If you've had a conversation with me lately, I apologize.
For some reason, I seem to be working in a sort of mental fog. Whether it's due to lack of sleep, or the distraction of pain, or something more sinister, I'm not certain, but the result is the same: I don't seem to be able to keep my social focus for very long. From time to time during a conversation I find myself answering as vaguely as possible - or worse, pretty much at random, my direction based on a fuzzy impression gained from the last word or two of my companion's most recent utterance. This renders me the conversational equivalent of a 4-year-old engaged in 'parallel play'.
Innocent Bystander: So after the bypass, they put in a pacemaker. But they weren't able to regulate it properly, so he was getting shocks every few minutes, regardless of what his heart was doing. He ended up in the hospital five times last month, we're not sure how much damage might have been done. It's just been a nightmare.
Me: I never remember my dreams, but maybe that's a good thing. If I have nightmares, I'm not aware of it.
This seems worst when I'm talking on the phone, perhaps because of the lack of visual cues. I'm not always aware that I've wandered vaguely off track, but I do realize that my phone conversations have slowed down lately, probably due to the other person having to labor to figure out what to do with my apparent non sequiturs. I don't think I've become a complete moron in the last month or so, but if you have had that impression lately, please reserve judgement for a while and be patient with me. Gently lead the conversation back to where you want it to be - I'll catch on eventually.
Either that, or I won't. In which case, feel free to say things that you can't say to anyone else. I can't repeat or be shocked by what I don't hear. Just finish off with something innocuous like, "And then I had some chocolate," and you can count on me to be your most understanding, tolerant friend ever.