Monday, November 28, 2011


I was having lunch with some friends recently when one started to tell about a family member having just been diagnosed with a strange disease she had never heard of.

“Mya--- mytheses--- something gratis.” She tried.

“Myasthenia Gravis ?” I questioned.

“Yes, that is it! How on earth did you know that? Do you know someone that had it?” She asked.

I hesitated for I wasn't sure they would believe me as I could hardly believe it my self. Tentatively, I answered.

“Do you remember the TV show from the 60's, Ben Casey?” I asked.

My friends are mostly younger than me but not by that much and they, all except for the baby of the group, said they did remember him. Most of us had a slight crush on the outspoken doctor.

For those of you too young, he was brash,brilliant, really cute, quite hairy but had an unusually poor bedside manner. He wasn't big on sugar coating anything. Kind of an early day, only slightly kinder gentler version of  Dr. House.

“Well, he had a episode on once about that disease. I just remembered it.” I confessed a bit lamely.

“You have got to be kidding.” they all chirped in.” That was 50 years ago.”

“I know.” I said, “I remember 50 years ago fine, just don't ask me what I had for breakfast.”

With a wicked  grin, one of them looked me right in the eye and said. “That is pretty much what they all say in the nursing home, Patti.”

That gave me the giggles for it is so darn true. Somehow I know when my time comes to strap on a rocking chair and a diaper, I will fit right in.

Does your memory put on incredible shows of recall that  makes you shake your head in amazement on occasion?  Then a breath or two later, you are grasping for a once familiar word that appears to have left your vocabulary while you slept??

Aging really is a challenge and in a weird way, I find it interesting.


  1. I think my memory is just shot all round. I have a hard time remembering anything from years ago, or the here and now. As my mother once said "It goes in one ear and out the other!"

  2. I turn 60 in a couple of weeks and lately I've been worried that the family's history of dementia has been kicking in due to the things I've been forgetting. Nice to know it's not just me. And yes, I remember Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare and.....

  3. Indeed....Aging is a real challange and often not a whole lot of fun--At least that is my experience....
    The Brain really is like a Computer....And when a Computer begins to run out of memory, it really slows down....The thing is, you can get more memory for your Computer...!!! If!
    Ahhhhh well, as long as one can remember things from long ago....And enoigh to get us from day to day.
    "BEN CASEY"....I remember him well...!

  4. I married my first husband because he worked as a medic and looked like Ben Casey to me. Sigh.

    The good part about when they strap you into the rocker is that you'll have a laptop and wifi should be everywhere by then. They have it at my Senior Center already... :-)

  5. Oh gosh, my husband and I help each other and it is still pathetic when we are trying to remember something. Usually it is nothing really why the opening scenes in "Silverado" is spectacular. I don't remember the opening, but do remember how extrodinary the sound was in that movie when the guy who had the Henry (I think that is the name or it) rifle fired it. I was not involved in the conversation he was in, so I really don't know what the heck they were talking about. He came to me last night to see if I remembered. I didn't.

  6. I always say if absent mindedness is a sign of senility then I have had it since I was about five. I've been like this all my life. Hey! I still remember what car keys are for, so I figure I'm okay! ;-D

  7. Yes, and now I'm reading the book about Oscar, the cat that visits people in the nursing home as they die. I'm fine with that part, but the doctor who wrote the book describes dementia and all the other stuff that can happen to us, making us end up in a nursing home, in so much detail that I, who do not scare easily....Well, I'm getting scared!

  8. Well, that's a coincidence! In 2001 my elder daughter suffered from Myasthenia Gravis. It was rather frightening. She started to speak with a nasal slur, then she couldn't swallow food properly. In a very short time she lost a lot of weight. After that she became weaker and suffered from double vision. In hospital it was soon clear that she suffered from a metabolic disorder, but which one? She had to stay several weeks in hospital and with the help of medicines she recovered and is now healthy again.Thank God!

  9. What is awesome to me is not that you remember it, but that you remember it at all. Can you pronounce it? What is it? Dianne

    PS My memory is fine. It depends on how much effort you put into it I think. Short term is not as sharp as it once was, but long term memory is pretty good. It's all in there somewhere. D.

