Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: jgw Memory Loss - 03/28/21 06:24 PM
I may have posted some of this before. If so - apologies. Oh, I recently turned 86. I have a neurosurgeon that the VA has me going to. I see him about every year and a half. He asks me a bunch of questions and gives me tests and sends me on my way after I ask him questions about what is going on.

My dad's wife once told me that my dad had Alzheimer's. At the time there wasn't really anybody in town who was competent to actually diagnose that so I sent both of them up to Seattle to get tested. She was fine and my dad had memory problems. At the end he didn't really even know where he was or who he was but there was no dementia. After I got tested I was told that I was not a candidate for Alzheimer but I did have some memory problems. Since then (about 5 years ago) my memory problems have become more defined so I thought I would pass on some of the stuff I now know about.

My problem with my memory has more to do with my memory span than my actual memory. What happens is that I can no longer deal with multiple things. I used to be able to balance several conversations at the same time, for instance. That is no longer the case. If I am talking to somebody, and somebody interrupts me, I will likely forget my stream of thought and have no clue what I was talking about! If anybody is having something like this going on its NOT Alzheimer! As far as I know there is really no solution to this one and is what it is. The best plan is to understand what is going on and proceed with your life! I also checked for existing stuff being sold for memory. The most popular is Prevagin. If you google it you will find out that there is no basis for the claims made by this one and doesn't really help. Those that think it does are deluded (sorry). Fish oil may help and may not but there is a lot more studies with that than Prevagin.

My personal view is that the trick is to understand what is going on then get advise as to how to deal with it. For myself I have found that just almost understanding what I am dealing with has been half the problem. I can no longer deal with interruptions, for instance. If I get interrupted whatever I was doing is forgotten, pure and simple. I also have serious speech aphasia (forgetting words). This one is constant and frustrating. If you have access to something like google you can ask and chances are you will find the missing word! I also have no problem remembering things in the past, say, 40 or 50 years which I have always wondered why and about.

Anyway, I thought I would throw this in for those of you who might be aging with minor problems. Oh, you will also learn that to say "where was I" more and more as time goes on (I also remember a song by that name!)
Posted By: pdx rick Re: Memory Loss - 03/28/21 08:41 PM

Sleep apnea is a big factor in member loss. Just saying. Hmm
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: Memory Loss - 03/28/21 10:43 PM
I use google multiple times a day to look up word spelling or the names I block on. I do remember what I'm looking for, but the name escapes me temporarily. The way I look at it, is that computers are more and more auxiliary storage for my brain. Fine with me. I have experienced tons of stuff not worth primary memory storage. Secondary storage (like google) is fine.

I think a lot of the American public is going to be doing that more and more in the future. So many people have brain problems from Long Covid now, it's sad. This may be one of the most common symptoms, and most of these victims had asymptomatic cases. So they may not even be aware they had it. It's not like young athletes who can't run up and down the soccer pitch for a whole game any more.

I can still do Level 6 Sodokus, so my logic is working fine. Taking 3.5 mg Melatonin every night, so I'm getting a lot more sleep than I used to. But I have to google for "Melatonin" every time I want to name it! Maybe it's just swiss cheese brain from my MS.
Posted By: jgw Re: Memory Loss - 03/29/21 06:16 PM
My bipap machine deals with that
Posted By: jgw Re: Memory Loss - 03/29/21 06:26 PM
Welcome! What you are talking about is (again) Speech Aphasia. Its not gonna get better. If you are not used to it yet you will be! Just one of them things.

Then there is tennitus. As far as I can tell there is no cure but it really doesn't interfere with hearing its just one of them things you can get used to. Its kinda interesting. There are a pile of the famous who also have it.
Posted By: Greger Re: Memory Loss - 03/29/21 09:47 PM
I'm so deaf I can't hear the tinnitus anymore.

Can't tell you how often I open a new tab to Google something and forget what I was gonna Google...

But I smoke a lot of weed.
Posted By: jgw Re: Memory Loss - 03/30/21 05:25 PM
First tinnitus, that really doesn't have much to do with hearing - folks just assume that is the case as it seems it does. You can google that one.

When you start to do something, and then forget you what you were going to do its not that you forgot what you were doing. What happened is that you lost your train of thought because you were somehow interrupted. This is something that happens when you get older - you can no longer do several things at the same time and you are blaming your memory. All being said, however, it really makes no difference.

A few years ago I bought myself a digital voice recorder and carry it everyplace. If I see, hear, or think of something that I want to remember I tell my recorder and, later, it tells me what I recorded. That works for me. Digital voice recorders are cheap. Lots of them on EBAY for the right price.

Smoking will just wreck your lungs, not your memory. After I got stuck with stuff like bi-pap machines, etc. I quit smoking ANYTHING! Got myself a magical butter machine and solved that one <G> I also learned something. When you have lung problems - you have lung problems for the rest of your life and there is no going back. I quit over 20 years ago and still have problems from smoking. I tried to quit smoking about 10,000 times and failed. I read all about it. If you can quit for 2 weeks the only other thing you have to beat is the habit which is also not real easy. To do the 2 week thing I went to a doctor and whined about my throat (forget what I said). The doctor peered in and decided that the best thing to do was to take everything out of my throat that isn't really necessary. I still had my tonsils, that thing that hang down from the top of the throat, etc. After that I couldn't eat anything but soup for two weeks and was not interested in smoking either (it was a miserable two weeks but I survived). I know that all sounds a bit insane. On the other side I got smoking under control (no more smoking) and didn't miss the stuff the doctor took out.
Posted By: Greger Re: Memory Loss - 03/31/21 09:36 PM
I used to have horrible tinnitus, I don't anymore. I quit cigarettes ten years or so ago. Took up hookah for a few years, quit that so I could afford weed.

