Memory tricks

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

I'm a little mad at Jim Berklan right now. The usually trustworthy and compassionate editor of the McKnight's fine family of publications pulled the old bait-and-switch on me this morning. It was a cruel trick at a vulnerable time, and the wounds are likely to linger.

“Expert advice on how we can all develop a better memory” heralded his headline, and since that's an area of growing concern for me, I clicked to it eagerly. Or at least think I did—it's all getting a little foggy.

I don't remember things as well as I remember I used to. When I walk into a room, I sometimes forget to wonder why I went there in the first place. “Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium,” wrote the poet T.S. Eliot. Mine has definitely been shaken, and quite possibly stirred.

That's why I was so excited about Jim's report's promise of improvement. Memory can actually get better with age, I read with excitement. Changes can be temporary or reversible! Hope was nigh, or at least until the next devastating sentence:

“Once you get potential trouble factors out of your life such as sleep deprivation, stress, infections, depression and dehydration (among others), you can get on to improving your memory.”

Jim, Jim, Jim. All I can do is just shake my head sadly. That's like saying I can be immortal once I solve the problem of death.

I haven't slept well since Nixon was president. My stress level is high — Felix Baumgartner high, Washington State voter high. I'm told there's no cure for my infectious cynicism. And don't get me started on the “among others” category.

Basically, you're telling me there's nothing I can do about my horrible memory. It's all pretty depressing, frankly. I think I need a glass of water.

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, who cobbles these pieces together from his secret lair somewhere near the scenic, wine-soaked hamlet of Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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