Memory and brain fog.

Hi - has anyone's memory hot worse on Pred? I've noticed my memory getting worse for a while but seems to have become increasingly so since been on Pred?


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  • Absolutely! It's not called the Pred head club for nothing! Although having said that lots of drugs have a similar effect.

    It will get better as you reduce/become more accustomed to the Pred. In the meanwhile you'll have to join the club of writing yourself messages, lists etc...... and then not remembering where you left them!

    Take care.

  • Hahaha - phew! Was getting increasingly worried! Thank you. Can't think of words either. Think my adult children are starting to become concerned.

  • Hi again,

    It's only when you don't realise you are losing it, that you need to worry! It's quite normal to forget things as you get older even if you don't have an illness.

  • Good point DL. On that topic, er, well, actually, oh ****** I forgot what I was going to say.. ;-)

  • Defo Slosh. Worry = Anxiety = Stress. Emotional Stress is known to 'narrow the consciousness', and memory is part of our conscious experience. #

    Conclusion (unless there's anything else of neurological significance going on..): RELAX!!! (and tell the kids to as well) ;-)

    MB :-)

  • Thanks

  • I tell the family I have nominal amnesia, that tends to suit them up when I can't remember which actor was in what film etc.

    Fo some reason I couldn't remember the name for a Unicorn for a while. My husband tends to understand my " you know thingy who was in wot sit with hugit

  • Hi Dorset Lady..... so pleased to read your response about meds I've found I'm on numerous meds, but since taking oxynorm I sometimes feel befuddled ,going to try & cut down albeit I'm on a lowish dose 5mg x4 daily but with life threatening other health issues I'm on a lot of meds......keep safe & well

    Peggy ❀️

  • Hi Slosh

    I think you'll get plenty of responses to this one!

    Personally, yes with both PMR and the Preds - and in conspiracy with each other. My best (I stress, amateur) explanation is because the body's mental and physical energy battery is very depleted and slow to top-up. I've read somewhere to expect to only be able to function at around 50% of levels pre-PMR, and this applies to physical and mental energy reserves.

    In my experience, with PMR and the preds, Body and Mind are affected equally - and mental / cognitive 'fatigue' can lead to perceived, if not actual symptoms of inability to concentrate, short term memory, irritability, depression etc that are greater than your individual 'norm' This seems to be the pay-off for the preds managing the worst of the physical PMR symptoms - which as you probably know can be quite devastating.

    That said, quite a few other things can contribute to a subjective worsening of memory for anyone, even at the best of times - stress and tiredness being just a couple. I've also read somewhere that the short-term memory and cognitive parts of the brain do deteriorate with age (like everything else!) - although for a normally healthy person, not as badly as we might believe when battling with powerful medication.

    Hope this helps. Now, where is my lunch? Ahh, yes, in the wardrobe - as usual! ;-)

    MB :-)

  • My keys have gone walkabout again.

  • Whistle HeronNS, and they'll come back - like a dog ;-)

  • Dog? What dog?

  • :-D :-D

  • I was thinking about trying the dowsing rods I got some time ago. :D

  • Got them sussed!

    It's the shopping list left on the kitchen that winds me up! 'Spose I shall have to go digital and do it on my phone! Mind, that might raise another problem......... oh ****** life's too difficult some days.

  • πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • Went to a memory workshop a while ago. Taught that famous technique about using a place you know well and placing items you want to remember in the locations you've selected (and learned well). It really works. You put one grocery item on, for example, your front steps, the next item in the mirror in the hall, the next on the back of the sofa, the next on the desk, and so forth. You are supposed to make up a silly story for each item which locks it into the specific location. For example, milk pouring down the front steps, your reflection in the mirror with a bunch of broccoli on your head, eggs lined up along the back of the sofa....

    But it doesn't tell me where I absentmindedly dropped my keys instead of the right place last time I used them. :(

  • I'd never get out the house when I need to do a weekly shop!

    But it might be useful for other things!

  • I find it helps when you are out and about and think of something, but not convenient to write it down. It does help to fix the item in the brain long enough to actually get it onto the official list.

  • I know about that memory technique Heron - if you can get your foggy brain around it in the first place!

    But seriously.. (what, me?) I find that rituals / habits work well: e.g. always keeping car / house keys in a specific place at home, or always in a certain jacket pocket when I go out, helps me to avoid almost ever mislaying them. Call me a bit OCD if you like, but it works for me (PMR & steroids or not) :-). Losing important keys can be a practical nightmare!

    And for lists.. why not? It's a busy Life even in Retirement (or so I hear). Nothing wrong with a good old list (or 2, or 3...?). Now, there's Shopping... Admin... Jobs on the cars...The Weekend... Lottery win... and, ah yes, mischievous ideas for my next Post here... ;-)

    I think for some of us it's simply about slowing down and being a bit more methodical in everyday life - and especially important with the dreaded Brain Fog!

    Happy days :-)

  • I've NEVER been able to get my head around it...

