Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group
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Memory Query

Hi all :)

I wanted to query something on here.

At the moment I'm on 60mg Morphgesic twice a day (low dose by choice ) but also have both 2mg and 5mg Diazapem for muscle spasms and Oramorph for breakthrough pain.

I used to have an eidetic memory but now can only "clearly" remember things from years ago.

Now if someone makes an appointment over the phone with me, I have to get them to repeat it three or four times while I write it down.

My doctor tested me (which I found most frustrating and upsetting) but he thinks should return once I stop the pain relief completely (which will never happen).

Is he right? Or coud something else be causing it?

I have;

* osteoarthritis in all main joints

* Raynauds in my hands and feet

* Just found out that I' ve been borderline diabetic for almost two years (to much sugar

* still waiting on a lumbar andc ccervical MRI to find out what's gone wrong with them

*then about three weeks ago was told "itshighly likely I have MS. So waiting to see a neurologist and have a scan to find out.

If the memory issues had started now, at least I could put it down to stress, but the lack of short term memory has been has been going on for some time.

Does this happen to anyone else?

And will my memory ever come back?

Thanks (in advance)

Jules

2 Replies
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Jules; I am a patient here, not a doctor and since this is an area concerned with dementia and dementia-related issues, take these words for what they are worth: I am crazy. That said I have experience with opiates and memory loss and can assure you that heavier doses of opiates can of course affect memory recall and storage. I never had the memory you did but mine was good enough to become an engineer simply by reading books. For different reasons I was prescribe some pretty heavy opiates and it did drag my brain down which is why I weaned myself off of as much of that as possible and started using cannabis for pain relief; my mind and brain are mine again. Sure I have brain-damage from the Lewy Bodies but nothing will fix that.

From one perspective, your array of maladies has little to do with your memory issues, outside of the knock-on effect of the opiate use. That said, if you do have frontal cortex damage, the mere existence of these things (Reynauds, etc) can make thought and memory processing almost insanely difficult, depending on the level of damage.

I would be interested to know what about the memory test upset you; I know what angered me over my own but want to hear about yours. In any event, I would trade up on the GP if possible; you seem to have one that favors the quick (and often "waste basket") diagnosis. If you do in fact have anything like any of us do here, you will want someone who thinks for him or her self, not just a pill-pusher droid.

As for the memory coming back, I would say no. My reasoning is this: if its caused by something environmental to you (meds you are taking, etc) you would have already seen changes as your meds fluxuate over the two years you said this has been going on. If its caused by an internal reason such as AD, PD or LBD to name a few, its one-way and won't come back, at least not with science where it is right now. Don't believe the BS you read in the papers about breakthroughs in AD or Parkinsons by eating grapefruits or whatever. Its just crap to sell papers. The honest doctors will tell you they simply don't know this stuff that well yet, let alone have any reasonable ways of treating it. I know its not great news but its news many of us live with and we do pretty well all things considered....you just have to learn to fight a new set of battles and quit wishing for things to be as they used to be....thats a long wait for a train that won't come.....

Reply

Hi Jules,

Welcome to the memory health community.

Chronic pain can definitely affect short term memory. MS can also affect cognition.

Suggestion: document your changes in short term memory (when did this start, some examples), and bring it to your neurologist. He/she will be in the best position to evaluate.

All the best.

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