Memory difficulties

I had a stroke September 19th 2019, I'm 43, it took out the brockers area responsible for language...i couldn't speak at first but I'm now almost normal... My memory is much better than it was initially for sure... But I feel like it's still not what it was... Ive always been a daydreamer and forgetful but now the forgetfulness has a different quality to it... I've tried to explain it to my mum and partner who both just brush it off and says it's me and normal and they forget things too... I went to the psychology stroke psychologist who seemed to conclude that since I was going through some difficult circumstances separate from the stroke that that would make me forgetful... I couldn't be bothered arguing with her... But also even if there is some memory issues I'm not sure they could do anything anyway other than advising me to keep a diary, make lists and alarms on my phone... Common sense approaches... Would I be right in presuming that for the milder end of memory problems that's all there is to do anyway and grin and bear it when people dismiss your statements about your me. Ory being different!! :0/

It so annoying that we have to endure a total lack of understanding from friends and family. Our memory ability is very likely to change when the stroke bites us. And no, its not just one of those things. And its not just like anyone else.

I have learnt over the years that there is a natural loss of memory for all of us. And then there is a stroke loss of memory which is different. I am lucky as I can actually tell which is which. 

The word "normal" is illegal when used about a stroke survivor ! If the normal word is used it has to be your new normal. You change during stroke and you will never be the same as pre stroke. 

I love your description of a different quality to the memory. I have been fishing for that description for ages, so thank you for that.

Medical science is doing lots on memory etc, so at your tender years you may find a great improvement and you never know, maybe something could then be done. As far as I know, not at the moment.

In practical terms, there is a loss of memories, especially memories from the months leading up to stroke. There is a loss of memory for yesterday. And then there is the loss of memory of things in the past few minutes, even seconds.

Recent science has demonstarted that memories are laid down whilst you sleep. So if you dont get good sleep then you will struggle as memories will be waiting to be laid down and todays memories will be loading up as well.

I have not sussed out memory recall, which is probably a big area to learn about.

This memory stuff has improved a lot for me. I dont recall as I did pre stroke. So my work as an accountant has pretty much been trashed. But I can do other stuff and I dont have to earn money.

Wow, the brockers area. Didnt think many others would know that term. Do you do yoga perchance.

I am really chuffed that you have posted your views. Enjoyed yur post immensly.

Best wishes 

Colin

 

Hi Colin, thanks for your thoughtful response and I’m glad you found it helpful too!  I Just wanted someone in the world to say, you right, me too!  Its helped relieve the tension that was buiding inside me about this issue! I guess that’s what these places are good for!  And I have dabbled in some yoga but mainly I am aware of the brockers area with having a psychology background and the doctor showed me the MRI scan of my brain and explained it was this area that was gone, then going home and researching it all :0)

 

Also in case this helps anyone who stumbles upon this post at some point, I have a tip for domestic disagrements with memory issues – I realised that when my partner was having his say in a discussion that he would speak for a long time and during that speaking would make factual errors about my intentions or behaviour – he doesn’t like being interrupted whilst making these speechs as most people don’t,  at the end of the speech he would draw a logical sounding conclusion based on these faulty assumptions about my behaviour/intentions but by the time that he got to the end of the speech I couldn’t remember what he had said and the faulty assumptions that needed addressing which would change the logical conclusion at the end so I was just left feeling bamboozled, confused and feeling like I had to say sorry for something that I knew wasn’t right but sounded right somehow – so now I’ve told him that every time one of these types of discussions starts I have to be able to get a pen and paper and make notes whilst he talks so I can respond better after.  We tried it the other day and it worked brilliantly – we had a much more productive discussion and resolved the issue – hope that helps someone! x

Hi Poppy, it sounds like you had a very similar stroke to my wife.  Her stroke was on 6th Jan and affected her Broca's area, she too couldn't speak at first but is now returning to near normal with the occasional stumble / word search difficulties.  She also has some memory issues, albeit they are improving too - it appears that her 'working memory' was impacted by the stroke.  It means that when you have to hold a thought in your head to try to do the next step she struggled.  This is getting better too but seems to improve more slowly than the speech.  What has helped (we think as I'm sure you agree you never really know) are some apps.  Lumosity is a good one as is the maths brain booster, both have memory improvement games as a specific focus.  Hopefully you may find them useful to try.

