Many people when they think of aging think about their looks when they should be thinking more about how their body as a whole. While reading about the effects of aging on the body some can be manage others it appears can not. Given some family history and certain things I have noticed about myself, I have started to change some of my focus.
One of the areas I have been giving some serious consideration is my brain.
Most of the conversation with friends tends to center around forgetfulness with each of us trying to figure out if what we forget, our keys, what we went into a room for, what we were about to say. These friends vary in age from late forties to mid- sixties. What each of us found was interesting or disturbing depending your point of view or maybe your current age. I was probably the most concerned given I was the oldest and the fact I had learned that my mother had died from Alzheimers, not just old age as I had thought.
Alzheimers is a topic for not only another post, but also part of one of my books in progress. So stay tuned to get updates on their progress.
It was at this the point I started to do more research on the subject. My friends were finding their forgetfulness either normal for their age or due to some stress they had in their life. I, on the other hand, had not only the age issue but one heck of a lot of stress in my life so much that I suffered a minor stress-related stroke.
Fortunately, it was minor that, and I suffered no visible effects at the time, as time has gone on there have been things sneaking in that I will talk about in another post as this one is way too long.
The more interesting thing was when I went back to the doctor to discuss to review my MRI he was perplexed at what he saw. He showed me the area of my brain affected by the stroke and then pointed to another larger area that was different color gray than the rest of it. He then asked me how I was managing and what type of assistance I was receiving. Now I was perplexed and asked him why he thought I needed any assistance. He said he had just assumed that with that amount of my brain having been dead for a long period I would require assistance in some way. I was astonished to learn that there was any damage to my brain and told him that I had never required any assistance and asked what could have caused it. He had no idea but could just see that it was not and had not been functioning for a very long time.
My only recollection of anything happening to my head was in a car accident over 40 years ago when I was thrown from a rolling vehicle through the roof. But I never experienced any ill effects, in fact, had lived a very full and productive life. I had worked in the energy industry as a contract negotiator and a Supply Manager for over 30 years. I had been a single mother for a long time. And I don’t think my daughter or my career showed any evidence of mental incapacity.
But now as I age and start to look ahead to the cognitive issues that come with it I do need to be concerned about how this lack of brain cells will affect me in the future. Will I continue to be lucky and having managed somehow to compensate for their lack for so long help me in the future. Since I have less to neutrons to shrink will the shrinkage of those left occur suddenly and significantly having less of them? Who knows? For now, I just continue to learn about what I can do to stop misplacing my keys, never mind my brain.
The one thing I do know is that with or with my brain, aging will still happen.