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Old 04-18-2010, 06:05 AM   #1
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Memory, Concentration and Chronic pain?

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.

Last edited by nochange; 04-18-2010 at 06:09 AM.

 
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Memory, Concentration and Chronic pain?

Don't put aside the thought that the medication is causing the forgetfulness as I have terrible memory Even now writing this I have to stop and go over what I have written in each sentence. I have to re do it over and over. I was on Oxycontin and now on the fentanyl patches. My memory has got worse and continued to be worse. I have to sit and remember words in a sentence and spelling well lucky I have a spell check. So you are not on your own and I don't care if I write it here or who reads it as it is one of the side effects of the medication we must take to just get by without crying more than once or twice a day. Because I am in so much pain and not only pain. I can't walk properly any longer as the nerves coming from my lower back are being compressed badly. My neurosurgeon showed me on my MRI exactly where the problems are and I did need a well referred neurosurgeon before my MRI was read in front of me with him pointing out the white parts of the vertebrae showing him the area's of stress and the reduced area where the nerves where being compressed. I was happy with him and his confidence that he could relieve the nerve compression and later on relieve some of the pain from the disc's and spine. So I put my back in his hands and hope that with reduced medication and rehabilitation I may even get back some of my forgetfulness as well. Lets hope I have that opportunity and with treatment you may also retrieve some of yours.
I am not saying you should reduce your medication, just hopping you have options in future for treatment of your injury.
I hope I have been a little helpful to you or someone reading. Allan
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25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Memory, Concentration and Chronic pain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nochange View Post
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.

~Myo

 
Old 04-21-2010, 01:31 AM   #4
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Re: Memory, Concentration and Chronic pain?

wow, thank you so much. I thought I'm getting crazy.

 
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