Memory problems

Does anybody else find they have problems with their memory? I'm constantly forgetting things at work and it's getting to the point where I may get a written warning. I feel like they think I just can't be bothered to do things but I genuinely forget. I don't want to use this as what they will see as an excuse though. Also, any tips for remembering things better?

20 Replies

  • All the time. I have to write a list out every week of all that I have on in the week. I also find I'm forever leaving things half done and am surprised when I come back into the room and find it. I leave wardrobe doors open when I'm flitting from one room to another. Today I found myself taking a pot of Elmlea cream upstairs with me when I should have put it in the fridge!! I get quite cross with myself as I have always been so on the ball. Very annoying isn't it? I put it down to the medication - brain fog. Smiler x

  • Me too!

  • Hi, I was having serious problems like you and I went to see my GP, after I told him the problem he took me off some meds to see if it helped, unfortunately nothing change so I was referred to a memory clinic and after some tests and a scan or two I. Was then diagnosed with vascular Dementia but with me not getting a diagnosis earlier I'm sad to say that they cannot help me but I do get a lot of support from NHS and my family.

    Please go to see your GP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, for your own sake and maybe peace of mind. If you want you can pm me anytime.


  • My memory is getting worse. Unfortunately I lost my job at the beginning of this year from a job I loved but was very stressful and mentally taxing so I know I can no longer do this. I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and suspected inflammatory disease and the brain fog that goes with these is horrendous. I keep 2 diaries, one for symptoms and one with appointments etc and I make a weekly list from these diaries of what I have to do in the week. I still forget things even with this and today I have been especially bad as I started to do something and got distracted when the phone rang and then started something else forgetting the original task until I noticed it sat on the table half done. Nothing gets finished now and I have forgotten so many birthdays this year. I get so frustrated with myself. Gentle hugs Joolz.x

  • Yes I do so every time I have a new task I put it in a calendar reminder that I move from one day tp the next and cross out as I complete them and a quick synopsis of what I did to complete the task. That way I am on top of what I should be doing and keep a log of what I have done and the outcome. Hope that helps.

  • Use your mobile for memos and calendar it helps me loads.

    Do it as soon as you remember something or are asked to do something then you don't forget, nothing worse than not remembering 'something''.

  • Yes, for sure. This was one of the reasons I was unable to carry on in teaching, along with the fatigue which made the memory loss even worse. Like Smiler53, I flit from task to task, forgetting what I've started - sometimes I get the bonus of thinking I have to do something, then discovering I've already done most of it. But it makes it hard to plan. And time management is a challenge.

    To help, I put things in my smartphone (which is much smarter than I am these days), I write detailed To Do lists in my paper diary and tick things off, and when people ask me to do things I tell them that I won't be offended if they remind me. It's easier to manage now I'm able to be open about it, but it was hard trying to bluff when I was still at work.

    Good luck with everything. I really feel for you. xxxx

  • Yes i do. Awful. Went through a stage of crying all the time with frustration over it. I can remember things years ago but not short term. Told it was down to medication. What are you on? Your covered by disability act at work so they should consider this. Are you in a union?

    I write things down. I am also very open and tell people so they wait while I try and remember to to say or what I was doing.

    Use a diary, calendar/planner.

    Have you told GP? Rheumatologist?

  • I know that well, I'm definitely not as sharp as I used to be! At the moment I've been given a slightly different job role so there's a bit less pressure, but like you I feel that my manager and peers don't really understand, to them RA is something that just affects your joints.

    Ive started using more of the features in Microsoft Outlook, now I'm always using it to create tasks, lists and sticky notes to keep me on track. Even with those I still fall down!

  • Lee, ditto. Lost my job because of it. I had testing and did have some leashions on the brain. Spelling right there. Anyway. National Jewish in Colorado is researching RA and lesions. I was not part of the study as it is controlled and underway. I am sure my case is documented though. Brain fog is a biggy for sure.

  • Brain fog, short term memory problems, loss of concentration, not on medication.

