Holding on to Memory: All Is Not Lost in Alzheimer's

Leah Health Guide
  • “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.”   George Bernard Shaw



    These are comforting words to one who has just lost an expensive wireless headset for a cell phone…


    I have a cell phone and, like many women, have to search and search to find it in my purse when it rings.  Thinking he was doing a good thing, my husband took me to a local store to get a wireless earplug which would allow me to answer any calls more easily.  I’m sure you have seen people mindlessly talking away as they drive or shop or walk down the street.  (Earlier on, I thought they were talking to themselves…and once, I even had a brief conversation with someone before I realized they were talking into a headset—and not to me!)  Not only did my husband think he was making life easier for me, he thought he was making it safer.  I would be able to talk “hands free” while driving the SUV.  It was not easy finding the correct fit for an ear bud.  We bought one type and returned it as it hurt my ear.  The next one we bought cost twice as much and had an assortment of different sized soft gel (that makes it oh so more comfortable!) ear tips and automatically adjusts voice levels so each word can be heard clearly on both ends of the call.  Once I got used to it, I found that it fit well and was just perfect for me.  I spent a couple of days getting used to it…

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    And then it was gone.


    Somehow, it must have fallen off my purse…in some parking lot or in a store.  That night, after discovering the loss, I could not sleep.  I know that we are not talking a fortune lost, but that did not stop me from beating up on myself. 

    “What a dummy!  You can’t be trusted with anything!”

    Yes, you can just hear all those negative voices beating me down.  All night!  Finally I got up and once again searched the family room area where my purse had been and the car…


    The next day, I went to the two places I had visited the day before and asked the managers to search the Lost and Found for my missing headset.  At both places, the manager looked around and found none returned.  I was told several times that it was unlikely that anyone who found it would turn it in, as it would be simple for the finder to buy a charger…  My hopes of ever finding it were dashed. 


    You may wonder about my husband’s reaction.  He assured me that it was just an accident and helped me look for it, too.  And, in the morning when he found that I had been up worrying all night, he hugged me tightly and told me that all was okay. 


    That was about a week ago.  I have fretted myself silly since then.  I am so appreciative of all the support I have received from my husband.  Even my best friend reassured me that I wasn’t  going crazy when she told me she didn’t believe that I lost the headset because I have dementia; she said we (my friends and I) are all getting OLD and we all lose things!  She lost her glasses for two months.  Her husband lost his cell phone for ages… Her humor lightened my mood.


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    This weekend, my husband and I went back to the store and bought ANOTHER headset, identical to the one I lost.  We’re giving it a second try only this time we are trying to devise something which will tie the unit to me or to my purse.  We’re thinking about using a small chain similar to the ones used to hold glasses around one’s neck.  I bought some clips and small chains from a local craft store and am going to try to “build” something to use.  I’ll let you know how it works out.


    And so, I have pushed the negative notions aside and am working to build a solution.  Being “older”, I just must expect to lose things from time to time and not worry that it is my dementia getting worse…in fact, life in general is getting better, so why should I worry at all?  Every day is a gift.  I need to enjoy it!

Published On: July 31, 2008