Originally Posted by nochange
Hello people. I'm starting to have severe memory and concentration problems.
People talk to me but I can't concentrate and I forget what they told me.
It's not that I forget where I put my keys, magazines, laundry......it's what people talk to me that I don't remember.
What's going on with me. I'm 39, suffering from SEVERE chronic neck pain plus sleep at night only 4-5 hours with sleeping pills plus TMJ. Been like that for the 5 years but only NOW that I'm experiencing concentration and memory problems. I'm starting to tell people: "I'm not sure I told you that...so I will say again".
I doubt this is side effects of Percocet/Oxycontin? gabapentin? sleeping pills?
I'm afraid to discuss it with my doctor, really scared.
It is a condition callled "chronic drowsiness". And yes its caused by the pain pills and/or sleeping aids. I don't know if if you noticed on the TV ads for Ambien and Lyrica they specifically warn about talking, walking and even driving a car while asleep.
I was able to perform my job, get promoted based on merit, all the while in a semi or even a fully unconcious state and was only fired due to it, because I happened have a "narcoleptic" while a potential client was touring the facility where I worked.
After that my doctor's broke down and prescribed Adderall for me. Prior to all this they had been trying to get me on Provigil, but my insurance company was balking due to the cost. They claimed it was due to the addictive potential, but they had no problem paying for Adderall which is probably more addictive. Which is why my doctor's refused to prescribe it until I lost my job and they had to give in since my insurance co. wasn't going to budge.
Anyways, if you read my blog about Giving Ourselves Support
, you'll note that I struggle with diminished mental acuity and focus as well. So I try to do Sudoku and other puzzle books to try and sharpen my focus. But I have been trying to study for ICD-9/CPT coding certification on my own and just struggle with retaining the information when it comes to the tests that accompany each chapter. I'm operating at about 40-60% of my ability pre-pain medications but the psychologist I recently tested with said that is still in the upper 75%. But it doesn't feel like it and I find it very frustrating.
So yes you will find that you experience unconscious states of full functionality and zero recall, with "chronic drowsiness"; for me its even worse because I had narcolepsy episodes before the chronic drowsiness. I would have full conversations in the morning, still asleep and then have no recollection of it when it came up in conversation at a later time. I eventually had to get a Clocky alarm clock that runs away on wheels because even with my alarm clocks on the other side of the room I could get up walk across the room and turn them off while still asleep.
Don't be ashamed to ask your doctor for an alertness medication to counteract the side effects of the other medications you are taking.
My other advice would be to journal conversations. Also carrying a portable mini tape recorder, you can go back and journal conversations you didn't have recall of discussing.