I Do Not Have Dementia (Yet)


#1

I have a mind for facts. I can recall obscure statistics, the kind you find in small print underneath the illustrations in ginormous textbooks. 25 years after graduating from med school, I pretty much remain a font of (sometimes useless) minutiae. I can recall a surprising amount of the details about my patients’ lives and the lives of their family members (or so my patients frequently tell me).

But for the past 18 months or so, I’ve been walking around with what I was certain was a sad (to my perpetually immature self at least) “fact”: that I am due to turn 60 this year. Imagine my pleasant surprise when yesterday, for unclear reasons, it dawned on me that I am actually still only 58 years old. How did this happen? While I am happy to be a year younger than I thought I was, I am now concerned about what I hope is “normal” age-related cognitive decline. Time to re-double my efforts to keep the cerebral “muscle” in shape by learning at least one new thing every day…


#2

“One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.” Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)


#3

my MIL was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and the tech asked her how old she was, and she replied, “none of your damn business!”


#4

I stopped keeping track of how old I was in 2006, and I am only 35 (or wait, am I 36? Gaaah!). So I don’t know that this is a sign of inevitable cognitive decline. Rather, as Teen Talk barbie once said, “math is hard.” Also it’s depressing to keep track of your age once you pass the cake-and-presents age, the “I can get blotto” age and the “I can drive a rental car” age.


#5

I have had two episodes in the last couple months that have me questioning myself in the same way… Just last night I get a text from a buddy that I had made plans with for tonight, Friday Feb 2’nd… Texts says “I’m here at restaurant where are you?” I replied getting ready for bed and realized that I had said the second thinking that was today Friday… Should have double checked and he laughed it off and is still coming out tonight. Thing is I almost missed a party for my sisters 65’th, kept saying to girlfriend it was on the 7’th at 7:00… She asked multiple times and I would look at invite and see 7’th at 7 each time. While I was in shower at 6:30 on the 7’th my phones were lighting up. get out and get dressed and then multple messages “where are you” I go look at invitation again and it clearly says 7’th at 5pm… Starting to think I am losing my mind, so we can hang out together in that club also RG…


#6

A friend of mine once said she suffered from CRS: Can’t Remember S**t!! I totally get it now! :scream_cat:


#7

You are describing me to a “T” I often have these Oh crap moments where I have remembered something in an inaccurate manner.

Sigh, I turn 60 next week, I don’t think it’s going to get any better


#8

Mental lapses are unnerving. Since I don’t work, I have more time to keep track of my daily facts. But I need technology to help. Now, when I make a doctor’s appointment, I get electronic notifications at 24, 2, and 1 hour before the appointment. I have actually forgotten a doctor’s appointment between the 24-hour and 2-hour reminders.

For someone who can remember that the plural of minutia is minutiae, I don’t think you have much to worry about!


#9

Speaking of doctors appointments, Last year I scheduled two on the same day, I was proud I was going to get both done in short order, guess who showed up to them in reverse order. I was on time but at the wrong office.


#10

That is perfectly understandable, lol…


#11

I remember it all just incorrectly!


#12

I think it was probably just stress. I can’t remember my family member’s ages, lol. I do usually remember mine but I think I got a bit confused about that last year too. You can do some testing to make sure something isn’t causing it. I had an mri for vertigo when it started and I don’t have any signs of dementia etc. I think my own memory issues are partly hormonal/ age related and stress related dealing with several chronic health issues as well as trying to do too many things I have to remember.


#13

I just had to take an exam for a certification I need at work (and I need to take another one ASAP). I had to take it twice. This was ONLY the second time IN MY LIFE when I failed to pass – or in fact, failed to get at least 90% – of any exam – and the reason? Some of the SIMPLEST parts of the exam at the very beginning just “escaped” me when I sat down to take it. Sure, I figured it out, but only after wasting too much time to recover and get the rest of the exam completed to satisfaction. (I passed it the second time, handily, with 34 minutes to SPARE, so I’m not there yet!!)

I do that all the time, lately @rgcainmd – in my mind, I’m already 55 (yes I know, MUCH younger than you! :wink:), though I’m constantly aging myself in my mind by a year - sometimes two! It happens – our age just isn’t the most important thing on our minds. I wouldn’t worry…


#14

I get to work early every day. Monday I was at work surfing the net and totally spaced actually going to work for about 20 mins. At 62 I pretty happy nobody relies on me to land a plane, perform open heart surgery, or teach a 5th grade class.


#15

At 68 I am constantly forgetting things. I like to blame it on all the prescription meds I take. It’s easier to accept that way.


#16

i had a very obvious problem with short term memory (did i flush the toilet? i better go back and check) that i attribute to chronically not sleeping well due to hot flashes at night. i figured out ways to reduce the hot flashes through life style changes, and as my sleep has improved, so has my memory.


#17

Developing dementia is one of my biggest fears. My grandfather died of complications. I watched my mother’s best friend decline from it.

I am younger than you Rose, by a few years… but from time to time now I find absolutely no recall of things I have done. Like I unpacked the bags from travel, did my company petty cash claim and put the passports somewhere. Couldn’t for the life of me remember where… good thing I have routines and I put them in the place I normally put them. last year I put up a key board above my desk and immediately place my keys there upon arriving home - so now-a-days I no longer have to search for keys that I’d put somewhere safe.

I make notes for things I need to finish (and try to remember to keep them in the same notebook), to avoid the struggle of fishing them from my memory… when one or more important items might just slip through the slowly widening sulci and gyri of my brain.

http://anatomynotes.blogspot.com/2006/01/wrinkles-and-folds-on-brain.html

Is this just part of being a super busy, working, single mum, or is this a sign of mental decline?

Sometimes I mix words. I might mean to say carrot, for example, and say orange instead… seems a bit less lately on ketogenic diet and with increased exercise.

Bottom line, i think is to do all the things we know can prevent mental decline:-

  • physical activity
  • blood sugar control
  • diet (in my case I am quite convinced that ketogenic / VLC is helpful).
  • mental exercise
  • manage medical conditions optimally
  • make notes and routines to compensate / accommodate things

God forbid I ever develop dementia, I hope I still have the presence of mind to sort my affairs and then kill myself before it advances too far.


#18

I turn 60 in June, I rather like the idea.


#19

Jack Benny . . . . (celebrated his 39th birthday 41 times)


#20

A friend always uses a memory trick to remember names - warren becomes war and peace, etc… His tricks become your group nickname, that’s where things get dicey. Had a difficult time explaining to him that using crusty for a female (C.Russel) might not be friendly. But his memory in general and especially for names is phenomenal!