Sunday, February 24, 2013

Probable Dementia

Estrogen patch warning: The WHI Memory Study reported an increased risk of "probable dementia" in postmenopausal women 65 years or older on estrogen replacement patch.  I am thinking that means definite dementia for those that are not on the patch!!!

I have an over developed sense of irony.  Who reads any of those warnings on drug packages (see previous post where I state I need to get a life)?  I am completely blown away with the word probable.  As if dementia is the worse mental condition I could end up with at the end of my life.  My Grandmother had dementia before she passed away (pretty sure she was post-menopausal at 80).  She almost always had a pretty bow in her hair and even in her ramblings would respond to a compliment with a pert little "thank you."  We thought as kids that we were the cause of her mental decline.  Babysitting myself and my siblings was an exercise in crazy, including the occasion a four poster bed came crashing through the upstairs ceiling.  In our defense, it was a great trampoline.

As I grow older I am beginning to appreciate the feelings Gramma must have had as reality slipped away.  Her mental confusion made it possible for her grand kids to fabricate a story while frantically trying to put together a four poster bed before their lucid parents returned home.  We were quite adept at convincing her my brother had a minor spill and the resounding crash did no harm to the still quivering ceiling.

I felt similar confusion during an exchange with my freshman nephew.   Apparently it is a rite of passage for young adults to sell items such as kitchen utensils to family members in order to help pay for study trips abroad.  I was rather impressed by my nephew who was starting out in this endeavor and recognized my impatience immediately.  My ex-husband is a salesman and I hate the pitch.  I would much rather see the numbers up front, then decide if I have any questions.  I sent a check to my nephew to cover the commission for the items I did not buy and called to make sure he banked the check.  He then informed me of an APP on his phone that allowed him to deposit the check immediately.  I recognized in horror that one of my fundamental budgeting principles was now in peril...floating a check.  When I exclaimed with alarm I did not know about this technological aberration he replied "What is bouncing a check?"

He received a good Catholic education but alas dodging creditors is not included in the curriculum for High School economics.  Why have a checkbook if you do not have the luxury of sending post dated checks, hoping that when the check is mailed on Friday it will not be deposited until at least late Monday?  I advocate elimination of Saturday postal delivery to gain an extra day before payment...but now with this development I wonder are technological advances a good thing?  It is downright unamerican to never have a check returned for insufficient funds.  A small protest against the Wall Street bankers...they can wait for my money.

In June I walked into an Apple Store and instantly felt overwhelmed.  I was confused when I saw no cashier and asked a young man zipping around the store to help me buy a gift certificate.  After adjusting his glasses he whipped out a hand held device and asked for my credit card.  I told him I planned to pay by check.  I swear there was a gasp from the 100 or so other clients and salespeople in the store, followed by a moment of silence.  All eyes were on this young salesman as he frantically called over one sales associate after another to unlock the secret of the check.  With a sad nod of his head the young man indicated unless I had paid by check before this purchase I could not pay by check this time.  I tried to grasp the logic of this statement and suddenly felt an empathy to my Gramma the day the bed broke.  You see, although she knew the story we concocted (brother all of 50 lbs soaking wet fell) was a bold face lie, she began to doubt her own sanity. 

These experiences have taught me valuable life lessons; Apple Stores do not take checks, playing the float is a game in the past and I am one step closer to probable dementia.

P.S. Another sign of the spellcheck APP is not misspelled but Gramma is? 

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