Meds, Memory Loss and My Support System

Approximately three years ago I started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. At first it was little things, like putting my glasses in a desk drawer instead of on my nightstand like I normally would. That was just the beginning. It progressed rapidly. Within months I was forgetting things more often. I would have a doctor’s appointment and instead of going to my doctor’s office, I would almost arrive at one of my children’s doctor’s offices before realizing I had forgotten where I was going. It would take several minutes of concentration before remembering where I was supposed to be going. Eventually, my memory issues were so bad that I was forgetting whole conversations. For instance, the week before spring break a couple of years ago, my ex-husband called and wanted to know what day I wanted to meet him so Bee could spend spring break with him and his family. We got into a huge argument because I had made plans for us for spring break. However, he insisted that I had told him he could have spring break visitation. I argued that we had not spoken about it previously. Finally, we agreed to share spring break. Later, my mom told me I had previously told her that Bee’s daddy was going to spend spring break with her. Again, I argued that I didn’t remember having that conversation, but my mom was insistent that I had.

I finally consulted my doctor about it. She decided it would be best for me to see a neurologist. After several tests to make sure there were no tumors or other abnormalities in my brain, the neurologist decided it was probably medication related. Several of the meds I was on could cause dementia after prolonged use. So he changed some meds and added a new one. The main reason for this medication was to slow down and/or improve memory cognition. My PCP also did some blood work and discovered I was extremely B12 deficient. So on top of the med changes, I now have to have a B12 injection monthly.

Gradually, the memory loss was getting less noticeable. However, three years after the beginning of my memory issues, I am starting to have issues again. I was told that the B12 had been as affective as it was going to be. Now I live with the short term memory cognition on a daily basis. My children are more aware of the issue and try to help. For instance, if I don’t hang my keys up by the door, the girls will find them wherever I misplaced them and hang them up. I misplace money often throughout the house and they try to keep up with my coming and going. It scares me to think where I might be in the next five years. As I have learned, medication can only take you so far. I have a support system in place to help me out when I am having a particularly bad time. Before I do anything, I always let my girls know where I’m putting something. I usually don’t go anywhere by myself anymore. I have an outrageous fear that one day I won’t remember how to get home. I try to plan ahead as often as possible. As I said before, I have a support system in place to help me during difficult times. Currently, my biggest issue is not being able to remember whether or not I have taken my medicine. I have taken steps to try to keep up with that. I have a pill box and that helps. However, I sometimes forget to fill it. My girls are teenagers and very capable of helping me out as much as possible. The most important thing I have learned from this experience is it is important to have a strong support system and realize you don’t have to do things alone. I have always been very independent. It scares me to think how far these issues will progress, but with help from family, I know I am not alone.

Read the rest of Angel’s blogs for IBPF here and check out her personal blog here.

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