Remembering three items; drawing a clock face

Next year, I’m told, the test at my doctor’s office will be tougher.

three thingsA couple weeks ago, I went for my annual physical at my primary physician’s new venue. The Physician’s Assistant, who was previously unknown to me, asked me to put the numbers on an analog clock face. Then I was to indicate ten minutes after eleven on said drawing. I succeeded!

We agreed that, a generation from now, this might not be a very useful exercise. Maybe sooner.

There were three words I was given to remember. Even that evening, retelling this to my wife, I couldn’t recall the first word. It may have started with S. It surely WASN’T Tequila because the second word was Sunrise.

The third word I feigned forgetting, lightly pounding the arm of the chair I was sitting in. Finally, I gave the correct answer: Chair.

I’m not sure how much this proves; I’m notoriously bad at remembering names. But good at numbers; I was asked to recall my weight, which I did. But that also had the visual cue.

Having to have this test administered really ticks off my primary care physician. It’s apparently a mandate of some sort for those who are eligible for Medicare; I do have Part A.

If the test HAD shown some developmental loss, it might well be at a point when it’s far too late to be of any use.

Of course, the “rule of three” is “a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers or things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information.”

That’s SO true. When my wife asks me to remember three items to pick up at the store, I’m good. Add a fourth item, and out comes the pencil and paper. Some are even worse off: Fred Allen said: “I always have trouble remembering three things: faces, names, and – I can’t remember what the third thing is.”

Next year, I’m told, the test at my doctor’s office will be tougher. I’d start studying now but I don’t know what’s going to be on the quiz.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

6 thoughts on “Remembering three items; drawing a clock face”

  1. Back in 1984 when there were few analog clocks around, I was married to a techie doctor to the extreme. He even wrote a program to hit a single key to turn all the house lights off at once……When I got sick at that time, I was asked to draw a clock face like you were. I drew my doc hubby’s analog rectangular clock face. it was proof to the medical folks of a disease I actually did not have….they also asked be to name the presidents that I did perfectly as I was a history nerd….then they asked me to name the vice-presidents. I got them all….they wrote that response up as disease activity instead of that I had gone to grad school in American History…

  2. Interesting. Though I’d far rather have that test given me than the one my doctor is lining up for me later this summer. (I turned 50 this year, so you know what test that is).

    That said, I often have trouble with names and if I am tired or have a headache, I have trouble with words. I warn my students that once in a very great while I will get a migraine, and if I don’t make total sense or if I seem to be searching hard for the right word, that is the reason and not to be alarmed. I think of that poor sportscaster who got a few days of ridicule after she had an aphasic migraine episode…

    The last time my dad fell (I was up at my parents’ house), the EMTs who helped him back up did the cognitive test (who’s the president, what month is it, etc.). He passed the test. I’m sure they give it to make sure there’s no concussion even though he told them he did not hit his head and did not lose consciousness…

  3. Wow, you know the Veeps. I can do only about 3/4s of them, and only because 8 of them became President.

  4. Back in 1984 Dear…only 2 years after getting my SUNYAlbany graduate degree in America history…can’t do now….docs also dinged me as diseased then when for 2 term presidents I would say the same name twice or more in a row..for consecutive terms of course…..

  5. Yep….I had to explain why FDR got said a lot….the docs and nurses didn’t remember…

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