My Aunt Anna died at 56 from Alzheimer’s Disease. It got so bad she wasn’t allowed on public transportation because if she needed to relieve herself she would find a corner. A neighbors mom died of AD too, a beautiful woman who used me in her fashion shows as an escort when I was around ten. My mom’s sisters husband died of AD out in California, an aeronautical engineer, so it hits people from all walks of life, and all economic strata.

My memory is not as good as it was, and was getting worse, so I took a seminar from a memory expert. I explained my situation after it was over, and he asked me two questions. One, does the stuff you have forgotten ever come back to you? I said yes, it usually does, but not right away, like it always had in the past. I have always prided myself on my ability to name old Fifties and Sixties music; the singers, the name of the music, and the year, roughly. I cant do it immediately any more. It takes a while, but usually DOES come to me.

He said if it returns to you fairly quickly it is probably stress. If you never recall whatever the fact is, you should have a family member take you to a doctor. Family members or friends will hopefully pick up on your memory lapses.

He explained memory being like a computer. When we are young we don’t have many memories to store so they are quickly retrieved from our memory hard drive. As we get older, however, more and more memories accumulate and it takes longer to recall and retrieve. We have millions and billions of memories filed away when we get old and it takes a while to sort thru them to find the right one. Our hard drive is packed, some of it important, other stuff not so important.!

Whew! What a relief! In my old age I have noticed not only am I slower thinking, I’m also slower walking, talking, eating, and driving. I write to exercise my brain and my memory, in self-defense.

Advertisements