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also, for records - helen-louise
also, for records
Right now, the biggest cognitive issue I'm having is SEVERE very-short-term memory loss. You know when you go to another room to get something and by the time you get there you've forgotten what it was? That. Only all the time, and in all contexts.

I can be sitting online, see a word I don't understand or a journal that I want to look up, switch to another tab in order to do that - and by the time I've moved my mouse into the other tab I've forgotten what it was that I was going to look up. That rapid a memory loss.

I can be playing my favourite video game and want to look up details of how to do one of the quests. By the time I've got to GameFAQs (two clicks on my mobile phone, the specific faqs I need are in my Bookmarks) I've forgotten what I was going to do. Not only which quest number, but everything about it (which town it's in, which character or weapon it involves, which type of monster needs to be found) - and sometimes even that it's a quest I need to look up and not a treasure map or an alchemy recipe.

Cooking from scratch isn't something I'm able to do very much because I can't stand for long enough for most dishes, and not everything can easily be done sitting down. But in addition I lose my place in recipes constantly, so it takes twice as long to make something as it should. The only thing I can make reliably right now is my peanut butter soup, because I've made it often enough that I can do it on autopilot without any conscious thought.

You could suggest making a list, but - I forget what I'm supposed to be putting on the list! If I can't follow a recipe, which basically is a list of premade steps, then it's pretty damn hard to be trying to make my own lists.

Am I ready to go back to college? I don't know. I feel basically well enough to be there, apart from this. Frankly, I'm not safe to be in a lab without constant supervision. But for work that doesn't involve a lab? Will my memory get better as I use it more? Will it get better as I keep taking the vitamin D? Hmm.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

7 comments or Leave a comment
softfruit From: softfruit Date: 14th September 2011 23:34 (UTC) (Link)
Much sympathy, I can't imagine how bloody frustrating that must be.
hiddenpaw From: hiddenpaw Date: 15th September 2011 06:55 (UTC) (Link)
I share your analysis on going back to college.

On the recipe/list thing a list may help because you can cross things out on lists when you have done them. This would of course make a mess of recipe books but you could try photocopying pages (unless you work from online or printouts).

More seriously this sounds like something new for you. If it is I would suggest it's something worth talking to a doctor about. My understanding of brain science is barely above the national average, but that sounds like an important region or the connection to an important region is decidedly on the fritz in a really serious way.

baratron From: baratron Date: 20th September 2011 05:07 (UTC) (Link)
It is new for me, but it entirely fits within the kind of cognitive impairment that is expected for someone with a serious vitamin D deficiency. It's noticeable more because it's the only thing left after everything else has cleared up, if that makes sense. A few months ago I was so sleepy and foggy-in-the-head that I wouldn't have noticed that I did or did not have it, because I couldn't think about or remember anything.

Since writing this post I've found what may be a way round it, which is good. Not having it at all would be better!
nitoda From: nitoda Date: 15th September 2011 08:28 (UTC) (Link)
On the positive side, this post is coherent and well put together - did you do this in one take, or have you had to do lots of bits separately and edit much?

I found myself with similar, though not so severe problems at work and have found writing notes and crossing things off the be a wonderful way to help. I can't do tasks that involve switching from one screen to another to do something without taking notes from the first screen - for example, in my work I used to have to do things involving numbers or titles of books and my system sometimes wouldn't show me the lookup info I needed on the task pane, so I had to write it down so that I could complete the task. I formed a habit of always having printed instructions if I had to do something complicated because of this. It's like trying to use a Help screen and do the task at the same time when the Help screen won't sensibly stay on top at the side so you can keep referring to it - that's a nightmare!

However, I put it down to ageing in my case, which shouldn't be relevant to your good self.

Might be worth mentioning to the doctor if it continues to be a problem.
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th September 2011 05:03 (UTC) (Link)
Conversation is okay. There are enough clues in it for me to keep the thread of what I'm saying, unless I get interrupted. Writing a livejournal post is pretty similar to talking to other people, so it uses the same sort of memory - which doesn't seem to be affected.

It's a very specific part of my memory that's impaired: extremely short-term process memory. My verbal memory isn't a problem at all, except for the Noun Disease which I've suffered from ever since going onto Efexor (and which seems to be a common side-effect which is rarely written about, most likely due to sufferers not being able to articulate it).

Oddly, since writing this post and seeing your comment, I've been practising saying things out loud to remember them. It works! Now I need to figure out how to move things into my verbal memory without saying them out loud...
nitoda From: nitoda Date: 20th September 2011 08:55 (UTC) (Link)
You could try singing them ... ::ducks and runs::-) Maybe miming them would work? I mean making the mouth movements you would make when speaking them, not doing the charades thing!
From: ext_221050 Date: 16th September 2011 02:16 (UTC) (Link)
For what it's worth, that's kinda why I had to get a second monitor. Right now, it's pretty much just all-Hiveminder-all-the-time, but if I need to refer to something while I'm writing, it's great. Saves on printing.

I'm not sure if it's "normal" or not, but as much as I can, I try to consider this problem to be "normal". Otherwise, I'd try to curl up in a ball under my desk and cry, except that would hurt like bloody hell, so I won't, but you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, the part where I have occasional trouble stringing coherent sentences together when talking is a bit of a worrisome problem, and perhaps related, since it involves short-term memory and context switching...

(There's also this nagging voice at the back of my mind telling me that normal people are not constantly in pain, but it's the same voice that tries to fuck me up when trying to remember if I want the sin or cos of an angle, so it can kindly piss off for all I care.)

(Sorry, just kinda realized mid-comment that I have a poster session and presentation coming up in less than 24 hours. Ugk.)
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