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Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014
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.
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.