The incredible melting brain?
I would say I’ve been stupid lately. Mostly this manifests itself as me burning things all the time. (On Sunday I burned the red peppers I was roasting for sandwiches. On Monday I burned the red peppers I was roasting for pizza…) But there are also episodes of more extreme mental malfunction.
One. I NEVER lose things, but a while back, I dropped my gloves while walking home. I checked my route carefully several times on my walks to and from the office, but they were not to be found. OH WELL. A few weeks later, I was walking to work, thinking how odd it was that they’d vanished. Maybe someone picked them up and put them in some campus lost and found? Maybe I should try the mall just in case there were still some in stock? And then I looked at my hands and realized I was wearing my gloves. They had never been lost at all, they’d just been in the pocket of a different coat. I’d put them on that morning without even realizing it. Dude.
Two. Last week, I put in my contact lenses and the left eye felt really uncomfortable. The vision was blurry, too. I thought maybe it would clear up, but it felt so yucky I had to take them out and put my glasses on. I tried again the following morning. Same deal. I tried a couple different packs, but the left eye was just wonky. I knew it was implausible that my prescription had changed overnight, but I decided to book an eye exam anyway. Maybe there was some kind of pregnancy thing going on? I have astigmatism in the left eye, so maybe hormones might affect it? The doctor looked at my file and reviewed my prescription. Near-sighted in the left eye, astigmatism in the right… But doctor, I protested, isn’t that reversed? No. No, it’s not. I’d been putting my contacts in the wrong eyes. Despite wearing them for years, I fucked it up. And I would have smacked anyone who suggested that this was the issue, because LIKE I DON’T KNOW MY OWN PRESCRIPTION.
And then on the way home from the optometrist I went through the express line at the grocery store with, like, 156,258 items. A thing I would never do if I weren’t so out of it, because I’m not a SCUMBAG.
And yet, research on the topic indicates that pregnancy does NOT actually make you stupid. Sleep deprivation, yes, but pregnancy? No convincing data. Lots of women report cognitive changes, but they perform equally well (as non-pregnant women) on tests of cognitive function. And while there do appear to be brain changes associated with pregnancy, there’s no evidence they’re correlated with behavioral changes. In rats, brain changes are actually correlated with improvements in cognitive function.)
Maybe thinking about all those extra smart rats will prevent me from burning tonight’s red peppers.