If you are a child of a parent who has some form of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s then you know where I’m coming from when I say I often (sometimes needlessly & obsessively) worry about what I don’t’ remember.
I notice that my toddler has an amazing memory! While his language skills are still developing, he remembers the word to every song we’ve been signing since he was at least 4 months old! He recites the names of all his teachers (past and present) and classmates (almost 20 of them). He remembers where he puts a toy, even the ones that roll under the couch or find their way behind a chair, etc. It is just a joy to watch him use his mind that way!
Meanwhile I’m trying not to cry over the fact that while making my list of things to pack for our summer trip I couldn’t remember the word “toiletries.”
I misplace my wallet or the contents of my wallet (ID, debit card, insurance card, even money) on a weekly basis.
I had lost my office keys for an entire semester this past academic year.
I MUST make a shopping list.
I drive to work checking the rear-view mirror to make sure I dropped Our Miracle Boy off at daycare and he isn’t taking a ride with me to the office.
My mom has been in some mid-stage with a very slow decline of Alzheimer’s since 2004. We don’t say the “A” word around her because it sends her into a rage. Her mom died after a battle with Alzheimer’s at age 75. My mom is 71. I”d love for her to make it to 100!
Some of my “memory problems” are due to a lack of good organization skills. I am a little bit messy although being married and having a toddler force me to tidy up more often than I would if I were single. Some of my lapses are due to my reliance on technology (I don’t memorize phone numbers because they’re all programmed into my phone). But some of my lapses I’m not so sure….so I worry and keep hoping that preventative measures help and that a cause and cure on soon on their way.
So I take a DHA vitamin, I work the Sudoku in the newspaper, I read, I keep talking & moving, I avoid aluminum cans (although I couldn’t remember if it was aluminum and/or cast iron….), I eat dark berries and green tea (anti-oxidants), I pray and I provide as much support as possible to my step-dad who cares for my mom. And I call my mom daily just to say “hi” and let her hear her grandson sing some song he’s memorized.