Have you seen my…umm….. Memory?
All of us have memory lapses. We justify such occurrences as the consequence of living increasingly busy lives compounded by the gradual ageing process. The clinical extremes of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia attract justified medical and media attention. Some positive medical news surrounds these ailments and there are optimistic sounds being heard for their case management. But what of the intermediate memory loss phase? The phase that demands early retirement from work, causes family bewilderment and personal self-doubt. The realisation of being in possession of an increasingly suspect memory dawns slowly.
This is not a textbook on mental health, although the author’s MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) is the background to this book. It is not written in a technical language. It is written for the person in the street because none of us knows what is round the corner in life. For those who have turned that corner and found confusion, memory lapses and depression, this book is for you too because you are not alone. The future is not permanently bleak and there are opportunities to reflect on experiences and to enjoy life more.
I do not talk of ‘cure’ but of finding in a multitude of experiences, some bizarre, some funny, some thought provoking, ways to recapture a quality of life to be lived with more pleasure and satisfaction. I gladly share this part of my life in which memory can be brought to heel, laughed at, reviewed and placed in context. It provides a personal pastiche of the power and the failings of the human memory. A much-needed self help guide to assist you to manage your memory is woven into this book. Accordingly, the mind can relax while the tips are absorbed.
Let Confucius set us on our way:
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember!”
The author is greatly indebted to general practitioner Dr R Sabur, occupational health physician Dr C Jamieson, consultant psychiatrist Dr D. Hall and consultant clinical neuropsychologist Dr J Moore, all of Dumfries. They have brought me through my illness to a greater understanding of the mind and given me encouragement to live life to the full.
Professor Narinder Kapur, formerly at the Department of Neuropsychology, University of Southampton and now at Addenbrookes hospital, Cambridge, gave permission for me to quote extensively from his booklet “Managing your Memory.” Dr Olwen Wilson, consultant psychologist and long time friend, gave constructive criticism of the draft copy. My profound thanks go to both these distinguished psychologists.
Thanks to Alan, Margaret, Joyce, Stuart, Sean, Rachel, Jocelyn, Fred, Joy, Katrina and Kim – The Kirkpatrick Durham badminton team. I leave them wondering whether my shots stem from the mind or the body. And special additional thanks go to Joyce for her graphic artwork on the cover of this book as well as her work on Operation Oboe.
Remembering Richard and Wendy at Authorsonline.co.uk Adam of Research International, Bernard and Rosemary at Kleeneze and the production teams of Fifteen-to-One and the Weakest Link, all eager to assist. Thanks too to Derek Coates of Healthspan for permission to quote from the Healthspan booklet.
To Hans and Jutta in Germany, Peter and Elaine in Lancashire, Duke, Betty and Julie in Ghana. To Tom and Abbey, John and Huerta and all the four-legged friends I meet regularly with Tache. Because, like Mr. Dibdin,……
In every mess, I find a friend. Charles Dibdin 1745-1814