|Emily Polis Gibson photo|
Here it is Tuesday morning, and it wasn't until the middle of last night that I remembered my Monday post. Not written, not missed, not even remembered until then. This is a self-imposed deadline, but that really doesn't matter. To me, it's real, and the distress I feel is compounded by my fear that I'm developing some form of dementia. Oh, I know most people my age worry about such things, but I am worried enough that I think perhaps it's time to visit my doctor.
Years ago, I was given a test by my previous doctor when I told her I was concerned about memory loss. The test is now online, so I'll give it to myself before I see this doctor. Most of the things I was not good at before will probably remain marginal, certainly not better. I do remember a few items that gave me pause. For one thing, I have never been able to count backwards by 7s from 100. (That's one of the tests.) It led me to figure out how to do it by "cheating," or counting down by 10s and adding 3 to get the correct number. Some people have no problem with the task, but my mind has never worked that way, I guess.
Recently, my friend Lily reminded me of something that happened years ago, and at first I was adamant it never happened, but as she gave me some reminders, it came back to me. It makes me wonder how many parts of my daily life are simply sliding into oblivion because I don't remember them. And re-reading novels because I didn't remember reading them before: that has become more frequent.
So, this Tuesday post is really a Monday post, just a day late. Part of my problem is the same one many of us face these days: everything my days were structured around is in flux. No coffee shop, no walk to the bus during the week, fewer and fewer activities that I performed which defined the day of the week: all gone. When we get back to whatever our new "normal" will be, it'll be interesting to see whether I will be able to resume those activities without forgetting.
I suppose it makes sense that my mental acuity would diminish, just like my physical strength, my fading eyesight from macular degeneration, along with all the other unwelcome reminders of aging. I'm just glad I'm not still jumping out of airplanes!
I understand you fear. When I compare my memory to my husband’s for things in the past, his is much better. I often don’t remember the event and if I do, I don’t have details but he does. Meanwhile, my short term memory appears to be better than his. It’s all scary stuff. Just what we need, something else to worry about, in addition to the world around us these days.ReplyDelete
My husband thought it was Saturday this morning. You might want to read Where Did I Leave My Glasses by Martha Lear where she writes about normal memory loss vs worrying memory loss. I, too, forget things I've done or places I've been, but I like to think of it as having so much data in my memory bank that it takes longer to retrieve it.ReplyDelete
I so understand your fear. Which is one I share. I have found that worrying about escaping memories makes them worse rather than better. And I would struggle with counting backwards by seven too. I like your solution. Hugs.ReplyDelete
Playing some card games with Smart Guy or doing a puzzle might help. Since it was a holiday yesterday I think today is Monday:)ReplyDelete
Struggles of facing new routines are just that ...a struggle for us all!!!ReplyDelete
With pandemic issues, facing health scares, issues, and age...it comes as expected. Not necessarily welcomed,but one the less, there. We all change.
Counting backwards by 7? Really? I'm not sure I could ever do that? Your solution is good and I will remember that. I do try to do the alphabet backwards... and it does get easier as you practice. But DH remembers old memories better than I do...and I too can watch a movie or reread a book without realizing that I've seen it or read it before (sometimes something in the movie or book will trigger a memory). What I know I can't do is be told to remember a few words and then say it back after several minutes have passed. Short term memory has definitely faded. If someone interrupts me, the thought of what I was going to say is gone. But I'm hoping this is just age related and not dementia...ReplyDelete
I never could count backwards by 7. And now that I have little routine (used to have Grandkids Monddays and Fridays) there are few markers to remind me of the day of the week. Thanks to my phone reminders I do show up for appointments, family gatherings and so on. I have found I don;t remember portions of books I know I've read, a couple of chapters and it's OK. I tend to think there is so much data in older people's memories that it is hard to sort through easily. Forgetting my keys, glasses? A life long problem for me. Everyone I know has a key to my house because they know how I am.ReplyDelete
And side note, my doctor said until I couldn't tell my phone from my TV remote not to worry. Hugs to you.ReplyDelete
I remember your trick on counting backwards by 7. When you posted about it I thought it was brilliant and use it nights when I have trouble falling asleep. Even your "cheating" takes some concentration.ReplyDelete
As for forgetting a day? With our lack of schedule thanks to Covid, that is normal in my books. I have trouble with names of people I don't interact with regularly. Often using the alphabet helps to jog my memory. Today I was trying to remember the name of a young fellow that does lawnmower repair. When I got to V--Virgil popped out. Was sorry he wasn't a Carl or Don:) I'm sure most of us of a certain age have these blank spots. I don't take them seriously. What would worry me is not losing my keys but not knowing what to do with them when I found them. So far so good.
