Bill and I dutifully go to our primary care doctor once a year for our annual wellness check. She looks in my ears (at which time I mentally scold myself for not cleaning them in the shower that morning). She looks in my mouth and asks me to say ahhh. She checks my lungs. She checks my reflexes (which I never seem to feel, but she is always satisfied). She thumps my belly for reasons I don’t understand or care.
But this time, for the first time since going to that medical office, she told me she was going to administer a memory test.
“I’m going to give you three words,” she said. “Then, in a few minutes, I’m going to ask you to relay those three words back to me.”
Simple. Simple. Simple.
She gave me my three words. Village. Kitchen. Baby.
And then about 15 seconds later, she asked me to tell her the three words.
I failed. I could remember village and baby, but the word kitchen escaped me entirely. Fifteen seconds later, friends.
“Great!” she said cheerfully, as though she wasn’t busily wondering how quickly she could call Wind Crest and have me moved to Memory Care.
“Great?” I shouted back to her. “I forgot one of the words a mere 15 seconds after you gave them to me.”
“No worries,” she lied. “Two out of three isn’t bad.”
She then handed me a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it.
“Draw the numbers on this blank clock,” she said, silently hoping I knew what a clock was.
I passed. She then asked me to draw hands on the clock indicating 10 minutes to 11. I aced that as well. Yay Me.
I asked her what doctors will use to measure memory with our kids and grandkids who only know digital clocks. (I didn’t really care. I was just trying to make her forget about my not remembering the word kitchen.)
However, while I think I may have escaped a permanent move to Memory Care, my blood tests — which have always come back clean as a whistle — indicate I have high cholesterol. Dang. Up until about a year ago, I was one of the few over-65 people not on any prescription medications. Then my blood pressure became an issue. Now, it’s my cholesterol, a condition for which I will need medication.
I researched to see what sorts of things were high in cholesterol. They could have saved many words by just saying anything that tastes good is high in cholesterol. Nevertheless, this is something that I really am going to have to take seriously. No more slathering butter onto my homemade bread. No fried shrimp. No fried anything. Whaaaaat?
The only good thing is that apparently my blood sugar was fine, so I am able to continue to eat pasta. I’ll take what I can get. My guess is that what she will tell me is that I need to lose weight and exercise. And I already know that, but now I’m going to actually have to do that very thing. I’m hoping she will also tell me that I don’t have to stop eating everything good, but use common sense.
Common sense? Doesn’t she remember that I couldn’t remember all three words?