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    mental confusion/cognitive issues
    zareksmom posted:
    Hi everyone,
    I am new to this forum and this disorder. I am 33, will be 34 this summer. I have a wonderful 18 month old son, and was just diagnosed last month with fibromyalgia. I have had lots of medical issues over the last 2 years during pregnancy and after, and lots of issues even prior that make more sense with the diagnosis. I work in customer service in a call center enviroment and only returned to work 2 weeks ago, after being out of work since the end of january due to the sever pain. I have also been experiencing a lot of cognitive issues for several months. My dr started me on gabapentin in february, while waiting for appt with rheumatologist for official diagnosis of fibro. The medicine has helped get the widespread pain under control, went from a constant 9 on the pain scale down to about a 3-4 most days. Just saw the rheumatologist agian monday and she reccomended this site and forum for support and education.
    Ok, so thats my background info. I am wondering if anyone else has had severe issues with concentration, memory, focus etc? and if so what has helped? These issues are severly affecting my job performance and meeting buisness expectations and I am very worried about losing my job if I can't get this under control. This worry then adds to my stress, which flares my depression, flaring the pain....a vicious cycle to be in.
    Would greatly appreciate any suggestions!! Thanks everyone
    1wareaglefan responded:
    Hey, Zareksmom....I can tell you that cognitive issues are definitely a very common symptom of fibro. Some say it's harder for them to deal with than the pain.

    I don't know of anything to help with that, but I believe I've heard of some taking an ADD type medicine that helps them. Hopefully others will be along with some advice.

    Oh, this just came to my mind.....isn't ginko- something supposed to be good for mental clarity?

    I know somebody will post some help for you. Take care....ELizabeth
    cndlu70 responded:
    To zarefsmom

    first i want to say welcome...
    FM is difficult to live with but it is possible (even though some days it seems unlikely)

    i have wondered many times what i would do if my child was younger. how would i manage? it must be really hard with an 18 m old. AND trying to work. thankfully mine is older....

    on the confusion subject...
    i too have a major problem with it. after being dxed for over a year (suffering for many years before being dxed) i went to my supervisor with some of the problems i was having. surprisingly he was very understanding and accomodating too.

    i use lots of techniques to boost my memory. use lots of post-it notes, lists, signs, notes, etc. calendars, alarms set for remembering meds. and appointments. my 13 y old is wonderful... she helps me when i need her. (i feel bad about it but, she lets me know that i'm always there for her, when she needs me )

    it does seem to get better at times, just as the pain eases and gets worse at times, the memory and confusion does too.

    take each day as it comes.
    accept it.
    don't "should" yourself.
    do what you can.
    don't do what you can't.
    if you have a bad day, rest.
    if you have a good day, DON'T overdo it!!!

    don't know how you believe spiritually... but prayer works wonders for me....

    i wish you well.... hope you have better days to come...
    zareksmom replied to 1wareaglefan's response:
    wow so i just found out you responded. Thanks Elizabeth for the info. its ginko biloba that helps with memory. i have not thought to try that , maybe i will pick some up.
    zareksmom replied to cndlu70's response:
    thank you so much for responding. i just got the notification of responses. it has been very tough with raising my son. i have switched jobs so that i am not so stressed and happier with my work. this has helped alot, although i seem to be getting a flair up now. just got permission today from dr to raise my dose of gabapentin. hoping that will help. i am sure flair is related to changes in my life that have resulted in some increased stress. my husband just recently started doing long haul trucking and has been gone 2 1/2 weeks now and probably wont be back for at least another 2-3 weeks. so now i am basically a single mom working full time and raising our almost 23 month old son. he is very active and trying to keep up with him, and keep up on house hold chores and yard is really overwhelming. i do pray everyday. god is in my life and it is very helpful to give a sense of peace. thank you so much for your response and welcome. hope to chat with you more, as you seem to really understand what this is like. hard to keep the depression at bay somedays......
    LincolnGal2 replied to cndlu70's response:
    I believe that your advice is right on track. The "fog" seems to come for me before the onset of increased symptoms. I'm alone, so anxiety levels go up significantly when I feel this happening. I am finding that when it comes on me, if I change what I am doing, eg: go lay down, meditate, pray, read, listen to music, just change the environment, can help to restore some of your mental facilities, but you must slow down and try to relax.
    LincolnGal2 replied to zareksmom's response:
    I am all for alternate resources for symptom relief, but I hope that each of you will make sure that the herbs that you are thinking of trying are safe with you current medications.
    angelldakota replied to zareksmom's response:
    Hi Hun... When I was first ill... and we never really got a sure total diagnosis... my 3 children were a few months old... 2 and 5... 27 years later they decided that the 15th thing wrong with me was FM... and 2 years later they have added 9 more lol... but I think the hardest to live with was initially getting ill... Even the cancer I had 2 times prior to this was a breeze next to it... I only had one baby when the second time hit... and I still had someone with me to help me... at that time I was awaiting a divorce and still being abused so had no one to count on... I was on my own with some great drs and nurses... and a few advocates from a woman's shelter that hung in there with me... but home I had to deal with things alone... and then with the system who stepped in to help..... who decided they couldn't see anything so wrong with me and filed neglect charges... the Judge about 6 months later decided I needed services not punishment for my illnesses... I was lucky... I had a judge who understood 2 of my problems out of 3... no one understood them for no one could figure out what was wrong...

