On Thanksgiving – giving thanks for regaining some of what I'd lost

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .

There have been a number of suggestions about how to set new traditions for family on Thanksgiving.  My favorites have been those centering around each person's opportunity to talk about one thing he or she is thankful for – from the littlest grandchildren to the matriarchs at the heads of tables and patriarchs carving the birds.  No one will get dessert without some expression of thanks.

Among the many things for which I'm grateful is something my readers might appreciate -- an improving memory!  

Writing down names when I take pictures had become a nightmare for me, as sometimes people would expect that I should remember their names from three years ago when I took their picture at some event.... I knew that meeting dozens of new people regularly was a reasonable excuse in my mind, even if others didn't readily understand that.  But when it got to the point of struggling to remember the names of those I truly did know, I began to worry.  Was it old age?

I'd even spoken with my doctor about my failing memory a couple of years ago, but he'd assured me he could detect no problem, saying he struggled in a similar way when seeing a different patient every 15 minutes at Kaiser. A year of daily memory exercises with Lumosity kept me from getting to be extreme, but it was still worrisome.

I'd even thought about giving up because of this increasing loss of memory.

About six weeks ago I thought I was having a heart attack.  The initial violent chest pains that brought an ambulance finally settled down to a more familiar reaction I'd had to prescription drugs twice before.  The doctors and I drew the conclusion that it was yet another reaction to statin drugs, this time much more dramatic.  

I opted to forego statins in my regimen going forward, and about 3-4 weeks later I began noticing that my mind was clicking better.  I began noticing I was no longer getting those anxious feelings as I saw someone approaching whose name I might not have recalled (in a reasonable amount of time) a few weeks earlier.  And after attending the past four events and taking pictures this week, I realized that I was more readily able to remember names to accompany the faces before me.

In checking online some of the possible side effects of taking statin drugs, it's quite apparent that memory loss is one of them.

I'm encouraged that, instead of feeling I was constantly trying to force open the door to the compartment of my mind that stored names and faces, the door was opening on its own.  There's been an absence of anxiety, and I'm oh-so-grateful for regaining some of what I'd lost!  (And I'm hoping it'll help my bridge game.)  Now I guess I will just have to attribute it to old age when a name doesn't come to me.  

Thanks for your patience....  Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving.