It's complicated...

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Sandy C.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/14/2007 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I have FINALLY returned to work, YAY! But find that my memory, or words, are not what they used to be... I believe I may have some sort of aphasia where I can't find the words to say what I am thinking. Even if I know inside and out about the topic I am needing to discuss. At home my husband is coming to terms with me saying "uhm ahhh" with a frantic look in my eyes, or saying "I need to take a toilet" instead of "I need to take a shower." At work, I am an RN. I have been recently approached about getting promoted, but I find this word thing is going to prevent that.
 
All through my shift, I spend time reading the history of my patients so when report time comes I can give a thorough report as well as do my job to the best of my ability while I am on shift. When I am physically working, and not having to verbalize any information to a coworker, I know EXACTLY what I need to do and why. I am not lost, I am not confused. However, I am sure I look lost and confused because people tell me this. My boss is telling me in order to get the promotion I "need to work on knowing my patients history." I KNOW THEIR HISTORY, but how can I show this when I can even say the stupid words to prove it? In report I find myself saying that "It's complicated" about patients who have a long, unique history.
 
I keep myself organized by writing info down, which helps a lot. But I can't write down 20 pages of history... I don't have the time nor the space on the single sheet of paper I carry. I remember numbers really easy, which can seem kinda strange for me at times... But knowing whats in my head and not being able to speak it is REALLY strange at times.
 
Does anyone know anything that may help me with this? For my job in particular. How can I organize myself better so I can speak better when I need to?
 
Thank you in advance.
 
Oh yeah my liver is not functioning so well so my doc took me off all my meds, and lately I have been having more good days then bad! And no needles! My liver will be fine soon so no worries there... then back to the drugs...
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Rebif, Cymbalta 60mg PO QD, and Provigil 200mg PO BID.


Denda
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 2/15/2007 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Sandy!

I wish I knew what to tell you! I have the same problem, however I sit at a desk and can have sticky notes all over it, my phone, my file cabinet, my books, my shelf and any stationary object around me.. It can be a funny site coming into my office. Of course, you being an RN can't have that, it wouldn't look too good. ;o)

As soon as I find something that works w/o the good ol' post it company, I'll let you know. I avoid conversations with people who I sought out before just so I don't have to have an impromptou (sp?) conversation w/them and lose words while talking. I'm in the technical field and like you need to use 'big' words and I can see them but for some reason they don't come out and it leaves me standing there like I don't know what I'm talking about.

Hopefully someone else here will have some helpful tips that we all can learn from! Hang in there. Being an RN with this disease is an inspiration to us all. :o)
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
  Author: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 2/15/2007 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Sandy and Denda

My goodness, i feel so much for u both! I'm fortunate in that i don't HAVE to deal with people on a regular basis...i stay at home. I do, however; remember very clearly (imagine that...i remember!) that feeling of knowing what i needed to say, yet not being able to get it out. I looked foolish, unprepared and unqualified to do my job many times. I had NO idea what was going on...no outward symptoms at that time. I worked for a computer company and headed up the sales division which meant i reported directly to the company president....looked really bad. My boss was a true computer geek and wanted a completely paperless environment...yet there i was..with post it's EVERYWHERE!! Denda, u and i should prob write a book on creative uses for post it's! I couldn't remember anything and it got so bad that i even would forget to look at my notes...and would fail to do something. Needless to say i tried everything...digital recorders, writing in the palm of my hands, cell phone alarms, u name it. There were times...as there are now...where my memory would get much better. I'd feel as tho i'd been in some abyss and felt rather stupid when i saw the mess i'd made of things, but just didn't think it was anything but my own fault.

Sandy, if u'r like me, when u read and think u have it....u don't. U forget almost as soon as u've assured u'rself u've got it. I've tried extra reading to try to sharpen my brain...seems not to be helping, but i'm not quitting. I've not found anything that really works except that i try to remember small amts at at time. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. It's not just the memory but the focus as well. Reading a sentence sometimes takes several tries to actually get it. It's the whole picture...something is going on and it's affecting how u can focus and speak in multiple ways. I guess there's no quick answer...u have memory probs. That's bound to affect u'r life in many ways and unfortunatly u'r job too. I really wish i could say something to help u turn on the memory again, but i just don't know what that switch would be. We three should form the "Three Amnesiatic Amigos" ;) Take care both of u and i hope someone can come up with a magic switch to turn on our memories again!


rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*

Post Edited (rhondab) : 2/15/2007 11:54:37 AM (GMT-7)


tropical dreams
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 2/15/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Well when you find that magic switch let me know. I too have had those wonderful experiences at work, not good when you look at a specimen and you know the Nurses intinals but you can't type it in the computer to recieve it and it's a STAT to boot. Talk about panic. I got written up for inputing an Industrial account in wrong (specimens from Nursing homes) wrong date and time and it was a stat for a timed clotting factor so needless to say I got in trouble. They are watching me really close now, If I could only forget where I worked hahahahaha.

