I had ECT this morning, and was grateful that I had less memory loss this time. It’s disorienting for someone to expect a response and there’s no information to be retrieved. All my life I’ve had a good memory and easily stay
oriented to time, place, and person. But then on Monday this week, it took a couple of hours to be oriented to time and place and remember people, appointments and situations. Then during the day slowly the memories came back so that by Tuesday I had my mind back. Today, I didn’t forget nearly as much, but did have a few times when I wasn’t sure who a person was when they called, and why they called. Even though I made the appointment for her to call today. It completely slipped my mind.
Losing memories feels like losing part of my personhood, something that makes me who I am. Not just the ability to remember, but what it is that I used to remember: appointments, relationships, time and space. When I don’t remember them, am I the same person? Or is who I am changing as memories disappear? Not all of them return. So, am I the same person?