Fibromyalgia and the fight against persistent memory problems

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I was very proud of the fact that I had a vivid memory. I was the go-to person at work because I had the gift of remembering every little detail.

Fast forward 10 years, and I have trouble remembering the names of friends and family. Spelling has become a huge problem for me. How can I forget to spell common words? I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the spell checker.

I feel like all I’m doing is falling further and further behind because I can’t remember what to do. I’m late to clean my house, answer emails, write my column, and complete a major work project. It’s because I keep starting something and then I need to stop to do something else that is more important. I have very good intentions, but I never seem to accomplish half of what I need to do. I also lose track of time. I don’t know where it’s going, but I bet I forgot to do something during that time!

I feel like I’m going around in circles and never really accomplishing anything. I forget dates, birthdays, events – name it, I’ll forget it. I forget to have lunch ready so I don’t have to run around during work. I hit snooze another time because I forgot I had an early doctor’s appointment.

Writing lists that I forget later is a big waste of time. I even tried emailing myself but forgot to verify my account the rest of the day.

I started complaining about memory problems over 10 years ago. I was told it was related to age… in my early forties! I knew it was not my age, but I was not successful with my doctors.

Now it is getting very disturbing. I try to adapt by taking lots of notes at work. My boss often tells me that I don’t have to write things down, but I have to. I know that I am more likely not to remember something than to remember it. I don’t know what to do with this dilemma.

I leave voice messages for myself if I really need to remember something. I gave up asking others to remind me of things. When they forget, I’m the one to blame, and it’s not fair to put them in my mess. If I lived alone I would have a chalkboard or bulletin board in every room to remind me of this.

I just started using a calendar app, but so far haven’t been very consistent. My goal is to make it a habit. I need to get back on my feet. Maybe a structure will help.

I use a pill organizer to remind me to take my 17 various medications and supplements each day. I still forget, but not as often as before.

I’ve found that when I don’t get enough sleep, my ability to remember is almost nonexistent. Thinking is a struggle. Add a little brain fog and I might as well stay in bed. It’s almost impossible to get enough sleep with fibrosis, but it’s vital to our health and well-being. I started setting an alarm an hour before bed to remind me to stop messing around and get ready for bed.

Having your memory failing can be scary, frustrating, and depressing. Being told it’s just your age or that you are brainless is infuriating. I find it hard not to let it get to me, but I know I’m not the only person with cystic fibrosis. Being stressed out about it only makes it worse.

But I’m trying to see the bright side of things. When I watch a movie or TV show I can’t remember if I’ve seen it before so everything is new to me!

How do you deal with memory problems? Do you have any tips or tricks to help you remember?

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To note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a disease news and information site. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a health problem. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional and do not delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues related to fibromyalgia.

Carrie lives in Minnesota with her husband and 3 cat children. She works full time as an administrative assistant. Carrie was diagnosed with fibromyagia 40 years after her first outbreak. She enjoys watching sports and spending time with her family and friends.


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