My name is George Goto. I was a development engineering manager working for a large international corporation for many years. I invented numerous products and have many patents. All this to say that, in my career I was using my brain extensively. I also followed a relatively healthy lifestyle and stayed in good health during this time.
Being in a pretty good shape throughout my life, I was not expecting any memory issues to come up. I must admit though, that memory was never my strong point. Before I retired, my best friend at work used to make comments about how poor my memory was. They say retirement is bad for your brain, so after I retired at the age of 72, I kept using my brain as much as I could, or so I thought.
Then when I got to be about 75 years old, I found myself having difficulty finding words I knew very well. Sometimes while talking to somebody, I couldn’t remember a word I had just used a few minutes ago. I coped with the difficulty by substituting it with another word or explaining it in a different way. It was frustrating but I still managed to bring my message across.
Eventually it got worse and my life started getting more frustrating. I became concerned enough to go see my family doctor about this problem. She gave me a mini-memory test and I scored 24 out of 30, which put me in the Mild Cognitive Impairment category.
This diagnosis was scary to me, but I said to myself “I am not taking this lying down”. I was determined to beat this thing. That’s when I started doing research on the internet to find things I could do to help me fend off MCI, and I started practicing these tasks and exercises whenever practical.
I believe my hard work paid off, because when I went back to the doctor a year and a half later, my score improved to 29 out of 30! With this score, the doctor declared that I was no longer classified to have MCI.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. I believe I am fully functional and have a reasonably good memory. But, I still run into difficulty recalling words and forget things once in a while. I need to keep my brain as active as possible and try to maintain my cognition – it continues to be a work in progress.
I am hoping that by sharing my experiences and the knowledge I have gathered, other people can learn from them, and give themselves a fighting chance to live with MCI, or even overcome this frightening diagnosis.