When you pick up the clothes, that you have just changed, and carry them with every intention of putting them into the laundry bag, but instead you walk to the kitchen and throw them in the dustbin...you’ve got a problem baby!
When you can’t remember if you had your morning dose of vitamins & meds, an hour or two after breakfast...honey you’ve got a problem!
When you sit to play Solitaire and Hearts for a little while to pass the evening and suddenly realize your arm hurts, your eyes are blurred and it’s 1.30 am or sometimes even 2.30 am....it is a problem!
When you find telltale signs of social withdrawal......you talk to yourself and the walls listen....sweetie go to the doctor!
When you find it hard to remember which regiment your brother is in.....you worry and ask yourself....am I losing it?
When you find yourself groping for simple words because all of a sudden your mind goes blank....and the inner panic makes it worse....yell, it is trouble!
When you stop while talking because you realize you just said something that wasn’t what you meant like “wheels” instead of wind and many such disassociations...it’s not a comforting feeling and you want to talk to someone about it. Someone who will understand, be patient and above all is knowledgeable.
So you go to the only medical person you know and trust....your orthopaedic surgeon. You tell him what’s happening and barely whisper, “Is it Alzheimer’s?”
You aren’t prepared for the loud burst of laughter. You did not crack a joke...or did you, your brow crinkles as you try to go over what you said just in case....
“I’m serious doc,” you say a bit louder.
“Ma’am, you are still young for that, besides not many Indians are afflicted with the disease. Don’t worry no one dies of Alzheimer’s, the people who look after them die,” he ends with another burst of mirth.
Then he notices the look in your eyes. It is telling him you don’t find it funny. It is saying that the statistics for Indians with Alzheimer’s is questionable. Your eyes want to know at what age the first signs of the ailment are detectable. Yes, you want to know if you are a possible host for Mr Alzheimer.
“You are stressed. It’s nothing else, take a break, go for a holiday; meet more people” he says gently.
“You mean I’m not losing it?” you ask hopefully.
“No, not at all,” he says in his rich baritone, “you’re not losing it, it’s just that you are not using it.”
He had a point.