  10. I loved Ben Casey! Thanks for the great picture! I agree with the Lady of the Hills - there is only so much memory in our computer brains, then it starts to get crowded..

  11. I think it was Dr. Kildare who sang, "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight." I thought he was handsomer.

  12. Aging has its moments, and it's better than the alternative. Of course I well remember DR Casey - wonder whatever happened to that guy? He was right up there with Marcus Welby!

  13. Vince Edwards... wow haven't thought of him in eons.

    and yes, I remember outrageous things but when I get home from grocery shopping... I have a bazillion items other than what I went there for.

    getting old's not for sissy wimps...

  14. I can remember details and events that happened years ago without a bit of trouble. It's names and small things that give me trouble nowadays.

  15. I've definitely started noticing a change in my memory, and it's a bit scary because I'm just pushing 60. I don't just forget words, I am constantly opening the wrong cupboard doors and kitchen drawers for things THAT I KNOW ARE NOT IN THERE. I'm still laughing about it, and I hope to continue to find the humor.

    I had forgotten about Ben Casey's brash side. I think I'll see if I can find a few episodes on youtube.

  16. Hi Patti, yes, my memory sure does play those same tricks on me. Oh, if only I could remember all that I want to when I want too! I have been going through old blog posts to place the good ones on my sidebar and I can't remember what I have written sometimes. I'm thrilled when I find something good!

    My first husband's father had that disease, and there was something about his eyelids drooping? See, I can't remember much about it. He died long before I came along of a heart attack, but his illness always stuck with me. He was still flying airplanes before he died, so I don't know how bad it gets.

    Have a great week!

    Kathy M.

  17. To LADY OF THE HILLS: That has long been my theory. As we age, we have learned so much that the brain becomes full. Unfortunately, we have no "delete" key.

    We are NOT forgetful--we are just FULL!

  18. Hi There Patti, We are home from our trip. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

    I used to be totally in love with Dr. Ben Casey.. I never missed an episode... (Loved Dr. Kildare also!!!!) Thanks for the memories... I had heard of that disease.


  19. LL Cool Joe,
    I'll bet you could astound with your memory of music. I think with most of us, interest plays a big part.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Trust me, you are certainly not alone. This is not an exclusive club. There were some cutie docs in those days huh?

    Gosh, do you suppose in time we will be able to buy an exterior hard drive to boost our memory capacity?? Now that would be great. However for me, they had better hurry:))

    Hey, that would have been good enough for me. He was a cutie.
    I am pretty sure laptops will make nursing homes a much better place to be.

    Amber Star,
    They did have Henry repeating rifles years ago. Can't help you on the movie. However it is nice that you have two brains to draw from.

    Gosh, you won't even know the difference.
    Now all you have to do is remember where the keys are.

    Don't think I will read that book. Just assume that will never happen to you or if it does, you won't know about it. Besides, they will have a pill for that before you need it.

    Reader Wil,
    That is a coincidence and I am so glad you daughter has done so well. I will let my friend know that it can have such great results. Thanks.

    Reader Wil's comment describes it perfectly. I am convinced memory is all in the filing system as to ease of recovery. I think as we age, we get careless.

    He really was a heart throb in those days. Wonder if Google Cloud could help with storage :))

    Linda Myers,
    There were definitely Doctor camps in those days. I liked them both but liked the cranky Casey best.

    Aw, now Marcus was such a sweetie. Casey was a crab compared to him but much cutier. He passed in 96.

    Yes but we have had it so boringly simple for years, now days we have to cope and I like the challenge. Of course I also like the computer as a brain aid.

    Welcome to my world. Only good thing is that we are not alone.

    Me too on laughting about it. That is the brighter alternative and besides, often it is darn funny.
    At the time he was shocking with his lack of tact. I thought it refreshing as long as he wan't my doctor.

    Oregon Gifts,
    Now days, one can live a normal life with it. It is still not a common disease.
    I too have stumbled over old posts and felt badly for at that time I only had a few readers.

    We do need external hard drives for overflow memory. Hope someone is working on that.

    So glad you are back and that you had a restful time.
    I used to think Ben was the berries.

  20. I just realized my granddaughter's boyfriend looks like Ben Casey!

  21. They say that the more kids you have the more braincells you lose...well I think they are right! And sadly, I'm old enough to remember that show too.

