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Are You Slower?


Guest tearose
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I am trying to get an appropriate job and I want to have a good sense of all my strengths and challenges.

Even though I am working on getting better and restorative sleep, sometimes I think that POTS has changed my brain permanently.

Does it ever all get better in the brain again? Those of you who feel clear headed, who work, are you slower to process information or slower in your decisions? Did you get "better" and how do you achieve this?

I am wondering if I am "mellowing" or just slower in processing information and I wonder if it will go away.

I wonder if it is because we deal with physical challenges we are "distracted" by our own body?

The ramifications are that if I am in a position of leadership, I don't want to feel slower than I should be.

tearose

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T

I had the same fears when my POTS was really bad. I just could not focus well or think through something like I was accustomed to. I can still have days like that, and I am more forgetful than I used to be--I have to write things down or I forget, I forget names easily...I've had to get more organized. But, overall I am far better than I was in 2003 and can do my job well, learn new skills, etc.

I suspect that the brain is like the rest of our body. It has to be strengthened with exercise or it will atrophy. I think it is good to push yourself cognitively for that reason.

Hope you find that things improve.

Katherine

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I have major congitive problems. My family just laughs with me.... others don't notice because I hide it well... but it drives me NUTS!

I'm scared because it's gotten so much worse... but the brain is a resilient thing... I hope it will recover.

I force myself to do things that are hard. I play puzzle games and force myself to balance my own little checkbook (not the big family one) and I keep pushing hoping my brain - whatever it has lost - will continue to try to reforge new pathways to keep functioning.

I'm considering a OT (occupational therapist) to give me brain exercises to try to keep from losing as much as possible and to keep renewing those pathways.

~roselover

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Thank you rose and pat and Katherine...

yes, I do realize as we age things change. I don't want my age to be an excuse, or my POTS for that matter.

I want to be real sure though, as I find my new little gem of a job, that I do not present myself as more or less than I am capable of. I think I interview very well. I just don't want to get into a job and feel too slow.

Katherine, thank you for sharing your work concerns too. I am glad to hear that organization and writing things down took the edge off for you. I do this too and will continue. I also am going to start refreshing some skills I haven't used in awhile so I have more self confidence too!

best regards,

tearose

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I definitely am with you on the cognative issues. I struggle with this almost daily. Provigil and Concerta(ritalyn) have help lots. But I feel like I have half the mental capacity (memory, decision making, reasoning) than I did 5 years ago. There are days I am just too tired to do anything. Exercise (running) used to help me lots, but w/ the post-exersional fatigue and joint pain, that doesn't work anymore (actually makes things worse). Hope you find somethign that works!

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Roselover,

I tried an brain damage therapist at $120/visit for six months. The training was just expensive tutoring. But it helped in one way - I gained more confidence in myself and began to push to try focusing on details, which I was avoiding, probably from fear of failure.

The specialist trained me on how to grocery and drugstore shop, which lead to me doing my own shopping. And I re-learned to drive again.

The cognitive training didn't go so well....I can't memorize at all. I forgot how to do my career (mortgage loan officer, which, frankly, involves complex ratesheet reading, memorization and learning all the details of dozens of loan offerings) and how to use software.

I am desparate to find some kind of job that I can handle, but just figuring out how to drive and do the housework is an effort, so I'm not sure where to start.

Open to suggestions....please.

Elegiamore

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I was also struggling a lot with cognitive function after being away from work. I saw an advert on TV for Dr Kawashima's Brain Training game for Nintendo DS. I asked my parents to get me one for my birthday and played it devotedly most days for 2 months. It is a whole host of little mind, memory and concentration tasks - some very simple like basic arithmetic but done quickly. Initially my scores were hopeless but I improved rapidly and now can score near my own age on it's "brain age" test.

I'm sure that the same exercises could be done without the fancy Nintendo but the addictive tendency of computer games helped me to stick at it and practice daily. Basically I think that like a muscle if you don't use your brain it looses that ability to do things. Our brains are often short of blood and oxygen but few of us will be so unfortunate as to have suffered a true permanent brain injury.

I think the secret is use it or loose it but take heart that I managed to get mine back through practice and repitition. My memory isn't as good as it once was but I have just managed to study for and pass an exam for work which I couldn't have done a year ago!

Happy mental exercising,

Flop

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I do get fuzzy sometimes, though not as badly as what some people have described. I make lists, have calendar reminders, etc. I'd recommend trying to find work where writing plays a bigger part then acting- it gives you a chance to re-read and revise. Also, I'm not shy about saying 'I need to go research this, and I'll get back to you' when I feel like I can't respond right away.

In some ways, I've found that this need to be consciously careful has been a blessing, particularly in my job (lawyer), which involves a lot of attention to detail. Just last week, I was complimented on my ability to carefully review a document and catch mistakes! And it makes me more concsious about not shooting off when speaking, which is a common problem for lawyers.

Finally- Best brain exercise has to be reading!

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I am definitely slower- my word recall and memory are badly affected when I'm in a flare. My greatest source of frustration is knowing how sharp I used to be, and how fuzzy I am now. But people can make adjustments for us, and we can still succeed. Brainfog doesn't need to stop you attending school- mine are now making big adjustments for me and I'm on my 3rd degree.

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hi tea,

i am absolutely slower, like in my movements, thinking etc. also i have severe cognitive trouble, i ask my husband every day the same questions (which drives him nuts), can't do our financial stuff (i try to do my own health insurance but have to let my husband check it). for some time ago i tried to update my knowlegde of the french language but couldn't remember the new words i treid to learn. when we were in france last summer i found out that there was a lot left of what i had learned in highschool. new things are very difficult (if possible) for me to learn.

we all laugh about it, my youngest son always says: oh you can tell mum a secret, she won't remember it tomorrow.

i really hope you will succeed in finding an appropriate job tearose!

corina :)

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