When my mum started forgetting things, we all would just laugh and say, “Oh Mum”. We were all brought up to think that when you get older, you just lose your marbles a bit. But when she was diagnosed with dementia, that’s when we realised memory loss was nothing to joke about. So imagine how upset I was when I forgot where I’d parked my car a few months ago. I got into a blind panic. I didn’t think I’d truly lost it, but just feeling so stupid and lost made it all worse. I kept racking my brain for a clue but was coming up empty.
It wasn’t the first time I’d forgotten obvious things though. I’d been forgetting the names of my neighbours, friends, family members – you name it. I even went to the shops and saw an old friend but was too embarrassed to say hello because I could not for the life of me remember her name. But then there’s the people who come up to me and say hello and I feel like I’ve never see them in my life but should know who they are.
I went and got all the tests done because I was worried, and I’m in the clear. Half of me wished that there was really something wrong just so I could excuse myself for being so forgetful. My own father was sharp as a tack until he died, so I felt like I couldn’t just put it down to age, either.
The worst thing about having memory loss is feeling like you’re letting people down. I have to keep asking my son when he’s travelling overseas. I have to keep asking when he is finishing work. And he’s sick of it. It hurts because he thinks that I’m just not listening when he talks… but little does he realise that I so care and I so want to remember. So in the last few weeks I’ve been doing brain training games and doing some more crosswords. I even joined a puzzles group at my local senior citizens centre and I think it’s been helping out so far. Other members say that they too have been having trouble concentrating and remembering things. I hope it works because I’m sick of feeling confused and forgetful.