My teenage kids get so annoyed when I don’t remember something they just told me five minutes before. Guess what? It’s pretty frustrating for me too. And as I age, it only gets worse. What’s awful is back when I was twenty five, I had this same dilemma. One friend diagnosed me as having “Teenage Alzheimers.” Funny back then, but as my memory gets choosier, it’s quite catastrophic, as I fear I might be a candidate for the Big A disease.
I just read a news article that helps one self-diagnose this debilitating, cureless phenomenon. The NY Daily News states, “While using their left nostril, the patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease couldn’t detect the peanut butter (aroma) until it was a couple centimeters from their face. However, when they used their right nostril, they caught a whiff when it was an average of 17.4 centimeters away.” http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/peanut-butter-detect-alzheimer-disease-article-1.1481823
So, I tried the test at home. Luckily, I smelled the delightful scent of crushed peanuts in each nostril equally. Dodged that legume. Then why am I so forgetful?
The online Harvard Health magazine lists 7 reasons for this. Some are pretty obvious, but I’ll list them here anyway.
1. Lack of Sleep. (Yup.)
2. Medications. (Hmmm.)
3. Alcohol (Makes sense.)
4. & 5. Stess and Anxiety. (DUH!)
6. Depression. (I hear ya.)
7. Underactive Thyroid. (Hello beautiful!)
That’s it! That’s me! Underactive thyroid mom who can’t remember the name of her daughter’s best friend! (I exaggerate. Her fourth best friend.)
Of course there are ways of keeping the brain healthy, attempts to avoid dementia: learn a language, play complicated games like Bridge, read, write (hello!) engage in intellectual conversation, pretend you’re William F. Buckley…
I’ll do whatever I can but in the meantime, I might have to take written notes whenever my kids talk to me.