1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Verytrying

    Verytrying Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015
    2
    surrey
    I am worried about my memory !
    I started Googling poor memory looking for ways to improve it but found myself mostly reading about dementia.

    My wife has been driven mad by how often I misplace my keys, wallet and watch.
    I am not sure what changed but it has gradually driven me mad as well and then I started to notice that it wasn't just losing things, it was being unable to learn key codes for locks at work and forgetting the date when I go to sign a form even though I just looked at it.

    At work I worry about forgetting things so I am rechecking information all the time.
    My concentration is poor and my mind wanders and things from the past seem more alive than the present. A few times I have told my wife stories from work and she has told me “I told her that earlier” and when she told me I had left the window open in the shower and the bedroom was cold I argued that it wasn't me as I had absolutely no recollection. When she said “You did but can’t remember” I realised she was right but there was no Eureka moment. Nothing suddenly flashed back, just a very vague memory of my hand on the window opener that was stiff. The best way I can describe it is like trying to remember a dream.

    If I use information, I seem to have some chance of retaining it but if I just need to remember for later, I have to write it down. My wife talks with people in our road and knows their names and talks about them but even when I am part of the conversation I don’t always recognise them when I bump into them in the shop or down the road.
    People have commented to my wife that I am not friendly and ignore them and it isn't that at all, I just don’t recognise them straight away? Given time I can work out who they are and after being driven mad, by forgetting the sir names of two people I worked with the names came back after two days.

    There are times when I suddenly realise I have forgotten something and I know it is just normal forgetfulness but other times it feels like something else as there is no memory.
    I have never had a great memory but don’t remember it as being like this. Is that a joke?

    Someone on this forum mentioned counting backward from 100 in 7s.
    Well I tried it and concluded it was impossible then my wife proved it wasn't with extreme ease.
    I just can’t carry the numbers in my head.

    So I am wondering…. Do these symptoms sound like Alzheimer’s in the very first stages or am I just stressed and paranoid after too much reading? When you first have Alzheimer’s and start to forget things are they completely gone or are the memories initially there but difficult to access.
    Is loss of attention and daydreaming a part of it?

    I am seeing my GP on Friday but feel worried that on the one hand I am wasting her time and terrified on the other that I am not.

    Sorry this is so long.
    If anyone can offer anything informative I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    hi there
    I have to tell you that I do a LOT of these things as well!!! I have been under quite a lot of stress and I am fairly sure that the squidgy memory is stress related. Also I know that the more i worry about it the worse it becomes!!! I'll often shut a window and then have to stand and think about whether i did just do that but i'm often doing several things at once.

    I did the Food for the Brain website test on the internet and it reassured me that I was ok, otherwise I would have gone to the GP too. I'm not sure I would recommend it now as you have read so much and you are clearly and understandably very stressed.

    I think you are wise to check it out though but it may be made worse by over worrying. others are quite a good barometer of how things are going. Good luck on Friday, try to get a couple of decent sleeps in before and keep posting xxxx
     
  3. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    There are also common vitamin deficiencies which can heavily impact the sort of forgetfulness you describe. I suggest a blood test.
     
  4. Emac

    Emac Registered User

    Mar 2, 2013
    174
    I am really sorry to hear you are having such a worrying time. my own experience with dementia has been with my Mum who first had difficulty with her short term memory and then with planning and organizational skills. However in the early stages symptoms of dementia are similar to depression and also stress so you are right to visit your GP. There is a memory test that he/she may do with you or they may refer you to a consultant for assessment. It's difficult not to panic but try not to meantime. I know when I have been stressed I have been told I am repeating stories I have already told, and sometimes do things with no memory of having done them at all- it's a bit like when we drive from A-B on auto pilot but that is not Alzheimer's or dementia. As for counting backwards n 7's from 100- I can't do that either. Maybe your wife is just good at maths?!;) I hope you get the reassurance you need from the GP but if not, do come back here. You will find all the information and support you need. Take care and try not to worry to much.
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Hi Verytrying, welcome to TP
    I'm glad you've made the appointment with the doctors that's the best way forward.
    You don't mention your age group which is slightly relevant but whatever age you need to get everything else checked before you look for a diagnosis of AZ.
    As said there could be any number of things from; stress, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, thyroid problems and any number of other treatable conditions but you need all the tests, blood test a brain scan if necessary (sorry to mention th hated word but a tumour is possible, that said they can be treated successfully) so you need to get all the science on your side and if it is AZ then Aricept/Donepezil will help and the sooner you start the better, so well done for doing the right thing and getting down the doctors for a check over, so many people try and bury their head in the sand.
    Even and I mean Even if it turns out to be AZ then life can still go on but the more help you get in the early stages the more you can plan for it.
    My wife was diagnosed about 5 years ago (mid 50's) so we were able to plan getting all the paperwork sorted, LPA and all that, tenants in common in the house and all that.
    Best of luck with the tests, keep posting.
    K
     
  6. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    289
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    Hi Verytrying

    Welcome to TP.

    Your symtoms could be many other things, as other have said. I do hope so.

    Kevinis comments are very helpful, and if it should be Alzheimers he is right about medication.

    He asks questions about your age. I wonder what your level of education is too. The higher your level of education, it seems the more aware you are of what is happening to you.

    If you are young, you are probably going to have quite a fight to get tests for memory impairment beyond the one your GP will probably do with you. I really needed the support of my wife. Without it I would probably have given up. Sorry to be the bearer or bad thoughts but its quite likely that work will question your competence if you do finally have to tell them of a diagnosis. If you have a union or professional association its worth while letting them know as soon as you have diagnosis.

    This sounds really depressing. I do hope your are suffering with stress or some other problem which causes temporary memory problems

    Keep posting.

    We will support you

    John
     
  7. Verytrying

    Verytrying Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015
    2
    surrey
    Hi

    Thanks for your comments and also everyone else's.

    I am actually 51 so that is rather young for Alzheimers and after reading people's comments am thinking this must be stress or anxiety. As for education it was rather all over the place but I did start an OU science course and pass it. I would have carried on but found it difficult to get time off work for the summer school modules.

    I don't know if it is relevant but I do have genetic haemochromatosis. It causes an overload of iron which is toxic and can damage your liver heart and pretty much everything if untreated. I seem to have been lucky with those things although it can cause depression and mood swings. I am not sure if those symptoms can occur later once your iron levels are normal.

    I am not expecting much from my GP I was told for over a year that the chronic tiredness caused by my iron levels was depression and it was only diagnosed as haemochromatosis by chance when a blood test showed elevated liver enzymes.
    My job has safety implications and requires concentration but is also often repetitive, stressful, tiring and boring. None of those make for great health.

    Thanks for your support.
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    Do let us know what happens tomorrow x
     
  9. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    289
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    You are right, 51 is very young, bit it is the age I was when I got my diagnosis of vascualr dementia.I was actually turned away from the memory clinic by the consultant because 'this service is for older people'
    Your genetic problem may well be having an effect.
    But do keep at it and get what you need if your problems are not down to anything like that or vitamin problems

    John
     

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