Monday, December 6, 2010

what did I come in here for?

Thought I would lighten the mood around here a little bit. I had several posts written before the floor shifted beneath us last week.

I heard recently that statins have been implicated in memory loss so it's a good thing I only take the lowest dose of my cholesterol drug otherwise those signs you see on the highways proclaiming 'missing elderly' might be about me.

I swear, my short term memory has gone missing. I put a pan of water on to boil for oatmeal, for tea and turn my back. Just like that, it is forgotten. I wander to my worktable and carve a bit on some wax. I wander outside drawn by the birdsong. I feed the turtle or check the ground for the last of the pecans or greet the day's blooms on the confederate rose. Any number of things vie for my attention. When I finally remember the pan of water on the stove it is half boiled away and I must start over. This time I linger in the kitchen.

I am easily distracted. Oh, I can focus. Intently. To the exclusion of all else. But unless I am zeroed in on a particular activity, I tend to flit from thing to thing. Like today. It's also the reason that it can take me three of four attempts to do or get the thing I set out to do or get. The minute I am in another room, poof. My purpose is forgotten and other things start clamoring for my attention. Finally I will make it back to my starting point only to realize that whatever errand I had set out on went undone. So I try again. And again.

I seem to have forgotten how to spell too, not that I was ever a great speller but I was, at least, adequate. Now, with these automatic spellcheckers, I am constantly having to make corrections. Some of that can be attributed to clumsy typing and I swear there are days when I can't seem to type worth a flip. But then there are those stubborn words that refuse to be corrected no matter how many times I replace the 'a' with an 'e' or take out that redundant consonant or add the extra one in or substitute the 's' with a 'z'. I seem to be consulting the dictionary more and more.

I don't know if these memory 'lapses' are due to the drug I am taking now or the copious amounts of different drugs I took in the past or just because I'm not dead yet. I don't think I'm in danger of wandering away. Well, obviously I will wander away, that's already been established, but I don't forget where I live so I think I'm safe. For now.

But regarding those highway signs? Keep your eye out for me anyway, just in case.


  1. LOL - Dr. M has been a wonder to behold the last couple of times he's been trying to get out the door to school. I say TRYING because he is like a crazed person going from room to room & back again. It's probably not loss of focus as much as it's "I'm late!" induced panic, but the result is similar.

  2. I find that the steam from the tea kettle is keeping my stove very clean. The bottom of the kettle is scorched after the water is all boiled away, but the instrument panel of the stove is very clean ........

    Thinking of you daily as you make your way through this difficult time.

  3. I'll make sure to be on the lookout, as long as I know where I am that is ;)

  4. ellen - after i cracked fifty i started writing sticky notes to help me help myself. since then i've graduated to master stickies - they organize the other stickies into making sense. i also use a five subject notebook to track anything that comes into my mind. lists, notes, ideas, wishes, dreams, thoughts, must do stuff, must not do stuff. it's all there. soon as it's done i recyle the piece of paper. otherwise i'd be lost - on my bicycle - and they don't put lost cyclists on highway signs do they?! steven

  5. This seems to be a problem for many of us "older" folks...I'm beginning to think I need something for ADHD as I can't seem to focus...I'll have a conversation and when it's over, can't remember what was talked about...notes...notes...and more notes...lists...keep that pad of paper or tape recorder with you at all times...keeping your family in my thoughts...

  6. The room thing is starting happen to me too (and I'm not any drugs, yet) I opened the fridge 4 times the other day, looking for what?? The garlic of course ... the garlic which I have never kept in the fridge but in a little bowl next to the garlic crusher!

    We don't have those signs over here but I can see my name flashing up in lights already

  7. The problem I have with using a dictionary is that I need to know how to spell the word I'm trying to find out how to spell.

  8. Do you know if those signs have produced any results in finding the missing? And it's no wonder you're distracted, with the difficult time you're going through. So be easy on yourself.

  9. Oh, thank God you wrote this.... I thought it was just me.

    How can a person forget how to spell...or is that speel

  10. Short term vs long term's interesting if they disappear at the same rate. I, too, can identify with what you write, especially when I boil some water for green tea in the late afternoon.

  11. I took a statin drug for a short time, but it gave me inceasingly disturbing dreams. As soon as I stopped taking it, the dreams stopped.

  12. I have those moments, too, continously(and I probably didn't that right either). If it helps, know you are not alone...what were we talking about?

  13. I know exactly what you mean. Some days are better than others, but my short-term memory is definitely inadequate these days.

  14. I hear you!! I have been experiencing the same things. I actually left the house and went into town with something boiling on the stove. Luckily it didn't burn down or do any damage. Sheesh!!
    I will look for you and please look for me.

  15. I read that as we age, we are far more capable of seeing the big picture, while the details of life, the little stuff, fades into the background.

    The fact that you can walk and chew gum at the same time, considering everything that's going on, is miraculous.


  16. This is a funny post, but I shouldn't laugh because I'm right there with you! Sometimes I just forget what I'm doing & have to stand there for a while attempting to remember what I need to do. Like right now I need to call Best Friends so Gertie can spend a couple of nights there, but my phone is in the bedroom & by the time I get there I may have forgotten what I'm doing.! Yikes!
    I'm with you on the spelling thing too!

  17. The French would refer to you as 'une femme d'un certain ├óge'. They think it's a discreet way of saying 'older' without being too specific. (And they don't use the same expression for men – is that good or bad?)

    Except at some point what it really suggests is 'a woman of that uncertain age'.

    Anyway, why did I open this comments box?

  18. missing elderly on the highway? found wandering?
    how do I recognise you, by the vacant look on your face or the clay in your hair?

    as for the rest, join the club.
    not being on statins (Idon't take dairy produce, so my cholesterol is low) doesn't make any difference, "now what was it I came in here for" is one of my stock phrases.

  19. I can so relate to the spelling goofs - exactly as you described them. I've come to the conclusion that I've simply never been able to spell as well as I thought I could - I just never had a live spell check to challenge me before. So there you go, you're not deteriorating - you're just not as sharp as you thought you were. ;)

    One thing for sure - your sense of humour has not wandered.


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