Wishing you Amnesiatic Amigos better days ahead LOL
***Carla***
 
EVERY DAY I WAKE IS A NEW POSITIVE BEGINNING
 
Dx 08/02/06 MS
Betaseron
Citalopram
Gabapentin


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 2/15/2007 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Carla

We can make it a foursome! Sounds like u've earned u'r place! Sorry it's so bad for u too...seems this memory issue is common place for most here. Take care...if u can remember to! ...wait a min...who are u anyway?? ;)
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 2/15/2007 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sandy,
 
   Just a thought, have you talked with your neuro about this?  They might be able to recommend some kind of cognitive retraining through an occupational therapist or speech pathologist.  It might be worth a shot as they might be able to show you some techniques you haven't thought of.  Best of luck!!
 
Kimber
 
Co-moderator for Multiple Sclerosis
 
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

DFC
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 2/15/2007 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sandy

I have found this topic very enlightening. We can explain the lose of balance, the limping. the shaky handwriting but the loss of our ability to recall, remember, concentrate. speak without losing our train of thought or the word that fits what we are trying to say is a whole different matter. I would probably socialize more if I could carry on a conversation like I used to rather than have people look away because they are uncomfortable with or embarrassed for me. I am so sorry that you all are having similar problems. Sandy, Kimber is right. Try the speech therapist...they are also supposed to help with swallowing problems, if you have trouble with that also. I have done the same work for 32 years and now I am having problems because I cannot think of what it is I am trying to say or do even though I have said it or done it a million times in the past. Even though we may be able to somewhat hide it from others we can never hide it from ourself.

I think what happens to us cognitively is overlooked far too often. It affects our core belief in ourselves. Take a deep breath when you can't find the right word or the wrong word comes out. I try to make people laugh by saying that I was just checking to make sure they were listening!! I know you can't do that in a professional situation. Humour sometimes works at home or in a social situation and then sometimes we are too tired or down to even try. Hopefully, time and the right meds, when you are able to resume them, will help. I know I have really ticked off a lot of people but that isn't, or at least never was my way, before. The people on this board are a great comfort...even when they tell me things I don't want to hear, I go away angry and come back, humbled, to those who really know what we are all going through in our own way. Good luck Sandy.

Dale

Sandy C.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/15/2007 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you ALL for your response! It has certainly brought a smile on my face enlight of such a "complicated" thing. It's amazing to me that I am really not so alone. I am glad others can relate so I don't feel so dumb and alone... One thing, like all of you, I have found that helps I writing. Even in test taking situations, my recall is there, my words are not. But then add the stress of embarrasment on top of it... well then, there goes my recall. If there was a way to write a report off .... hmmm no. Not even a resonable accomadation in my perspective.

I did call my neuro about a class or something I could go to but she had no suggestions. I know a neuro-psych is someone that could really help, but unfortunately there aren't many around and the one that was recommended by my neuro as having many qualifications won't accept me as a patient =( one, cuz my insurance won't cover his charges and two, he wouldn't even take me as a cash pay (back in the day when I had money I could have done that...). I will be seeing my neuro again in less then a month, I will asked about OT or speech therapy.
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Rebif, Cymbalta 60mg PO QD, and Provigil 200mg PO BID.


MSBLESSED
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 2/17/2007 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. Fatigue has my been my MS Monster, but I can relate to some level with the cognitive issues. I work in the Information Services department and with all of them being nerds anyway, very little conversation is needed. Most of our conversations are either via e-mail or Instant Messenger. Thank God. Something you might want to consider is a hand held like PDA where you can type a brief history of your patients. Like key words that will get you going and use that when you are reporting on them. It also looks like you are going the extra steps by trying to find alternatives, so keep with it. When I have face to face meetings, I typically write down key words that I need to remember when speaking. It helps. Lists are wonderful too. Bullet items look clear and straight forawrd, so maybe a bulleted patient history would be beneficial when giving report. After you give the report just shread it (I know how confidential information is very important to you) but at least you know you covered everything you wanted. You may not be able to write out 20 pages of history but you can type or write out 20 key word bullet items. Just a thought. I hope it helps you. I'm wishing you the best.
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