This piece was going to be a light-hearted take on forgetfulness. As I’ve got older every memory lapse by contemporaries or myself prompts a gallows humour remark about approaching senility.
Whenever I phone my mislaid mobile and discover it in a coat pocket I remind myself that I’ve always had a poor memory – I was drummed out of a local amateur dramatic society as a teenager for failing to learn my part.
The absent-minded professor used to be a stock comic character not a candidate for the senility ward.
“Tie a knot in your handkerchief” was a mother’s frequent advice to her offspring not to forget some important errand. A shopping list is, after all, an aid to memory and not a sign that your brain cells are dying.
I would have built the above into a sermon that in today’s world we are plagued by too much information. I would have gone on to suggest little strategies to counter forgetfulness – for example, if I chill a beer in the freezer section of my fridge, I’ll set the snooze button on my alarm clock to 30 minutes. This prevents the creation of a lager iceberg.
This would have been fine if I hadn’t surfed the net on early Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and come across the excellent page on the subject on the Helpguide website.
Early diagnosis is so crucial; it would be reprehensible on my part to suggest any possible symptoms need not be investigated. The article pinpoints the danger signals. Dementia is the cruellest of all conditions. There is no other disease where the pain is felt by the patient's family and friends.