Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dementia approaches

I did a very Australian thing on Australia Day. I did not shave. However, it was not intentional. I just forgot. At about 11 in the morning, we went for a short walk in the awful wind and heat. We met a couple of people in the street, one of whom my partner used to work with, so we went for coffee with them to a nice place, open all hours, in St Kilda Rd near the Shrine.

At some point I ran my hand across my face and realised I had not shaved that morning. I was surprised at myself, but it is not a big deal as I am fair and I can get away with it without anyone noticing, for a day at least.

But I noticed and thought I would do it later before work. But I forgot all about it. Partner did not even notice. I went unshaven to work but it was a very nice shave the next day.

How can you forget to do something you do everyday? You know guys, there is a bathroom ritual. I completely missed a step.

Then today, I was using a public convenience that had worn and stiff taps at the basin. At some point, I forgot which way to turn the taps to get the water temperature correct. Apart from your first couple of years, it is something you do every day, many times, throughout your life. Then suddenly I forgot.

Which will it be? A stroke? A heart attack? Cancer? Or a slow slide into dementia?

Partner says he won't look after me if I am in a wheelchair with one half of my face sagging and my mouth dribbling, so I better not have a stroke.

A quick clean heart attack would be best I suppose. But dementia means you don't actually know much and everyone has to look after you. So you are still alive, just a little confused. I like that.

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