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Just a Guy Forgetting Everything

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Bruce Sallan: OK girls, it isn't just you during pregnancy or menopause that forgets everything (or so it seems). I'm suffering from such amnesia and I was only pregnant once! Seriously, I've been fond of saying, for the past decade or so, that the only thing I remember is what I had for breakfast. And, the only reason I remember that is because I have the same thing every day.

man forgetting and confused

Does anyone believe that those advertised memory supplements work? I can't remember anyone's name. My wife's name literally is one letter's difference from my ex-wife's name. It took nearly two years before I stopped calling her by my ex's name. Even after all the bruises I suffered as a result, I couldn't blame her.

Now, mixing up my kids' names I gather is common. But, forgetting them altogether? Nah, just kidding.

Why is it that I remember the lyrics to songs I loved in junior high? I know, I know, the brain works in mysterious ways. It's my belief that a brain is like a hard drive. Mine is full and unless I erase something, there's no room for anything new. I really don't need all those lyrics. I'd rather remember the names of people I meet at a dinner party (does anyone go to or have dinner parties anymore?).

I do know that exercising my brain is, to some degree, the same as exercising my body. So, writing and reading helps. But it's still a struggle. And, really, what do I know; I'm just a guy.

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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Erin May 30, 2009, 1:27 PM

I had something important to say, but I completely forgot it. LOL. Seriously, if there was a magic pill, I would certainly take it. Between my kids, my husband, my parents, and my job, I cant remember anything it seems. Thanks 4 speaking to me Bruce.

Debra May 30, 2009, 5:28 PM

I guess this is just part of getting older. Perhaps it is preparing us for old age when our health starts really deteriorating. If we don’t have our minds then we won’t mind as much?? You’re not alone.

iab May 31, 2009, 12:26 PM

It’s comforting to hear that other people have no disc space left either. I used to be the friend who was relied upon for remembering every little detail, but now it’s a long, difficult slog that can take hours and lots of grinding gears in my brain just to remember the name of that actor who starred in the movie we all loved. Did I mention that it’s comforting to hear that other people have no disc space left either??

dino May 31, 2009, 12:40 PM

i remember i have something to remember i just don’t remember what it is that i have to remember,i know its somewhere in there i just can’t remember where to look for it

Monique May 31, 2009, 12:54 PM

Bruce, I think you’ve touched on something important here. My friends and I beat ourselves up for having “Mommy Brain.” Perhaps we should have a little more compassion and realize that there are many more issues going on here than just our hormones. Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, it’s comforting to know that memory loss is something that can affect a parent of either gender.

Trace May 31, 2009, 1:15 PM

Well, all I can say is……hmmmmm….what was I gonna say…I knew what I wanted to say a minute ago before I got distracted by filling out this comment form. Hmmm….well, I think distractions are part of our forgetting issues. There are sooooo many distractions in life these days. If we all just simplified things, we’d all be healthier…mentally as well as in other areas.

So thanks Just a Guy, for helping me to remember that I gotta simplify!

denise May 31, 2009, 7:37 PM

My girlfriends and I were just discussing this subject and we’re way past having babies. How ironic a guy writes about it. Am I sexist or what?

Colleen May 31, 2009, 11:51 PM

Isn’t it true? the most important thing is we still remain to care about each other.

Eleanor June 1, 2009, 1:13 AM

Ever heard of “senior moment”? Happens to us all.

Carolyn June 1, 2009, 3:17 PM

I am sooo glad to hear you say this. I had a “senior moment” the other day and it really upset me. I drive my son and two of his friends to school every day. I’ve been doing this for several years. But the other day when we were almost at his school my son asked, “Aren’t we getting Luke today?” I was so upset that I forgot this one thing that I do EVERY single day! But obviously this forgetfullness will become more and more prevalent. And though it IS upsetting, I guess we just have to accept this as part of the aging process. And that’s what I’ll do. Unless I forget to! Thanks. And hang in there, Bruce. That is your name, right?

Anonymous June 1, 2009, 3:25 PM

Yes, believe it or not i mix up my kids names with my dog too. Well, at least I have my name right. I think its because we don’t have enough quiet time to reflect and relax in this hurry up world so our brains are on overload.
Love your subjects, keep it up!!!!

David June 1, 2009, 4:10 PM

I have very mixed feelings on this topic. I have always had a good memory for past events. What escapes my memory are small, immediate matters… deficiency in what I believe is called “working memory” (the new term for what used to be called “short-term memory”). Not remembering names and other such things can be fixed/handled if the person is willing to do so.

Bill Connors June 1, 2009, 5:45 PM

Welcome to my world Brian, I mean Brad, I mean Bruce - or should I welcome myself to your world? Anyway - what was I saying? Oh yes - age is certainly part of it but I believe stress is a big contributor to lapses in memory and the older we get, it’s compounded because we’ve been dealing with it all the longer. Of course, there’s also the fact that experientially we’ve uploaded a boatload of data into our cerebrum and since we can’t get a memory stick for our noggins (not yet anyway), we’re probably dealing with overload as we get age. One good thing to consider is that the subconscious supposedly remembers everything - I’m just not sure we’d want to access that.

Enjoyed the blog for the questions it raised and then allowing me to share my 2 cents.

Bob, I mean Brent, I mean Bill

Melissa (Australia) June 3, 2009, 5:28 AM

I am very familiar with this topic. A brain purge is desperately needed. I am so lucky that my boys have taken the role of memory police in the area of other brothers punishments. They are quick to point out that so and so misses out on dessert (after I have served up) And who gets an early night etc, etc etc. But do they remember to take their lunch to school, brush their teeth and do their jobs…NO. And who has to spend precious reserves of her brain cells trying to remember for them…ME. Here lies the problem. I am doing to much thinking for everyone else!

kathy` June 5, 2009, 8:45 AM

So nice to have someone to relate to! The same thing is happening to me! I remember songs but the rest is often a blur. I’m trying crossword puzzles—so far I still walk into a room and wonder what it was I came in for.


Sam June 5, 2009, 12:20 PM

great to know i’m not the only one dealing with this stuff. i have seven month old twins, and although i don’t forget the names, i’m constantly saying one name when i mean the other. it’s as though the signals are crossed in my brain. i just hope i get it worked out before they’re old enough to get really annoyed with me :)

Anonymous June 5, 2009, 12:36 PM

Growing up, my father would often mix up my name with my brother’s. I remember thinking “there’s only two of us, how can he get it wrong”! Well, as an adult with 3 kids and 3 dogs, I now know why! Bottom line: don’t sweat it…

natasha June 11, 2009, 10:29 AM

Brain fog is all too common with parents —- no wonder Starbucks is so darn popular!

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