Spelling mistakes and loss of words and their meanings!

Hi guys,

So finally I am going back to India for my treatment but yesterday a very weird thing happened. I used the word "vicinity" without quite being sure about its meaning. I mean I have been using vicinity since childhood and know what it means but for a split second my mind went blank and it was scary...I wasn't sure if vicinity actually means surroundings :(. Is it common in B12 deficiency to forget the meaning of elementary words? Also lately I am getting spellings of really common words all jumbled up. If this is actually due to b12 deficiency then its scary. Looking forward to some similar experiences or advice on how to counter this.

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20 Replies

  • Yes, absolutely ,that is such a very B12deficiency/ PA symptom thing to happen . Even everyday words can escape you. It is extremely disconcerting . It still can happen to me after nearly 2 years of injections . What to do about it? I really don't know .But I think doing my daily crossword helps a bit . But I carry on hoping that eventually I will overcome it . I was deficient for a long time so it is perhaps permanent .

  • Hi Dlonelyguy "losing the thread" or not being able to remember a word is a common symptom of P.A. and I often experience it when I've formulated a reply on this community in my mind but by the time I've typed the first few words..........

    and I've only had P.A. for 45 years :)

  • I had just taken a sip of coffee as I read your post, Clive, and it was so funny and unexpected that I started laughing, which of course caused coffee to go everywhere! Totally worth it! :-) You crack me up!

    Sorry to hijack your post just a little Dlonelyguy!

  • Oh yes, and worse.

    This time last year I was going up to London, to a place I'd visited half a dozen times previously. I arrived at Victoria, went to the Tube station and suddenly realised that I had no idea where I was going. I'd forgotten my phone, so I couldn't look up the address, so I just followed my nose.

    Luckily I soon realised that my nose was wrong and remembered the route I needed to take.

    It was a bit scary, but I was sure I would remember if I stopped trying too hard.

  • unfortunately very common.

    gets worse if you stress about it but try not to

    there are several posts that I've seen about people's favourite struggle for words/names - it seems to be particularly bad with nouns.

    fish feathers for fins was one I heard from my brother ...

    and the other day I forgot the world duel in the middle of telling a joke where it was a key concept - fortunately the person I was telling the joke to was able to fill in the blanks ... mind you I've done it often enough for them :)

  • Wow that is so true. I think there is an inverse correlation between the effort put and the probability of finding that particular word. Sometimes when I am about to give up, cursing B12 for all this mess, lo and behold, there the word is. Does this really get better with treatment like injections and all? I know a lot of people on this forum would be asking you these naive questions but assurance is the only thing that can pacify my rattled nerves (pun intended). Also as I started experiencing this since the past few months, is there any hope for me?

  • one thing that often happens is that people become more aware of it and then start stressing more which makes it worse.

    Most people do it anyway and just shrug it off.

    I'd have to say that I think I actually struggle much less with words and peoples names now than I did a few years ago when I was really in the grips of deficiency .... and it may have been a bit worse this week as I rather stupidly let my levels get very low last weekend.

  • In the brain there are different nerves for short term and long term memory. Short term is typically impacted first.

    On the Internet are several tests that measure short term memory. Also games like mahjong help exercise short term memory.

    Once you get your B12 levels right (you may need weekly injections) the repair is very slow. You need to supplement with folate, B6, B1 and a daily multi vitamin to support B12 in the repair of nerve damage.

    Start a logbook and record a twice daily measurement of your short term memory from either mahjong or an Internet memory test.

    For me, the time it took to either succeed or to fail in the game of mahjong was the measurement. The best my brain was working the faster I could play the game.

    The logbook also helps support memory loss because it is hard to remember what your previous score was.

    Looking back over months in the logbook you can monitor your progress and determine if things are going in the right direction.

    Games like solitaire and free cell also help exercise the short term memory.

    It is the exercise by playing the game that triggers the repair of the nerves in the short term memory.

    The logbook can also help sort out all the sources of symptoms that are overlapping, counter intuitive and very confusing.

    Record all your food, drink, and meds. Treat the jab as day 0 and reset the counter each cycle.

    Some symptoms arise from the jab. These are good although ones like pain are counterintuitive they are from the healing nerve and last a couple of days until the brain recalibrate a to the stronger signals.

    I get brain fog 24 hours after eating gluten. The delay is because the gut is involved.

    I've gone completely gluten and dairy free. No more chapattis or Raita for me. But rice, lintels, Dahl, any kind of meat and Papadums I love. Enjoy your trip back to India.

    Can you get B12 over the counter in India?

    I was able to get methyl-B12 OTC in Saudi when I travelled to Riyadh last year.

  • A Malapropism (where a similar word is wrongly used instead of the intended one) can also be deliberate as a form of humour as too can Spoonerisms where the beginnings of words are transposed.

    My late wife (who had heart problems) often used to come out with "I've got a chain in my pest" when she meant "pain in my chest".

  • I guess I can say I have the same kind of symptoms. Still, I just cant remember words...not even my kids names! I dont have a good memory, but this is worse.

    I take my pills regularly. I go to the lab 2 or 3 times a year. But it seems to me that, in the last month, things have gone really bad, suddenly. Paramount headaches, negative thoughts...scary. Yes, that is the word: scary. I have therefore changed brand to my 5000 mg every 2 days sublingual pills. Things have evolved a bit better I gather, but not enough.

    I just wonder if I should perhaps take 3000 mg a day. Anyone on this one?

    Thank you. It feels good not to be "alone" with this!

  • Makes more sense to take 1 every day than 2 every other day yes. Just try it out and see.

  • I was taking 5000mcg per day of Methylcobalamin and did feel much better for it.

    Unfortunately I didn't tolerate the Methylcobalamin very well and ended up with quite bad chest and back acne. I have the same reaction to hydroxocobalamin.

  • Thank you

  • Just to add to the general consensus, this is a very familiar issue with me too. My family even refer to having a 'Jackie moment' if they are having a mindless moment 😊. The time when I reach for the nasal spray is when I'm driving through familiar roads and suddenly don't recognise where I am. I think it's helpful to recognise these moments as an indicator to up the B12, not as a stressor. More easily said than done I do appreciate, especially when it first happens.

  • I've experienced this but luckily this symptom has improved since I started taking B12.

    I usually find that if I can't get a particular word out then another one with similar meaning pops into my head. Before I started getting neuro problems I think I had a fairly broad range of vocabulary.

  • Yes, I can relate to that experience completely. I have always been good with words and love doing quizzes. Low B12 meant I was really worried that I might have dementia. I struggled with finding the right words and spelling them. It was as though my mental processes had slowed down significantly.

    Thankfully things have improved two years on and now getting injections every six weeks instead of three months.

  • Oh yes, so so familiar - it is like having a hole where there are no words and you struggle. I have been on b12 injections for a while, and its getting worse. I think the four weekly injections which I have eventually got (for three months onlyl!) are not enough. may have to self inject inbetween. oh dearie me.

  • I think you should expect things to improve rapidly once you receive adequate B12. They did for me. I think stressful situations (esp if they are drawn out) really affect my B12 levels and consequently I notice many of my symptoms return. So, once you are in India with the treatment you need I'm confident things will get a whole lot better. Good luck.

  • I work in different places on different days so my husband has To ask me "where are you today" every morning so I go to the right place. Also there are penguins on the bird table is a common one of mine!!! My family are so used to my muddled conversations they know what I mean anyway, mine gets much worse when I'm tired........

  • Yes, unfortunately familiar experience for me too. Wrong words, complete blanks in the middle of saying something. Better than it was since starting B12 but still happens when very tired, late for injections or under more stress.

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