Is It Dementia Or Am I Just Really Tired?

Do people who suffer from dementia KNOW they’re suffering from dementia? Are they able to reason out that they might be unreasonable?

Here’s why I ask: I just had a moment that was so out there that it makes me question my own sanity.

I’m laying in bed, reading blog posts and scanning through Facebook and came across a picture that an old high school friend posted of her son. It’s her son’s 21st birthday. He’s a very handsome young man. He had a smile on his face and a beer in his hand and I thought Oh wow, I wouldn’t have thought her kid was that old. She doesn’t look old enough to have a son who is already 21 years old. I must be getting to that age, you know? That mystical age where people I was young with have adult children.

Fa la la la…

I flipped over to twitter and the birthday picture was out of mind.

Then: HEY! Wait a minute. MY son is going to be 27 years old. TWENTY SEVEN! Did I just FORGET that I had a kid that passed the 21 year mark years ago? Not to mention, I have two stepdaughters who are even older than THAT. We have four grandchildren for fuck’s sake. 

I can let it slide when I can’t remember that one actor’s name who was in the one movie where all the shit blows up, even though I’m really fucking good at that game.

I am not going to stress out over the fact that I occasionally forget how to spell extremely simple words.

I’m not even going to get upset when I forget all the words to a song that I’ve loved for decades.

But forgetting about THREE of our FOUR children? What. The. Actual. Fuck?

Maybe it was a brief moment of time travel. Maybe when I read that post, our kids were really all under 21. So…you know, 11 years ago.

I should check the mirror just in case. If my eyebrows have less gray in them, then I think we’ve got definitive proof that time travel isn’t only possible…it’s actually happened.

Randy assures me that I’m not losing my mind, it’s just very occupied.

That’s probably true. Occupied and very tired.

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  • I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep last night and for some damned reason known only to God I was thinking about the people on The Big Bang Theory. Mind you, I LOVE this show. I watch the episodes over and over.
    So I’m thinking about the characters, Penny, Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Bernadette, Amy and ……. and that guy. Wolowitz. What the hell is his first name?
    This kept me awake until his name ‘came’ to me: Howard.
    Which is also the name of (my) Sheldon’s now-dead brother. How could I forget THAT?
    This growing old shit don’t make no sense at all.

  • No shit, Michelle, I am so damned forgetful and dingy I scare the shit outta myself. I even wondered if I should go to the damn doctor about it. And my kids are still young. What am I going to be like in my 60’s for fucksake? It’s sort of horrifying. At this rate I’ll spend my days drooling on myself on the couch.

    • Can I come over then? We’ll watch TV and talk about the old days..or at least what we can remember. OR..we could just make shit up.

      I vote for making shit up.

  • Michelle, you’re not demented! I’ve come to realize that our brains can only hold so much shit. Unfortunately in my case, to make room for new shit, my brain purges important things like names, birthdays, ages of family members, and the names of common objects. I often have conversations that go like this: “So then, when we turned the corner, the….the….that THING…you know, the thing on a car that goes round and round? The thing that is between the car and the road and it’s made out of rubber….the TIRE!! THAT’s what I’m talking about!”

    Meanwhile, my brain DOESN’T purge crap like the location of Cambodia, song lyrics from one hit wonders, and other meaningless trivia. I should try out for Jeopardy or something.

    • It’s like we’re sharing the same goddamn brain. Okay..this makes me feel a little better. I’m used to temporarily forgetting little shit…but I’ve NEVER forgotten that I have 3 adult children before.

  • I’m only 33 (34 in November…wtf?!) and already noticing the signs of getting older. I forget simple shit and I forget names of people I talked to only three days before. Hell, I’ve already forgotten the name of my dentist! Granted I haven’t been to her office in over a month but still…it should be easy to remember!

    *sigh* I strongly suspect I’ll be completely fucked by the time I’m 50. My husband is 13 years my senior so he’ll be 63 by then. Yup. Totally fucked.

  • I actually have panic attacks about showing signs of early onset Alzheimer’s. But then I realize I’ve told stories over and over and forgotten people’s names since I was a kid. I’m not demented. I’m just perpetually overtired. And an asshole.

    I’m not saying you’re an asshole. I’m going to go with Jana’s thought: that once your brain fills up with so much, it starts purging.

  • There is nothing, NO THING, more guaranteed to document your geezerhood status like going to the wedding of the niece you once diapered and telling people that fact. Out loud. Like your ancient crone relatives used to do to you. My sisters and I had to invest in industrial strength margaritas last night following the reception… At least, today I can blame memory lapses on the margaritas.

  • It’s a tough one to call – I think we just forget how much time has passed because our minds get so jam-packed with other crap and you can’t “auto adjust” in the moment. You are WAY to young to have dementia but just the right age to not believe how much time has passed so quickly. Just don’t tell your kids you momentarily “forgot” them. Oh shit you blogged it. Welp at least you can use your blog as a reference when/if you eventually lose your marbles.

  • I’m less than a year older than your son and I don’t go any conversation without forgetting something. I’d blame it on the beer and Jack Daniels but what the fuck have they ever done wrong to me?!? NOTHING. So I’m not going to blame them at all. I forgot who I’m going to blame though *sips beer*

  • I have no kids to forget about. But I’ve had to slow down while driving because I can’t read the flippin’ street signs – even with my glasses – and I have hearing loss. I also consistently call the new dog by the old dog’s name. And I cannot for the life of me remember trivia like names of movies or high school teachers or where I left my damn keys. I actually have a land line so that I can call my cell phone to find it when it’s lost.
    Getting old is *not* for wimps.