You write too brilliantly for there to be serious concern.
Counting backwards by seven would be problematic for me.ReplyDelete
Well, I'm glad you are not jumping out of airplanes also. I know I'm having enough trouble staying upright with two feet on solid ground.ReplyDelete
Around here it seems it is taking two of us to remember what needs to be remembered. This morning as I was getting out of the shower it occurred to me that this is Tuesday and Tom had forgotten to send out our regular Zoom meeting invite link. He got it out in time, but then one of our regulars was confused because it wasn't out the night before. She eventually showed up. We elders just kind of help each other out.
You're on a real downer today. Don't beat yourself up for missing a post. My memory is terrible. My mind is always on something else so I forget other things. It's tough on a spouse when you forget many of the things you were asked to do. I'll bet you forget how to divide fractions? How about volume of a cylinder? How about parts of speech. do we need that stuff? It's okay to forget it but don't forget who Smart Guy is!ReplyDelete
When I applied for long term insurance they had me count back from 100 by 3's. This is pretty easy. Soon after that I had a physical and nurse simply said count backwards from 100. I thought "here we go again" and counted back by 3's. She said try that again, and again I counted back by 3's. Then I finally realized what she said. She laughed and said she was a little worried. I don't think you have a problem at all.. we all forget what day it is.ReplyDelete
I also worry about my memory. I know I am not as good as I used to be at remembering things and I dread having dementia. I hang around with a 101 year old friend who can still remember everything, except she is a bit hard of hearing. I would much rather be hard of hearing than forget who I am. It is scary.ReplyDelete
btw, I can count backwards by 7s. It's the other stuff - like did I take my vitamins or brush my teeth?
Count backwards by 7? I can do 3s because I used to practice that. But 7? Arrghhh! Granted, I was never good with numbers so this might not be a big deal. However, I'm having problems with word recall. I often struggle writing posts because I can't remember a particular word to express something. Sigh...ReplyDelete
By the way, DJan, you do know that you can already order test kits, right? https://www.covidtests.gov/ReplyDelete
They opened it up early to test it. Might be easier to do it now than tomorrow.
Don't forget: you could do a tandem jump where they strap you onto a jumper. Linda in KansasReplyDelete
It is sad to get old, isn't it? Yrs, do see your doctor.ReplyDelete
I used to have a pretty good memory and loved having jobs where I had a dozen irons in the fire. Then got fibro and all that changed--fibro fog altered my memory over 20 years ago. So, yes--I do worry now about getting dementia since I already have trouble remembering things. I never was good with numbers, though-LOL! I remember reading that it is one thing to not remember where you put your cell phone and another to not remember what it is even for when you have it in your hand. That makes me feel better. So far, anyways. ;)ReplyDelete
I once had a geriatric nurse explain memory this way. Think it as items piled on a desk. You know your it is there somewhere, but it takes awhile to sort through the pile to find it.ReplyDelete
Just now I had to call out to Sue to tell me what you call a nurse who works with old people, It’s not pediatric, but ….
As soon as I said it out loud, I had the word. Nevertheless, I thanked her for her help. 😜
If I have to count backwards at all I already failed the Test. In all seriousness tho', Age related Memory Loss is becoming more pronounced, especially repeating myself, from what my Adult Grandkids tell me anyway. *LOL* The thing that frustrates me now is COVID Fog, since Testing Positive for it that has been one of the lingering symptoms of it, on top of my already Foggy Brain... ah well... some of what I don't remember isn't worth recalling.ReplyDelete