Disclaimer – Gallows humor, is a comic style that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo, particularly subjects that are normally considered serious or painful to discuss such as death or disease.
I find humor in weird places. Today is an example. You’ve been warned.
I don’t know a lot with certainty. I’m not confident beyond a shadow of a doubt about much. My faith, my family’s love, I will never have six-pack abs – other than these reliable facts, I don’t really have firm belief in or certain knowledge of much. But I am increasingly confident that I may at some point in my life completely lose my mind.
I have good empirical evidence that this may one day occur because I have a family history of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and in some cases just general craziness, and I’m fairly confident that these things are hereditary (though I’m too much of a hypochondriac to do much research on the matter). So there is probably not much I can do to hide from the inevitable – although I have heard that Sudoku and crossword puzzles help.
But medicine and medical history aside, I’m becoming convinced that I may actually already be suffering from the early stages of this process…I read Still Alice by Lisa Genova so I feel good about my ability to self-diagnosis the signs. Several things have occurred over the last few days, weeks, months and years that have me debating the benefits of writing myself a letter of things not to forget. But then, as we learned from Alice, I will most likely forget where I put it or how to open an envelope or something and really why waste time and energy trying to figure out what you would most want to remember if you forgot everything. These are the conversations I have with myself. It is scary in my head.
Anyway, here are some troubling indicators that tell me I’m well on my way to the abyss…
Exhibit A –
I love coffee. I mean, love it. I believe that God loves us and one of the most enduring ways he has shown this great love is by giving to mankind the gift of coffee. On average, I probably drink about a pot of coffee a day. Not fancy Starbucks coffee – just your run of the mill cuppa Joe, black – no fuss, no muss. This is my coffee mug.
I fill this mug with coffee every day I go to work. It stays hot all morning. I enjoy each and every drop of this nectar until it is gone. Every day. Every single day.
Yesterday, I filled the coffee cup and left home without it. I did not realize I was without my coffee until about 15 minutes into my commute, when I reached down to take a sip and there was no coffee cup to be found.
Something is very wrong.
Exhibit B –
You may remember a blog post earlier this year where I described my 2018 plan to be more conscientious of budgeting and specifically to keep my grocery lists and actual amounts spent in a cute little notebook so I could reference them when making subsequent budgets. This is my cute little notebook – with the fat little birds, because I am obsessed
Yesterday, I took said notebook to Aldi to do my weekly grocery shopping. I laid it down somewhere in the store (I believe it was at the checkout counter but I really can’t remember) and left the store without it. I did not realize I had done so until I was halfway home. There is no name on the notebook or any other identifying marks other than my grocery lists and running tally of amount spent – so I’m sure it is long gone – plus the fat little birds all over the cover.
All that work – list making and keeping and success when I was under budget and misery when I was over – all gone. I admit to being a bit depressed about it (which according to Still Alice is for sure a sign of early onset).
Again, I say something is very wrong.
Exhibit C –
My husband and I will be married 10 years this month. I am going to write more about that on another day, but suffice it to say that I know him pretty well. We’ve been living in the same house, sleeping in the same bed, walking through the same days together for a decade. So can someone explain to me why I cannot remember his shoe size, his Social Security number, his pant size, his cell phone number, and -on a bad day – HIS BIRTH DATE!?!?
Not one of these things have changed in the 10 years we have been married (he is annoyingly consistent in his weight) but I have serious doubts that even with a gun pointed to my head, I could recall more than 1 out of the 5 things on this list. And let me tell you, I have written ALL of these things down multiple times in an attempt to keep them somewhere for reference and promptly forgotten where I put the information; or thrown it out after looking at it and thinking “I know this, why do I need to have it written down?”; or “What are all these numbers?”
Houston, we have a problem!
Exhibit D –
I had a list of 5 examples of why I’m in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but I CANNOT REMEMBER THE LAST TWO! I literally just typed “Exhibit 4” and then could not recall what it was – I have been sitting here staring at the screen trying to make the information come back and it will not. I really think this example of my complete lack of recall is probably better evidence of my impending doom, than the original exhibit so I will just leave it here.
So, if you see me trying to jump over an area rug because I’m sure it is actually a hole in the floor; or on a less extreme day, if I simply cannot remember your name and just say something like “Hey……..you….!” (Still Alice references)
You will know why – my mind is eating itself, and there is nothing I can do about it. Somebody get me some Ginkgo biloba!
See ya soon…if I remember….