MEMORIAL HALLWAYS

Every night, I fill up my cup, grab my bag o’ medications, pet the puppies, and hike the hallway to the bedroom at the other end of the house.

After arriving, I put the bag where it belongs. Adjust the bed to its TV viewing angle. Turn on the television for Garry. He watches with headphones while I read or listen to an audiobook. I fire up my blue-tooth speaker. I put my medications into a cup which is actually the lid from a medicine bottle. Convenient and keeps little round pills from rolling off the table.

I never remember everything. Typically, I forget to turn off the fans in the living room. I sit on the edge of the bed trying to remember what I should have done but didn’t.

“Ah,” I think. “Fans.” I go back to the living room. Turn off the fans. Pet the dogs. Assure them they are not getting another biscuit no matter how cute they are.

Back down the hall. Brush teeth. Sit on the edge of the bed. Oh, right. Need to refill antihistamine bottle. It’s empty. Back to the kitchen where the big bottle is stored. Fending off the dogs, I amble back to the bedroom. And get the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something else.

Ah, that’s right. I didn’t close the kitchen door. It’s a dutch door and we leave the top open during the day to catch the breeze. Tonight, it’s supposed to rain so I should close it. Up the hall to the kitchen. Close door. Pet dogs. Back to bedroom. Garry shows up, having done whatever it is he does for however long he does it in the bathroom. He settles into watching highlights of the Sox game, followed by a movie or three. I turn on my audiobook.

Forty-five minutes later, I’ve got a headache. I’m not sleepy. Everything hurts. Why are my medications not working? There’s nothing more I can take. Panic sets in.

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Which is when I realize all the pills are in the cup. What with all the walking up and down the hallway, I never quite got around to taking them. Which probably explains why they aren’t working.

I laugh. Continue laughing. Garry takes off his headphones long enough for me to explain why. I got to the punchline, he looks at me and says: “You hadn’t taken them?” He smiled. Nodded. Put the headphones back.

As our memory — collectively and individually — gets less dependable, we have substituted routines and calendars. If we do everything the same way at the same time every day, we’re less likely to forget. Or not remember if we did it today, or yesterday.

The other evening, we were watching a show that included a dog. Garry assumes I know every dog breed at a glance. He’s right, usually. I know the breeds, but these days, I may not remember its name. I will usually remember the group — guarding, herding, hunting, hound, terrier, non-sporting (“other”), toy. If I remember that, I can go to the AKC site, find the group, scroll the list and find the dog. But they’ve changed the AKC website, so it’s not as easy as it used to be. I wish they’d stop fixing stuff that isn’t broken.

I knew the dog that Garry was asking about was the same as the dog Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) had on his show. The dog’s name was Eddy. I remembered that. No problem. The breed name was on the edge of my brain, but not coming into focus. I gave up and Googled it.

Search for: “Breed of dog on Frasier TV show.”

Except I couldn’t remember the name of the TV show, either. So I first had to find the name of the show.

Search for: “long-running comedy on TV about psychiatrist.”

Up popped Frasier. Phew. I could have also found it by looking up that other long-running comedy, “Cheers,” in which Frasier first appeared, but I couldn’t remember its name, either. One of these days, I’m going to have to Google my own name. I hope I find it.

12 thoughts on “MEMORIAL HALLWAYS

  1. We all have our routines, routines to forget to remember. I begin to prepare for bedtime a good hour before I actually go to bed. I no longer have tablets, just my injection every second day. Mr. Swiss is the one with the various pills. As we live in an apartment we don’t have such great distances to cover.

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    • My problem is often not remember which day it is. I take the same pills every day, but not all at the same time, so I get into bed and have to remember if I took the stuff I should have taken … or was that yesterday? I really can’t remember.

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      • I have my injection Programme in my iPhone which sends a signal every second day and tells me where to inject. That works well for me, but I also write it down in a notebook. Those electronic devices are not 100% sure and sometimes can lose stuff.

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  2. For some reason I actually did Google my name one day and found out I live in Europe (the wordpress site is emiliopasquale.eu) and I only speak (write?) in Italian. And guess what? I’m still taking pictures!

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  3. It’s strange that as children we are largely creative, spontaneous and do not follow routine very much (while relying upon others to do the routine humdrum stuff such as making meals for us) and when we are old we come to rely more and more upon routine, habit, regularity and our creativity, such as remains, tends to be largely in one or two restricted areas of life.

    I suspect the best way lies somewhere in between the two. If we rely upon habit and don’t keep flexing our brain muscle and challenging it, it starts to harden and calcify – or so it would seem to me.

    These days i find i can sometimes walk back down the ‘hallway’ and by the time i reach the end i’ve forgotten why i wanted to go there! 😦

    love

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  4. If it weren’t for work days, I might never remember to feed my cats or take my medicine. At least the cats will “helpfully” remind me when I’ve managed to neglect them. My medication will just sit there on the desk and get another day closer to expiring…

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    • Our dogs are very firm about the whole eating thing. They have very strong feelings about it. The only problem is that they would eat dinner five times a day if you believe every moan they make.

      As for the meds, mine would sit there because I’d be sure I had already taken them, except for the days when I take them twice.

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  5. Every human being over 60 can relate to this post. Several times today while gardening at mock speed, I’d head off to the barn to get something but once I walked inside for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was. I’d walk back outside, get a few feet, remember, turn around and go back. LOL I leave myself post-it notes, carry notebooks around but then forget which one I wrote something in, and have an alarm set on my phone for eye drops I need. And, the words – oh those words that start with a certain letter but you just can’t pull the word out. 🙂

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