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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Can't we just take a pill?

Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009, at 8:49 AM

While most people leave behind their prize possessions or a massive amount of cash when they die, it looks as if my children can look forward to a lifetime supply of this magazine, thanks to their mother's absent-mindedness... That's Louie, the Interior Decorator, in the foreground, waiting for me to leave the house, so he can begin his next decorating project.
Last week a friend of mine told me about a new memory product named "Lucidal." It seems that he saw it advertised on tv, so he called the number. He was put on "hold," so he hung up. However, he soon received a postcard in the mail, urging him to call the number again with his credit card, and they would enroll him in a program whereby he would receive a monthly supply of Lucidal for only $29.99 a month.

Unfortunately for the sellers of this "miracle drug," my friend doesn't believe in credit cards and wouldn't trust his own mother to collect a nickel a month from him, much less $29.99. However, I was curious, so I decided to launch an investigation of the "memory-boosting supplement" called Lucidal.

The long and the short of my investigation was that the makers of the product did not list all the ingredients and the product could not be confirmed as a memory booster. However, my problem was with the company's questionable marketing practices. I felt sure that if my friend had reached them to order the Lucidal, it would be the last time he would get through - being put on "hold" if he called back to complain and stop the monthly deliveries (and charges). (Remember the old Book-of-the-Month Club? I didn't think I'd ever get shut of that deal...)

The whole issue just shows how worried we all are about losing our memories. Almost everyone I know over 60 is sure they're coming down with Alzeimer's. Every time we forget where we put our keys, we just know it won't be long before our family is checking us into the Alzeimer's Wing of the Old Folks' home.

You can tell who's losing their memory by the number of times we get the same e-mail over and over. The thing is, none of us remember getting it before, so we laugh our heads off at it and send it on to our friends again. Every once in awhile, one of us says, "I think I've read this one before," but usually we just laugh and keep the thing going.

One of the most ridiculous things I've ever forgotten involves my subscription to "U.S. News & World Report." For years, I kept renewing my subscription every time the magazine agency called to offer me a terrific deal if I subscribed for X number of years. I couldn't remember when my subscription expired, and I assumed that the subscription agency should know this little detail.

Ah, not so! By the time I got a letter from the circulation department of "U.S. News & World Report," I had bought subscriptions up to 2021! They wouldn't take any more of my money! 2021?? I might not even live that long! I'll have to bequeath my "U.S. News & World Report" subscription to my children in my will!

Lest you think I left my forgetful friend high and dry, I'll tell you that I went online and bought us both a supply of Gingko Biloba and a book entitled "The Memory Doctor." I read it and then gave it to him, along with a book of crossword puzzles and a word search. These items were recommended by the Memory Doctor, who also included a simple little memory test designed to see if the reader really had a problem. My friend was pleased to see that his memory wasn't as bad as he thought it was.

The Memory Doctor said that memory problems are usually caused by our not paying attention when we "upload" information. He gave several practical methods - or memory pegs - for remembering things we don't want to forget. In the back of the book, he included a list of medications which interfere with memory. (Zanax? Well..yeah...) He also mentioned some vitamins (B5, B6, and B12) that might help, plus ingredients such as Alpha GPC, which contains Choline and something called Vinpocetine.

I've never heard of Choline or Vinpocetine, but I've taken Ginkgo in the past...I just can't remember if it did me any good...

Most of his advice centered around the developing of concentration, and I suspect that it's a good idea to focus on maintaining our memory with a conscious effort.

But I think most people would rather take a pill...

From the suddenly cool hills of Tillman, this is your forgetful rural reporter Madeline, signing off on a beautiful summer's day.

Showing comments in chronological order
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I know I have alzeimers (sp)and so do all my friends...............and my sister tells me never to order from the 'Video Professor' for a free Ebay selling guide, just pay postage $5.95,,,,you'll receive a lifetime of other lessons every month till way past 2021, along with a bill for $29.95 and a phony phone number to call and cancel.

Terrible getting old and missing out on all these wonderful deals. I can't remember where I left my stamps, can't pay bills or order any new offering.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Jul 14, 2009, at 10:07 AM

Oh, heck, the stamps are changing so fast, I can't keep track of which ones in my drawer are current!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 14, 2009, at 7:33 PM

Memory research funded by advertisers who depend on people remembering their message, has found that the short-term memory of most people starts deteriorating by 50, and by 60 "forgetfulness" is common. The media has fueled the Alzeimers hysteria about what is a natural progression. It is absurd to think that one's teeth, eyes, heart, etc. deteriorate but not one's brain.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Jul 14, 2009, at 7:59 PM

Thank you, fjguy, that's quite a comfort. I don't have Alzheimers I'm just losing my memory. I guess we should be thankful for small favors.

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Jul 14, 2009, at 8:47 PM

Haha! Hey, Ducky, wanna room together in the Alzeimer's wing??

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 5:54 AM

Ok, everybody, get busy doing Sudoko puzzles, crosswords (the harder ones), any of those brain games...they work!

My mom was sharp as a tack because she was not to be disturbed in the morning until she had finished her crossword puzzle and two cups of coffee. The crossword kept her brain busy, but also kept her on top of what was going on in the "younger" world. Once in awhile she would call me and ask me a question like, "Who's the rapper whose name mimics a candy?" After finding out, she would make a note of it in her Crossword Dictionary. In conversations later, she would know those "pop trivia" and felt as if she was on top of things!

It works.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 9:17 AM

Sure, Goatlady. We'd have a ball. We just wouldn't remember any of it. It.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 9:59 AM

How do you develop the patience for those crossword puzzles? I love words, but I can't get the hang of all those gimmicky specialized crossword words -- and the abbreviations! There seems to be a standard assortment of three and four letter words that fit into most of the puzzles.

Your mom sounds like a very neat lady,lovebooks! I think I met her long ago and not so far away!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 15, 2009, at 5:19 PM

I think the secret to crossword puzzles is the A-Z Crossword Dictionary. It was her "bible" for doing puzzles, and the one she left us was well-worn with tons of notes scribbled in the margins.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Jul 16, 2009, at 8:04 AM

I like Text Twist. It's amazing how many simple words I'll overlook. I'm getting better at it. I can almost feel those new neural pathways developing.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Jul 20, 2009, at 1:24 PM

Is "Text Twist" a game or a book to look up words?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 22, 2009, at 5:54 PM

It's a game. It gives you a bunch of letters and you have to make as many words as possible from them. The fewest number of letters you can use is 3 and you can't use a letter more than once. The difficulty increases as the levels increase. It's addictive.

-- Posted by Ducky on Thu, Jul 23, 2009, at 9:50 AM

Do you play it online? I may have to try it. I'm in dire need of new neural pathways....

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jul 23, 2009, at 10:49 AM

"Text Twist" can be found on IWON--or at any number other places. Fun game! Try "Letter Linker" too.

-- Posted by geezerette on Thu, Jul 23, 2009, at 5:23 PM

Madeline, I am someone from your distant past. We attended grade school together at Boyd School & high school at DHS. I've enjoyed your articles & wanted to let you know. You will remember me (hopefully) as Judy Adkins.

-- Posted by nrgregj on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 10:41 AM

Ooooh, this blog went dead before we saw your note, Judy! I'm glad you contacted Madeline by e-mail. That pic of you two riding in the parade in twin Snow White costumes is a hoot!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Sep 12, 2009, at 8:10 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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