Im glad to hear that you seem to be making a good recovery overall.  Id be interested to know how your speech improved over the months since your stroke.  As I said earlier my wife still has some speech difficulty but we are only 2 months post stroke.  I'd like to be able for to share your experience with her any anything you found helpful in the later stages.

Kind regards,

Richard

Now thats a brilliant idea, jotting down bullet points. I have not been able to adjust to accept that I cant keep up with conversations. The old me was somewhat outspoken but I had a very quick mind and quite well informed on some subjects. Now I almost have to remain quiet. I know that, when I speak, wrong bits or memory can jump in. Yesterday I was with three friends. Two of them had enjoyed a TV program featuring Miriam Gargoyles. My wife had watched and I had set the recorder for part two.

So in all inocence I reminded my three friends that part two was on tonight (Wednesday). I knew that was right because I had also set the recorder to record two episodes of Coronation Street, as my wife goes to Guild on Wednesday nights and then the Miriam part two.

When home, I looked and found no recordings were set. My erratic brain had converted my thoughts (that i would set the recorder) in to "facts". Part two pf the miriam thing was Tuesday.

I do wonder if I should say anything at all. Its amazing how fast a few errors can change perceptions of me into a total idiot to be igored at all points.

I think I now know what its like to b very old with loss of faculties.

Now if we all lived together on the Isle of Wight, we could sort ourselves out.

We are just not understood.

Best wishes

Colin

Hi Gailesr, I've been meaning to reply for ages, I work in the NHS so work has been crazy busy and like everyone else there are kids to attend to etc so I've felt a bit lost with it all!  Anyway, Thanks for the luminosity tip - i will have a look at that!  And as too how my speech has improved, similar to your wifes mainly just delayed word searching, gets worse if I'm tired, stressed or under pressure.  I really notice it but other people say they don't really notice now.  Also I have to think more when spelling words at times, words that I would have written out automatically before.  And again my memory issues are as described above and yes definately with the working memory.  When people tell me phone numbers or sentances I'm supposed to write down, I have to slow them right down, only 3 numbers at a time or a few words at time.  I would say its minimal effects though, I am holding down a full time job, a complicated relationship and 3 kids, so she will be ok! Good luck to you both! 

I had a problem finding words and a similar problem with other people's responses to it. When you have no physical disabilities from a stroke it can make some people unaware of the impact it is having on you. I found trying to find words really difficult and frustrating so I decided I would choose a word to substitute for the words I couldn't find. Mine just happened to be thingy, which in the beginning led to some highly bizzare and hilarious conversations, but it helped both with my frustration at not being able to find the words but people started to understand my problem by how many thingy's were in the conversation. Taking the pressure off helped and there have been improvements. 

I found myself describing what I meant when I went blank. A bit like 'Give us a clue' ! It's good to laugh about it because people don't really understand when they can't see anything wrong.

Yes, I can understand that. I often ask my husband or whoever is with me. "What is the word when..." then describe what I mean. I remember during my phone assessment for my PIP I had to ask my assessor what's the word for moving your arm/hand. Shaking was the word I wanted. I had to ask her for the word in the middle of our conversation. All the time I was OK and then suddenly I cannot come up with the word. The episode might have helped me get my PIP application approved, LOL! Internet is also my best friend. Googling is my thing. ☺

I went for a coffee one day and I got to the till and couldn't remember the word for coffee. Luckily, the girls behind the counter know me as I'm a regular so when they asked "What can I get you" and I looked blank, I pointed to the machine and said "It comes out of there, out of that tube and it's frothy and makes a loud noise!"  "Coffee?"    Now they just ask when I go in, "Latte - one shot?"  Saves me the embarrassment!