    • Oh god is NOT for pussies..there is no doubt about that.

      Although, even with the drawbacks, I’m still digging the aging process.

  • I call it brain warp. But yeah, I always wonder about this, too. Do they get to a point where they’re like, “Wait. I may be demented right now.” or “Did I just seriously tell that story AGAIN?” Probably not.

    I think most of the time our brains just forget that we’re not, in fact, still 28.

    I forget our age(s) all the time. I’ll be telling Shane about one of our kids’ friends’ parents, who seem *older* than us, or they dress more conservatively and act, you know…OLD. (On that note: When did they write a rule that moms over 35 have to wear khaki capris and button-up sleeveless shirts and/or cardigans AT ALL TIMES?)

    So, I’ll be like, “Well, yeah…they’re probably our age…maybe a little older…” Then my kids are like, “Mom. She’s 35 years old.”

    I’m 44. Wait. What the actual ? Because even 35 is way older than I feel. I have to remind myself that my BRAIN may be 28, but my BODY is definitely not.

    I’d say you’re fine. It was just a brain warp.

    • I don’t wear that outfit. I don’t even own any part of it. I’m a jeans, tshirt and flip flops kind of girl. 🙂

      Yeah, I don’t feel my age at ALL. I’ve met people my age. They’re boring.

  • *SNORT* We have decided that one thing we *will* do when we get realllly old (and more forgetful than we are.) to glue a note to our phones, so that when they ring, we will see this note before we answer it:

    I forget random necessary words all the time already. Like the car thing. The part inside the tire. THAT METAL PART in the middle. Oh, right. “Wheel.”

  • I’ve forgotten songs that I wrote. The bad part is that I sometimes remember little parts of them, but not how to actually, you know, play the stupid thing… I can blame some of that on my stroke, mostly that I don’t play very much since then. What’s really embarrassing is that when I was in acute rehab after the stroke, my totally awesome speech pathologist Vanna taught me a mnemonic device to help remember things: WRAP
    W= write things down
    R= repeat things to reinforce their memorization
    A= associate things you need to remember with things you already do… and

    That’s right, I can’t remember the last letter of the fucking memory mnemonic acronym. I have Vanna’s email address, but so far I’ve been too embarrassed to admit to her that I can’t remember that particular item.

  • I spent a whole hour last Saturday convinced it was June. I often forget what day it is but I was able to recall the name of a one hit wonder band who recorded Woodstock in 1970 earlier today. I’m going with the purge theory, my brain is only interested in music and is obviously full so it bins everything else now
    That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
    I also found myself saying ‘the kids these days’ in an online conversation last night
    Kill me now!

  • I can’t remember shit.

    I literally walk into a room and have no clue why I went there.
    I’m fairly certain it has to do with having too much on my mind, but it could be that I’m getting older.
    I did have AARP in my fucking twitter feed last week, so there’s that.

  • It can’t be dementia, because I suffer from it too. For example… I HATE rosemary, and one time I bought salad dressing that was labeled as having rosemary, IN THE TITLE. So, I go home, whip out my rosemary dressing and my roommate says, “I thought you didn’t like rosemary.” And then, I remember, “Oh, yeah. I don’t.” Seriously. WTF?

    • Hahaha..oops! I do that, too. Although it’s usually on purpose because I WANT to like it because it’s good for you. Like Kale or Yogurt.

  • Pretty certain you are not alone in this! I don’t have kids, but I do still have *age reality check* moments whenever I meet someone with kids or working in an important job who is born post-1980.

    Also, I have this thing where I live in parallel realities in my mind, and have no ability to cross reference conflicting appointments. It’s like, family are on one spectrum, friends on another, and somehow I always manage to double book myself.

    We’re all a little demented…

  • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, you were considering another person not yourself. I’ve been married for 10 years and just last year was the first time any of my friends got married themselves. Each time I talk to one of them it’s like this little flash back to when I was their age…oh wait I’m not really older than them, I just got married when I was really young. None of my mother’s high school friends have kids as old as me because none of them had kids at 19. Sorry this response wasn’t funnier but that’s all I got.

  • Some guy called me kiddo the other day and for a moment I forgot I was almost 40. I was that same sassy 21 year old.
    It happens to the best of us. Grey eyebrows or not.

  • LOL – if you are worried and want an interesting read – Still Alice by Lisa someone with a G xxx (maybe I have dementia).
    Have the best day !!!
    Me xox

  • Now you’ve got me wondering: is it dementia if you’ve had it your whole life, or is that a different condition entirely? It must be a different condition entirely, because I’ve always been able to remember things. Just not the right things. After watching Monty Python & The Holy Grail once I could quote large sections of it, but couldn’t remember to put my Latin homework in my backpack.

    I’m still like that.

  • I know exactly what you mean! I used to have an amazing memory and now I forget the simplest things and its’ friggin’ scary.I even wake up some mornings totally freaked out because I don’t know what day it is. I haven’t actually forgotten the kids yet but I did forget to drop one of them off at school a couple to times this year…had to turn around and go back. I think it is that there’s just too much crap in there that there’s not enough room for it all anymore……like a full hard drive. At least I’m hoping.!

By Michelle


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