My daughter asked me a question. It was a simple one, but apparently I answered with a blank stare which prompted her to accuse me of not being able to think clearly. Sometimes I do wonder about my clarity, but then again, it doesn’t take much and I wander off to something else.
I’d prefer to call it zoning out as during those blank stares my mind is trying to play catch up. It happens whenever there are too many things going through at the same time. It's a sifting process which produces the glazed-over look.
Being the youngest of four I learned to answer to whatever name I was called on by my parents. They would go through the whole list of kids until they got it right. I’ve even been known to even answer to the dog's name. Try as I may, not to reenact this name game with my kids and grandkids, I’m doing it more often than I’d like to admit.
Whenever I start worrying I’m losing my mind I console myself with the reality, when it’s gone, I won't remember it is. I say this in jest, when in actuality, Dad knew for at least ten years he was suffering from dementia. He never seemed to be scared it was happening more just matter of fact he needed to get things in order. If I go down this same road I hope I can be as humble.
I haven’t forgotten how to ride a bike, swim or say the pledge of allegiance but can wake up and struggle to remember what day of the week it is. If someone asks me for the last three digits of my social security number, I have to actually say the whole thing out loud to recall it. I can walk into the kitchen with a purpose and forget what it is by the time I get there. It used to come back to me if I stood there long enough but now sometimes I have to write it off as “who knows.”
I have mastered the art of running into friends and greeting them with excitement but don't have a clue what their names are. The iphone guru “Siri” has saved me from getting lost going to my destinations and, more importantly, guiding me back home.
I've been trying to get my purse in better order. I can never find my cell phone or my keys. I was thinking about changing my voicemail to say "I'm trying to find my phone right now please call back." After digging through my purse two or three times, I typically find my keys in my pocket.
Dad would say once your brain gets so full it has to forget items to be able to learn new things. Maybe that’s what happened to me because it feels like it’s taking a lot of brain power to keep up with technology.
Just when I was beginning to worry about myself, the five-year-old grandsons, while spending the night, asked if I knew how to tie my shoes. When I showed them how quickly I can do this newest trick they’re trying to learn they said, “you’re so smart, Gigi.”
Yes, yes I am.
-- Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at email@example.com