A friend that I have known for over 16 years, recently told me she is glad that I still remember her and her husband. While I will admit that I have forgotten some people in my life (either someone mentions a name or I find some data on someone) and have zero memory of who they are, I still have a reasonable amount of long term memories left. Where most of my day to day issues come in (which is why I thank God for Evernote and my ability to still use technology) is my short term memory.
I have to say that my "going paperless" (to the extent possible) project is showing me where I have more longer term memory gaps though. Below are just two examples:
I have been scanning into Evernote all the data I find relating to any type of medical or dental visits. Evernote's search and related notes features lets me put bits and pieces of data that I might not otherwise have connected together.
Based on the evidence, I visited an oral surgeon in Tampa, FL at least twice in early 2007 as while sorting paperwork I found a letter dated January 4, 2007 from this surgeon's office thanking me for visiting them today. I also found a prescription for 12 tabs of Vicodin (never filled) that he prescribed for me on February 5, 2007.
I have absolutely zero memory of what this is all about - other than obviously some type of oral surgery.
Another blank spot in my memory that this project has turned up is a visit to a wildlife place in Tampa with two friends. Now what is interesting about this is the way I found out about the visit is that I found the pictures from it - pictures that I am not in because I was the photographer. And yet, nothing in any of the pictures rings a bell for me. I had to ask one of the friends in the pictures where they were taken as I have no memory of that trip at all. (I do remember the other friend coming to visit us, although I had to figure out it was her in the pictures as I did not recognize her but I have zero memory of that day trip we took.)
I have to admit that even after a decade of running into these blank spots in my memory where even when presented with physical evidence of something that I obviously took part in, it doesn't ring a bell, it is still a strange (and uncomfortable) feeling. It is not like I have a faint memory of it and have forgotten the details. It is like it happened to someone else altogether. I have no memories whatsoever of the events.
I don't know that my digital scrapbooking will help me to actually remember the things I am scrapbooking as times goes on but maybe, just maybe, the extra time and attention I am giving to events that I scrapbook will help lay the memories down a bit stronger in my brain, preserve them longer for me.
(btw, I just reread http://stumblinn.blogspot.com/2013/09/i-dont-recall-if-i-previously-mentioned.html and realized what the word was that I could not think of when writing that post. It was not practice or procedure, it was technique. I am not going to update that post to add the word though because the blank wall I hit when writing it is a very normal part of my life now and that is what this blog is about - life as a high functioning person with dementia. So I think I serve my readers best by leaving it as it occurred.)