I used to be really smart. That sounds conceited, but I was in all honors classes, got basically straight As, etc. I wasn't a genius, but I was smart, and clever.
And now I'm not. The pain and my meds have sapped my brain and I feel so stupid most of the time. I'm currently trying to read a book I had read back in mid-school, and I can't do it. I can't string the sentences together long enough for them to make sense. I just can't think that way any more and it scares me. I don't want to lose my brain to the pain, but it seems like it's a little late to say that now.
I guess I'm just glad that I got my GED when I did. I have a feeling I wouldn't pass it if I took it today.
It scares me to think if I've lost this much of my brain already, what am I going to be like as the pain increases. I don't want to lose that part of who I was.
Dame, nerve pain medicine like gabapentin does this and I find it so scarey. I'm so glad that I was unable to take that medicine when it was offered to me. I broke out in a rash and I'm allergic or over sensitive to that med.
I've actually have taken some medications that make me confused. When I would talk, different words would come out and not the words that I was thinking of speaking. I know there has been medicine that has given me extreme short term memory loss too.
I hope these medicines we take do not have long term side effects, especially once we stop taking them. I can understand why you are scared and discouraged.
I started doing a degree 3 years ago and had to drop out after finishing the first year. My pain had increased by the second year and my ability to concetrate and retain knowledge/learn just fell out the window and was off down the street. So that was that and I had to drop out.
I am glad other people struggle with reading, not that I would wish it on anyone, I used to read 3 books a week and now I consider half a book an accomplicement. And spelling! I have dyslexia and since things have been bad my grammer and spelling are twice as bad as before.
I have come to think that being scared about stuff is all part of having chronic pain, particularly when the future is concerned!
Between the pain and the medications, it's a wonder any of us are able to put together an intelligible sentence!! I was a voracious reader. Now I find myself having to go back and reread passages. When I was on fentanyl it was much worse. No memory at all. If the pain wasn't enough.
Dame you are still a very smart girl. It's the meds. Don't be too hard on yourself. We all are doing what we have to do to survive. You're still a pretty smart cookie!
With my Lupus and Fibromyalgia a foggy mind and memory issues go hand in hand and then the Lyrica on top of that really affects my ability to think. I was speaking to a prospective customer the other day and for the life of me I couldn't remember my phone number. I will look at something that I use all the time and can't remember what it is called. I feel like an idiot asking my husband what something is all the time and conversations can be very painful for those listening. I just won my dream job but am terrified that my memory issues will affect the job. We are all still smart - we are just challenged in sharing it with the world.
Thank you for posting about this. I feel the same way. I can stop in the middle of the room and just stand there. It is like my brain gets stuck. I used to be an avid reader. Now not so much. It has to be the pain med. And pain. I never used to be like this. If you tell your doc they will pull back on the meds is a loose loose situation.
You have my support. We are not stupid just stuck in the muck of the pain world! It is bad enough this comes on with age...we pushed it ahead with med!
good topic, I am in the same boat!!...........long term gabapentin use no doubt.
although I have too be on it, I couldn't get by without.
My mind if foggy, forgetful and like so many of you have said the spelling thing...I used to be excellent at spelling and remembering names..thats another story.
I need notes all over my house, even taped to the door!! even than I get to a store and forget something because my note is either at home/lost on the way OR I have forgotten to even take it out of my purse and look at in while doing my shopping!!
AND tell me does anyone else out there have 'ringing in the ears?' its driving me insane, medication related??
YES I have the ringing in the ears also! I've been on various pain medications for the last 12 years. I'm wondering if ALL of my problems have been caused by dealing with the chronic pain. Taking muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants AND Ambien to sleep. I know the depression came about from the pain. I too feel stupid. My brain just isn't functioning the way it used to which is depressing me. I'm stressing myself out at work worrying about making mistakes. I know my colleagues have noticed the change in me. Which makes me more depressed. I really thought I have ADD and am also taking Adderall XR right now. The lack of concentration and not finishing anything is wearing on me. It's a struggle to process anything I'm working on. When I started the Adderall it stopped my brain from racing, for awhile. Upped the dose (psych dr did) and the brain slowed down again so I could focus better. Had to change psych doc because of insurance and he doesn't think I have ADD. I have to find a new pain doc and I have not been able to find one yet. Only have 2 oxycontins left and I'm really not looking forward to going through the whole new patient process. Why is it that pain doctors think THEIR shots will work when the last guys didn't? I can't take that again. WOW, off subject. My mind is going faster than my fingers can type. Anyway I can so relate to everyone's posts here and it's given me a little more insight to what I'm going through. Do you think if we recieve a miraculous cure to our pain and no longer need pain medication, will our brains go back to normal? Would we ever be able to start typing a sentence and finish without pausing because we forgot what our thought was to begin with? Is it permanent do you think? Or will the clarity and memory come back? Is scary. Didn't mean to ramble on but nobody else can relate to what I'm going through and living with. I love this site. Makes me feel better every time I come back.
I totally understand. My pain has been a lot worse this last week and I am having a hard time tracking with what people tell me. My mom will have to say something to me 2 or 3 times before I grasp what she is saying. I've always been a voracious reader, right now I'm averaging a book a day because I'm not working, but if someone interrupts me I have to work hard to understand what they are saying to me and I'll forget what I just read and have to reread it.
To counteract the forgetfulness at the grocery store, my family found an app for our phones called OurGroceries, our apps are linked so that we can all compile the lists and things get forgotten less often.
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