Bruce and I have stepped up our dementia preventia efforts over the last few years. We feed the microbiome with a diversity of plants, sleep more, hydrate with gusto, exercise and meditate most days. He does crossword puzzles, and I do Sudoku. I believe that we are both a bit sharper than five years ago…or else the bar is lower.
Bruce and I recently started playing Concentration, the memory card game that involves flipping cards to find as many pairs as possible. Like us, you probably quit playing this game when your kids turned five and beat you every dang time. Those losses were too humbling to endure. It turns out that you actually have to concentrate hard for a sustained period of time. These days, when I try to remember the spot and number for more than seven cards at a time, I can almost feel different neural pathways strengthening.
We have also established organizational systems that provide me with little triumphs of memory every day. I keep seven pairs of reading glasses placed around the house to eliminate irritation-inducing scrambles. We have an established place for car keys, so we know where they are all the time. Placing my purse on its own hook has kept my pulse down every time I head out the door.
The funniest days are when one of us shakes our head at the other’s foggy moment, but then it comes around and bites us in the ass.
One day, I thanked Bruce for filling my car with gas when he had driven it a few days before. He told me he had been more than happy to do it and swaggered around a bit with that good husband gloat.
Fifteen minutes later, he said he had been trying to recall when he actually got the gas. He felt worried that he had no recollection of being at a gas station in the last few days and was concerned that he had fully blanked it out. He joked that he was certain he got the gas, but didn’t want to lose the good husband credit even he couldn’t remember. I shook my head and secretly felt grateful that I wasn’t as drifty as Bruce on that particular day. I thought to myself, “No wonder I smoke him when we play Concentration.”
After a few minutes, it occurred to me that perhaps I had filled the gas tank. We were both quiet for a bit, privately churning through our memories until we started verbally raking over the details from the last few days. The facts started to shimmy out, and it turned out that I had indeed filled the gas tank myself. Bruce was so relieved. And then I was left holding the power drift baton. Zoiks!
Special thanks to Nicola Smith for her keen eye in editing.