  22. You bring up an interesting point about short and long term memory, Patti! it can be so frustrating not to remember where I left the keys, but to be able to recall not only the Twelve Beautitudes from my Catholic school days, but also irritating things like the lyrics of the theme songs from "The Patty Duke Show" (Counins, identical cousins...) and Mr. Ed (A horse is a horse, of course, of course). Even commercials from the Fifties stick in my brain cells -- like the beaver who sang the praises of Ipana toothpaste. Why, oh Lord, why?? Too bad we don't have a delete button for all the debris from the past!

  23. I am the exact opposite. It did not bode well for me as a child. My sister has the memory of an elephant which she used to win every argument we had. Normally 2 days later I would remember something that would have allowed me to be the victor but then it was too late.

  24. I guess we you are considered too old, you will be too old and forgetful to remember. Or something like memory is already failing me! :D

  25. Anything from the past I remember and my memories go way back ...although I sometimes wonder how acurate my dating of incidents actually are.
    Remembering what is going on day to day is another matter ...I have to have a wall calendar filled in with everything ...and the names for simple things seem to disappear, just out of the grasp of my memory and then pop back when I am not thinking about them.
    It is that part that worries me but I am relieved that others are experiencing this too.
    I loved Ben Casey but I was in love with Dr Kildare. xx

  26. For some reason I was never taken with Ben Casey. Now Marcus Welby was another story!

  27. It's not just that you remembered any ol' thing from 50 years ago, but a specific part of a specific episode of a specific show? It's amazing what lodges itself in our brains forever! I didn't watch Ben Casey, but Emergency! and Marcus Welby? Now you're talkin' more my era. :)

  28. I was more in love with Dr. Kildare. I do notice that when I do the morning crossword...a current reference, and I am clueless, but the most arcane detail from the's embarassing. Sometimes I just scribble all over the puzzle--you know, so the guys at the recycle place won't think badly of me.

  29. I had an on-line penpal when I was searching for my biological family. She had myasthenia gravis and was a nurse.

    I remember Ben Casey and sometimes watch HOUSE.

    I have moments like yours. It usually takes a word to probe out of the cranial grave to walk with the living, but it happens. Yet I can't remember if I have already taken my heart medicine. Go figure

  30. I don't think my long or short term memory is working! I worry sometimes what it all means, and I'm too frazzled to even find it interesting.

  31. I LOVED Ben Casey!! And I do know someone with MG.

  32. Well all I can say is...after reading thru all the comments...I've misplaced the topic, and it dang sure isn't the first time.

  33. Ah yes, I remember Ben Casey very well. I think I was more partial to Dr. Kildare though. Richard Chamberlain lives here in the islands.

  34. I've been losing words for nearly 30 years. When I was 40, I lost 'demoralized' for 18 months. I knew the meaning, could use it in a sentence but could not call the word. One day it came back. I lose 'pavilion' all the time but I can always remember that it starts with the letter P.

    I do retain really unimportant information like the mnemonic I made up 30 years ago for remembering the layers of the skin.

  35. Oh yes been there too, and I too remember Ben Casey, Ha. How about Dr. Kildare or Car 54 or Hawaii 5-0

  36. I do remember Ben Casey. My memory seems to never be the same from one day to the next. I can sometimes remember things from way back...unless I am trying to remember something specific. Where I left my water glass, keys or something else today or in the last hour well that is another story. Some things I am still trying to remember where I put them years later. Hugs

  37. Wanda,
    My goodness,you have a lucky grand daughter but of course he is lucky to have found her. Your grands are super.

    Mom of 12,
    That can't be true about brain cells or you would need to be spoon fed:))
    You must have watched him from your high chair, maybe reruns??

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    Now isn't that the truth. Tons of useless info but who knows when it might become necessary. Like MG did me.

    Ouch, that hurts. I think there is a story about a tortoise and the hare that you might want to revisit. Your day will come.

    Lynda G,
    Hay, you are still a puppy yet though it is a sneaky condition that wiggles its way into our lives.

    There is a whole world of us out there. I don't feel the least bit alone. Neither should you.

    NC Mountainwoman,
    He really was a sweetie wasn't he? I liked Casey's looks, but would want Marcus as my doctor.