  • Mark, it was a three part workshop - three consecutive weeks which included a lot of discussion about memory and why we don't remember things and how we can improve. One week we were told about the technique (I had known about it but it always seemed like too much work) and told to create our own pathway through a favourite well known place, usually our home. We had to decide on twenty spots and learn them well, had to be things that would always be in place, like a front door, large furniture, etc. The following week through demonstration and practice we learned how to place items in sequence in our chosen spots and our homework was to use the technique during the week. It turned out to be very easy to learn and apply when taught that way, although I do forget to use it ;)

  • That's ironic HeronNS! :-D

  • See, that isn't a problem - I leave the list behind, but I can envisage writing it and will get well over 90% right. There is usually one thing I miss though...

  • I find walking through the store usually jogs my memory. It's things you don't buy every week that tend to escape the mind.

  • Like cleaning products... ;-)

  • That's natural PMRpro, even without PMR and Brain Fog.

  • πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Thanks

  • Hello MB your description seems to fit steroids generally as I have GCA...."and mental / cognitive 'fatigue' can lead to perceived, if not actual symptoms of inability to concentrate, short term memory, irritability, depression"....I'm tapering at the moment and forgot this might be why I am all of the above!! Hey ho, brave are those who live with me!

  • Thanks tgca.

    It's only my (amateur) hypothesis, but it makes sense in terms of my own experiences of PMR and the sometimes equally awful side-effects of the b****y steroids to manage the symptoms!

    As you say: 'Be brave, etc' - and, most of all, keep a steady head and a SOH on the Journey of PMR / GCA. 'To laugh is to live' (Blimey, where did that come from..?!) :-/

    MB :-)

  • You're the second person this week who uses the word blimey.. thought I was the only one... sign of our age?

    Yes, I couldn't live without my SOH and like minded friends...

  • Have to think carefully which expletives are ok for typing! Mind you youngsters don't seem to give a **** ! πŸ˜€

  • You should worry MB - I've got the pub quiz tonight - or is it tomorrow night......?!

  • Now that IS demanding Rokerman - all those long walks to the bar and lifting of beer mugs... ;-)

  • I have to be pointed in the direction of the bar........

    In an attempt to keep my diet under control (see other posts re: Statins, blood sugar level, diabetes-avoidance etc) I went along with the girls' choice of strawberry-flavoured cider until somebody pointed out that beer has less sugar...! So I've changed to a draught Peroni - that's my total alcohol for the week. Just as well - got to keep a clear err, you know - wotsit - ah yes, head! (God help us on the music round - I have to mentally sing the whole song to get to the title, never mind the artist/year)

  • Know what you mean about the alcohol Rokerman - the sugar content can vary considerably. I drink red wine but only the dry types. I'm convinced that anything more sugary can give you a worse hangover than the alcohol itself! Peroni's good stuff :-)

  • I read this stuff but half way through I forgot what you were talking about, just remind me will you?


  • πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Yes that about sums it up

  • You obviously don't know MarkBenjamin57, he's a bit like "Heinz 57" if you see what I mean.

  • We used to call dogs of uncertain parentage a Heinz 57 variety.

    Not that I'm suggesting anything about Mark ;-)

  • Be very careful PMRpro. I come from a family of Championship Boxers (with a few motley Terriers in between) ;-) :-D

  • Vesti la guibbia! Dogs on stage? Is there no end to your gifts?

  • Well, I did come 17th in the Mixed Breeds category at Crufts when I was a pup. Since then I've gone to the dogs... ;-/

  • No he's a great guy. Koo, forgot what I was going to say, but anyway we're getting plenty of miles out of brain fog

  • Maybe it isn't as far as we think - driving slower in poor visibility and all...

  • I get you. Yes come to think of it it's the same problem

  • What on earth's a drain frog..?

  • Nice one, wife said I must get on with some work now and switch of my bloody phone. Only kidding, I just read her mind!

  • That greeny gunge that develops in the u-bend maybe???????

  • Ha, Pete! :-D No idea what you mean, but I take it as a compliment all the same (he said, bowing graciously).

    Was it you that got me going onto the outrageous Dick Emery character ('Mandy')? Just as a reminder: "You ARE awful, but I LIKE you" (followed by hefty shove..).

    Now, enough of that. It's Friday evening and time to open a bottle of rare, 1962 Vintage Claret (not really, just a special offer Bordeaux from LIDL ;-) )

    Happy Weekend all, keep smiling on the Journey

    MB :-)

  • of course it was a compliment, your input is well received by many of us and I think it's great, as we said before "You ARE awful, but I LIKE you" shove and all.

    To day has been a bad day! did some gardening yesterday because I was feeling pretty good, but boy have I felt it today. Have a good weekend.


  • Thanks Pete :-)

    If it's any consolation, I also did some outdoor work today. 3-4 hours cleaning the conservatory roof and pressure washing paths. Result? Feeling nicely 'cream-crackered' but at least with a sense of achievement (and having enjoyed some sunshine / fresh air).

