The other day I couldn’t remember what the name of the town that Jesse James tried to hold up a bank and got turned away by the ordinary folks.  I could remember the James and Younger gang, that Jesse got away, that the incident commenced the downfall of Jesse James and in a way the western bank robber era, Jesse’s confederate background, how he died… I could even visualize in detail the pictures I saw of Jesse and his gang, both dead and alive.  I could remember St. Olaf, I could visualize the exit off Highway 52.  Everything but the name.  It was gone.  Completely.  Until I drove up to St. Paul to see my son, and I drove past Northfield.  Northfield.  Northfield.  It helps to repeat things.

Not being able to put your finger on a fact or a name or place – it’s normal.  It happens everyday.  You walk into a room and you think, “Why the heck did I come in here?”  Usually looking around the room spurs your memory, and you get on with your business.  It happens at my computer – I start to do something and then don’t remember why I went into this application or on that website.  That’s distraction.  Multitasking.  Thinking about too much while trying to function.

But there’s something disconcerting about losing something so well known as the name of a town an hour away.  The more this happens (and yes, I lose words all the time), the more I understand the frustration and bewilderment people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-type syndromes must have.  It’s a reason to keep pushing on my quest for answers.  More and more, the evidence is pointing toward neurological causes of fibromyalgia.  It all circles around, present studies repeating past studies but no one coming up with anything definitive….