    Welcome and yes, that the one episode out of so many remained in my memory is strange. It was just waiting for my friend to question 50 years later.

    Ha ha, you would rather they think you had bad penmanship than not know an word. How funny.

    Isn't it nice to know we are not alone. Love the net for that reason. This was probably an unmentionable subject years ago. People just worried to them selves.

    Retired English Teacher,
    It must be working pretty well for you to put out such a well posted blog.

    He was cute in a surly way. Kind of a bad boy.You are the second to know about MG. Interesting.

    Ha ha, think that happened to me as I started to post.
    BTW, they found the remains of Credit Card. Oh how I hope they find the people who did this terrible thing.

    I really liked him in Thorn Birds. Goodness, do you ever see him?

    I can relate. I lose the word Crape Myrtle almost all the time. I am thinking of a tatoo.

    Linda Starr,
    I liked Kildare also but the bad boy Casey had my attention.

    It keeps our daily life from being boring. Whenever I forget a word or name, I won't quit till I remember it again. I am like a bull dog.

  38. "Interesting" is one way to describe it, I guess. Frustrating is more like it for me. I am not happy that I can't remember kids tell me things about their childhood and I don't remember it. How did that happen?

    Anyway, I hope that the person with this disease is doing well.

  39. My memory has never been very good, but I do remember Ben Casey. Very often I find myself searching for a word that is on the tip of my tongue but just won't come out.

  40. Hi Patti, I've never had a very good memory. I've forgotten important things I wish I could remember, but remember stupid things I'd like to forget. Wonder why that is? I do remember Ben Casey, but wouldn't have if you hadn't jogged my memory. I remember Dr. Kildare better, he was the one I thought was so handsome. I'm shallow like that, remembering the pretty ones. LOL!
    Aging isn't much fun, but it's better than the alternative as they say. But, I still have a hard time knowing I'm old enough for Medicare!

  41. I have no memory at all anymore. It ran off somewhere with my waistline...

  42. That fits me to a tea although fibbing I tell my friends I'm not too concerned since I've been that way since my 20's.

  43. You certainly amaze me dear Patti.
    How in the world that stuck with you all these years proves that there can not be one thing wrong with your brain. lol
    I do remember the show but never would I remember one diagnosis of his. Especially one I can't say.
    I do know this aging thing id s huge challenge and not sure one I am ready to take on. Too late though I am there.
    Please come by and enter my giveaway.
    Update on Christi for you. On top of all of this other she was laid off from her job today. Boy talk about bad timing.
    Love ya

  44. alwaysinthebackrow
    I know, when my siblings and I get together and share stories you would think we grew in separate houses. We just don't remember the same things.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    I know that problem well. Often a friend with a similar condition will volunteer the missing word I am searching for as I do for them.
    Fortunately we have different missing words.

    If it helps you any, you are still a puppy in my book. Cultivate older friends for comparison, younger ones to keep you moving, It helps.

    Ha ha, mine too.I blame elastic waist bands for all my failings.

    There are enough of us that we ought to work on a secret handshake.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Aw Maggie, I am so sorry about Christi. You both are really in a boils and sores period and I pray it stops. Enough all ready.

  45. Oh yeah!! for sure. We are moving into a new era of our lives and it's kind of amazing in it's own way. How is it that at each stage we just seem to gradually fit in?
    I love the Ben Casey reference cause I was a huge fan.

  46. Patti, the trustees will also be at the party; they serve punch, keep the buffet replenished, check coats and pass drinks. They get dressed up for the occasion (instead of the dark green uniforms they usually wear) and it is always nice to see them again.

  47. I loved the comment about fifty years ago but can't remember what I had for breakfast.

  48. My husband just described in great detail a photo Christmas card he insisted we sent out several years ago. Even after he went through several boxes and drawers and placed it in my hand, I didn't remember having the picture taken or sending out the card.

    Ben Casey? Sure, I remember. But I preferred Dr. Kildare. :)

  49. MAFW
    Welcome to TNS and thanks for stopping by and commenting. I will have to pop over to see your site.

    It is so true that two people will remember entirely different things from the same family. Weird, huh??
    The camps were really devided over the two doctors.