Am I loosing my mind?

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fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 2/22/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
First, off I know I am not loosing my mind. What I want to do is open up a dialogue about how we feel when the CP or more often the meds mess with our minds. I have heard from some that they don't have the issue with loosing the crispness of their ability to think. I get to the point sometimes that I can see the words in my mind but I can't get them out. I find this very frustrating and have had to look at this in a real way. My PCP told me on my last visit that he could increase my meds but the result would be my IQ would be decreased. I struggle with that as an outcome but one that I am having to see as a possible part of life to deal with the pain. It could also be an issue of getting older but I am not ready to think I am that old. If this has affected you, how have you dealt with it?

Becoming undone
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 2/22/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
What type of meds are you on besides the pain meds? They may be interfering as much or more so. Other meds for various conditions can actually be worse (High dose prednisone for example...not only does the mind go, but so does the control on the emotions...)
What you are describing actually happens often now...my memory used to be one of my best attributes, now I have to write down everything or it flits away...and yes I see the pictures of things but cannot get the words out...but for me it may be an interplay of the prednisone and the pain meds...who knows...could be my stupid, dumb, crappy(literally), infinite derogatory adjective, disease...
"The earth laughs in flowers"


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/22/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatherjohn,
Your post brought tears to my eyes - but please don't take that to mean I regret your raising the topic. It's probably under the umbrella of "things I've lost due to CP" for me, and I have actually said the words to my cousin that what I miss most is my sharp mind. I've said this on the phone to her as I was in tears. My crisp thinking and writing I always valued. They served me well in many ways, as well I enjoyed the ability to play with ideas, to articulate clearly and quickly. To have intelligent banter with someone. I haven't lost it entirely, but it's not there consistent anymore. And I can't predict when it WILL be there which is one of the issues regarding working. Even if I could sit for long days, I can no longer depend on my mind to keep going. At least not full time. And that deeply saddens me.

I am not on the other side of my grieving regarding CP issues, not by a long shot. I still fight reality, but I believe I am inching closer to accepting certain things, ever so slowy. Inching. And every now and then I get a very brief sliver, a glimpse, that maybe there will be a good deal of relief on the othert side of the struggle. It just doesn't happen overnight. I want my mind back, but I feel I have to accept I can't go back to where I was. Where I can go I don't yet know.

I hope I'm making some sense!

PaLady

fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 2/22/2009 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Becoming Undone, I have been on all the regular, prednisone, lyrica, neurontin, trazadone, nortriptyline, oxycotyn, hydrocodone etc. I am also on high blood presure and cholestrol meds as well as a list of over the counter meds. The over the counter meds are approved by my PCP. Due to the pain and sleeplessness, they watch my blood pressure and my high pulse rate. It is good to hear that I am not the only one that deals with the seeing the words but not being able to say them.

Like you PAlady, I fight all the way, I am not ready to give up. One of the first classes I took in college was how to read. It was a long journey to get to where I teach college classes and now I feel it slipping away. I am crying as I write this. I am correcting term papers and at the same time trying to figure out if I am going to be able to teach tomorrow. To keep it positive, I hurt real good today and it is definitely not the best day but I am sure there will be worse ones as well. Thanks for listening today. Maybe I need to head back to Maui.

Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 2/22/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I do okay with the Actiq I'm on & not too bad with the low dose of Lyrica. I want to get off the Lyrica again, though, b/c I did better both with mental acuity & with not waking up feeling nauseous. I have been on other pain meds that mess with my thinking much more than Actiq. I worked in Investments & would get my numbers backwards (not a good think to send a wire for $63M instead of $36M :(. So I started working on some of the activities I used to give my students with dyslexia or other learning disorders, I made cheat sheets for proofing & did lots of practice drills at home to keep my speed/accuracy up. It did seem to help.

Much more than the pain meds, I think not regularly getting a full night's sleep really messes with my thoughts. Between the pain meds which lower my quality of sleep & the pain which would lessen my quantity of sleep, it's a difficult battle. But I am determined to win! yep, yep

Could you maybe try some other type of treatment? I recently had radio frequency nerve ablation ("RF") and that seems to be helping quite a bit with my low back pain. Previously, I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted in my neck & I was almost off all my meds when the low back pain started up. I'm hoping if I can keep making good progress with my PT that I will be able to cut back on my meds once again. The fewer the better, I think, esp. when you're still young like me.

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 2/22/2009 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I too struggle with memory problems that I absolutely hate to happen. As some of you know I have been writing a book for the past year. Well when I had the big computer problems I lost my entire book which had 14 chapters done. Now I am forced to begin over since I didn't save another copy of the book on my external drive. What really bites is I'm struggling through Ch. 1 and I hate it. I can see the words I want to say in my mind but to actually say the word is almost impossible. I've been doing word games to help with this but still those I have problems with too.

But still I plug on hoping that I will remember something of the book or something will come through that will help me to unblock my brain and let the thoughts flow. Anyway...there is my two cents.

Hugs

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 2/22/2009 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I always feel like there is this cloud, or perhaps to be more precise, fog, drifting over my mind. Like fatherjohn, sometimes I'll know what I want to say, but I can't seem to find the words. This is especially annoying when I'm trying to write a paper! I just feel like when I take my meds, I lose some of my clarity; I'm not as sharp as I am off the meds. It is scary to feel like your mind is no longer your mind, at least not the mind you remember.

