"I'm late and I can't find my keys! I know that I put them on the kitchen counter, but they aren't there... Oh you know who I'm talking about. What's his name... I have been down this road before. We take a right, or is it a left?..." Have we all not had these conversations a few times in our lives where we blank out on something that we should remember? Ahhhh... the aging process. So what is normal and when should we be concerned? I guess that the first step in staying mentally sharp as you age is to know what is "normal" forgetfulness due to stress and what might be a serious memory problem.
Forgetfulness can be an uphill battle at times. It's nothing to laugh about. Ok... sometimes it is. I find myself talking about a movie and even though I just recently saw it, I can't remember the title of the dumb thing. Well, maybe it wasn't that good. Haha. The worst thing lately is going into the kitchen to get something and not remembering what it was that I was going to get. Oh boy. Memory lapses can be dog gone frustrating. But fortunately, the ones I'm experiencing don't have too much cause for concern as they are more age-related than symptoms of dementia. The main difference between those two is that temporary memory loss isn't disabling. It has little impact on your daily tasks and ability to do what you want to do.
And you know that I am still doing what I want to do!! Like yesterday...
But, in all seriousness... fishing is about the only thing that I don't forget things. Oh wait. I can't say that. So, I get to the river a couple hours away from home and I can't find my PMD fly box. I had sifted through all of my boxes and made a special trip to the fly shop to put together this box for the trip. So, I put on my pouty face and headed down the river with the boxes that would have to work. Yeah, no fish for two hours. I threw out the kitchen sink at them! I couldn't believe that there weren't any caddis flying around. There is always caddis, aren't there? Nope, just size 22 pale morning duns. And spinners. So, I dug deep into my pack and came up with a Barr's Emerger. Yay! This bug has saved my goat a lot lately. It's almost like my go-to fly. I LOVE IT!!! The Barr's is a great mayfly imitiation. It can imitate a blue wing olivie, pale morning dun, or other maylfies. It's simple and effective and the next fly that I am going to learn how to tie!
So, BAM!!! As soon as I put this fly on, I had a fish. And a couple more before I had to head off to lunch. When I met back up with my friend, Holly, we decided that we would go down the road for the afternoon and fish another river. I always am in favor of new water and especially when I don't have the right fly box! Yikes... I do remember putting it in the car the night before. I had searched through all my bags earlier. But, I had missed my boot bag because well... why would it be in there? You guessed it.
For some ridiculous reason, I had thrown a few things in my newly laundered boot bag to take out to the car. When emptying it out and putting those things into my fanny pack, I missed this one plastic box. Well, it was dark outside to my defense! Lol. And then the boots went on top of it and end of story. = (
So, what are some of the reversible causes of memory loss?
Studies have shown that the side effects of medication, taking three or more medications, depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, thryroid problems, alcohol abuse, and STRESS are common factors in forgetfulness.
How can we prevent memory loss from increasing?
Well, it seems that there are actually some simple things that we can do.
1. EXERCISE!!! Manages stress and leads to a healthier brain. Researchers have said that walking can cut your memory loss in half. Who doesn't like to walk along a river bank?
2. Stay social. Interacting with others challenges the brain. In many different ways... haha.
3. Watch your diet. Fruits and vegetables! And antioxidants are very useful in keeping your brain cells active. Eat those omega-3 fats that are in a tuna fish sandwich! And avoid those saturated and trans fats which can increase your risk of a stroke.
4. Manage that stress. It's easier said than done, I know. But, memory difficulties are definitely linked to cortisol, the stress hormone. Learning new things and concentrating can be effected greatly. Lessen the load and you will start feeling better.
5. Sleep. The brain needs to revamp. Lack of sleep will effect your concentration and decision making and can cause depression too. One of the most important remedies to stay alert and responsive to the "little things" that you should remember!
6. Brain excercises. What are those, you ask? Well, when it comes to memory, you have to use it or lose it. Besides physical exercise, is mental exercise. Playing games can increase those brain cells. Anything strategic like scrabble, word games, chess or bridge. Reading is a great excercise. Learning a new skill. Maybe just cooking up a new recipe, a new household project, playing piano, or tying up a new bug pattern on the vise. These all can engage the brain and help the memory in the long run.
So, here's to better memories of what we want to remember... = )
RD, if I didn't know any better, I would have thought you could have titled this post, "Life With The Pond Stalker"!ReplyDelete
See, I have already forgotten that you caught that big trout yesterday. I would have said great job, but, I forgot already...........
I totally agree with your list of good things to do to keep the brain active. I walk daily about 3 miles and play various Solitaire games, tie flies, read blogs, etc. Geezerhood is what it is.........................
Mel ~ One thing that I have learned over this past little while of not feeling so good is that I require a whole lot more sleep than I am getting. I truly believe that it is a big part of my memory problems. I wish that I could get in that much walking! One mile a day will have to do for now...Delete
It's always in the last place you look! My least favorite incident was when I went bass fishing and forgot the frog box at home. The lake was perfect for tossing out my favorite Scum Frog, but I had to make do without it. Didn't catch much that day, just saw the big ones cruising under the lily pads.ReplyDelete
Argo ~ You are not kidding. Why don't we just look in the last place we think it is and our search will be a lot shorter!Delete
As the Senior Geezer out here in Blogdom, all that you say is true. As you get older little things do slip your mind. I do all the things you mention above like reading etc, but I've heard that the one thing that can test your memory is doing crossword puzzles. Don't remember where I heard that, but I do remember I did. See, small memory lapse. What was it we were talking about? Just kidding.ReplyDelete
Mark ~ I have one thing to say about crossword puzzles... Ibuprofen! Those things stump me to no end... I'm sure that they are good for your thinking process in all seriousness. It would just take me a looooong time to get through one. Good for car trips!Delete
Damn! I had something really important to say. Never mind, I forgot what it was.ReplyDelete
Howard ~ If you don't remember, how am I supposed to answer?Delete
A tuna and blueberry sandwich, with a few "What's My Line" reruns and some luck.ReplyDelete
Alan ~ I hate to admit it, but I remember the original show.... oh boy. Interesting the things that I do remember.Delete
What a great post and one that is worthy of all of us who are getting older. Funny, I have done some of those same things as I get older. Yes, it can be frustrating, but I try not to let it brother me, because I feel that can bring on stress which as you say, we don’t need at this stage in our lives. I am kind of proud of myself after reading your suggestions for improving memory because I actually do a lot of those everyday. Thanks for sharing
Bill ~ So glad to hear that you are doing the right things for better health! Some people know how to take care of themselves. Me... I need more sleep. Period. And then I will start playing more scrabble... hahaDelete