Well, I just spent another hour, answering my email. Now, I can read a lot faster than that 🙂 But the reason it takes so long is simple, my short term memory has gotten so bad, that I have to answer them right now, or I will forget them. If they require that I do anything, that thing has to be done now, if at all possible. If it is not possible, it goes on my “bug me to death”, reminder program, while I am reading the mail, or I will forget to even put it on the program.
There are many theories as to why our short term memory, gets short circuited, but I have my personal favorite. Which is again, the main issue with FM, our nero chemistry in the brain. As what is memory, but a brain function.
What it means in real life terms for us however, is that it can impact our ability to function, considerably. We do not realize just how much we depend on memory, until it fails us.
It means checking the date, like a mad woman, as looking at a calender is almost pointless. ( Other than to irritate me ) As the dates do not relate in the mind, as to what day is it ? It can mean I will think that I told someone something, only to find that no, I did not, and I literally cannot remember if really did or not. It means weirdness, like looking at the total on the cash register but by the time you look down to write a check, it’s just gone ! The total, not the check 🙂
I have known for years now, I have issues with this, but nothing pounded it home to me as much as a recent mental test, given me by SSI. Since I have had a stroke, they wanted to see how it effected my memory and over all mental function, I will be blunt and say I bombed the test, almost entirely, as it almost all depended on memory. Things like who was where in X picture, facial recognition. I got almost all of them, wrong.
Now what is frustrating, is I could remember many details, but would apply them to the wrong image ! Meaning the brain literally cannot keep them in order.
I tell my husband to wait, when he wants to tell me something, when I am in the middle of doing something, as if he speaks, and my attention is diverted, I will totally lose my place, in what I was doing. It is like having ADHD without having the disorder, as far as recall is concerned. I have to check and re-check the pantry, as I cannot recall whats in there. And so it goes, forever playing a check it upteen times game, with almost everything, as it no longer stays in my head.
Now, understand, I am a college graduate, with a 4.0 grade average, which I did as an adult, so we are not talking that long ago, and I dropped out of school for the main reason, that all of a sudden I could not remember things long enough, to take the tests anymore.
I am a woman who, at one time could and did, keep a dozen bank accounts, and kept them all correct. I ran businesses that required tons of planning and time keeping. Heck, I used to train people how to do it ! I carried a day timer, just as a place to yank paper out, to leave notes for others, as I never wrote much in it, I didn’t have to, as I could remember it all in my head. Gone, all of it !
I think this loss of my minds capacity to fully function is one of the most frustrating aspects of FM. The pain, the fatigue, the sleeplessness and all that goes with that, are almost nothing compared to losing the ability to think.