I swear, some days I don’t know how I get anything accomplished. Most of the time my mind is like a black hole, a place where thoughts go — but never return. Instead, another thought — almost random but for the tiniest thread tying it back to my original thought — takes it place. Until it, in turn, is replaced by another tenuous idea.
Although I’ve never been never diagnosed, I’m sure that I have some level of attention deficit disorder. No hyperactivity, I can assure you of that. But what a lot of people don’t understand about ADD is that it is not really the inability to pay attention, it is the inability to stop paying attention. In other words, it is the state of paying attention to way too many things all at once.
Take earlier this week, for example. Our visiting vet came to the house to check on Isaac, our 18 year-old cat who has been losing weight despite eating every morsel of cat or dog food in sight. Upon examination, she said that he most likely has thyroid disease, which is common in older cats. I was following along just fine up to this point, but when she tried to further explain by saying “It’s like Graves disease in humans,” I immediately pictured Barbara Bush’s face. (Maybe you have to be of a certain age to remember that time in the late ’80s when we all learned about Graves disease because Mrs. Bush’s eyes were freaking out the nation.) As I tried to follow along on the prescribed treatment in cats, all I could see was Babs’ face — specifically her bulgy eyes on Isaac’s face.
Fortunately, the vet followed up with written directions.