One of the brain functions I've lost, since cancer, is the ability to sequence anything with more than 3 numbers or 3 steps. So - remembering the class room numbers for my classes; remembering phone numbers; remembering appointments; remembering orders of tasks - first this then this. And one of the places this is most apparent is in logging my time for work at the hospital. I work for 2-4 different departments, and I have to report my time to each perspective department. But - this is gruesome - this job is more difficult for me than being in a room full of people I don't know (and for an introvert that sucks).
And the toughest part of this is I make mistakes, all the time, and these mistakes affect other people. And when I try to cover up, they just get worse, because I panic! So then my mistake is compounded, and I'm constantly fishing myself out of my errors - my truly innocent, almost unseen errors.
But I made a big mistake 2 weeks ago, and then in my trying to fix it, I made another mistake. And I didn't notice either until I was attempting to report my hours, looking for the department number, and realized this mistake.
So I took a chance - a huge risk, swallowed my pride, and I wrote this:
OK, so I mess this up, ALL THE TIME, and I need to come clean to you! When I had cancer (4 years ago), chemo really messed me up - and my memory and logical thinking were terribly impaired. I've been able to get most of my skills back, but numbers and number sequences are still difficult for me to remember, recall, and reproduce.
I do my best to double-check everything before I send it to you, but even then my cautiousness does not reveal my mistakes. Just as below - even repeating what you wrote, I still have the wrong set and sequence of numbers.
I've tried so hard to be competent, but honestly, even a telephone number is something I have to triple check before dialing. I am so sorry you have to be the one dealing with this, and if you have any suggestions for how I can make my reporting to you not so cumbersome and time-intensive, I'd be happy to do it!
I can think critically, write without a problem, present my thoughts clearly, but numbers - just not there anymore, and for that, and to you, I apologize.
Happy Friday, and thank you for your patience, Ronda
And I didn't hear back, and I was embarrassed for exposing myself. But in a sense, there was some relief, because I had acknowledged this weakness - this disability. And today I received this:
I meant to reply sooner and wanted to tell you I appreciate you sending me this email. We will both work together to make sure your timecard is correct.
I so wanted to cry. Cry tears of appreciation for sympathy and tears of sorrow for something truly lost.
Thank you, Liz. We will work together.