Archive | June 19, 2011

Memory issues and FMS, why the system fails

Well, I have a stack of a “To do ” list…again. It seems I no more than clear my desk and a dozen more show up. It is on the same order of when you kill one fly, 10 more show up for his funeral ! 🙂 But behind it all, is memory.

Web work to do, Doctors to call, specialists to call, the good old fashioned social services screw up, to where I need to call to find out what the heck happened sorta deal. Call my mechanic to find out, okay, when are you going to be done with my car ? 

And again, all of this seems to pile up on the weekend, when as far as calls go, I cannot do a thing, about it ! This does not even take into account, any day to day tasks, that might need doing, that I need to remember.

Anyway, whats my point here ? The “To do” list goad, the one that seems like a nasty boss, standing over our shoulder… with a stick. Now, should we feel that way about it ? Of course not, but do we ? Rather often yeah, we do.

Now just about everybody does this, getting a bit stressed about remembering things, but we with FM, in particular. For one simple reason … Memory issues.

Let me put it this way, our short term memory can be so bad, that if we cannot do, whatever it is, right now, then the pressure is on. As now we have to try and figure out a way, to make sure we DO it, when the time for being able to do it, shows up and HOPE we do not manage to forget about it entirely, in the meantime.

My desk is always littered with post it notes, or full pages, if it is detailed. Reminders on my computer that pop up and go hey.. have you done this yet ? Telling the brain, over and over, so that it has even half a chance, of being retained.

Now, what gives us this problem is pretty simple. It is two fold, as short term memory is all but gone. It is gone for the fact that the synapses that process information, are being interfered with.

The pre fontal cortex, the part of our brain that is responsible for short term memory, is rather busy  most of the time. Doing what ? Trying to handle pain it is assumed, as when you take care of the pain, the lobe is not always so active, and the person then retains things, better. They have tested and proved this, using brain scans both before, and after administering pain medications. Then testing recall.

But, even if we do manage to get it into long term memory, there is problem there too, which is tied to sleep issues, as things basically gell in the mind, as we sleep. Whatever was processed during the day, gets “filed” away at night, while we sleep.

And since we do not sleep well,  and have disrupted sleep, we do not “file” things properly, so we have issues trying to retrieve recently stored information. It normally takes a jog to the memory, or some kind of association, in order to find the information, at all.

( Some days I swear I want to find the person inside my head, whose job it is to file things, and fire em ! )

But the bottom line is, the normal routing of desired thing to remember, to short term memory, to long term memory, to retrieval of that memory, doesn’t work reliably anymore. I say reliably, as some days, we seem to have no problem at all, but on others ?? Forget it ! And I mean that, quite literally.

So, what does this tend to do to us ? Anything that cannot be done, right now, almost sets the mind into a state of near panic, if the matter is important. Which of course, does not help matters, one little bit. As now we are stressed as well, which can further impair our memory.

A real nasty state of affairs, anyway you look at it. As the ONLY part of that, we are in control over, is not letting the need to remember, stress us out.

The rest, is pretty much out of our hands, until and unless the medical profession, finally comes up with pain killers that work well for us that we can take on a regular basis, without turning  us into zombies and/or ones that impairs our memory, even further.

Right along with sleeping medications, that allow us to get normal rest. Not just get eight hours in a night mind you, but have normal cycles and sleep patterns, so that things can get “filed” correctly.

Then maybe, just maybe, we might get our memory … back.

More soon….