Thursday, November 29, 2012

Early Warning Signs Detected

According to those who know a lot more than I do, there are five early warning signs that a person might become an Alzheimer’s victim. It’s a lot more people than you might think. More than five million develop the condition after age 65, but about 200,000 Americans in their 40s to 50s have been diagnosed.

It’s scary when you think of it. Of the five warning signs, I’ve exhibited all of them with greater frequency.
Short-Term Memory Loss: You know how sometimes you read something and then when someone asks you what you just read, you can’t remember? That happens to me. But it’s selective. Sometimes what I read stays with me for decades, sometimes it disappears in a flash.
Difficult Object Identification: This happens to me a lot. Many times, I just can’t find the right word. Take the word “antacid,” for example. Just today I was looking for a bottler of Pepcid and the wife asked what I was looking for. I had to say, “the white bottle of the pink pill thingies you suck on to help with stomach acid.” Sad.
Bad Misjudgments: Running red lights, for example. Recently it often doesn’t dawn on me that I’m at a red light, especially when I’m talking to the wife while driving. I’ve run a couple in the past year, and almost started moving on a couple of other occasions. And then, many times, I am startled into moving forward when I hear the driver behind me honking his/her horn because I didn’t notice the light had changed to green.
Change in Demeanor: They say one symptom is feeling anxious, confused, depressed, irritable or aggressive, easily upset or fearful. You probably withdraw from hobbies and social activities. That’s me. I thought I was just turning grumpy, but it’s true, I’ve put my beloved stamp-collecting aside and exchew going to social functions, meetings, and lunches with others.
Wibble Wobble Walking: The balance is going, slowly but surely. I find myself sometimes reaching for something to hold to steady myself. And I walk slower now, sometimes swaying a little from left to right and back again. I thought it was my prodigious stomach, weakened legs and sore hip, but then again, it might be something else.
So there you are. They say if you think you have Alzheimer’s then you can’t possibly have it. Maybe, maybe not. We’ll just have to see.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

A nurse I knew once described it to me as, "It's normal to forget your keys. What's not normal is forgetting what keys are for."

May we all keep remembering what keys are for!

Craig Miyamoto said...

I am so with you in this one, Becca.

~ Craig