    So being slightly in a troubling place and getting more and more stressed and getting more and more ill... I can count back my days of FM to childhood... and the bad flares that got me to where I was then... to a lot of things...

    you will do just fine... half the battle is just being able to spend some quality time with your children and sometimes... No... I can honestly say... that all my illnesses did me one big favor... It took me down off my work-a-holic life and my run-run life... and brought me to what really mattered in life... the friends who stood by me... and most of all... my children who were raised with me in and out of hospitals fighting cancers... and in and out of wheelchairs and in and out of being bedridden for months... and now being the best and most special supports in my life... A bond I don't think I could have found without the way things had ended up...

    Today 3 of us live together.. my two sons one with the 2 children he has full custody of... and me... we sorta take care of each other and they mostly take care of me... they are living with chronic pain too... the daddy faced with FM too... He once said he didn't see me quit... so he won't... he works at least 55 to 60 hours a week as a manager of a pizza hut... he is 31 years old... and in my book... when he comes home and gathers his 3 and 4 year old up to watch a movie and they all fall asleep... daddy sometimes first... I am never prouder... I can see his pain... I can understand his agony at times... I hurt for him as he crawls out of bed and gets to work... and my oldest works a 3 hour job and can hardly move when he comes home... but he helps me with the kids so I can rest so I don't go further under... I usually just spend my quality time with the 2 of them watching tv or playing legos or lincoln logs... easy on Nany...

    I don't have to make food for them unless it is a simple lunch... and usually never make them breakfast and supper... It is cuddling and spoiling for me... and they spoil me just fine... lol...

    I will go rest now... I think I have to check on fb to see if someone wrote me and then check it later for the rest... other then that I can read it on my phone... I like having an Iphone... I can do so much from bed now... I can even read here...

    take care and bless you hun... take care of that little one and tell your husband every time you talk to him to drive carefully and travel with your love... my over the road husband wouldn't start his day without it...
    When you need a friend, reach out to a stranger and you will have one. If you need help, help someone else. if you need to cry, find someone already crying and celebrate life.
    Love Jan
    Kinkatia responded:
    Oh gosh, the cognitive problems are the worst for me, specially since I'm currently in college taking 18 credits on top of a senior thesis.

    I've found a few things that help. FIrst and foremost is making sure to get enough sleep and eat properly. Straying in either area significantly impacts my cognitive functions.

    Regular exercise of some sort helps, and I think this is because of increasing blood flow to the brain or something? Gentle exercise, of course, but exercise nonetheless.

    Also, and this is super important, stay hydrated. Try keeping a bottle of water on hand all the time to sip on and refill throughout the day. Dehydration makes the brain shrink like a dry sponge, and it can cause headaches, and, in my experience, problems with thinking, awareness and memory. So hydration is super important.

    Other things I haven't tried but have had good things about are meditation and braingames that are designed to boost memory and other cognitive skills.

    And I hope the gingko helps if you try it! I've found that chamomile tea is great for concentration in the short term. It doesn't make me sleepy, just calmer and more focused. I've started making peppermint chamomile tea to drink before my more difficult classes, and it does wonders. I have no idea if this'll help anyone else with the concentration problems, but it certainly helps me.
    zareksmom replied to Kinkatia's response:
    Thanks! I agree dehydration does cause problems, lol. Chamomille tea makes me sleepy, so i sometimes drink it at night. I was taking trazodone to help with sleep, but now that my husband is on the road I dont dare take it because I wont hear my son. It knocks me out!!
    zareksmom replied to LincolnGal2's response:
    I always check witht he pharmacist before I take anything as I dont want a drug interaction to occur. I used to be a CRMA so I am very aware of drug interactions. But thank you for your concern.
    zareksmom replied to angelldakota's response:
    WOW is all I can say... You are truly must be an amazing and strong woman to have gotten thru all that! Thank you so much, it helps me to know others understand. I am so blessed to have my son as drs said i would most likely never concieve at least not without expensive fertility treatments due to sever endometriosis. Low and behold, no treatments and I got pregnant with my son. When not working (i work 37 1/2 hours a week doing home care actually) I spend my time with my son. Also, since hubby is gone, I have been spending alot of time with friends and my family. I find if I stay home with just my son all day, I get severly depressed missing my hubby so I try to stay very busy. Tommorrow I have a friend and his 2 kids coming for a BBQ before the weather gets too cold to do them lol. Thank you again for message, and I hope you are enjoying your grandchildren!!
    GnarlyOne responded:
    I was getting really dazed and confused for hours at a time, making it really difficult to comprehend conversations at work and home. Scans of the head showed nothing, so they put me on an anti-epilepsy drug (Topamax) that worked a little until it wouldn't let me sleep more then 5 hours at night. My wife found a nutritionist who thought she could help. There's a company down in Florida where you send your blood to and they scan it for hundreds of food types and your sensitivities to them. I got a report back that said: no sugar of any kind, corn syrup, fish, paprika (in everything!) and a whole bunch of other stuff. That helped a lot and now I find that I only get dazed when I am hungry or don't get much sleep.

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