This is sort of a cross between an Oopsie and a Wowsie. You all know what an Oopsie is. I’ve been pointing out and making fun of my errors, mistakes, and lapses in this space for quite a while. This one started out as the former and ended up the latter.
I have a nightly routine upon retiring. After cleaning up (I’m a morning shower person), I turn back the covers, make certain everything is where it should be (my cell phone in case it rings at night, a hankie for my sniffles, etc.). Then I touch the top of the urn on my chest of drawers and say goodnight to my late wife, Betty, before turning out the light, settling in bed on my right side, and covering up. The other night, I followed my usual procedure. After a couple of minutes, I realized something was wrong. I opened my eyes, turned on my back, and looked around. It took about sixty seconds to identify the problem. I’d forgotten to turn off the light. I struggled out of bed, remedied the situation, and then laughed at myself before thinking about what had happened.
That’s when the thing turned for me. The fact that I’d left the light on that made it an Oopsie, but the fact I’d had to figure that out turned it into a Wowsie.
We all recognize that age brings changes to the body…sagging muscles, droopy skin, our frames expanding horizontally and shrinking vertically. We accept it even…with varying degrees of grace. But I wasn’t prepared for the mental changes I’m experiencing.
A few years back, I would have said “Dammit, I left the light on,” bounded out of bed, snappedit off, reclaimed my place on the mattress, and gone to sleep. Well, I probably wouldn’t have left the light on in the first place, but that doesn’t make my point. That particular night, I had to figure out what was wrong and then clamber out of the bed.
To put a finer point on it, I seem to process stimuli in a different manner than in my salad days. In considering the situation, it is probably easier for us to accept the physical aging because we look in the mirror a couple of times a day and see what time is doing to our physical selves. But we can’t look inside the brain (without medical help and a lot of expensive technology), so it’s easier to discard or ignore what’s going there. We casually dismiss mental missteps with an, “Uh-oh, I just had a senior moment.”
I don’t know why this comes as a shock to me because my mother died a few years back (at age 97) from Alzheimer’s. No, I don’t think I’m going into Dementia, but does anyone know if there’s an earlier stage called Confusia?
Best to you all,
Next week: I have an idea, but it hasn't gelled yet.
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