I often hear people joke about having Alzheimers when they forget names or dates. I’ve even done it myself once in awhile.
But when is typical forgetfulness more than typical forgetfulness? How does one differentiate between typical and pathological?
I’ve done the usual “googling” of signs and symptoms of early Alzheimers and the listed signs have never matched any of my own signs or that of my husband. For years I worried that my husband was getting early Alzheimers when he’d forget things that one should never forget. Events that I have deeply ingrained into my memory are not deeply ingrained into his. Is that dementia, or a difference in priorities and values? Lately I’ve noticed that he relies on maps a lot more than he used to when traveling. Is that a sign of early Alzheimers? Or just typical brain aging? I’ve also noticed increased irritability with situations that didn’t used to irritate him. Is that another symptom, or am I just now hyperaware?
All of this time worrying about him, I’ve never really worried about myself until this last week. I was at work, heading to a meeting and all of a sudden I was aware that I was not going down the correct hallway. I knew the hallway was incorrect but for a brief moment I could not recall how to get to the correct hallway. I was stunned, and shocked. This had never happened to me before. What does this mean? Am I getting Alzheimers? Is this the first sign that something is amiss in my brain? I quickly put it out of my head and I’ve been trying to not worry about it, but it does come back to me periodically. This morning when I was doing my luminosity brain training I noticed that my overall score had decreased a few percentage points. Is that something to worry about. Or, is this just the typical “brain fog” of menopause?
The nurse in me realizes that even if I were to go to my doctor to be “checked out” that there would be nothing that could be done at this point. There is no indication for any kind of testing and they would say “we will just observe.”
So, that is what I will do also.