Thursday, May 08, 2008

Now I KNOW I'm growing too old, too fast! (Personal entry)

The clouds of doubt have since parted. I'm not speculating this anymore.

The symptoms:

I. Hearing Issues

Here's what I can remember right now. I can't remember them all because of my recent memory failures which I'll cover next IF I REMEMBER TO.

  1. Back in June, I picked up a hiking couple from Oklahoma trekking back home. I was on my way to drop them off in Wichita. When we entered the definitive northern side of Wichita, I thought he asked,

    "Is that a switch up top?"

    Confused about being asked of something incredibly obvious, I said, "Well... this is an in-cabin light switch." (to paraphrase, since I can't remember word-for-word now.)

    "No, I asked is that Wichita?"

    "OH! Yes, this is the northern part. I thought you asked, "Is that a switch up top?"" I lightened the mood at the moment; they thought that was funny.

  2. There were many in between, I'm sure, but today at the Nagasaki GaiDai, I was watching "Twilight Samurai" and became curious about the unusually red cheeks. I wondered if they were make-up or natural, so I asked Sharon what was wrong with their cheeks. I thought she said,

    "Their cheeks are red- Mom and Son."

    That was Mom and DAUGHTER so I didn't know why she'd ever say that. I then told her, "Let me repeat what you just said: "Their cheeks are red- Mom and Son."

    "No, I said "Their cheeks are red from the sun.""

    "Oh! From the sun!"

  3. I didn't remember the title that our teacher Hodson told us the other day in the Seminar movie class and I of course couldn't read the Kanji on the DVD cover (knowing only around 100 Kanji), so I asked Chris Karraker what the title of this movie was.

    "Toilet Samurai."

    That so didn't sound right. "I'm sorry, can you say that again?"

    He did, but it still didn't sound right, though less so than what I thought I heard first, so I was about to look it up on Wikipedia and before I started searching, uttered, "Toiling Samurai?"

    Sounding mildly annoyed, he then repeated, "Twilight Samurai." I then looked it up and found it on Wikipedia.

My fear of hearing the wrong thing and thinking it sounded right the first time when in fact it was vastly different from what someone really said, is growing!

I hope to find an English-speaking byōin (hospital) that'll give me a definitive hearing test. Hopefully they'll give me some kind of inexpensive treatment that'll keep me hearing good for years to come.

On the other hand, if I need a hearing aid, will the Japanese health insurance cover it? More than that, will having a hearing aid turn more women away and cause me to fit in less? Then again, someone may come along and say, "If a woman doesn't consider you just because you have a hearing issue that requires a hearing aid, you won't have wanted that woman in the first place."

I've witnessed a few others have the same kind of hearing problem too, but not consistently. During the Unzen trip, at the breakfast, Nicole Young said she's Protestant. (Or did she say she was Nondenominational? Another reason to cover my memory issue later.)

I then said, "I'm wavering between Denominational and Non." Kelcey didn't take it well, though I forgot what exactly she said.

"I said I'm wavering between Denominational and Non. What'd you think I said?"

"Oh! I thought you said "You should waver between Denominational and Non. That would've been very rude!"

"Oh no! I definitely didn't say that! Why would I? By the way, I think something from the Onsen last night is causing us not to hear things right."

She agreed, more or less. Alas, I no doubt have some pre-existing condition from before the April 18-19th Unzen trip. If my hearing issue has been happening more often since then, (and I'm starting to believe it has,) then I probably reacted worse to something in the Onsen than the others did. I don't recall anyone hearing me incorrectly since that trip.

I don't think I'll bathe in any sulfur onsens anymore. They smelled awful anyway. Any sentos and onsens with anything more pleasant than sulfur will suffice.

II. Eyesight

My eyesight has been fluctuating for a long time now. One time I may not see far clearly, other times I may. Some say glasses weaken your eye muscles, making you less sighted than when you started wearing them.

Others say that if your eyes have been weakening while wearing glasses, they were weakening all along and will keep doing so no matter whether you wear them or not. I have a feeling that those who say this just want eyeglass recipients to feel more comfortable wearing glasses more often.

