Forgetfulness has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Misplacing keys, losing my glasses, or not remembering why I entered a room is all too familiar for me. I don't know when the downward trend began, but lately this phenomenon has grown worse. Addresses are impossible. I might recall how to get some place, but not have the foggiest idea of the street numbers. And, telephone numbers: I don't even try to remember them anymore. I write them down and have them where I can find them. Even then. there are times I don't remember where I put them. If I meet someone who seems to know me, I avoid calling names until my mind kicks into gear. Until then, I politely nod yes or no and act as if I recognized them at first glance.
On a typical day not long ago, I went to town on some errands. I try to make it a habit to write out a list before I leave home so I won't forget anything. That day was no exception, but I'd lost my list. I couldn't remember where I'd left it and the various items on the list had become fragmented bits and pieces floating around in my mind. I found I would have to wing it.
I'd remembered the groceries, been to the bank, and picked up my medicine. Then, I found myself on Mall Drive. I looked at the familiar scenery. Regency Mall was on the right and strip shopping on the left, but nothing clicked as to why I had chosen this route. It wasn't until I spotted McLendons off to the left that I remembered my glasses needed adjustment.
After parking, I stepped out of my van and into the shop. It was as if I were seeing it for the first time and it gave me an errie feeling, almost as if I'd entered a time warp. The technician called me by name, but I had no idea who he was or that I'd dealt with him some time previously.
I shivered as I left the shop. I wasn't sure why, but I was glad to be out of there. I set out in my van and headed north. I crossed familiar side streets, stopped at the usual lights, but I had no idea why I had come this way. Was I simply on my way home? Not likely. It would be the long way around.
It wasn't until I was almost to the barber stop that I realized I needed a hair cut. After I'd settled down into the chair, the barber asked,"Is something wrong? You seem nervous, not quite yourself today."
How could I tell him what was going on? I didn't know myself. I answered, "i'm fine. Just a little tired. That's all."
The rest of my hair cut was in silence.
I was glad to see home. To be honest, I was glad I could remember how to get home. I was depressed and feeling very sorry for myself so once inside the door, I wept until I could weep no more. If this was what old age was like, I wanted no part of it; that is, until the realization of not growing old crept up on me. I felt as if I was falling to pieces. I was already wearing glasses and dentures had been a part of my life for a number of years. Of late, I had gained a hearing aid and gone through cataract surgery with lens implants. I had also started using a scooter in order to get around the large shopping plazas easily. Was my memory going to be the next to go? If so, would there be an implant for me? I don't think so.
Exhausted from cryiong, I took a nap. There was a time I considered a nap a luxury. Now, it's a necessity. My brain quits functioning and I am asleep. It was about an hour later when I awoke with a new zeal. I didn't remembetr a thing.