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Short Term Memory Problem

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#1 Peggy


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Posted 06 August 2008 - 07:01 AM

At my last appointment I brought up to my neurologist that I'm having problems remembering things, especially names. I used to "work" for a living and had new clients on a daily basis and now I can't remember names at all. He actually gave me a memory test that I passed. This is a really scary issue for me as my Dad and Grandpa both died from Alzheimers so it's not something I take lightly. Unless I write down what I need at the grocery store it won't get bought. Like I said, it seems to be the short-term memory. My husband can ask me to do something and I'll say yes and then a couple of hours he'll ask me if I did it and I have forgotten. Do you think this is sclero related? Does anyone else have this? Maybe its from medication. I sure hope it's not early Alzheimers starting. I don't need that on top of everything else I have to deal with.

One good thing though is I am able to read again. When I was on the cyclophosphamide I couldn't stay awake past one paragraph. Now I am reading each night at bedtime and I am reading one book a week and making weekly trips to our local library. This was something I've always loved and hated losing it when I was on the cyclophosphamide so I'm glad I've gotten it back.

Warm hugs to all,


#2 Purr


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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:24 AM

Hi Peggy,

Oh yes! My memory isn't what it use to be. I make a list for the grocery store and a list of things I want (or need) to do in the next day or two. Don't know if it is the MCTD or the medication. Seems like I read about the memory thing somewhere "but, I can't remember where!!! :lol: Doesn't that figure. Just keep making those lists. I see my rheumatologist September 9th (if not sooner). I'll ask her.


P.S. I make a list of things to talk to the doctor about. ;)
Love makes the world go around!

#3 smurfette


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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:25 AM

I was just discussing this same thing with my 19 year old daughter. The fact that I remember that I was discussing it with her is a victory in itself! It certainly could be the meds that you are taking. It is so frustrating. Names and things that you want to say are just on the tip of your tongue! I read that Alzheimers is not forgetting where you left your keys, but forgetting what a key is used for. I might put the remote in the refrigerator, but I knnow it does not belong there. I was just on the phone and making dinner and sorting mail at the same time. Multi-tasking messess with our memory too. I read that if you are going to Multi-task do things that are very different and you are less likely to mess up. I am not sure that it works. Your doctor did not seem concerned, based on the test that he gave you, so I think that you are just being overly concerned. I completely understand, but it does not seem that you need to be too worried at this time I would ask your doctor if any of your meds could make you forgetful.

I am on a med 24/7 for migraines and I know that it is causing memory loss. Add to that just the hectic pace of our lives, trying to manage our disease and remember all of the doctors visits, what happened there, our meds. and then maintaining as normal a life as possible and that can certainly set the right conditions for memory loss! It is a surprise sometimes if we remember to dress ourselves! I could not remember names before I got sick - now it is impossible. At least I do manage to keep my kids and cats straight. I even try tricks, but I forget my tricks a lot of the times. You passed the memory test. Give yourself some slack. You are ok. Life is very comlicated - that is why we make lists and are supposed to use devices to help us remember things.

I am thrilled for you that you are able to read again. I have tried and some days all I have to do is open a book and I fall asleep drooling! I am trying to get back into reading the historical literature that I read for my B.A. degree. I am having a lot of trouble because I just do not have the stamina if I have been working, and sometimes even if I have not. I will keep trying - that is all one can do, but sometimes I get through a page and can't remember what I read! Enjoy your rekindled reading pleasure and give yourself a break. You deserve it!

Chocolate, It isn't just for breakfast anymore!

#4 Sweet


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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:32 AM


I've brought it up to my doctor many times and he just kind of blows it off. He said a lot of it could be from the fact that I'm sleep deprived most of the time and I tend to agree. I find at times it's worse than others, and when I feel not myself I'll be a bit more quiet in public because when I'm like that I have a hard time coming up with the right words even for a sentence. My husband senses it and can finish my sentence and help me out when needed. I've stopped saying to a friend "Oh you didn't tell me that" when they bring something up, because I'm realizing it's ME!

