Friday, September 12, 2014

Is it just me? (On getting older)

Yesterday I realized I needed to add a certain item to my grocery list.  See, I got rid of most of my non-stick cookware, but I kept one skillet for certain special tasks.  Unfortunately, I threw all the plastic-nylon utensils away that I used with those non-stick pans, forgetting about the one skillet I kept.  

So on the few occasions I use that T-fal skillet, I've had to be very careful about how I turn the foods, or how I remove them.  Finally, today, I remembered to put my needed item on the shopping list.  

But I couldn't remember what the item was called.

So here's what I typed on the grocery list on my Ipad:  "pancake-turner".

I figured the actual name would come to me later, but it did not.  

Cliff got out of bed this morning and I told him about my problem.  "It seems to happen all the time lately," I said.  "Words that I have used all my life won't come to mind when I need to use them.  I hope I don't have Alzheimer's.    

"The same thing happens to me, too," he responded.  "The other day I was taking my walk and I spent the whole time trying to remember what kind of tree I was thinking of.  After my walk was over, I remembered.  It was a sycamore."  

By this time I remembered the name for the object I needed:  A spatula!  

So I got to Walmart and found one, in no time at all.  Only, guess what?  It was labeled as a slotted turner!  Then I didn't feel so bad about not remembering the word "spatula".  

I have decided it isn't dementia that caused us to forget these words we have used all our lives; it's just the fact that those aren't words we use regularly, so our brains decided they weren't important.  But you know, if it IS dementia, at least we will be losing our minds together.

Here's another thing.  Cliff said at some point last night he woke up and didn't hear my usual snoring, and he said I felt "stiff".  Yes, stiff.  So he put his arm across me and left it there until he felt me breathing.  

I do the same thing with him sometimes in the early morning... check to make sure he is awake.  I was telling the grandson about this tonight and he said, "I would freak out if I woke up and thought Heather was dead!"

"But when you get to be our age," I told him, "You realize that you ARE going to die, and most likely one of you is going to die before the other one.  That's when you start checking to see if they are still breathing."

It's true what they say.  Getting old is not for the faint of heart.


Margaret said...

I think you're right--as we get older, our brains are so full of information that we only remember what we deal with most. Isn't a pancake turner the same as a spatula, more or less? I too have come face to face with mortality and it's changed the way I look at things.

Paula said...

I just had to buy one of those because in this old age I have stopped using my iron skillets and bought a non stick one. It has been driving me crazy lately because I can't remember a word or someone's name. I even rewrite things because I can't remember the word I intended to use. I'm so happy to know I'm not alone.


My hubby snores too. And he has COPD. So if for some reason it gets quiet on his side of the bed, in the middle of the night I do the same thing to check if he's breathing. It always scares me to think he's not. I know exactly what you mean about finding the right word. Sometimes they totally escape you.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I often have trouble finding the word I want too. But I don't think it is something for just those of us that are older, I've heard some of kids do the same thing. Well thankfully the word does eventually appear so we know it is buried in our brains somewhere. I read once that we're ok as long as we can remember our address and so far anyway, I still can. said...

Glad to know I am not the only one who can't remember words or names!!

Hollie said...

I actually do the same things. I can't remember things and I do check to see if the hubs is breathing when I can't hear him breathing. LOL

Lori said...

I laughed out loud at this one. Thomas and I do the same thing. As a matter of fact, a few nights ago he went to "take a nap" because he'd been up extra early working early overtime hours. He slept for so long that I was just about to go check to make sure he was still breathing when I heard him come out of the bedroom. And that spatula/turner thing --! When Andrew was in high school he took a semester of Home Ec and what his teacher insisted that they call a "turner" was what I would call a "spatula." Used to bug me to death when he would correct me at home. I wanted to be all curmudgeonly and say, "I was taught it was a 'spatula'!"