  • Hello, I'm sorry you're finding things difficult at the moment, I hope your work try and take time to understand this illness and support you rather than make you feel you're about to get a written warning. I too struggle with my memory since starting on all the meds, my concentration and ability to process things seems to be much worse! It's possibly a combination of meds, feeling rough and trying to come to terms with diagnosis. Take care and I hope things improve with work x

  • i was dealing with brain fog as well for the first year of being on dmards. I stopped driving the day after mtx injection as I had 2 vender benders. Then I started taking marine omega with Krill oil which is suppose to help with cardiovascular and cognitive health & brain function. I believe it helps me and I know longer have the brain fog and able to focus so I now drive the day after mtx injection again. I reviewed with my Ra Doctor and she had no issues so if interested I would suggest discussing with your Ra Doctor.

  • My brain fog was definitely associated with taking Methotrexate. My daughter-in-law thought that I had pre-senile dementia. I hadn't had any problems when I was on hydroxychloroquine, or any of the other DMARDs that I tried.

    Since I have changed to azathioprine, I back to normal forgetfulness. Yes, I write lists, cross off when I've done things, but that awful complete blank when I just could not remember ever hearing about something, let alone doing it has gone. For example, I had transferred one saving account into another at the end of its interest period and had to go their office 35 miles away to sort it out as I had NO recollection of ever doing it, no memory of even receiving the notification or the forms. I had never had that before, nor since.

  • Are you taking methotrexate? I think it's a pretty common symptom. My husband tells me that I've always been forgetful but I'm sure it's much worse now.

  • Hi Becky, am just reading all the replies to you, and thinking"Me too!" My situation is a bit different becos I've been on a high dose of antidepressants for a long time, way before I got RA, and was very aware that I had memory problems - everyone says "oh so do I" when you say that, especially now I'm in my 60s, but I knew mine were different. Then the RA surfaced nearly 3 years ago, and I started hearing the expression"brain fog", and now I don't know what's causing what! But I'm fairly sure that ALL strong medication, and especially psychiatric drugs, DO cause memory problems. And from what folk on here are saying, methotrexate seems to be one with that side effect. As far as tips go, I write absolutely everything down, but then I don't have a job to cope with as well. I'm waiting for the results of special memory tests, which I asked to have before I realised that the RA was bound to be contributing and for all I know, it could've been "brewing" in my body long before it was obvious. Anyway, my advice is to be aware that both the illness and the medication WILL be partly to blame for your poor memory, and somehow you need to get this across to your bosses - for starters. Then write everything down! Best of luck. S.x

  • Becky read my post above: RA and brain lesions do have a connection. Scientists are researching it at National Jewish in Colorado. I have several and two are larger in the frontal lobe. I was surprised when I lost my job because of it. I thought I was do ok and keeping up. But, they were frank and let me know that I was forgetful. All of this before the age of 50! I also compare with my friends and all of them have some issue. It's hard to tell what is age related normal and what is not. Also have an ADHD test at your doctor. ADD can get worse as we age. Didn't know I have it. I also have been on antidepressants for 20 years...and was on methotrexate for 8 years.

  • Hi Becky. I am the same but after speaking to other RD sufferers it seems to be the norm. I think it is definitely medication. I went to my doc because I thought it was happening too much and she said nothing to worry about. I do Sudoku every day and always do them in a much quicker time than stated. I think it helps to keep your brain active. I also think that we all have far too much going on in our lives and are thinking of so many things at once. I now try and stop and think about what I am doing and say it out loud. You might feel a bit silly but it really helps.

  • Mine seemed to get worse after I started Gabapentin for pain. It really got bad while on that. I finally had to tell my doctor to take me off it. Memory got some better at that point. You didn't state what you are taking at the moment.

  • Hi everyone, thank you for your replies. I'm not currently on any meds so it can't be that. I'm seeing my rheumatologist on 9th November so will bring it up with him then. I also suffer with migraines so wondering if that may also have an effect

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