My lungs are shot, but so is the rest of me. I still bum cigarettes every chance I get. I vape weed so the lung damage is fairly minimal.
Posted By: jgw Re: Memory Loss - 04/01/21 05:34 PM
Did the tinnitus just go away or did you cause it to go away? If you did something what did you do?
Posted By: Ken Condon Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 07:03 AM
Just discovered this thread. Perhaps I should peruse the board more than I do other than the very first thread. So yeah my lungs are shot too. I used to smoke a s*** load of pot from my mid to late teens into my mid-20s. Grew it too on the Big Island. And it is said that the pot today is so much stronger than it was back then. That is total bullshit… when we used to grow that stuff if you could take two deep hits of it you were pretty amazing. Approaching speechless I might say. Never smoked cigarettes because nicotine would cause a huge allergic action reaction in me. I suppose I should pray to Lono for that. But I loved that Pakalolo back then.

Long story short I developed severe asthma and even to this day I take the Advair to 250-50 discus but it’ll be one or two puffs a day to keep the asthma at bay. Or is it bey?

Posted By: pdx rick Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 10:38 AM
...at bay.

smile
Posted By: jgw Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 05:55 PM
A couple of months ago the VA decided that I needed hearing aids. So, now I have hearing aids. The strange thing is that I can't tell the difference but am told they are working fine. One thing the hearing aids did help, however, was tinnitus. It cut the noise by at least 50%

Then there is the memory thing. I have come to the conclusion that its not all memory loss but a problem with attention span. The results are the same for both of them. I have found that I can no longer carry multiple subjects at the same time. If, for instance, I am talking about something and somebody brings something up my original subject takes flight. Its not a bad memory is a loss of enough attention. I used to have no problem with 5 or 6 things running at the same time with no problem. No longer...

I have actually and literally had a word on the tip of my tongue and then get mildly interrupted by just about anything and the word takes flight. The frustrating thing about that one is that I actually know that I had the word and THEN lost it.
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 06:04 PM
Originally Posted by jgw
A couple of months ago the VA decided that I needed hearing aids. So, now I have hearing aids. The strange thing is that I can't tell the difference but am told they are working fine. One thing the hearing aids did help, however, was tinnitus. It cut the noise by at least 50%

Then there is the memory thing. I have come to the conclusion that its not all memory loss but a problem with attention span. The results are the same for both of them. I have found that I can no longer carry multiple subjects at the same time. If, for instance, I am talking about something and somebody brings something up my original subject takes flight. Its not a bad memory is a loss of enough attention. I used to have no problem with 5 or 6 things running at the same time with no problem. No longer...

I have actually and literally had a word on the tip of my tongue and then get mildly interrupted by just about anything and the word takes flight. The frustrating thing about that one is that I actually know that I had the word and THEN lost it.

Same here.
And I was juuuuust about to get cleared for hearing aids by the VA when the Civilian In-house Treatment Initiative shut down, and I got shunted to private sector care. Not sure my CHAMPVA card covers hearing aids in the private sector.

Get your hearing aids "tuned up", my friend, it often takes a couple of return visits before they get it right, and that's the case out in the rest of the world, too. Hearing aid users seldom get the tuneup right the first time.
Posted By: Greger Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 06:42 PM
If your hearing aids don't work change the wax filters...

Mine are near the end of their life and as soon as my house sells I'll be able to afford another pair. Something like $6Gs.

The difference with and without hearing aids is like night and day to me. Nothing like normal hearing...but still like night and day.
Posted By: Mellowicious Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 07:12 PM
I have a weird but similar problem; I think I’d call it “aural focus dysfunction.” So far as I know, my hearing is okay - not great, probably time to be tested, but good enough to follow a conversation.

My problem arises when there are three or more voices overriding each other. It’s as though my brain can’t identify which words go with which sentences, or which speaker.

When I worked, I had a shared office and a lot of meetings,either in the shared officer in meeting rooms. I absolutely could not follow. This, along with some executive-function issues, contributed greatly to my early retirement.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: Memory Loss - 09/27/21 09:24 PM
I'm just approaching 70, and my spelling ability has fled the scene. Consonants are fine. It's the vowels that I get confused. But it's not my fault! I can still spell Spanish words perfectly, unless they are Mayan borrow-words. It's the English words that have confusing vowel sounds. I guess this means my executive function and logic are fine, but I no longer remember all the words I had to memorize to spell properly.

I've always had the inability to listen to a single speaker in a crowded room filled with conversations. The only time it matters is when my wife tries talking to me while I'm on the phone. I keep telling her I can't follow either speaker when she does that, but I guess she can't remember that!

I do have scars scattered around my brain, according the MRIs. A few words and names I just can't recall, even though I have so many connections to them I know they exist. I have to Google them when I'm trying to write something with that word. For example, "Natalie Portman". Can't remember her name for more than a few minutes, though I know who she is, remember her films, etc.
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