My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

Total Pageviews


Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I seem scattered a lot of times, especially when I am at choir or choir rehearsal. (That is the main place I go where people know me and where my behavior is the most obvious.) I do not help the situation by using that as a reason for why I misplaced my music, or am not sure where to stand when we change the usual way of progressing to the choir loft. "Scattered is my middle name." I sometimes say as a way of explanation/joking my way out of my embarrassment.

The other night the choir director gave me some one one-on-one time.

I use a hearing aid, in one ear, mainly for church service and choir rehearsal. As a result I am very unaccustomed to it.

I wore it while working with him but took it out at one point.

When we finished I put my music away. Then I put my hand in my pocket to make sure the aid was there. It was not. I kept checking my pockets and turning the music scores and hymnal upside down. Nothing. I figured I should explain my behavior. "Oh no, I can't find the hearing aid."

I bent down, looking under the piano, checking under my seat, getting more and more agitated and worried. Then something made me check my ear. There it was. Absently I must have put it back in while I was singing. I felt the fool when I said "Oops. It's in my ear."

I was mortified. But was that scattered? I do not feel it in my ear after a while so I was unware it was there. I was happily distracted by our work when I must have put it back in. I looked ditzy searching for it.

At servive and rehearsal am I scattered?

Sometimes. I have to admit that. I had been out of the world for a long time. I never developed the habits of orderliness and organization that I might have had I been working or had a family. Old Habits carry over too. I remember, in school, oh so many years (decades) ago, messy notebooks, scrambling to find the right notes.

But when I think about when it happens or what I did that seemed ditzy, I realize many of the incidents happen when I am drugged or in a high level of pain. My concentration goes, I go, 'away'.

It happened in a special choir rehearsal this past week. I had to ask where we were in the music, realizing I had not heard anything that was said for what seemed like minutes, but probably only seconds.

Where had I been? Away, in that place where your mind is emptied, that place the drugs sometimes take you but sometimes too the pain. It is not active distraction; it is a blankness where you don't think or feel anything. A fraction of time when you don't feel the pain.

So the answer is "Yes". And "No".

Sometimes I am ditzy.

The other night at choir someone made a joke about me. "Does Carol have her music?" Everyone laughed, including me. I said "Yes. At least tonight." And they laughed again. It was nice. It was the first time that a joke was made, outloud, to the group, about me. It made me feel I was truly a member of the choir. The joke almost a group hug, we accept you and your scatteredness.

That time I enjoyed the ditz. It gave me an identity within the group. Most of the time I do not. Not because it is an insult. It is not. Rather because it means that the pain is really bad, I had to take extra narcotic, or both. It is in those moments of being 'gone' that I feel most the weight of the pain and what it does to me.

I think, maybe, I would rather be merely a ditz.


  1. Hi Carol,
    We all have these moments. If I get sidetracked while talking, and I sometimes forget what I was going to say next, I'll call this thought as, "going to the dark side of my brain! Or, the message board has gone by, but hasn't come back around yet! But, I know what you mean about the hearing aid. Sometimes, I can't find my glasses, I look and look all over the house, when actually, they were on top of my head the whole time!

  2. I responded but didnt take for somoe reason, sry.
    I like the words you use to explain it to yourself, I may have to steal them (:
    They ran an ad a while back for something where the main character couldn't find his glasses, he and girlfriend drove all over and the end was, oops they were on his head. Thanks for that reminder.