Either way, it's well known that less acute eyesight is part of the aging process. I think my eyesight issue is still happening too fast in my humble opinion, even though others may say it's pretty slow. Much else about the eyesight issue goes without saying.

III. Memory Issues

Forgetting comparatively unforgettable things have been happening more often. Who knows? I may have even forgotten some grammar conventions here! (Let me know which and on what parts of the note.)

  1. Back in May, we were preparing a Potluck dinner for Mizuno-sensei's retirement back home in Manhattan, KS.

    She was still in her early 40s, but her parents were growing elderly and senile and there were no siblings available to take care of them. Previously, she went to Japan every summer to take care of her parents but they needed her care more often.

    Moving to a nursing home or hiring a nanny would've cost too much in Japan. (Apparently their national health insurance wouldn't have covered any, or enough of it. Neither would their pension.)

    It would've been nice to have them move to Manhattan but they didn't know enough English and didn't have any friends in the area. (How easily can they make new friends though? That will probably remain a mystery.) But wait, if they had friends in Japan, why they couldn't help will probably remain a mystery too.

    I still miss Mizuno-sensei very much. The replacement head of the Japanese department (Kumiko Nakamura-sensei) isn't as easy and easygoing as Mizuno was.

    Back to the topic- I brought a stack of frozen hamburger patties but soon after arriving to the Pottorf Dining Hall at Cico Park, I realized I forgot the buns! (Also the ketchup, lettuce, and other toppings.) When you bring the patties, you bring the buns. That should've been obvious!

    I knew something was manipulating me from within. If this happened to a Baby Boomer, s/he'd know they may have Alzheimer's, so they may see a doctor as soon as they can. I'm not even 25 yet (and won't be for a good while,) so Alzheimer's at my age? Purely and utterly IMPOSSIBLE. (Or so I hope.)

  2. Sometime in the Fall Semester, I was talking with someone when I left my apartment. Midway through my conversation, I realized I forgot my phone. I turned around and just as I was about to get my keys out to unlock the apartment door, I finished talking...

    ...On the phone. After hanging up and removing it from my right ear, I looked at it and realized, "Oh, c'mon! What's the matter with me now???" While in the middle of a phone call, I thought I forgot my phone back home only to realize I've been using it the whole time!

    I decided to visit the university's health center that day.

    Nowadays, I feel afraid that I may lose my wallet, my keitai (mobile phone), or other important things I carry all the time, any day now. I fear the day I get on the bus to see one of my important personal effects still sitting on the bench just after the bus door shuts!


I knew I had something to type for the closing, but now I forgot what. Memory failures keep happening at any moment, just like a random grim-reaping did in Sarajevo back in the '90s. Shells would fall on random places killing random Sarajevans at anytime, anyplace. My memory failures happen in a similar manner.

I used to take Ginkgo Biloba but got the feeling that they only slowed the onset of memory failure (and not reverse it), or didn't even effect anything at all. Some news article online said research suggests Ginkgo may not help anything at all.

If Japan is more highly advanced in many things than the US, the same may apply to medicine. Where can I find some nice memory supplements around here?

Oh well, at least if what I forgot ever comes back to me, I could always go back and re-edit this note.

Oh wait, I know now! I was going to talk about Progeria! It's a rare accelerated-aging disease. Victims rarely live past 16 years of age, with the oldest documented only living up to age 29.

I don't show any outward symptoms, maybe except for a few strands of gray hair if I don't have it dyed long enough, but inside of me some things age faster than normal. There is no such thing (officially) as "Latent Inward Progeria" but I seem to have that. Latent- This didn't kick in until my college years. The other words have already been covered and/or goes without saying.

I'd rather have "antigeria" (or a more accurate opposite term if there is one) because if I looked half the age I was now and got to live twice as long as the population, I think I'd love my life. Younger people have it easier (in many ways. We do in many ways too, but we have it harder in many more ways as well.) More than that, when I get to go to school for twice as long, I will no doubt get ahead of almost everybody else.

That should be all for now. Like I said, If a planned thought returns that I forgot, I'll just go back and edit the note.

No comments:

Post a Comment