Thursday 16 August 2012

Seeking Marbles

This week I am more convinced than ever that I am suffering from some kind of brain-wasting disease. My short term memory is becoming increasingly dodgy, specifically when it comes to putting things down and then not being able to find them again. This used to happen every now and again, but the frequency of late is becoming a worry. I’ve lost count of the number of things that I have put down somewhere and then been unable to find. Yesterday it was some new keys. I had them in my hand, put them somewhere, and then got distracted. A while later I remembered I had been holding some keys. Could I find them? Well yes, I could, but it took five minutes of exasperated searching, and cursing my stupidity that I managed to lose some keys that I’d only had for about three hours.

Yesterday it was my bins. Put them down somewhere, then needed them and had absolutely no recollection of where they were. None at all. I eventually traced them to the bedroom, but that involved checking each room in the house at least three times first, and going up and down the stairs several times, all the while wondering what on earth was wrong with me.

Some things just disappear completely. My phone charger that I picked up as I was going to take it to work. Popped it down somewhere between the study and my coat pocket, and it’s never been seen again. Physical objects do not just evaporate, although I do have three children....Similarly my spare phone battery – gone. To be fair that one may have dropped out of my pocket on the tube, but nonetheless it’s a bad sign. I never lose things. Ever. I’ve now got my phone and wallet attached to my belt via chains, ostensibly so as not to get pick-pocketed during the Olympics, but I think the more deep-seated reason is that I don’t trust myself to be able to hang on to them for much longer. I’ve always been one of those people that has distinct places for things, and if they’re not in that specific place then they count as lost. The classic example is of pockets – keys in the right, phone on the left. Always. If for some reason my keys end up in my left pocket I simply can’t find them, and go nuts looking for them round the house until I absent-mindedly pat my pockets...

I thought my recent memory issues were restricted to the placement of things, of stuff, as I can still just about remember most passwords and PINs, particularly those that I’ve had for a long time. A new password is typically forgotten by the following day, unless it’s just a repeat of an oft-used one. But that’s fine, there isn’t a human being alive that could possibly remember all the passwords needed these days, and so I view it as normal. But even some long-term bits of information appear to be going.  On the phone to the bank on Tuesday I managed my sort code, and then drew a complete blank on the account number and had to fish out my card to find it. Today I tried to call my parents from a landline, a number I have dialled for years and years, even if my mother does think I never call her. I managed the area code, and then was struck by self doubt as to the order of the remaining numbers. I had to look it up on my mobile. What on earth is happening?

I used to laugh it off, but I think I’m beginning to understand the frustration that my Grandma used to show at not being able to remember what she went upstairs for by the time she got there. And it’s definitely getting worse. I’ve misplaced so many things recently that today I even went as far as taking an online test for Early Onset Alzheimers, a series of routines that attempt to work out your cognitive powers. I passed it well above the supposed level for someone of my age, which is almost well under 40. This is good news, albeit via a fifteen minute computer test rather than an expert medical professional. So instead I’m wondering if it’s an alcohol problem?

I’ve not touched a drop all week, not even a sniff. This is highly unusual, but is explained by Mrs L being away, and I’ve not yet reached the stage where I drink by myself – that’s one short step away from living under a bridge. So maybe tonight I need to crack open a decent bottle of red and see if I can’t find that bloody phone charger.


  1. Wait til you are 45+ then the panic sets in...

  2. what do you mean you don't drink in the house by yourself? what the hell is wrong with you? #itsworsethanithought

  3. Or 50+, happens, I know it does...wait a

  4. I used to have a good memory--able to juggle a dozen things at once. Then I turned 30. Now I am 60, and believe me you don't even want to know. You found something you lost within 5 minutes? Amazing! With me it's more like 3 hours, assuming I haven't done something totally mindless with it like tossing it in the trash because I was carrying two things at once and the thing in my left hand was supposed to get thrown away while the thing in my right hand was supposed to get put away. Instead, it was the right-handed thing that went into the trash. I shudder to think what 70 will bring.

  5. Your brain is full. You have to be selective about what you choose to remember and deliberately forget everything else. Works a treat.

    Your brain is full. You have ... Oh hang on