Skeye

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/22/2009 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatherjohn-
I just want to say this I think is a great thread. Deep. I've been avoiding starting some threads that poke through emotional boundaries, not wanting to face these issues. Yet they do need to be faced, for each of us in a different way.

Although we'd all prefer to be on Maui 24/7, I'm sure. But we can travel back and forth, and emotional stretching is as needed as physical.

PaLady

Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 2/23/2009 1:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I too become frustrated when I know what I want to say but sometimes can't find the words.It all started when I began prescribed opioids ten years ago.I figure it's not likely going to go away so I just live with it.To me, it's a small price to pay considering I'd be bed-ridden without the pain killers.

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 2/23/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
*nods at all the posts* I hear each of you clear...there is a fog around my brain too! I struggle with even simple words which frustrates me cause I can't think of it and hubby is sitting there looking at me like I am stupid. Yep gang I know how you are feeling.
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 2/23/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I always thought it was my meds that caused me to forget things, my memory was one of my better attributes. Not so anymore, sometimes my mind goes blank when I am going to say something or I totally lose the thought. Drives me nuts. But, I read an article recently by one of the big pain drs that says over time chronic pain does affect the brain, something to do with the receptors sort of like being in overdrive all the time. Anyway, they proved this in study and after reading the article it made good sense to me. I am just amazed that I can recall enough of it to write about it. Yes for me,lol....Susie


edt
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 2/23/2009 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Everybody,

WOW, we all do have most of the same issues.  I used to work a full schedule of patients and I could go back from memory 2 weeks and tell you who I saw and for what.  Now, I can't even remember what I did a few hours before.....reading this made me feel so much better about myself.  Sad for all of us but it helps to know we are NOT alone!

So I'm wondering but venturing a bet that this might also be a common problem for a lot of us.....weight gain even though following a structured diet, caused by low Adrenal function, from constant chronic pain?

I gained 35 lbs. in 30 days right after Cervical Fusion surgery, 9 yrs ago....then another 20 after Knee replacement 2006...no matter what I do, the weight stays!

Anyone else?

edt


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 2/23/2009 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Edt I was told our medications will cause weight gain. Lets face it, no matter what we are not near as active as we use to be so I imagine its a combination of medications, lower activity level and I feel certain the way we metabolize things now is probably different. Susie


edt
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 2/24/2009 5:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Susie,
Sad but so true!
edt

fatherjohn
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 2/24/2009 11:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I worked very hard and lost 25 lbs before I had surgery. I was told that not carrying the extra weight would be beneficial on the recovery and strain on the back. Now after a year, the pain is worse, I am more limited and somehow the weight found its way back. I also believe it is a combination of meds, not being able to be as active, and the addition of the depression that attaches to us. Does anyone else think that these issues also play on our mental status as we deal with CP? I head to my PCP tomorrow and will discuss the effectiveness of the meds. He does not want to do any further work with the meds and referred me to a PMS. I can't get into a PMS due to Ins. issues but hope to in a month or two. I know he is going to suggest that I slow down the work schedule which is part of the struggle I have had. By the way, I made it through the last two days of teaching but even the students saw I struggled. I guess that even if I am not ready to deal with this memory loss, I don't have much choice. Maybe the DR. will have a new medication that takes all the pain away and no side effects. Magical Thinking!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/25/2009 1:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Fatherjohn,
Do I think these issues play a role on our mental status? You betcha! And I thought I was the only one with weight creeping back on. I had worked so hard about 10 years ago to take off about 30 lbs., and I kept most all of it off until after my surgery. In the past year and a half, it's all come back on. All my clothes are tight and I feel lousy. But then I'm not active, hardly working, and doing a lot of emotional eating. I was at least eating healthier before. I think something clicked inside me when the surgery didn't work. It was like that was the one the in the back of my mind that i figured would work if I had to go through it. I was wrong. And then getting laid off was another punch to the gut. So now I feel like I eat and no longer care, and i know that's not good but I feel it's my only comfort.

I'm kind of going off track, I think. I've been thinking a lot about this thread, and your challenges with work. I so wanted to go back into education for another few years. I applied for a job a few months ago at a college, but the position was pulled - probably due to budgetary issues - before they even did interviews. Then I have to ask myself if I really could keep my mind on track enough to teach again, especially full time. Or do administrative work. Or just the reading to keep up and prep classes. Or reading the term papers, etc, etc, etc, I have to wonder just how long it would take me to do any of those tasks when 20 years ago it took working most nights and weekends when I was in good health mentally and physically. Your posts here are a reality check. Sometimes that's needed, maybe to counteract my own magical thinking.

I'm not in any way suggesting what you should do. It's so hard to know. Maybe you just keep going until you can't.

PaLady

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 2/25/2009 2:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone! I know what you all mean by gaining weight from the CP or the meds that we all are on. Just after my final fusion surgery I went from 130 to 184. I hated being that overweight and worked my butt off to get the weight off, but it did not work and I was left with this horrible weight that I carried for 3 years. A year ago doc took me off one of my meds....don't remember which one but apparently it must have been what I had put on all the weight from cause within a year I dropped 50 pounds and have been maintaining 130-139 for the last few months. Does our meds affect our weight? IMHO heck ya! I think also that being sedentary doesn't help either. Hubby bought me a treadmill that I use at least once a day and that in the winter months has been wonderful to keep my legs from becoming atrophied. But since the weather has been nice I have been getting outside and walking.

Anyway just wanted to put in my two cents. Since it is almost 4 am and my eyes are barely keeping open I think I will take in some sleep.

Hugs

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P

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