Memory seems worse than before - concern?

I’ve never had a good memory for things like phone numbers or people’s names, tho I’m generally pretty good about things like getting from here to there, due dates and appointments, etc. But there were a couple of times lately that I completely spaced - one time I couldn’t remember my home phone number, and another time I couldn’t remember my zip code.

To elaborate, tho I’ve only lived in 2 places over the past 2 decades, both my current and past zip codes almost seem equally predominant in my mind, such that I sort of think “I know it is either 60149 or 60137”, and am generally quickly able to remember which was my old zip and which is my current one. Yesterday I was asked for my zip, and I absolutely could not come up with it. Had to pull out my driver’s license.

And with phone numbers, I know very few by heart. Basically my work and home numbers. Drives my wife crazy that I don’t remember her and my kid’s cell numbers, but I rarely call them. When I’ve made attempts to remember them, I’ve been successful for a short while, but then have forgotten them again. A couple of weeks ago day our luggage got lost on a trip, and the agent asked for a number where we could be reached. As usual, I spaced on both cell numbers, but was a little surprised when I realized I couldn’t even come up with my home or work numbers. At the time I attributed it to the stress of lost luggage, but yesterday’s zip code instance made me wonder.

Just wondering what, if anything, you’d do in such a situation. I’ve jotted down these 2 situations, to keep track of whether it seems to get worse or happen more frequently in the future, but it doesn’t seems like something worth going to a doctor about.

Damn, I know I’m getting old, but 47 strikes me as a mite too young for senility quite yet!

Dins, I wouldn’t worry about it. My husband is the same age you are and this happens to him periodically. Stress seems to be a trigger.

What does he do? He cusses a blue streak and then either looks up the number/information he needs or asks me for it. That is, however, his approach to many many MANY things. :wink:

The whether he would go to a Dr. thing is a non-issue - he has sworn that the next time he sees a Dr. it’s gonna be a coroner.

I just walked down the hall, got the the end and stopped. I forgot where I was going.

I’m 32 on Monday. :dubious:

It happens.

Well let’s get the scary out of the way first. 47 is not to young for this type of thing to happen…But I wouldn’t start getting all excited just yet and going out and getting an alzheimers screen.

How long has it been since your last physical?

How about the constant killer stress??? is there something out in the open or under the surface stressing you out? I know you were thinking about a geographic change. Is that happening soon?

Don’t get all freaked out just yet. You are doing all the right things. Just stay cognizant (sp?) of it…

I had a reputation growing up of having a terrible memory, so when I was a teen I worked at it and found ways to make it better. Now I have a reputation for having a ‘cracking memory’ as one friend put it.

But recently I’ve been having similar problems to Dinsdale. Thing I know I should remember I can’t drag out of my head. I could blame stress coz work has been draining recently, but I think it’s like exercise. You gotta keep using it and working at it to keep on top form.

So maybe time to break out the chess set Dinsdale.

You’re older than you were “before”, right?

But I have trouble remembering things when put on the spot, even things like my ZIP code.

Thanks all.

I also tend to not go to the doc unless pieces are falling off.

Had a physical within the last year or 2 - no serious problems.
At the time the doc said it was useful to have some tests, bloodwork, etc done every couple of years just to establish a baseline - in case I felt things were getting worse we’d have something to compare any findings to.
Made sense to me.

I kinda got dicked over on that job application/relocation thing, but that wasn’t really any more stressful than standard work BS at this job I’ve had for 20 years. And things are going pretty much as smoothly/roughly as ever re: family.

I do crosswords pretty regularly trying to keep the grey matter in shape, but maybe some other mental calisthenics wouldn’t hurt.

It really makes you feel stupid/incompetent, tho, when you space on something simple like your phone number or zip code.

You are to young for this … it’s not supposed to happen until you reach 50.

My pet theory is that on your 50th birthday (not a day earlier or later!) your brain hits “Full.” After that, if you want to remember anything new, you have to forget something else. And sometimes the simplest facts, like phone numbers or zip codes, are the victims.

As an old codger approaching 55, I’ve gotten much better at writing down things I know I’ll need to remember…

Cross words are good, but good healthy living is even better. Low stress, exercise, etc…etc… you know the schtick. Just don’t turn into a curmudgeon…

Too late, I’m afraid…

Right now I couldn’t quote but a few phone numbers, especially old phone numbers I used to have, even the prefixes back when they were common. Other numbers are also hard to keep up with. I can quote my SSN, my DL number, my bank account number and the various passwords I use in various places. I have a couple of useless combination locks because I misplaced the little pieces of paper that had the combinations written on them.

I don’t worry too much about my memory, though. At times I will “lock up” and have to wait a few minutes before whatever it is I’m trying to remember will float to the top of my awareness. But I have learned a trick to remembering things. It’s a bit like the technique known as “averted vision” used for seeing dim objects in the sky. The memory version is something like it in that you focus your mind on the thing you’re trying to remember as closely as you can and “strain” to remember it for a short while (maybe a minute or so). Then just relax and think of other things. Odds are that within a short while your memory will do its own trick and the thing will “pop into” your mind. At least it does for me.

When that technique fails, I will do web searches on similar things and more often than not the thing I was trying to remember will turn up.

Memory loss: When to seek help from the Mayo Clinic.

For me, my memory loss (I actually suffered terrible anomia!) was due to hypothyroidism.

If you’re really concerned, go back to your doctor and ask him to run a full blood panel. Good luck!

Dinsdale, does this sound familiar:

I’m 49 and I’ve always had a bad memory. Some days I do better than others. There is no rhyme or reason why I remember some things and not others but names and numbers are the worst. I’ve noticed that there is no direct relation to names and numbers that I remember or forget.

Information that is logical is easy to remember. I can remember coding or steps needed to work with Excel but I may not be able to name a function within such a process.

Some days I have problems getting the words out in a conversation. So a conference call that I’m chairing can really suck. One day I sound like I own the company and some days I sound like I just walked by and randomly picked up a ringing phone.

So what does this mean? I’ve been cognizant of the fact that there are peaks and valleys to this phenomenon. Logically that means there must be external forces that influence memory. So let’s go down the list:

  • Proper sleep be honest about what you’re getting for rest
  • Stress
  • Food A brain is just a bio-machine - sugar-O’s for breakfast versus an egg and some fruit. Again - be honest here.
  • Fake food raw sugar, sugar substitutes, msg. Think of all the garbage we consume that’s not even real food.
  • Allergies If your nose starts running then your body is throwing up a defense against something. Certainly, your nose is not the only area affected.

My recommendation is to start a food and sleep journal for 1 week. Avoid anything processed and stay away from milk. Drink lots of fluid and walk a mile.

I used to have an exceptional memory - people would often comment on it. It continues to get worse every year. To the point that some of my friends have commented on it.

I’ve had several operations in the past 4 years. I’ve worried that general anesthesia might be affecting my brain - but the docs assure that it does not…

So I guess it is just age. It really does bother me when I can’t remember simple words one day, but they pop right into my head the next.