Memory loss: Is it Parkinson's Disease or the aging process?

Memory loss: Is it Parkinson's Disease or the aging process?

The management group for the building I live in likes to think of their properties as upscale. Some of their buildings have flags on the outside. Others have a doorman. One has a dude sitting behind a desk that acts like a concierge. Yep, being home is like being at the Four Seasons.

To enter our buildings, we have these fru-fru cards instead of metal keys. You may have noticed in the above photograph that I have three of them. The reason for this is occasionally I lock myself out of my apartment. This usually happens when I’m running errands or going downstairs to check my mail. I walk out the door and as it slams shut, I realize I left my key card on the kitchen counter.

SIGH! Locked out!

You’d think I could put one in my wallet, leave it there, and that would solve this problem, right? Yeah, that’s what you get for thinking.

The procedure for getting back in the building is making a trip to the main office and they make you a new card. Easy Peasy…if it happens during regular business hours. At night or on the weekend, you go to a different office and follow the same procedure. The only problem is they most likely don’t know you so you’ll have to answer a few questions to get the replacement key.

That’s what happened ten days ago…on a Sunday night…at 9pm. It was Q&A time:

Man at desk: I have just two questions for you.
Me: Okay…go ahead.
Man: Your name?
Me: I know this one…Howard
Man: Your address?
Me: 1335 Pine Grove!


The guy gave me a serious WTF look. They don’t own a property on Pine Grove. Oh man…how did I get this wrong? I don’t live at 1335. Never have. I did live on Pine Grove….THREE DECADES AGO!

I did give him the correct answer…eventually. I didn’t even need to check my driver’s license, which it now occurs to me that I should have just given to him to avoid all of this. I got my key and made it home safely. PHEW! But the episode did remind me and make me think about some other memory issues I had been having.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having trouble remembering names. I would see someone, either in person or in a picture, and have to work hard to get the correct name. It’s not like I didn’t know who they were, it was just their name that was a little foggy. The good news is it only took a few seconds of work to figure out the name. The bad news is that’s few seconds more than just a year ago.

Names are one thing but what about a simple word? For a writer, this could be somewhat problematic. I’m working on a piece, trying to explain a specific concept, but can’t find the word. I know where I’m trying to go but just can’t get there. UH OH!

I’ve been able to work around this, but admit that this has been bothering me. My friend, Emily, said I should get a thesaurus. Hmmm…why didn’t I think of this? Did I forget about this? Actually, at first, she said to get a dictionary. Hmmm….maybe it’s not just me with word issues? Maybe it’s everyone in my age range?

Although I’m trying to put a lighter spin on this, I’m certainly not taking memory issues lightly. One of the symptoms that Parkinson’s Disease patients worry about is memory loss/dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease. A person with Parkinson’s has a 50% greater chance of developing one of these than the general public. So, naturally, this was my first thought.

But like a lot of other P.D. effects, this one could just as easily be part of the aging process. I’d call my neurologist but I know exactly what he’d say. He says this about almost everything.
“Nobody is sure what exactly is the cause. Besides, it really doesn’t matter, does it? We’ll just deal with it and whatever comes next.”

Pretty damn comforting, isn’t it? It makes you want to bang your head against the wall, but that most likely would worsen the situation.

That’s one of the problems with Parkinson’s and dealing with symptoms/effects of the disease. Most of us who have it are in our sixties or older. Who knows why we’re having these changes to our bodies. It doesn’t make any difference. We’ll just figure it out and move forward. That’s why my neurologist gets the big bucks….or at least my insurance company’s big bucks.

So is that the long-winded answer to the question in the title? Hell, if I know. If the experts don’t know, why would I?

All I can do is start keeping a key card in my wallet so I don’t lock myself out again. I’ll work on that….if I remember.

Related Post: Simon Says

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Filed under: Parkinsons

Tags: memory loss

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    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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