Do Not Take Your Vitamins

I’m happy to have a private neurologist, Dr._, who was from the first astonished at seeing my original art works. In December I brought another one in to demonstrate how memory loss is interfering with my latest (which I do not show to him, for it is unfinished). But he gets the point. That moving (for example) from the palette for a green I see I need, and picking up a red instead, and then moving my brush to my paper and not seeing where I’d seen the need for the green it makes painting a confusing frustrating thing. This is why I’m seeing Dr._: when my art is infected by some mysterious element, I need to know. A few questions and he ordered an MRI of the brain. His diagnosis is “memory loss/Ataxia”. He orders a CBC, other blood tests, and the MRI. (By the way it’s nice to find that the VA will honor this.) Now the blood work is back: all in normal range, except for Vitamin B-12. I copy from the results, not really understanding it much. Over the phone the VA nurse said my B-12 is almost double the normal.

VITAMIN B12 EIA 1923 High pg/mL (211-911)

A vitamin? Maybe only a vitamin is behind the life of symptoms like this:

I’m reading. Impossible to fight off the tiredness, so I let it go. I start seeing lines in the book “highlighted” in pink and blue as if I’d done so with a highlighter. The descent into sleep is so pleasant I allow it because I can’t stop it. Now on the page behind the words I see a realistic color image of Lincoln standing with Jimmy Carter at the funeral of Rosalynn.  Moments later I come back to the page in “The Romantic Process” in Avery Craven’s “An Historian and the Civil War”. Hallucinations of this kind are really rather fun if not disturbing.


Jean-Honoré Fragonard

So, I’ll take the MRI next week. I’m betting that it will show normal. I had been taking a B-12 supplement every night for the past couple of years. Since this report I have stopped it. And I’m now not passing out all the time during the day.

Meanwhile my current watercolor – started on September 4 – is progressing, very slowly.

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