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  • Writer's pictureJules

Can’t Remember What You’ve Forgotten?

6-Jan 2022

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. My memory has gotten worse.

Is it an age thing?

I hate to remind myself how old I am. Sure I feel it a lot of the time. When I wake up tired and aching. Or when I balance my bowl on my bulging belly.

Sure I see it, when I catch a glimpse of myself unexpectedly. Like when I was at the supermarket the other day and thought someone was watching me as I glided down the toiletries aisle, only to realise that hidden behind the rows of bottles was a mirror and the woman who was looking at me sideways, was me.

My age is all around, all of the time, and if I’m honest I’m living, for the most part, in age denial. There must be a psychological term for that. Is there?

Who are we without our memories?

Without them we are nothing but a soulless empty shell. Sounds harsh, but have you read the book, ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ by Oliver Sacks? It’s a fascinating account of his patients that have ‘lost’ their memories.

I have nothing ‘wrong’ with my memory. I‘m just suffering from your typical middle-aged menopausal woman’s mind. I sometimes refer to it as cognitive dysfunction, other times I have called it ‘scrambled egg brain’. Whatever technical or colloquial term is used, impaired memory, is a recognised menopause symptom. Getting stressed about it only makes things worse.

I feel like I am malfunctioning. Is there a repair shop I can book myself into?

We’ve all experienced brain freeze during moments of extreme stress sometime in our lives. What I and countless others experience daily is akin to having short regular bursts of brain freeze throughout the day.

What can you do when brain freeze strikes?

You can laugh at it. The other day I was in a conversation with my hubbie about a meal we were making and mid sentence, I forgot what I had suggested we needed. I stopped open mouthed, (I was genuinely surprised) and waited, as if the words would mysteriously come out of my unmoving lips - like I was some kind of ventriloquist dummy. Then I walked back over to the fridge, opened the door, ran my eyes over the contents and declared, ‘cheese’.

This is funny in the comfort of your own home. In a meeting at work or when out and about it is embarrassing.

You are judged on your memory

Society judges you on your memory. Think of all the game shows which reward contestants on their ability to recall even the simplest facts. And then you have the more cerebral programmes which are largely a test of memory. How many of us congratulate ourselves when we get a question correct on University Challenge?

Forgetting ‘stuff’ reminds me of how old I am. It reminds me to:

Get enough sleep

Eat less junk

Keep taking the hormones (I’ll post an update shortly on my HRT and how it‘s going)

Avoid stress

Cut down on alcohol (I’m taking part in DryJanuary - did it last year)

Anything else? I can’t remember …

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