I have always been an organised and efficient person not given to foolish errors and forgetfulness but recently I have noticed a disturbing trend. I have inexplicably become hopelessly inept and suffer constant issues with my short term memory. The problem crept up on me rather than arriving with a bang and I have had cause to wonder if dementia was setting in somewhat early.
Why Am I Here?
The first manifestations of my newly found problem were repeated episodes of entering a room only to find I had completely forgotten why I was there. I know everyone befalls this fate occasionally when they are distracted by another thought but this was happening several times each day. I was also repeatedly leaving the house to find that I had forgotten my mobile phone or something else important. I quickly got into the habit of performing a mental checklist before driving off every time I went out and inevitably had to return to the house on many occasions to collect whatever it was that I then realised had been left behind.
Keys and Quizzes
Things got worse when I realised that I was struggling to recall the answers to quiz questions and then I noticed that I was quite capable of dreaming up a great idea or formulating a plan only to have forgotten the details just minutes later. Frustration was setting in and the issue was starting to have a constant impact on my daily life. Realising that you have walked downstairs to leave a dirty plate in the kitchen only to find that you left the plate upstairs is annoying but leaving your car keys on a bench and waking away is quite another. I did that recently and had a long walk home, a big bill for a new key and a parking ticket because of that foolish oversight.
The things I forget most often are my reading glasses. I have required the glasses for over 4 years and yet now I find myself turning up at restaurants unable to see the menu. Even the acquisition of spare pairs to keep in my handbag has not totally solved this problem but the reading glasses did prove to be a big clue as to why I have been suffering with short term memory loss. Most people reach a point in their lives when their near vision deteriorates due to presbyopia. This condition usually sets in after the age of 40 and I now believe that age is the key to my forgetfulness and that mercifully my problem almost certainly has nothing to do with senility.
Change of Life
I am 50 and it has now become clear to me that the menopause has begun. I suspected that it had and decided to research the symptoms that I may experience. I was surprised and relieved to discover that short term memory issues are common. Whilst my poor memory is a major inconvenience, the subject of much ribbing and can be quite expensive I now at least know why I am suffering as I am and feel much better about the whole situation. I haven’t gone mad, I am not becoming careless and I do not have dementia. I am simply suffering the inevitable consequences of my age and have hope that one day I will return to something approaching normality. In the meantime my phone will have to hold a lot of checklists which should save me from despair as long as I have remembered the phone!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.