The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Now, Where Did I Put That?

A fellow blogger made mention of something yesterday. An important something that concerns us as we age. Here is what he wrote:

What I do know is that a lot of my friends worry that they're becoming more forgetful with age; and beneath the jokes are real anxieties about Alzheimer's or other kinds of dementia.

One of the jokes (repeated multiple times, of course) my golf buddy Joe likes to tell is a one-liner: "I might have had Alzheimer's... but I don't remember."

We had one of our regulars once forget to turn off his engine and remove the keys. It sat there for 4 hours, idling along, doors unlocked. My mother had Alzheimer's... we assume. The only way to know for sure is to do an autopsy and inspect the brain. We did not have that done. She did not fit the profile of potential sufferers, though, so I often wondered.  In the long run, it does not matter. She appeared to go through the expected phases the disease takes and I watched her disappear into whatever world her mind created.

We do worry about Alzheimer's, those of us who are in our alleged Golden Years, that's true. Why we worry more about that than we do about the dementia that was once associated with old age, I do not know. Maybe because it has a name. Maybe because it it is called a "disease" rather than a condition.

Tom (that's the blogger) had a theory about forgetfulness. We have more to remember. I am not entirely in disagreement on that. I like to think of memory like a computer stack function. First in, last out. But stacks are often limited in capacity... which means that the first in data could be discarded in favor of new data. I think our brains work something like that except it is the last in data that gets discarded in order to retain the old data. This could explain why it's the short term memory which seems to go first. We have a limited capacity for memories. I know I do.

I had a doctor tell me once...

If you forget where you left your car keys, that's normal and nothing to worry about. If you forget you have a car then you might want to worry.

I figure I'm fine as long as I can find the remote for the TV.


Joe Pereira said...

Yes, I also worry about that and hope I never go down that route. I'd much rather lose mobility than lose my mental faculties. But there is hope for us with new research into Alzheimer's and a possible cure is just around the corner

Douglas said...

Joe - When I was very young, I used to try to imagine what I could do without... a leg, mobility, sight, hearing... Each of which presented big problems. I never once thought about losing mental faculties. My mother took the journey well, I think. She knew what was happening but accepted it gracefully. Que sera, sera, I suppose.