Fall is in the air, and when I take the dog out first thing in the mornings, I see frost on the ground and ice on the stock tank. Each day, I think I’m dressed warm enough for a winter’s day, but haven’t convinced myself that I’m to the point of needing gloves and a stocking cap. At least that’s how I feel until the wind hits me.
Halloween will be here soon so my thoughts turn to things that scare me. I know I’m in the age group where Alzheimer’s isn’t even considered “early onset” anymore. I’m now included in the scary statistical risk for women over age 65. One in nine people over age 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. The really scary part for me is that of the 5.2 million people with Alzheimer’s, more than 3 million are women.*
A few weeks ago, I wrote about showing up at grandparent’s day a day early. Now, I’m so paranoid about appointments that I keep them in electronic form and write them on the wall calendar. Yet, I still second-guess myself. I’ve been bringing the music for line dancing class while our fearless leader is recuperating from knee surgery. I arrived early to set up the equipment, and no one was there. I glanced at my watch to double-check the time and saw that it was still ten minutes early. I mentally assured myself it was the right day. Eventually, everyone showed up and I breathed a sigh of relief that I was at the right place, at the right time, and on the correct day.
A few days ago, I opened the microwave and started to put the gallon milk jug in it. “Oh, my gosh!” I said. “What was I thinking?”
The next day, I shook creamer into my cup because it mixes in better when I pour the coffee. I opened the refrigerator, grabbed the milk, and started to pour milk on my creamer. Wouldn’t that have been an interesting drink?
Yeah, Halloween is a time to think of scary things, like Alzheimer’s and the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s: (1) Memory loss that disrupts daily life. (2) Challenges in planning or solving problems. (3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. (4) Confusion with time or place. (5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. (6) New problems with words when speaking or writing. (7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. (8) Decreased or poor judgment. (9) Withdrawal from work or social activities. (10) Changes in mood and personality, including apathy and depression. *
Scary behavior aside, this Halloween has been special. My brother and I finally put our twisted tales and yarns together into a book titled Apparitions. The goal was to have it finished in time for Halloween. Well, we made it in some respects since the e-book and paperback are available online. I don’t have the copies I ordered yet. There was a delay while we tried to get the cover to suit us. Another delay was my reluctance to let the book go live because of my fear that I’d made a stupid mistake during the editing process or missed a simple error.
My husband assures me that my mind tends to jump ahead rather than staying in the present. It might have to do with mental overload. I have too many appointments, obligations, and an out of control to-do list. Multitasking has turned into multi-taxing on my poor stressed out brain.
Halloween is a time of trick or treat. I’ve decided to treat myself to peace of mind in regard to turning into an absent-minded retiree. At least with my optimistic attitude, I believe my occasional odd behavior is from being distracted rather than a sign of early stage dementia. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
*source: Alzheimer’s Association: 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2016-facts-and-figures.pdf
Copyright © October 2017 by L.S. Fisher