If I forgot your name, forgive me

6/1/2018, 9:33 a.m.
I can still recall from early childhood, a tiny, beautiful little flower that would bloom in the early spring, showing ...
Dr. Gerald Deas

I can still recall from early childhood, a tiny, beautiful little flower that would bloom in the early spring, showing itself off with light green leaves and cluster of small, blue, pink or white flowers. This plant was affectionately named Forget-Me-Not, and was often used to brighten up someone’s life who may have experienced ill health. Often, when visiting a friend, a Forget-Me-Not plant was offered as a symbol of friendship. I am grateful that I still remember the beauty of that plant. I can also remember when Nat King Cole sang the love song, “Unforgettable,” which was rerecorded a second time by his daughter after he had passed, and the beautiful ballad, “Memories,” which has been recorded by many artists.

Unfortunately, everyone’s memory does not remain the same as we wander down life’s path. Forgetfulness may be minor in some cases and major in others. To illustrate this point, I remember a joke that goes as follows:

Two elderly folks were sitting in their living room watching television. The gentleman rose from his seat and told his wife that he was going into the kitchen to get some ice cream and would she like to have some? She replied, “That would be nice.” As he got to the kitchen door, he asked his wife whether she would like some chocolate syrup. Again, she gave a positive reply. She then told him that he should write her request because of his forgetfulness. After several minutes, he returned with a plate of scrambled eggs. She looked at him questionably and said, “I told you, you should have written it down. You forgot the bacon.”

A wonderful patient that I took care of for many years, namely, Oliver Manning, wrote a poem about forgetfulness titled “All Mixed Up.”

All Mixed Up

Just a line to say I’m living

That I’m not among the dead

Tho’ I’m getting more forgetful

And more mixed up in my head

For, sometimes I can’t remember

When I stand at the foot of the stairs

If I must go up for something

Or, I’ve just come down from there

And before the fridge so often

My mind is filled with doubt

Have I just put food away or

Have I come to take some out

And there are times when it is dark out

With my nightcap on my head

I don’t know if I’m retiring

Or just getting out of bed

So, if it’s my turn to write you

There is no need for getting sore

I may think that I have written

And don’t want to be a bore

So, remember, I do love you

And I wish that you were here

But now, it’s nearly mail time, so

I must say, “good-bye my dear”

There I stood beside the mailbox

With a face so very red

Instead of mailing you my letter,

I opened it instead

The great scientist Dr. Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915) recognized and described a form of severe forgetfulness known as dementia in 1906. He described this pathology in the brain of a very young woman. Under the microscope, the nerves demonstrated clumping of the neuro-fibrils and appeared disorganized. The patient also had experienced forgetfulness, depression and hallucinations during her lifetime. This neurological condition was named after the scientist, Alzheimer’s syndrome.

The cause of this condition is unknown. However, research has produced drugs that have been shown to decrease its progression but not cure it. This medical condition must be recognized early to prevent progressive deterioration. Adequate nutrients should be encouraged, particularly vitamins and minerals, because appetite may be poor. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine should be avoided. Good conversation and visual stimulation should be used in the form of arts and music to maintain mental balance. Visits to museums and gardens can be stimulating. If a nursing home is advised, it should be carefully chosen with a sensitive staff in mind.

After reading the above article, please forget me not.