With the rise in the incidence of dementia heading the news, losing anything can raise your anxiety.  Does that happen to you?   In a recent incident, I began to wonder what the gaps in my thinking meant and how healthy my brain really was.

I was getting ready to leave for an early morning breakfast appointment, scurrying around getting ready.  When I got ready to go, I couldn’t find my car keys.  I looked all my usual places and couldn’t figure out where they could be.

Has that happened to you?  You know the keys should be in a particular place, you are ready to go out the door and they are not to be found.

So that I wasn’t late for my appointment, I grabbed my husband’s car keys, the bag to donate for St Vincent De Paul, and my materials for my meeting and hurried out the door.

Retracing my Steps

When I got home later, I began to retrace my steps in my head  as well as calling places I had been  to check where I might have had my keys last.  By late afternoon, I decided my key fob needed replacing.

However, when I called to make an appointment, with the reprogramming, the cost was going to be $175!  The negative voices started talking loudly in my mind about how stupid I was to lose my keys.

Time for Prayer

I then, talked to Jesus, telling Him, He knew where my keys were and humbly asking Him to show me where they were.

Within the hour of that prayer, I got a call from St Vinney’s.  They had found my keys in a donation bag.  Luckily, I had a key card on my keychain for St Vincent’s that had my contact information on it so they could contact me.  They said it was unusual that lost personal items are found like that.

Blank Brain

What was most disturbing to me about the whole incident is that I do not remember having my keys in my hand that morning.  I must have had them when I first picked up the donation bag before getting ready to go out the door.  I have no memory of that – like a big blank slate.

This incident of no memory got me to thinking about how I have been taking care of my brain and what could have caused my blank memory.  In the past few days, I had had migraines and the night before I had taken some Advil PM for sleeping, as that sometimes break my headache cycle.  Could that sleeping medicine been a contributor?

What Brain Research Says

I then started doing some research about healthy brains and ones with dementia. The following chart from Alzeheimer’s Association.org helps summarize some of the differences:

Signs of Alzheimer’s/dementia Typical age-related changes
Poor judgment and decision-making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is and remembering it later
Difficulty having a conversation Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time

 

Healthy brains need regular rest, good food, exercise, hydration, social interaction, meditation and learning new things.  With this incident, I have begun paying much more attention to how I am taking care of my brain and body.  I am hoping that this is an isolated incident, not one that will grow and continue.

I also know that depression can also contributes to dementia and I am happy to report that is not an issue in my life right now.  This incident though, is still one I will discuss with my doctor.

The Takeaway

What about you?  Of the following list, how are you taking care of your brain?  Are you noticing any gaps in your memory?  If so, what do you attribute it to? Be sure you are doing your part to stay as healthy as you can.   Don’t be afraid to mention any changes you notice to others and/or talk it over with your doctor.  Early detection of dementia is key in prolonging its impact.

  • Cardiovascular exercise plus stretching like yoga
  • Healthy, nutritious eating, especially green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit
  • Regular, restful sleep
  • Social, friendly interactions with others – friends and family
  • Learning a new skill
  • Early, systematic treatment of depression and anxiety

I would love to know how you are caring for your brain and your concerns about dementia.  How can we encourage one another?  Join the conversation at Nancy Booth Coaching.  Together we can encourage one another to stay healthy as we age.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach.  I love creating safe spaces for you as you go through life’s transitions to discover and support your vision for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  I write about taming the overwhelm and finding ways to find life balance, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive my weekly blog or contact me to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm stress and enjoy a healthy brain .  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 


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