I mean no disrespect to the memory of Ronald Reagan, but raised awareness of Alzheimer’s disease is reminding me of just how forgetful I am!

Honestly, sometimes I think I’m losing my

mind. According to the Alzheimer ’s Disease Education & Referral Center,

symptoms include: 1) mild forgetfulness, 2) trouble remembering recent events and names, and 3) may not be able to solve simple math problems. Hmmm … So far, I’m 0 for 3.

I lost my keys the other day. It took me over an hour to find them. So, I was late. I hopped in the car, reached for my purse to find my phone to call and say I was on the way, but knocked it over and spilled everything under the passenger seat. I had to find my phone, so, I drove (very slowly) down the street, blindly feeling the floor. I came up with two empty water bottles and a leaking pen. No phone. Hmmm… that’s the second time this week. “I’m losing my mind!” I said out loud (to myself).

It gets worse. I totally forgot my girlfriend’s bachelorette party. Well, I didn’t totally forget. I didn’t write it down and had the wrong day in my head. “Missy, what happened to you?” my girlfriend Denise squealed. “What do you mean?” I asked, completely oblivious. “We missed you on Saturday!” “Oh my gosh, I must be losing my mind,” was all I could say. I wanted to burst into tears. I could feel the guilt and shame building up inside. I was baffled at my lack of brain retention! The bride-to-be is one of my oldest living friends! That’s like forgetting my sister’s wedding!

Yesterday, I spent 15 minutes making my lunch, only to leave it on the counter. Then, at Indigo, I forgot to put the car in park when I gave it to the valet. It rolled a couple feet down Nuuanu Avenue before I realized we were moving.

I did a little research on memory loss. Here’s what the experts say: Doctors can’t diagnose Alzheimer’s until you’re dead. But, once we reach our 20s, our brain cells start to die. We get tired more easily, need more sleep and we become more forgetful. According to familydoctor.org, this is “normal” and doesn’t mean early Alzheimer’s. But if you (like me) suffer from brief “senior moments” (even if you’re in your 20s or 30s), here are a few tips:

  Keep lists.

  Follow a routine.

  Make associations to help you find places.

  Keep a detailed calendar.

  Put important items (e.g., keys) in the same place.

  Repeat names when you meet new people.

  Make it habit to say “no” before saying “yes”; then, there’s less to write in that detailed calendar!

Melisa Uchida is the news director for Rory Wild and the Wake Up Crew on Hot 93.9 FM, weekday mornings 5:30-10 a.m. Reach her at melisauchida@earthlink.net