Thanks for the Memories

Do you think it’s possible for medication to cause memory loss? Because diet, exercise, smoking cessation and even a 2008 25-pound weight loss seem no match for crap genes, I’ve been taking blood pressure medication since my late 20s (coupled with my prematurely gray hair, also dating back to my 20s, I wonder if I have some bastardized form of progeria).

I’ve never seen brain damage listed as a side effect of calcium channel blockers (headache, fatigue, or tiredness; flushing; insomnia; vivid or abnormal dreams; nausea or constipation; or increased urination are the standards. I’m not nauseous and don’t pee a lot but the rest are accurate). But after trying this different class of drugs for the past few months (I’ve tried around five different drugs in the past year, each with its own set of problems and I’ve exhausted my options), I’m convinced that I have been rendered retarded.

Seriously. I can’t remember simple things and feel chronically spacey. And I’ve always prided myself on an elephantine memory (as opposed elephantine legs—ankle swelling is another common calcium channel blocker side effect that thankfully I’ve managed to avoid). I forgot to bring my homework to Spanish class three weeks in row, even after printing it out and placing it next to my purse. It’s become a running joke in class “mi gato comio mi tarea.” For an entire Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t remember the name of the city in Westchester where there’s a P.F. Chang’s. White Plains, which I had to look up on the internet. This is important stuff.

Last night I couldn’t remember the name of the Malaysian island not far from Penang that I was obsessed with visiting in 2008 and did tons of research on. Langkawi only came to me after thinking really hard for ten minutes. Every year I try my hand at the annual online Jeopardy test and without fail bomb it (it’s much harder than the questions on air). This year’s was a new level of depressing. I had 15 seconds and couldn’t come up with the name of the boat the pilgrims took to America. Mayflower. All I could come up with were Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. And this was one mere misfire out of 50 total questions.

What worries me more is if this isn’t drug-related in the least and I’m suffering early onset dementia. I don’t know who’s going to pay for my nursing home if that’s where I end up by my 40s. Maybe I need to give into hippy deodorant and start taking that aluminum-Alzheimer’s link more seriously. 

2 thoughts on “Thanks for the Memories

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