Now that we are faced by the reality that both our parents have suffered memory loss (Dad’s seems to have been vascular related dementia, whereas Mum’s appears to be Alzeimer’s, though really, it is six of one and half a dozen of the other, as they say – no difference) we really can’t pretend that we are not in the firing line for the same susceptibility to memory loss.
My sister, being eight years older than I, is a little more worried (freaked out!) than I, but I have to admit that it is occupying my thoughts a little more than it did a few weeks ago. Especially after every visit to Mum and seeing how she now has such a struggle handling every day life.
I have even fallen for purchasing a book, 100 simple things to prevent Alzheimer’s, or something similarly titled. Of course the majority of the top 100 were things we should all be doing for a healthy life, such as exercise, healthy diet, maintain relationships.
A couple suggestions I had read before, such as eating curry. Mr FD and I have often wondered about the curry link, as Mr FD’s father, who died at the age of 93, having been born in Ceylon, was a devotee of a good curry and ate it on a regular basis, and his mind was relatively clear until the final year. He also did crosswords and was widely read, all things that help maintain the brain.
One suggestion was to eat cinnamon as it assists with maintaining insulin levels. The recommendation was one half to one teaspoon a day! That is a huge amount of cinnamon in anyone’s estimation. I don’t think I would ever achieve that one!
A more insidious suggested cause is stress. Now that is the hard one. I try to meditate from time to time, especially when stressed or ill, but I was crafted anxious in the womb, and though I have come to recognise my triggers and worked hard to overcome them over the years, I doubt if there has ever been too many days without my being aware of feelings of stress. Now I get to be stressed about my stress causing me dementia!
I guess, this is even more motivation to stick to my 2012 resolutions, so that I can live a good life now, and for as long as I can, and maybe keep my gorgeous brain functioning to the best of its abilities for as long as possible.
Travelling the long goodbye with a parent, again, not only makes me aware of my own biological clock ticking, but also acts as a reminder to live in the moment, for the moment is all we really have.