Goodbye blog; hello Alzheimer’s. That’s what I had planned to write. I was going to begin with, “I have Alzheimer’s and can’t write any more blogs,” then shut down the website. After all, I’m finished pimping my book (Last Trip Home @ Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and She Writes Press), so why do I need a blog? For my readers, hungry for my wisdom on aging?
Last week (or maybe the week before—I forget—Weiner/dick—see April blog for reference), I had another appointment with my neurologist to have a cognitive test to see if I have Alzheimer’s as my mother did. I was pretty sure I had it. I am significantly dumber and more forgetful, not just with names of people I have known for years but of actors and actresses on television who seem so familiar they are like family members. Then I caught myself doing the classic. While distracted by talking to my Old Dude (aka Dr. Frugal) in the kitchen, I caught myself trying to put a red cooking pot in the refrigerator. I wanted to cry, but I faked a laugh and said, “That’s how I knew Mama had Alzheimer’s, when she tried to put a kettle in the refrigerator.”
I passed my cognitive test, but my neurologist told me to return in six months, as if he expects me to have it then. He said I was normal but should have done better considering I was a writer. Last time he said I should have done better considering my high level of education.
He asked me to name all the animals I could think of. I quickly went through zoo animals like zebra and camel then farm animals like horse and mule and pig. I forgot common animals like cat and dog and was silent until my time ran out. He asked me to say all the words I could think of that started with S. Instead of easy words like “sit” and “shit,” I kept trying to think of multisyllabic words like “salacious” “soliloquy. Again, I stopped before my time was up. Like last time, I did better on remembering three words—penny, apple, table—he said at the beginning of the test and asked me to repeat at the end. I immediately put them in a sentence mentally, “I’ll give you a penny for that apple on the table,” and repeated the words easily when asked. I thought he looked impressed.
I confessed to him that I had rehearsed for a question he usually asks about our last trip, which was a Cuban cruise. I knew he would ask, “What ports did you stop at?” The night before the test, I couldn’t remember the last two ports after Key West and Havana. I asked O.D., who also couldn’t remember, so I searched back in my Facebook posts and found them—Centifuegos and Santiago.
The doctor said my research strategy proved I was still smart. He said I looked good and seemed to keep myself busy.
I think I half hoped I would be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so I would have an excuse not to write any more blogs. I’ve skipped several months. But fuck it! I don’t have to write any more blogs if I don’t want to. So this is the last one. Unless I have something important to say and forget I ended the blogs.