Try not to multi task, that makes it worse. Also really focus on what someone is telling you and try not to be distracted. I know doing this helps me.
Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 Karenlee


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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:31 AM


You are not alone. I'd forget my head if it weren't attached to my shoulders. I keep lists for the grocery store (I think most people do that) and keep 3 different calendars, 2 on my computer and one on the pantry door in my kitchen, so there's no chance of forgetting a date or an appointment. Even when to give my cat flea drops :D

My Dad had Alzheimers too and yes that does make me wonder if someday I'll get it, but for now I think it's just not working (my last job was challenging and kept me sharp) and my brain getting a bit mushy. That's great that you are reading again. The brain needs to be worked just like a muscle. They say that learning new things builds receptors in the brain and helps keep your memory in tact. Doing crosswords, learning a new language etc. Just keep doing what you are doing. If your doctor isn't concerned then you shouldn't be worried.


#6 jefa


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Posted 07 August 2008 - 05:51 AM

Hi, all. I moved part of this thread to the Den so you can talk about books in that more relaxed setting. This is part of Peggy's reply that needs to stay with this thread:

(If you reply to this, Peggy, I will copy this bit into the post.)

Thanks everyone. You make me feel alot better. I agree that I tend to multi-task and need to quit doing that as that's when I forget to go and complete one of the tasks that I was doing earlier.

Christy - I still get tired and have to quit after a chapter or two but its alot better than it used to be. I can tell when I'm too tired to do it as I don't remember at all what I just read. SEE - back to the memory issue again - - I know - - give myself some slack.................

Warm wishes,

Carrie Maddoux
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist
(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#7 kellyA


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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:57 AM

Yes, I also run across this problem, at first I thought it was b/c I work full time and have 2 little kids and also fighting this disease

I sometimes will talk to other moms at school for a long time and I will be thinking to myself what is her name I know her so well (and once they walk away I remember) I also keep a calendar of events (between my dr. appts and my kids activities) I never know what direction Im headed let alone know what your name is-LOL

Your not alone, my aunt also has sclero and it's one of her worst compaints of the disease is the memory loss!


#8 Gidget


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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:27 PM

I too have same memory problem. The doctors just think it is related to the stress of the disease. I know that my memory is the worst when I am the most tired. As my lungs are effected, my rheumatologist told me that I just am not getting enough oxegen at times to my brain. As he explained that there are cells supersensitive to oxegen levels and as such, without even realizing, these cells may not have the oxegen that they need and sorta disconnect -- hence the memory issue. My husband for months kept telling the doctors that it was like he was now married to "Edith" from All in the Family as I can be a complete dingbat at times. It is frustrating as I have gone from never needing to make a list to leaving 4 post-its around the house to remind me to pick up my daughter after school. At the same time, sometimes my brain plays ping pong with itself for no reason at all -- like having to decide which 2 cereals to buy for the price of 1. Funny thing considering 2 years ago I was running in/out of Asia and Europe and now can't seem to find my way out of the cereal aisle!! I'm not expecting it to get any better but think the lack of oxegen in my system is causing this. Good Luck. Gidget

#9 razz


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Posted 08 August 2008 - 04:20 AM


I used to have a great memory but after developing SD, I also developed brain fog. None of the doctors could explain if is this was connected to SD or from getting older. I know older people with memories like elephants. It wasn't until I saw this doctor in Seattle for my stem cell transplant who explained it is SD-related. I asked him if SD affects the brain, specifically memory. He said "Absolutely". Which makes sense, because SD affects connective tissue and so many parts of my body that I was sure it interfered with my brain.

I try exercising my noggin by reading and doing crossword puzzles.

Live well, Laugh often, Love much

#10 smac0719


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Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:54 PM

This is wild! I have been having memory problems for a while and have wondered why it was occuring. I can be in mid sentence and the rest of what I was trying to say escapes me. If I don't make a list or put things on my calendar as soon as they are scheduled, you can forget me remembering. Seeing as though we don't all take the same meds, I wonder if it does have something to do with the sclero??
I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!

