Personalised Plate Recording

 

I’ve always been able to remember car number plates.  Ever since I was a kid.  Our first family car, a yellow Mini: original A reg named Primrose.  The Ford Anglia, which was forever breaking down: 1965 ice blue C reg that always looked a dirty white colour.  The lime green Fiat 127: L reg and hideous, and it’s replacement, the black Fiat 127 with go faster stripes and twin exhaust (really) an S reg, and our first brand new car. And the list goes on.  My first car, of course, lodged firmly in the databanks, an Austin 1100 (F reg) and my second, a Mini Metro (X reg).  But I can remember all of them.  My Ex-husband’s car, a friend’s first car, and every single car I’ve ever owned. It’s a lot.

Given that I can’t remember where I put my most recent cup of tea, or what happened yesterday, it seems strange that my brain should have a data slot for car registration numbers.   I’m not a number person. After nearly 2 years I have no idea of my work mobile number, I don’t know my fiancé’s phone number and I struggle to remember the house number. So why this weird ability to recall car number plates that is no use to me – or anyone else?  I have no idea.  I wish I could wipe the databanks and replace them with something more useful, like remembering where I put my keys, or my phone, or what I was supposed to be doing instead of writing this blog…….

A Greater Fear

alzheimersI fear Alzheimer’s more than cancer, or more accurately, any form of dementia: a disease that can rob me of my abilities and ultimately my mind itself – my life too in the end.

Writing is part of who I am.  I can’t imagine forgetting how to do it; forming words and sentences, expressing ideas.  Such an easy, natural and taken for granted skill, stolen away by synapses failing to connect; brain cells dying.

It might never happen. My octogenarian parents show no signs of it.  My mum was tested because she thought her memory was failing.  The morphine she’s on is the more likely culprit. She passed the tests. So no signs, no obvious risk markers, but the fear lurks: in my forgetfulness, my inability to recall where I’ve put things; the impossibility of retrieving the right word at the right time.  I know it’s tiredness, and stress from being tired, that robs me of my capacity to remember, to recall, but the fear lingers.  Pain is so much easier to contemplate.  I can live with pain.  I do live with pain. Even dying is easier to think about.  Easier than contemplating losing yourself and everything that makes you who you are, without even knowing it.

I think about writing about dementia.  I’ve worked with clients who have it.  My sister works in the field.  I have friends who have family members with it.  There’s a wealth of experience and information that could be explored.

But for now, I think this is all I can manage.  For now I‘m writing furiously for all I’m worth, ticking projects off against the day when who knows what, who knows when.

 

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We all experience memory loss, and the inability to recall names and words from time to time and for various reasons. If you are worried that you or a relative may have Dementia, contact your GP who will refer you/them to a specialist.

The Alzheimer’s Society can be found here:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

And Alzheimer Scotland here:

http://www.alzscot.org/