    I think the bottom-line with PMR is not to be afraid to stretch yourself a little physically - but to know your limits at the same time. It's a slow and frustrating process, especially for those of us who are mentally and physically 'programmed' to being very active.

    On, and Forwards!.. :-)

  • Yes, I agree entirely

  • I am really losing it. Well, losing things. What I resent most of all is the waste of time searching. It's all down, so far, to not paying attention.... πŸ™„

  • Good in a way, HeronNS. So maybe more about you than Brain Fog ?! Can't imagine you're 'losing it' from your very articulate and informed posts here ;-)

  • :-D

  • I've put bananas in the saucepan cupboard and I still can't find my T shirt - flippin' eck, I was only wearing them yesterday. Daughter's had another earthquake in NZ and she blames me for them!

  • I let the cat out this morning - and later realised that I haven't had one for 10 years... :-/

  • Must have been the lack of sleep..... or did you forget to alter the clock?

  • What's a clock..? :-/

  • Something you watch when you're at work... we retired ,or just tired, folk have no need for them.

  • I hear that's why there's a clock on top of the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy. The idea is: 'there's no point in having the inclination if you haven't got the time'. :-D

  • Time's not the problem..........and I'm too much of a lady to refer the anything else! πŸ˜‰

  • I keep talking to the dog, we lost her 3 or is it 4 years ago. Hey ho

  • Oh goodness ok - feel better now!

  • That's more like it! :-)

  • Thanks everyone! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  • All part of the service Slosh (a bit of a giggle, that is)

    Have a relaxing rest of the day :-)

  • Thanks you too and everyone else.

  • On a slightly more serious note, PMR (and all autoimmune disorders can cause brain fog, in some people pred just makes it worse.

  • Yip - and I have Hashimotos. Also have had way too much stress in the past five years.

  • Is the 50% of cognitive ability correct? No wonder I struggle at work!

  • It's difficult to measure bunnymom, and quite subjective but there's no doubt that PMR and the steroids do give the mind and body a right old kicking.

    I can only speak from my own experience but the 50% feels about right - for physical strength / energy / stamina and also brain function / mental energy. I've found that even fairly simple mental tasks which require concentration are much more tiring than previously, socialising too, and even driving for a couple of hours (which I enjoy and usually do without any effort).

    Quite a few people here say that work becomes a challenge even if it's office based - and a few have had to give up work as a result of the fatigue that goes with PMR. I certainly find my group training work more demanding nowadays and feel emotionally exhausted after a day on my feet with an audience. I enjoy my work, but it takes it out of me much more than pre PMR!

    I also had a 'big' birthday recently, and lots of socialising with family and friends for a couple of days. I was whacked out for a couple of days afterwards and just had a quiet time catching up with myself.

    So, you're not alone!

    MB :-)

  • Mark i agree totally with all the above. It's not that I feel pain so much as I just have a hard time basically functioning. I get worn out mentally and physically. Whacked out is exactly the word I use to explain to my husband. He feels that I am going downhill but actually it's that I am not getting better. That's really the issue.

  • Yes bunnymom. Some of the symptoms are difficult to pinpoint and / or describe - other than feeling simply whacked out, wiped out, deathly tired and generally awful all-over - and can be for no obvious reason (e.g. reducing preds too fast, etc). But this IS PMR at the end of the day, and the Fatigue part must be very hard to understand for those who haven't experienced anything like it :-(

    I agree, when the whacked-outness is at its worst, even basic functioning becomes a battle between determination and motivation. If it helps, at times over the past 2 years (and even now, sometimes, at 6mgpd Pred), I've spent / can spend endless hours and days in a mental and physical twilight world where just getting up in the morning and pottering around at home leaves me exhausted - and no amount of sleep or rest seems to fix it. And, yes, it gets you down... inevitably.

    On the positive side, if and when there's some relief from the fatigue, it feels like a miracle. It can and does happen at lower dosages of pred when the 'system' is cautiously getting back into balance - I've had a could of breaks recently and the difference is night and day :-/

    All other things being ok (e.g. suitable pred taper, good diet, no other major health issues, moderate exercise, avoid stress, pacing yourself etc.) I think we just have to accept this especially nasty symptom of PMR and learn to roll with it. And, perhaps, to keep faith that 'things WILL get better...'

    Fingers crossed for you, and try to keep smiling on the Journey. Roll on a nice warm, relaxing Summer (at last..) - that'll help too ;-)

    MB :-)

  • Thanks mb

  • Hi Slosh,

    Lol memory fog have had that since I was a lot younger I'm terrible at losing key's and alike in my hand one minute taring the house the next looking for them.

    Can't say for sure if it's got any worse.πŸ˜„

  • Haha -,Yes used to have total recall about everything, got worse with my hypothyroid and stress but really really bad now!

  • RE alcohol - I was told Cava is low calorie, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to that!

  • I prefer prosecco (Sekt is even better but it costs more). Gin and diet tonic is zero carbs...

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