CALL THE PLUMBER…MY BRAIN DRAINS!

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It has begun. I’m told the process can enter and take over almost overnight…or, it will take its time, slowly eroding away every functioning component of your brain.   The topic: dementia. I chose it because it has moved up in ranking on my paranoia scale. I do believe dementia is beginning to infiltrate my fortress, setting up shop in little dark pockets in my mind. I am not a doctor and this is self-diagnosis so I suppose it is unreliable. Maybe I just have the mumps.

It starts with the basics.   Lately, little things are happening to me all the time, like memory loss. I forget names, events, places I’ve been and activities I’ve done. True, you say everybody does that, but this is different because it’s more penetrating and prevalent. It’s no longer a trivia contest with prizes for those who can conjure up the most obscure.  Nope, it’s the kind of memory loss where large blanks take over the space in your brain where it previously stored important data like the date of your wedding anniversary or the combination to your high school locker.

There are other failures mechanical in nature. I’ve had a check returned to me because the amount I wrote out in longhand did not match the amount entered in digital form. But it wasn’t simply a matter that the amounts disagreed. What was startling was that the amount in longhand was jibberish. It represented no number at all. I must have been in a stupor when I wrote it. In fact, come to think of it, my handwriting has changed lately. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like my usual scribe, so much so that I may not even be able to read it. See, dementia!

I agree, these are all little signs that appear innocent and unthreatening, even humorous.   But these are slowly beginning to multiply. Forgetting names, appointments or what day of the week it is are common symptoms. The second phase features more tangible evidence, things like doors left unlocked when you leave the house or finding yourself roaming the parking lot attempting to locate your car because you have absolutely no idea where you parked it. Then finally, the hardcore situations begin to display unwelcomed testimonials that confirm the diagnosis. These include things like failure to recognize loved ones, believing you are living in another time or place, or having conversations with the voices you hear.    All these phases are common to a very natural occurrence many people suffer with in their later years.   It is called dementia. Stop by any nursing home and you will see it firsthand.

My mother showed signs of her wiring being withered away when she was in her 70s. Hey, guess how old I am!! Anyway, we were at a restaurant one night years ago, Rosemarie, my mother and me. I noticed Mom’s collar was messed up and I reached over to straighten it out. It was then that I realized it was messed up because it was the collar on the blouse underneath the second blouse she was wearing. But Mom always matched and it only followed that she was wearing two skirts too. It was then that I had to face reality—mom was a double dresser. When I asked her if she noticed she was wearing two sets of clothes she just sort of smiled at me, a little embarrassed. She looked like a kid caught doing something wrong. I just giggled and said “silly you.”

Well, the bad news is, that incident shows that dementia runs in the family. The good news is–today at least–I am wearing only one layer of clothes.

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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5 Responses to CALL THE PLUMBER…MY BRAIN DRAINS!

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    Mike Fuller Author: I am not much on goat, neither milk or skin. Nor do I like the cold. I am, I hope, destined for the Chesapeake Bay (yes, it gets cold there too, but I will compensate). If not there, then offf the coast of Florida. See you then…we’ll compare notes.

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  2. I forgot to mention that I have my spot picked out. Up on the Appalachian trail just west of Hawk Mountain. I sat one cold morning and watched a doe bed down on the first day of buck season. She seemed unconcerned with the gunfire all around and was content behind several boulders. We sat together until nearly noon when my bones began to shatter from the cold and I had to move. Her head was down by then and she never stirred while I stumbled back down the mountain to warm a can of chicken noodle soup on the Coleman stove in the back of my SUV. That’s the place for me. But instead of water in the goat skin some Jim Beam Black would be nice.

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  3. Some tribes escort their oldest and most feeble members to the peat bogs and leave them with a blanket and a goat skin of water. I don’t recall if there are any such peat bogs in south Florida. Perhaps the everglades would suffice.

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  4. Marc Kuhn says:

    Thank you Mike Fuller, now I remember. Of course they were here.The green ones,right?

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  5. They really did come to see you on Sunday. The whole family. Honest.

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