My Greatest Fear #26: Pulling a “Memento”

If you haven’t seen the movie Memento, please stop reading and watch the movie.

Back already? Good.

In Memento, a character has a memory disorder that causes memories to fade after a few minutes. His wife realizes that he’s not faking the disorder when she asks him to administer her daily insulin shot time every few minutes–she’s testing to see if he remembers giving the previous shot, which he does not. After a number of shots in rapid succession, her body can’t handle the insulin and she dies.

Now, my greatest fear is nothing close to that. I don’t have diabetes or a memory disorder. I do, however, take a daily allergy medicine. Most days I remember; others I forget. And there are a few mornings when I step out of the shower and have absolutely no idea if I took my pill when I first entered the bathroom.

It’s a baffling moment when that happens–I’m sure you’ve all felt it at some point. You have this daily routine, so it’s both ingrained into you that you’ve taken the medicine, just like any other day, and yet there’s also a void where you feel like you should remember taking the medicine since it was so recent.

I doubt that taking two Claritin in a row is going to be the end of me. But it’s that tiny fear that I’ll enter an endless loop of thinking I haven’t taken the pill even though I really have that I’m concerned about. I wonder if that’s what Alzheimer’s feels like. That’s really scary.

Do you share this fear?

15 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear #26: Pulling a “Memento””

  1. Sometimes… I recently had to start taking something daily, and haven’t always been the best at remembering each morning. Checklists can be very powerful. Have you heard of Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto”? You might like it…

    • I’ve read about it but haven’t read it. Apparently checklists have the potential to save a ton of lives in hospitals? I believe it–I’m a firm believer in checklists at work and in daily life. I hadn’t thought of putting one in the bathroom, but that’s a good idea.

    • My first reaction to seeing that was: “Isn’t that for old people?”

      My second reaction was: “I definitely need that.”

      • A simpler solution would be to label above each pill with a Sharpie for the days of the week. Take the Monday pill on the one marked “M”, and so on. Then, if on Monday morning you can’t remember if you’ve already taken that days pill, you can see if the M pill is still there or not.

        I hear that’s how birth control pills are labeled. But I’m a good Catholic girl and wouldn’t know anything about that… :O

  2. Jamey, you don’t have Alzheimer’s. If you think you are losing your mind. I have a couple of tests I can do on you.

    A simple solution to your pill deliemma. Hang a small calender in your bathroom to cross out the date after you have taken your medication. It is how one of my friends makes sure she is not over feeding the cats.

    • I like the calendar solution. The cats have one of those to make sure that they’re not overfeeding me, so I’ll use that same strategy for Claritin.

  3. They don’t come individually wrapped? Claritin? I just bought some like a month ago! I’ve always seen them come in the box with blister packs inside. Same with Allegra and Zyrtec (which finally worked for me after the other two did NOTHING and I was miserable for weeks).

    • Well, technically I take the generic Zyrtec. It was the cheapest way to obtain mass amounts of allergy medicine. I wasn’t sure readers would know Zyrtec, so I used the most well-known name.

      • Huh. I took generic Claritin and Allegra, but now I’m taking brand name Zyrtec-D, which makes me feel like a felon because they almost fingerprint you when you buy it due to regulations placed on any OTC med with psuedophedrine in it. I wanted to test the generic vs. brand name hypothesis since neither of the first two worked, but I’m going to try generic zyrtec after I’m done with my current supply. So far, all of them have come in boxes/blister packs though. Are you wheeling a barrel of them out of Sam’s Club or something? 🙂


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