Updated: Sep 3, 2019
"Even in his last years Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, but one that had been left out in the rain and rusted shut."
When did my memory begin to fail? I can't remember. I do remember having baby brain after my kids were born but that was hormones and fatigue. I also remember menopause brain when I felt like I had a fog in my head. But now, it's because my memory cells are dying, peed into a toilet along with various other detritus.
Sometimes I will have a thought and start to tell it to whomever I am with and suddenly it will be gone. I can almost hear the little moth wings beating as it quietly flies away. It can be very disconcerting especially if I'm speaking to my grandchildren. I worry they will think their Nana is drunk.
I have found the best people to be with when your memory is failing are other old people going through the same thing. They get it. There's not much conversation but a lot of nodding heads as their own thoughts drift in and out.
Of course, I worry that my bad memory may be dementia-related so I have researched the difference between what is considered normal and what are signs of impending (doom) dementia. Apparently I'm normal. While my husband would question the jury about that finding it's comforting in some small way to know that I won't be putting my shoes in the refrigerator anytime soon.
I do attempt to help my brain. Leaving it to it's own devices is no longer working and there are activities that will, apparently, stimulate it.
Here's a checklist from the Mayo Clinic:
Physical activity to get the blood flowing to your brain. I get this by moving from room to room trying to remember what I'm looking for.
Mental activities like crosswords and card games. Does binging on Netflix count?
Socializing. This is handy for comparing yourself to your other old friends to see if you are better or worse off than them.
Being organized. Okay. I have lists which I can see in my mind's eye when I'm at the store trying to remember what was on them.
Sleep well. How? I'm up a couple of times a night to use the bathroom, get a glass of milk for heartburn, checking my phone because I've done all the former and now I can't get back to sleep...
Eat a healthy diet. Apparently this means watching my wine intake. Soooo...no. I'll make up for it with lots of chocolate. I hear it's good for you.
Manage chronic conditions. This mainly means remembering to take the medication for these chronic conditions which takes us back to the first chronic condition. CRS.
I can't remember what my closing was going to be for this blog post, so I'll leave you with this.
Patient to friend: "I saw the doctor to day about my loss of memory." Friend: "What did he do?" Patient: "He made me pay him in advance."
Two old friends met by chance on the street. After chatting for some time, one said to the other, "I'm terribly sorry, but I've forgotten your name. You'll need to tell me." The other stared at him thoughtfully for a long time, then replied, "How soon do you need to know?"
A rather senile old lady went to her doctor complaining of draining and a feeling of fullness in her ear. After the examination, the doctor initiated a conversation that went as follows:
D: Why madam, I think you have a suppository in your ear.
D: Madam - You have a SUPPOSITORY in your EAR!
D: (shouting) --IN YOUR EAR! --A SUPPOSITORY!!!
L: Oh, thank Goodness - now I know where I put my hearing aid!
Have a lovely day!