Dementia

January 6, 2012

I read an article in today’s Guardian …that said Dementia  starts as early as 45..as opposed to the previously thought 60……faster in men than women….“Singh-Manoux and colleagues say that “understanding cognitive ageing will be one of the challenges of this century…as the number of people around the globe rises exponentially…..This will have a profound impact both on individuals and on societies they live in…”for some reason reading it made me feel OK…as well…my short term memory is not what it use to be….and like being Gay it was reassuring to know I am not alone…I mean I told my GP eons ago…that I had started to lose my memory…he said in his usual droll  wonderful way…well have you lost your keys yet…and then found them in the freezer later…I said NO …BUT…..!!!!and then when I told him eons ago…(eons meaning in my early 50’s)…that I did not have the balance I once had..well he sent me for a brain scan….and they made me walk up and down an aisle with an eye closed…felt I was doing a drunk driving test…..which I have only done once in my late 20’s…it was summer… I was driving the 2nd lover of my life back to his wonderful house ….- (the grey one on the corner of Ashcroft and San Vicente…which he got on the cheap and had all the help from the Beverly Hills Hotel remodel at the hotel’s expense .. he worked at the BH as the “decorator” as they were called back then)

…..after having had a boozey Sunday afternoon out..

I was driving the wonderul Red Convertible  Datsun Roadster that  dear  David  (and he NEVER has realized WHAT that gift meant to me) had given me when I was in college and stored off campus illegally as back then NO one was allowed a car…….

I was wearing a cowboy hat…Speedo’s …and cowboy boots….and I WAS slightly inebriated ….but GORGEOUS…tho I did not realize that until 20 years later….face it we were more gorgeous in our 20’s….n never realize it until we looked at snaps 20 years later….

this officer pulled me over in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd near the International House of Pancakes  (m glad they shortened the name later to IHOP..which makes me think of another story..about a German   (sigh) that will have to wait)..

..as back then there was a stop sign and not a traffic light at the corner of Holloway and Santa Monica…..as there is now….

the officer told me I had driven through it….and asked me to get out of the car…

Roger pulled HIS cowboy hat down over his 40 year old glacial blue eyes..n slunked his long, lengthy,  body down into the car…..

and I with my bird legs showing…did the best I could….doing the drunk walk…..touching my nose…turning around and walking back like a drag queen on some wonderful runway…..

the dear officer let me off with just a warning…..and THIS was back WHEN  gays were REALLY  persecuted by the Sheriffs …before West Hollywood had really found itself as a City ………

anyway the brain scan came back looking as confusing to me as ALL xrays do…she merely said …nope you look perfectly fine for your age……

I went down this afternoon to see my old friend in Virgil Rehab joint…(whom  I have mentioned before.)..and the more I am there…I will DO anything to keep my Long Term Health Insurance…

as I entered the rehab place…I noticed at one far end of the hallway…a woman in just her diapers…skeletally thin….her white hair ..totally askew…..standing on one leg….and all I could think of was a crane…standing alone on one leg…..in the serenity of a Lake Namekagon eve ….. the lily pond off of West Point at Forest Lodge…..

she was SO eerily BEAUTIFUL!!!!…I for a nanosecond thought it was my wonderful Aunt Mary…..who owned Forest Lodge….before her daughter….

tho I have gotten use to this rehab place ….it IS terribly depressing for …say a child to visit….n since we are all living longer than we should…I don’t want any relatives coming down or anywhere..but how can you keep them away….if you are NOT in control….

but you know us humans we feel we HAVE to….visit family members…who have dementia..as we feel it is our obligation…and then again maybe THEY do feel something…the familiarity of your voice…so I don’t know…except….I frankly do not give a damn…as what IS  …is not what once was…..so my family members…just go out and have a nice picnic…n toast me …if anyone drinks then..(sigh)

Jim was kinda drugged…tho I had talked to him last night…when he saw me ..he said WHY are you here …it is NOT Friday….I said ..Jim it IS…he said …gosh….

he said he was able to have the woman in the room across the hall moved..as she kept screaming “CHANGE MY DIAPERS” (sp?)…and “THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL ME”……and he could not get any sleep…

I asked him HOW did the other 3 women in that room put up with her…he said well they all have dementia….

(got to stop this now and resume tomorrow…after I have read Shakespeare’s Coriolanus …as want to combine this  ..Paris Hilton ..the “fall” of Rome and America today….with the BRILLIANT scientist  Stephen Hawkins whose 70th bday is Sunday the 8th….(he  has ALS…. .known in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease) he  believes that this world will eventually end  in the next thousand years…(which I can understand what with the deranged people who gun people down now…).blow itself up..and that we should start colonizing space….and that when we meet the “aliens” it will be like the Europeans confronting American Naives….

I have been listening to Alpahville’s “Forever Young”…(n not Dylan’s)….what I have always been drawn to in music is the melody as I never listen to the lyrics….due to the fact that growing up my father always was listening to either Eisenhower speeches or football games on TV…so I tuned into my own magical world…

drawn to the music.. tonight is the FIRST time I listened to the lyrics…which are sort of appropriate in a small way….

(sigh!!!! as Mother use to express herself  in her 70’s…sooo much  to do….in such  little time…)

2 Responses to “Dementia”

  1. Lizzie said

    Rob, I too listen mainly to the music rather than the lyrics! most likely same reason of tuning out those football games on the drives up to Blue Ridge! You are a sweet heart to visit your friend on a regular basis, reminds me of Dickie Gordon visits with Dad!

  2. susi said

    Hi Rob ~
    Well, you know, it’s common to lose some of our sense of balance as we age… BUT the wonderful thing is that we can retain or regain a lot of it through practicing balance — one reason I love doing my yoga balancing postures. I read an scientific article on this. If you practice exercises that involve proprioception, you can increase your power of balancing.
    The other thing I sometimes do (when I remember?) is to take gingko and gotu cola – very good for memory. Back when I used to work at the Clinic and they were still letting drug reps come through with their spiels and treats, a drug rep told me the companies were very interested in some of the herbs and were researching gingko, among others… Luckily they haven’t created some kind of patent on it yet so it’s still affordable!
    I feel a similar sadness about our poor dog who is very elderly and has to wear diapers at night and has to be helped up and falls down a lot of the time…. except Rick and I are the nursing home attendants!

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