Thursday, July 27, 2006

what have you forgotten?

There is a test one can take that supposedly diagnoses the possibility of Alzheimer's. I'm a classic hypochondriac and as soon as I read about the test, I went in to my doctor to take it. I said, "Doc, I think I need physical therapy on my foot (I'd cut my achilles tendon) and my hip is bothering me, maybe I need a new one, and I think I have alzheimer's. I want that new test."

He laughed, but I took the test and it was positive, which stunned us both. Although the test has problems because a positive can mean one has other problems. We found I'd had a TIA and some other physical things. Long story, although I enjoy discussing it. LOL So we aren't sure what's going on.

I've shared this with my friends, but they don't care, they can't remember squat either.

Yesterday I dropped over to my neighbor with a plate of cookies, I'm her visiting teacher. She and her husband were on the porch. Her husband said, "hey, what about your dogs?"

I replied, "are they bugging you?"

He said, "no, you left that message on our machine last week."

I said, "hmm. . .no, I didn't call you about my dogs."

He said, "you said something about three kinds of food?"

I pondered, then I remembered. I'd played a practical joke on them last week.

I'd called and said, "Hi, could you guys take care of my dogs while we're gone for a week? It's really easy, there are only three kinds of dog foods and I'll have to explain, each dog gets a different kind and the fourth just eats whatever. Oh, and you'll need to put Toby in and out or he poops in the house and if it thunders and rains, you'll have to come home and put Shelby in, because he panics. You'll have to put him downstairs, but check him after an hour or he'll tear it up."

" Oh, and if they bark, all you have to do is go put the bark collars on them. I don't have to do it every night, maybe two or three nights a week. But they usually don't do it till 4 in the morning."

"I would really really appreciate it, you guys. Thanks."

They're so sweet they didn't even hesitate, so it wasn't as good a joke as it could have been. I was hoping to hear their excuses. I wanted to hear, "Are you crazy? We hate your dogs."

And we all laughed because I forgot my own joke. I used to have an almost photographic memory, I didn't have to write any thing down. Now it doesn't matter if I write it, I'll lose the piece of paper.

The part I probably find the most bothersome is my inability to recognize people. Many people look alike to me now. If they're together, I know them, but if they're apart, I have to ask them who they are. It's interesting, but on a scale of one to 10, as far as problems go, I would consider this a 3.


Barb said...

I read the book by Oliver Sachs called the Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat. It is an interesting case study of a man whose visual brain part of his brain was damaged and he thought his wife was a hat and tried to put her on his head. And I think he thought fire hydrants were children and patted them on the head. So knowing people are people is a good thing compared to him. Yet, being so aware makes it hard. He was unaware of his problems. My family tells me that I remember everything. That is not true but I do have a pretty good episodic memory of events and also a good semantic memory of general facts. But I know that can change some day having been down that road with one of my grandpas. So I don't take anything for granted although I think I have learning disabilities in my right side of my brain and I have no sense of direction.

annegb said...

Barb, you are really funny, in a dead pan way. You make me chuckle quite regularly.

What is semantic memory?

The Wiz said...

what is TIA?

annegb said...

A TIA is an acronym (think that's the right word) for trans eschemic attack, or a small stroke. I'm still pretty sharp for someone in my condition.

I've got caught on Boston Legal and I'm bonding with William Shatner's character. Keep em guessing if it's the disease or if you're playing with their heads.

Elizabeth-W said...

I love that joke!!! That is totally the kind of thing I would do to someone. Do you have that copyrighted, or may I use it? (Of course I don't have dogs, but do have two kids. I don't know if it would be as believeable....?)
I think I have a bad memory. My best friend from high school remembers everything. My best friend from college remembers squat. So maybe I'm in between, or maybe we remember what is important to us, and let the other stuff slide?
Here's what I forgot most recently. I forgot to get a sub for RS since I was going to be out of town, so I scrambled to find someone to switch weeks with me. Then a week later, I remembered that I was going to be gone that week, too, (which was only three days away!!) so had to find a second substitute. Now, I know I will be in town for my August lesson, but will have company at my house. I was thinking about getting a sub, but then decided that as bad as July went, I probably ought to just get the lesson ready in the next week or so--of course, by the 4th Sunday I'll forgot what I prepared...

annegb said...

Heck no, it's not copyrighted. Of course not. I do that sort of thing all the time and I think I'm getting worse, about practical jokes, to tell the truth. I just don't have a conscience about it at all anymore.

I honestly used to have the best memory. It's disconcerting, like being in a fog. I miss a lot. They told me to get another hobby instead of reading, but you know, my mother is quite senile at 75, has been for 12+- years and she can still read. She has no clue what she's reading but she knows the words.

But you, Elizabeth, are you sure you're not my friend, Becky, down the street? She forgets when she's supposed to teach, as well, and just goes out of town.

I've shared this before, but this one time, my friend asked me to sub for her leading the music in church. I forgot.

But I went to church and sat way in back and when the organist played the opening, no one got up and she stopped and I thought, "of for heaven's sake, Tonya is so unorganized, why didn't she get----Oh, crap."

And I just sat there embarrassed and a guy in the front row got up. I didn't get up for any of the other songs either.

Not recognizing people is strange, also. Sometimes I just fake it. Like Barb said so eloquently, at least I know they're people. LOL

kerry said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the story about forgetting that you were the chorister sub! That sounds so much like something I do routinely! (And misery loves company, you know.) A friend and I were saying yesterday that we might have to stop going to church just because it's so embarrassing to be reminded of everything we've forgotten to do...

True confession: I usually only pretend to forget when it's Enrichment Night.

White Man Retarded said...

Do you remember me lending you $5000?

annegb said...

Oh, my heck, I wondered why I had so much extra money. It's in the mail.