Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Forgetting Stuff

Here’s Why You Don’t Have Alzheimer’s

You worry about it though. I worry. Sometimes I can’t come up with the word or my thoughts wander in the middle of a sentence. Uh, oh. Is my mind too busy or too spongy. So goes the dilemma. What am I without my words?

Glance over there to the next check out line. (Don’t be obvious) A woman is looking through her pocketbook with THAT LOOK on her face. She’s worried.

Has she lost her wallet?

Did someone steal her wallet when she was feeling up the cantaloupes?

Is the wallet still on the counter in the kitchen? She’d had it out to give her son five bucks for a field trip at the last minute. Maybe she forgot to put it back in her purse.

A mountain of food has already been scanned and bagged, and she’s saying things like,

“I don’t know where it is...

I was sure I....

Maybe I....

I could call....

AH-HA! Here it is, in my pocket. Never mind. Sorry. Grabbed it on my way out the door. I didn’t forget."

To herself she might be muttering, What if it’s Alzheimer’s.

It’s not just the hypochondriacs and phobics among us that worry about this one looming over our heads.

Anyone who sees the documentaries, reads the articles, loves someone who has been afflicted, can chill themselves into the sub-zero zone really easily at the thought of a future with no mind left and a healthy heart pumping.


Here’s what we are really forgetting. We are forgetting that everyone forgets stuff.

Our lives are full, busy, and scattered. Lots of people come and go, in and out of our radar on a regular basis. You went to a couple of meetings for something a year ago. On the street you see a vaguely familiar face.

You say,

“Should I know this person?

I think I know this person.

I have NO idea where I know this person from.

No name is attaching itself to this person.

What if this person recognizes me? Remembers me? I’ll hurt this person’s feelings."

And all of those thoughts are happening in a mind that is, at the very same time, hearing the music coming from the town square, smelling the muffins from Sugar Babe’s wafting out into the street, the same mind that is reminding you to buy batteries and a new mop (as you are walking past the hardware store) plus you’ve got to get a gift for Rebecca’s wedding shower. You wouldn’t forget that.

I swear it’s a miracle that we CAN walk and chew gum at the same time.


Kids forget things all the time. Permission slips. Gym shorts. Deadlines. Pencils. Homework. Where they left their jacket over the weekend.

Young adults forget things all the time. Thank you notes. Phone numbers. Billing cycles. Credit limits. Chores. Manners. Lots of things you thought you taught them.

Even when you live alone, it doesn't mean there's no sensory overload in your life. The phone, the TV, the newspapers, the chores, the neighbors, the ideas, memories, all fill up our senses. We've been around awhile. We're full to overflowing with information and images. If we get distracted, and forget ONE thing, ONE word.....are we thinking "Uh, oh. This is it. Tomorrow I'll forget where my shoes are, and how to parallel park.

So, the next time you find yourself in the pantry, wondering why you happen to be in there, instead of in the comfy chair or planting a petunia, reach for the raisins, or the cashews, or the chocolate. It’s just your body trying to tell you something.

You were sorta, kinda, maybe a tad hungry.

Yeah. That’s it.