The Stupid Virus, with a complicated scientific name few can pronounce, apparently can cause people to be stupid. I'm hoping that's all I have, as it sounds a lot less scary than what I'm worried is going to happen. There are a lot of Dad’s characteristics I wouldn't mind following in his footsteps, but dementia isn't one of them.

They say if you don't use it, you lose it, but actually I'm beginning to think it's the opposite. The more information my brain is forced to take in, the more seems to drop out. Dad often blamed his forgetfulness on brain overload, and I'm beginning to think there's some truth to that.

I psych myself out that I'm going to forget important things, like meeting dates and times or a family member’s birthday, but I never do. It's the little things no one would ever know about unless of course you're stupid enough to put it in print for everyone to read about.

Most people probably wouldn't admit to it, but I'm hoping at least some may have these symptoms. While driving, forgetting just for a moment where you're going. Showering and wondering if you've already shampooed or not. Making recipes and losing your place on the ingredient list and then be unable remember the last one you just put in. Having someone ask you a simple question, knowing the answer, but the harder you try to remember, nothing comes to mind.

In my small office there's a copy machine, two computers, a printer, four filing cabinets and an entertainment center that houses paper products and now two lab puppies, who insist on being in there with me. I was working on one of the computers, which sits on the center, when I glanced over and noticed another "monitor" on the other end of the desk. Huh, I thought, what's that doing there? A spare computer screen possibly? Something my boss, aka, partner in love and life, put there because he wanted it out of his way?

I nearly stomped into his office to demand to know what it was, when I realized it's the flat screen TV I watch every morning. Sure, this all happened over a matter of seconds, but can you imagine what kind of look he would have given me if I’d actually asked him what this screen (the one I've been watching for the past several years) was doing in my work space?

Even though I color my hair to be blonde nowadays, maybe it was a blonde moment? Maybe I've freaked myself out so much, worrying I'm going to have dementia, I've convinced myself to be an airhead.

It's one thing to forget a few ingredients, but an entire TV?

My "boss" just walked in and asked if I had seen his "readers" which were sitting on top of his head.

Maybe this virus is catchy.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at