#11 Kamlesh


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Posted 09 August 2008 - 02:56 PM

Yes, I do have same problem. I also maintain every important appointment in my calendar. Take written notes at every doctors’ visit.
Sometime, it becomes embarrassing at work when I forget names of people I work on a daily basis. I am glad I use medicine boxes for daily morning and evening medicines, otherwise I would be in deep trouble to remember which medicine I took.
Kind regards,


#12 GocartMoz


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 04:23 PM

I definately have experienced the same problem. I have been told it was from the chemo I had with my SCT. However, I was noticing memory issues even before that, though clearly not as bad. I am hoping with time this will get better. In any event, I can certainly sympathize as it can be a real problem.

#13 HouckRN78


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Posted 13 August 2008 - 05:23 PM

I recently read a medical journal that documented the existence of "chemo brain" as mentioned by gocartmoz and I really think they need to look into "sclero-brain" next. One of the first symptoms I recognized was my difficulty remembering simple things like the name of the person I'm talking to whom I have known for years! My 5 yr old has even noticed that I have trouble finding the right word at times. I thought I was having TIA's or early alzheimer's but I definately believe this is a sclero-thing now. My critical thinking skills are still sharp as a nail but I sometimes can't tell you what that "metal thing" is that you hammer into a piece of wood! :D It has given me great empathy for stroke and alzheimer's sufferers. Take heart that your memory loss is common among us sclerodians and use it as a convenient excuse for missing those not so enjoyable events!

Love and Blessings! Heather

#14 Peggy


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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:20 AM

You know it's great to hear that I am not alone in this particular side effect, if you can call it that. I do however love the idea of using it as a "tool" to forget certain things like events that I don't want to go to...............or do things I don't want to do.....................never thought of it that way.

I do know that on some days it is so more apparent than others and I know my husband really notices it. I hope it doesn't get worse than it is now. With Alzheimers already in the family as bad as it is and maybe having sclero cause this too the odds are really against me.

Warm hugs,


#15 CFMBabs


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Posted 14 August 2008 - 08:47 PM

What were we talking about just then? Ah yes, memory loss. I'd lose my head if it were loose.
My mum died from Alzhiemers and it's something that secretly worries me when I have lapses of memory. I tend to put things down and in a matter of minutes I forget where I've put the stupid thing. I actually threw my feeding tube extension in the bin yesterday. And the worst experience to date has to be the raw meat in a bag which I placed on my daughters bed, instead of in the fridge!
I even forget words mid sentence and some day's I'm worse than others. The weird thing is that my dad was having a mental aptitude test in his home for his suitability to manage on his own. The sort of questions they asked were very menial, like who is the Prime Minister, but when asked what day of the week it was and also the date -- he answered quicker than I could think and he's almost 80, and guess what? I got it wrong!
I forget things all the time -- Shopping has to be the worst. Appointments I miss, especially hairdressing, and I constantly do things that are uncharacteristic.

This is a good talking point. I'll look in again -- if I remember!

Best wishes to you all (Who ever you may be?)

Barbara ( I think?) xxx

#16 relicmom1


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Posted 15 August 2008 - 03:34 AM

Memory? ? ? ? What's a MEMORY ? ? ? ? :P I started struggling with this a long time ago. My kids get really aggravated at me.....if I hear DON'T YOU REMEMBER MOM???? one more time I think I will scream! I have scraps of paper everywhere with reminders on them. I carry a date book or I wouldn't know where to be from day to day , and oh remember....I don't work! :blink: I try not to let it get to me, though that can be hard, as like some of you, I worked with the public for 25 years (in a primary care doctor's office) and once I met you, I remembered your name, plus everything else I needed to work ( pharmacy phone numbers, etc) and now I can't even remember my own phone number I've had for 20 years. Just try to finds ways to compensate with notes, etc and TRY not to let it get you down!
Peace :)
Barbara aka relicmom1