coherently myself)?" Were I this wise, I would make it my life's work, for I would love to convince women that there is indeed a medical explanation for the way in which one's brain simply seems to explode, and reassure mothers everywhere that we are not crazy, that the truth is that actually the brain does explode and what is left in its place are little fluffs of brain clouds floating randomly in between the right and left hemispheres. Little fluffs which allow you to remember the phone number of the boy you had a crush on in sixth grade (448-3243, actually but don't tell Peter Fratellini I gave it to you, and don't you dare call him and tell him it's just "Avon Calling" 'cause he's figured that one out by now), or the words to the rap song Funky Cold Medina, or the atomic mass of Carbon. Really useful stuff, stuff which comes in handy daily as one struggles to parent, as you can imagine.

I am not sure if it is sleep deprivation, or the fact that I constantly am thinking of Grayson's needs, or the fact that I've taken too many cold medications in the past several months, or that I have lost all sense of what it means to be alone, or contemplative, or grounded. But, I've talked to my other "Mom Friends" who echo my sentiments, so I suspect there's something in the water that the medical community better start taking seriously, sort of like whatever gets dumped in the water when a ton of women get pregnant at the same time in a certain workplace.

Now, I'm off to drum up some support for my cause, as this is only my first rallying cry. But first I need to change Grayson's diaper and clean the dog's poop off the floor, and prepare the syllabus for that course I'm teaching at the college in just a few short weeks, and finish the last chapter of my book for book group and help R. take down the Christmas tree...

Get ready, medical-type smart people (what's that word again, oh yeah, doctors), I'm coming at you with the tough questions, and I expect some answers, dammit.


Sharon Nearhoof May said...

NO KIDDING! When I was pregnant, I came across an article (in Science, I think) that concluded that women actually gain IQ points after motherhood -- that motherhood makes women smarter! I was all for that! And then I had the baby. And it was like thinking through mud. Like the worst cold-pill fog I'd ever had squared. And I think it took about 2 years or so to actually THINK again. My vote is that: a) the sleep deprivation is unprecedented and just toxic to thought, b) our brains is totally rearranging themselves, creating new connections, pruning old ones, and until it gets up to speed, we're just stupid, and c) evolution figures that if we're just wrecked for anything but taking care of the baby (note how we remember to say 'goo, goo, ga, ga', etc.) then we'll take care of the baby.

When C. turned about 2, something miraculous happened. She suddenly played by herself for short periods of time, and I started getting my brain back. So...here's hoping those scientists were right and we'll come out of this smarter...or at least able to function in the world. LOL.


Sharon Nearhoof May said...

for instance, in reading my first comment, what exactly happened to subject-verb agreement in letter 'b'? I'm SOOOOOO much smarter now...LOL....and evidently things didn't go as well when she turned two as I thought....LOL


AnneDroid said...

Oh you are so right. Good post. I found you through the chaplain thing (I'm one too) but I like the mummy stuff as I was one of them first. I remember at that stage losing the teapot and finding I'd put it in the fridge to keep it hot... I was told your brain shrinks each time you're pregnant! I had four quite close together so mine was probably the size of a walnut by the time I was finished. As the youngest is now seven it may be nearly back to what passed for normal before. I hope so, since I'm now in the Big World of Work!!