Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Once again, I'm keeping it real

I don't remember as well as I once did.  I had not worried about it, since most folks my age said they felt the same way.  I'd talk about going into a room and forgetting what I went after, or forgetting the name of someone I know well, they said they'd been there too.  But something about this last winter has changed me, and when I seemed to be getting even more forgetful, I decided I had better get tested for dementia.  Cliff had wanted me to do that since two years ago when we went to Memphis:  "You're going bye-bye," he kept telling me.

I always have winter depression, but this year when spring hit, it got worse.  I began crying at things that shouldn't bother me.  While I'd love to travel a bit (within our means), I didn't want to go on little bitty 100-mile road trips.  I got those out of my system when we had the motorcycle.  (I would like to travel someplace I've never been, though, somewhere far away.)

Suddenly, everything seemed to make me cry.  I have never been a cryer.  I don't cry at close relatives' funerals.  That always bothered me, because I imagine people assumed I didn't love the deceased person, but I refuse to fake-cry to make others feel better about me.  Nowadays I cry at the drop of a hat, and I'll even drop the hat!

I cried at  this:

I cry at the old hymns like this one below.

Whispering Hope

Soft as the voice of an angel
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word
Wait 'til the darkness is over
Wait 'til the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow
After the darkness is gone
Whispering hope (whispering hope, whispering hope)
Oh, how welcome Thy voice (welcome Thy voice, oh, how welcome Thy voice)
Making my heart (making my heart, making my heart)
In its sorrow rejoice (in its sorrow rejoice)
If in the dusk of the twilight
Dim be the region afar
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star
Then when the night is upon us (ooh)
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day.

Yesterday I made an appointment with Samantha, the nurse-practitioner at the clinic.  The lady at the appointment desk asked what I needed to see her for, and I told her I'd been having a few stomach problems again, although that wasn't the real reason; I just didn't want to have to tell her I wanted to be sent somewhere to find out whether I have dementia.  The clinic had an opening at 9:30 this morning.  I thought, "Good!  Let's get this over with."  I made a list of all the reasons I wanted to be tested and took it with me.    

When I told the nurse who took my vitals what I really wanted, she went out of the exam room and came back with quite a few questions on her computer to ask me.  I felt like I was failing the test, as she asked me one question after another.  "Can you spell 'world'?" she said.  Of course I could, but then she asked me to spell it backward.  It took me 5 attempts to remember the "r".  I truly thought I had flunked the test.  As a side note, when I got to the car, I asked Cliff to spell world backward; he too forgot the "r".

But when Samantha came in, she said, "I don't think you have dementia.  I think you have depression."  

Well, I already knew that, but isn't that part of dementia?  

She assured me I was not ready to be tested.  She said people start wondering if they have it, and then worry about it.

I recently read Michael J. Fox's latest, and probably last, book, about his challenges with Parkinson's disease:  He was diagnosed at age 29, thirty years ago.  If you think you have it bad, please read his book.  At this point, he can no longer act; but back when he was playing a villain on "The Good Wife" showing obvious symptoms of his awful disease and managed to make me laugh, he became my hero (here I am welling up with tears again).  He is my inspiration whenever I get down and out. 

Rejoice with me, dear followers.  I'm not headed for the funny farm yet.  But would somebody please pass the tissues?


  1. I knew you did not have it.

  2. I doubt that you could write this blog if you had dementia. We would notice a lack of organization and coherence. You are still writing very well. But I will be watching you...;)

  3. Northern AB gal8:38 PM

    I agree with Margaret but I can totally empathize with the depression diagnosis. I really don't have much to look forward to this year but will struggle through as there is no other choice. Here's hoping spring will put a more positive spin on things!

  4. Depression does all kinds of funny things to us. I'm always so glad when winter is over and Spring comes. It's like all I want to do in the winter is sleep. Not only does the land awaken in the Spring, so do I. Try to soak up as much sunshine and fresh air as you can and LAUGH a lot it is the best medicine !

  5. I personally thinks everyone has varying degrees of dementia. I know more than once I have gone to a room to get something, did something else that led me to another room, which had a task that led me to another room and five rooms later I realize that I still have accomplished the task that I started out to do but I got a lot done in the meantime. For my mom, it was always butter. Every time she went to the store, she couldn't remember if she had butter so she always bought some. When she died, I think I had a large cooler of butter that I toted home. My dad keeps telling me the same stories, but I think that is more loneliness now and wanting to talk more than dementia.

    I hope your depression is treatable. I know they can do wonderous things about it these days that can turn lives around. Hang in there!

  6. Glad to hear you got a good report with your dementia tests.

    Whispering Hope is one of my favorite old hymns and was also one of my Mama's favorites. We used to sing it quite often when I was song leader at my church, but the man who leads singing now never chooses it for whatever reason. Speaking of which, I started going back to church on Easter Sunday for the first time since March 11, 2020. Our church van is now running again so I hope Covid keeps declining around here so we can keep it up. I have had both Moderna shots so I feel much better about being out and about, but I'm still wearing my mask and being very cautious.


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