Tag Archives: migraines

Word Loss: A Great Fear

Since I was a wee child words have been my greatest asset. Word games? All me. Bring it on: Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, even the ever fun family game of Words. I could out talk, and out verbally wit for that matter, just about anyone looking to verbally rumble. Ah, the good ol’ days when the words flowed like a Hawaiian volcano.

Flash forward to 2017 and a 43-year-old writer. A person of words. A person who was  a walking dictionary and thesaurus. Now I struggle for familiar words. The simple everyday words at that. In one story I struggled to recall the word charming. Imagine that. Not some crazy twelve letter twenty-dollar word. I was scrambling in my mind. It sounds like “C’,” like chair, like something yellow-orange (okay, I relate things to colors). It’s a man, like tall man, like that guy from that movie and a chair.

“Loss of words is actually part of the aging process …”

I’m not saying the thought processes of my mind are fluid, but there’s a method to my madness. After finally looking up the name of Cinderella’s dream man, I was able to get the word. Then for ten minutes I shook my head and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I was worried to the point I was almost physically ill.

This isn’t something new. About five years ago I realized the words were escaping me. A real nightmare for any writer. Since I was twelve I suffered debilitating migraines and was once told, after a brain study, that I had lesions on my brain from the severity of the migraines. My personal research proves this is a possibility, which is why migraine sufferers have a greater chance of having a stroke (sorry, interjecting my medical career there). Back to the point: I wondered if perhaps lesions had anything to do with memory loss.

blurRecently, I spoke with a few other men and women my age and took note that they all searched the vast blue sky for certain words that were “at the tip of their tongue.” After asking if they had more of a difficult time remembering simple words, they all said they did, that sometimes even simple words were a blur. Great!! I mean, not great, but yes. Loss of words is actually a part of the aging process, which is why verbal engagement and mental stimulation is so key as we get older.

I have Thesauraus.com as a favorite on my computer, and such a lifesaver. I try to use new words everyday. I also work to recall a word using any kind of cue I can before looking it up. The computer is  my last resort, though I’ve called in a life line or two.

Me: Dasan, what is that thingy called?
Dasan: What thingy?
Me: You know. You go to someone’s house and you push the thingy so they answer the door. The pushy button thingy?
Dasan: You mean a doorbell?
Me: Awesome. Thanks.

It’s pretty much like that. So when my various writing groups pose the question, “What scares you most as a writer?” My answer is always the same: Losing the words.

What scares you most as a writer? As a writer do you get a little worried about losing words?

Tania L Ramos, RN BSN and author
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Shooting Myself in the Foot

The day has arrived, and short of making some people angry at my extended departure into the writer’s cave in a different state, I am ecstatic. Hold me back; my body is in California but my mind is about as deep into sitting in a quiet hotel room sucking down a Coconut lime smoothie from Margarittaville whilst writing my opus as it can get. I’m on fire … or am I?

Ever have the greatest intentions? That perfect itinerary? The To Do List that will absolutely get done come hell or high water? Is there an apocalypse on the horizon? I said hell or high water, but apocalypse can really slow things down. Yes, I am now suffering from shoot-myself-in-the-foot-itis, also known as biting off more than I can chew or setting the stakes too high. I’m sometimes notorious both. Okay, I have a problem and this is the first step to recovery.

My biggest worry: That i’ll sit in that quiet hotel room overlooking the Vegas strip, laptop open, cursor flashing–or is it mocking–with a blank petrified stare on my face, and it’s not from the coconut lime smoothie brain freeze I will likely suffer from at some point. It’s because I won’t have the words! Is there a cure for overachieving and failing miserably.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I set such high goals, such top shelf standards that I need a twenty-story fire engine story ladder to get to it? If I am the Rebellion, then the goal I have set is on the Death Star. Where else would it be? Okay, setting feet firmly in place and raising my fist to the sky, “So help me, I will never be hungry for a word in this novel again! There will be an end. There will be an end!”

*says a silent prayer* Please let this book end this weekend, and maybe keep the brain freeze to a minimum. And if possible, no migraines, bellyaches, sinus congestion, pancreatitis flare ups, diva tantrums, carpal swelling, eye blurring, or criminal investigations (don’t ask). Thank you. Amen.

Tania L Ramos, Author (And nurse who can treat her own wounds)

Meet you at the Las Vegas sign. 🙂