My first big clue that something was very wrong came in February 2009. I was on a Christian mission trip to Costa Rica, meeting with a small group of women. Suddenly I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.
I didn’t let on, but I was totally at a loss. All I could do was make a comment every now and then and hope it was all right. I got some puzzled looks, but somehow I made it through the next hour. Afterwards, I reverted to normal.
Things weren’t normal, though, when I got back home. I cried all the time without knowing why. In my job as a high-level statistician, I found myself struggling to analyze data and needing to delegate my work to other analysts.
“Could be menopause,” a friend suggested. I was fifty-six and had already gone through that stage, so it didn’t seem likely. “Stress,” thought someone else. I took a month off from work, but things only got worse.
A nurse practitioner urged me to see a doctor, and so began two years of medical tests.…
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