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Starburned

Memory Problems, Especially When Writing

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Lately (past month or so) I've been having memory problems. I've been leaving out letters in words I know how to spell and forgetting words when I'm speaking. Language has always been my strongest point, so this is highly unusual. I'll need to go back and fix words every few sentences because of this when I'm writing manually. This also happens when I'm typing and I seem to be typing a lot more slowly.

I tend to forget the words for things so I need to pause and think of a synonym. It takes me a long time to figure out what I was originally trying to say. It seems to have nothing to do with the unusualness of the word or simplifying things. For example: in conversation I could remember placate but not soothe and pertinent but not relevant.

I do homebound instruction, which means I have a teacher that does one on one work with me. It happens a lot that, when she's watching me and I get a problem wrong, the answer I write is wrong but the answer I tell her is correct. I could mean 43 and write 12 and not realize it until it's pointed out. She now has me talk through problems while I write them and I tend to write one number and say something completely different. And there's no disconnect in my mind until I see what I've written.

Anyone else have these problems?

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Starburned,

I'm sorry you're having this. Many of us here have these kinds of cognitive issues. It is believed to be from the cerebral perfusion. The lack of blood to our brains also means a lack of oxygen. This in turn causes these kinds of issues. I find that even little things like working with my legs up (such as sitting on the couch with my legs up on the couch) help to ease these symptoms because I am able to get less blood pooling in my legs and more to my brain. Staying hydrated helps and I also find a small amount of caffeine will sometimes help me with this such as half a can of coke or a cup of half-caff coffee. We just had another thread about this and I can't remember the name of it. I'll see if I can find it and get back to you hear with the title.

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You should be tested for antiphospholipid syndrome. It can cause severe migraines and the kind of memory issues you describe as well as dysautonomia. The treatment can be as simple as an aspirin daily or it may be more complex. I had all of the issues you describe and have improved markedly with the proper therapy. This can run in families. It does in mine.

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Hi Starburned,

I have this symptom too. I wrote a little about it in the other thread, "Please describe your brain fog." I do the same thing as you, where I try to think of synonyms, but I am bilingual and often I can only think of how to say a particular word in one language or the other-- like sometimes I have trouble forming a complete sentence in just one language because the two languages feel like they've become muddled together in my brain or something. I don't usually tend to write something other than what I mean, as you said, but I seem to make more mistakes when I'm writing since diagnosis (in 2010) and it's almost like I have a harder time making my writing look nice. It's incredibly frustrating for me because my job deals with language.

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You are not alone. This is one of my most frustrating symptoms. I use to think my job was easy, now it is hard to get through the day. I have to double,


triple check myself. I think I use my brain so hard for just the basic things by the end of the day I am literally brain dead. I work part-time and don't



see how people do full time.


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I have very similar issues. I have a hard time comprehending what I read. I have re-read several times. I also have found that I have a really hard time spelling. I am an intelligent person and I have had days where I literally could not spell very simple words. I had to give up one day when trying to spell "multi." I also transpose letters sometimes now. When I do this I usually know that it is not right, it just takes me a while to get the right word. I did notice, prior to even becoming really sick that I was making frequent mistakes when typing at work. I would go back days later and read notes I had type and there would be blatant mistakes that my 3rd grader would have noticed. I am on Flroinef and I believe this has helped a little. Last night I was cleaning some around the house, more than I usually do at once and my word finding got really bad. Everytime I tried to say something I could not find the words. It was like I would start talking and then have no idea what I was trying to talk about. It gets really embarassing sometimes because I know that I am intelligent, but a lot of times I cannot hold a conversation to save my life.

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Yep, I've had this for years. Partly you deal with it by getting organised: making notes a lot (colour-coding can help, e.g. with computer sticky notes), using a spellchecker, dividing up tasks with headings and so forth, taking breaks, avoiding multitasking or any jobs that you find particularly difficult (e.g. listening and writing at the same time, such as taking lecture notes). Partly it's a psychological thing, and it's very hard to get your head around this happening. Counselling may help.

I got ME/CFS in my first year at university, and my marks literally dropped to half of what they'd been at school. If I'd still been at school, they'd have spotted the change, but the university just assumed I was rather stupid, instead of realising that I was one of their brightest students. Thankfully, after having some years off and coming back part-time, I was given a note-taker for classes. She was a history lecturer and went to the trouble of taking me aside and teaching me how to write essays properly (at school, I'd been bright enough that I'd never really had to make an effort, I'd just been winging it, and this no longer worked). So then my marks bounced back up again.

I have Auditory Processing Disorder, and have had since birth. I learned how to adapt to it young, so that for years the only sign was that I talk faster than most people. Then once the cognitive problems from the ME hit, the APD was amped up. I suddenly went from being able to scribble loads of notes during a lecture to being barely able to understand what the lecturer was saying, let alone to take notes. A friend of mine who also has APD and ME says exactly the same happened to her. Neurological problems such as APD, dyslexia, autism spectrum and so forth seem to co-exist quite frequently with ME, which in turn is common in people with POTS.

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okay, so i taught myself to read, write and speak cyrillic 10 yrs ago and hardly remember a lick of it now. at age 12 I taught myself short hand and to write/interpret ancient hyrogliphics. don't remember anything now,,,,,muscle memory lost I suppose. there is much research that shows handwriting changes with chronic illness, such as parkinsons handwriting gets smaller....google it, it is interesting. I have a hard time writing anymore, I can't even read what I wrote, it's weird. as far as conversation, I am responsible to answer a lot of emails and phone calls and i can throw off the emails untill i feel like I can respond appropriately however phone calls I sometimes find myself saying um,,, umm, ummm, even tho i know the answer in my head I cannot translate it thru words.

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