Monday, December 17, 2012

Memory Loss

It started with the typing errors.
Noticed I'd been transposing letters once in a while on words I type often... like my own name.
Then on other words.
And on a daily basis.

Never really thought I had a good memory.
Enjoyed chess, but couldn't think enough steps ahead and remember them to be good at the game.
If I didn't write instructions down, I'd forget something someone wanted me to do.

Once I'd had children, my brain went completely kablooey.
I joked that when I gave my children life, I also gave them brain cells.
Once the boys started school, I couldn't remember important dates and meetings anymore and started keeping a calendar.

But that's normal, right?

More recently, I thought it was the boredom that made my brain mushy.

After my recent colonoscopy and the drugs that erased my memory every 60 seconds until it stopped erasing my memory, it took more than what I thought should be a normal amount of time to stop forgetting things in short term.
But what was scary is, that feeling felt very familiar.

Twice since then, I've told a client at work that the boss was out of the office just moments before the boss came out of his office. 
"I thought I saw you leave."
"Yeah.  But I came back in.  You were right here."
Yup.  I was.  I was right there.

This morning, The Husband asked if I'd washed any t-shirts over the weekend.  I thought for a moment, remembered a pile of unwashed shirts next to the washer, and told him, "No, I didn't.  Do you want me to throw a load in now?"  He said I didn't have to, he'd make do.
A few minutes later, The Husband asked, "You didn't wash t-shirts?" then pointed to a basket in the livingroom filled with clean laundry.  His shirts were right on top.
Tonight was the most bizarre, though.
Elder Son and I were watching TV downstairs when The Husband came down to say goodnight.
Not much later I heard odd noises.  Bumps. Thuds.  Elder Son seemed not to notice.  Then there was a hissing kind of sound.
"What is that?" I asked.
"It's just the pipes."
Just the pipes?  Why is there water running through the pipes?  We're the only two people in the house.  The Husband just left.  Why isn't Elder Son concerned?

Well, crap, you guys.
I'd forgotten The Husband was upstairs getting ready for bed, brushing his teeth, flushing the toilet.

I. Forgot.

I thought he'd left.
Yeah?  Where exactly did I think he'd have gone at this time of night?
To work?  Grocery shopping?  Where?

The Alzheimer's testing center is in our office building.  The guy in charge there says there's a general guide to answering whether or not you have Alzheimer's. 
He says, if you can't remember where you left your keys, that's normal.  If you have keys in your hand and you can't remember what they're for, that's a problem.
If you're in the middle of a staircase and you can't remember if you're going up or coming down, that's normal.  If you're in the middle of a staircase and you can't remember whose house you're in, that's a problem.
If you call one of your children by a sibling's name, that's normal.  If you don't remember having children, that's a problem.

I don't think I have Alzheimer's.
But I'm starting to think I have something.


The Gray Monk said...

Have a check up with a neurosurgeon. It may not be Alzheimer's but it could be stress related and it could be something quite simple that is easily corrected. I've long suffered from short term memory problems, but it is manageable.

Get it checked, if nothing else, you could probably get some advice on mitigation.

Roses said...

Thanks, G-Monk!
I was planning on making an appointment with my doctor after the new year to talk about a pile of stuff.

Chances are I'm just sleep deprived and stressed (changing careers is not easy), and a couple good nights' sleep is the best prescription.

Bou said...

Definitely get it checked out. There are so many many things.

I've had a couple scares, but my Mom gave me the same examples your Alzeimer's guy gave you. I know what everything is for. I just sometimes... get lost in familiar places. Even if my brain knows I'm supposed to know where I am, even if I that one side doesn't recognize anything, another part of my brain can at least register the street signs so I can get my bearings. Even though I'm only 5 miles from my house... I think it's stress for me.

Andy said...

Roses, I read this a few days ago (I think), but have waited to comment.

My beloved wife (now 52 years old) exhibits much of what you describe here. I'd be lying if I said I'm not too much worried about it...because I am, but just a little.

I have many female friends at work (in their mid-40s to mid-50s) that tell me similar stories when I mention Pam's lapses. I am not smart enough to know, and have not done any research...but annecdotally, (dammit, the red line just won't disappear on that one after 17 tries) I'd say that what you are experiencing is common.

My female friends at work tell me that they tend to just "tune out" so much of the extraneous, while trying to focus on what they are doing at the moment...that they miss people walking through the room...miss things that others in the room are saying...and blah blah blah...

Maybe it's just normal.

Dunno. are ALL busy ladies, and maybe not hard-wired to handle everything at once.

Heck, I know us men aren't.

Roses said...

Andy, as long as you're asking around, take a survey among the ladies as to how many of them wake up for no reason at 2-3am. I bet you get a lot of them.
That's also a common thing.

Andy said...

We are WELL acquainted with that one here at my joint.

Too well...

Bou said...

I can check that box too. As can my Mom. (ref getting up at 2-3AM for no reason...)

Lemon Stand said...

Check here too. Also checking the boxes next to your descriptions and Bou's. AND I'm 47. I have been to see the Dr as Alzheimer's runs in my family. She says it's normal for my age (40s to 50s), menopause, stress and physical conditions... Still, I feel comforted that I'm in good company. :)