I realized I have mentioned the movie 1917 before, but I want to recommend it again now. The entire two+ hour movie was filmed in 2 takes!!! The camera went everywhere, in real time, and told a simple but profound story flawlessly. Amazing!
As momma might say, “this video ain’t that”. However, it was shot in only one take. 😉
Last night, at 3:15am give or take, my room freaked out like a scene from another famous movie: Poltergeist. I was kind of shell-shocked, so this video represents a few seconds of everything that was happening from my vantage point. The power on my two printers, my TV, a heater, the furnace, and a bunch of things that were on in the house was flashing on and off like crazy, then would get about 25% power. I stumbled in and turned on the bathroom light and there was just a light haze coming from the normally scandalously bright light bar. For fear of frying the furnace, I tripped my way in and shut it off. The house quickly dropped 5 degrees into the low to mid 60s and was plummeting fast. The cause: I was having a ice/wind-related brownout. I called the power company and used their automated system to report the outage and, to their credit, they arrived within 30 minutes and fixed it. Bravo Liberty Power!
Sigh…so my eyes are crunchy as I write and my brain is in even more of a fog than normal…but it did make me think a little about dementia and another, similar analogy.
Life is easier, in my humble opinion, in an all or nothing context. I mean, I work on computers, for the most part, for a living. Few things in life are more 1s and 0s, more on or off, more working or not than the computer world. When something breaks, it usually stays broken. When it doesn’t, however, the troubleshooting challenges start. When you can’t replicate the problem it gets even harder.
This makes me think of mom, especially in the early- to mid-stages of the disease. She was struggling to 1. battle the memory loss and other challenges; and, 2. hide her problems to avoid embarrassment/being found out/facing the inevitable. She did so with varying levels of success. Sometimes she was “tracking well”, if you will. She was operating at apparently full power. We seldom noticed the opposite reality…blankness. The rest of her time was somewhere in the middle…lights flickering, anxiety building, frustration and damage being done. It was (and still sometimes is) a spiral of: a needed recall, not finding the memory, getting frustrated, the frustration causing further failure of recall.
This disarray makes me wonder, sometimes, if there is a software component to this disease even though it is a little silly to think of it this way. In a computer, not unlike the 4 or 5 operating during the brownout at my house this morning, things are good with normal power. Pull the plug and things MAY be ok a few times. The system may have trouble starting up and may do an error check to be sure all is ok, but generally things will still work. A brownout/constant on and off action throws the whole dog and pony show into a hot mess. The whole operating system sometimes has to be reinstalled because of a catastrophic corruption in files. Could a brain get so out of whack from failed memory recall to forget the right way to recall memory? Makes me wonder… Sure, there is a hardware component…the main component in this disease. The brain is breaking piece-by-piece, unit-by-unit. Parts that control X atrophy and die, leaving an ill-equipped Y to try to do the task which distracts it from what it should do. All of this a million million times over and more complex. But what if the command and control software also gets out of whack? I mean, it is operating at the speed of light, far faster than the 10,000 RPM or less spinning hard drive platters in your computer. Hmmm…
Cliff’s notes from my sleeplessness: Brownouts sure stink on computers and this disease sure stinks on your brain. 🙁
Update: Another great visit yesterday. Caught a one MASH and two Andy Griffith episodes. I met the family of a wonderful man who also has the disease too. He is too young to be having this mess. His wife is sweet and is doing her very best in a terrible situation. I will surely pray for them early and often…
Last note: Unplug all of your valuable stuff when there may be a brownout, lightning, strong winds, etc… It won’t hurt it to be without power. Similarly, unplug your brain, by sleeping, at least 3 sleep cycles a night. I won’t tell you how long that is since everyone sleeps differently, but it is typically at least 7 hours a night. It is VERY good on the brain, and the converse is bad on it.