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Words…they are important.

December 1, 2015

Okay, minor rant at the beginning, but seriously when did WP change their posting/dashboard thing? I know it was a bit different last time I posted, but I seriously feel like I am having to relearn everything (which is the case and really not that big of deal, but it does segway pretty well into today’s post and well I am still trying to get used to the new.)

I have always had a pretty good memory. It isn’t eidetic or anything, but for the most part I have been able to recall information with ease. Of course the kicker is I can most often recall some  random bit of information, such as song lyrics to some 80’s pop song, or where the Giant left his favorite pen.

In the the couple of years, however, I have noticed that my memory seems to be slipping. Now if I had some additonal trips around the sun under my belt, it may not be as big of a deal, but as someone who is still in their twenties (late twenties, but still there) I don’t think it falls under the typical, “it comes with age thing.”

Examples are (luckily) rare, but I will find myself in the middle of conversations and I will just forget what I was going to say. Sometimes I will forget just a word or two. Other times I  find myself with less of an ability to follow multiple conversations at once. (I used to be able to pick up a fair bit other people’s convos whenever the Giant and I went to dinner (one more reason introversion/stay at home-ness is my safety zone.) )

This has all happened rather gradually and unfortunately can be common in people who have Chronic Pain, and in particular those with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There have been a few studies concering this dyscognition (a pretty fancy way of describing the more commonly known Fibro Fog.) Despite the research and knowing that it is considered “normal” for people with Fibromyalgia, it is an annoyance for me.

Unfortuantely like a lot of life’s annoyances, I have had to learn to live with it.  One way I have managed to cope when I begin trailing off for a moment and need to break the awkward silence that happens, is by saying something along the lines of “words…they’re important.” This usually gets a chuckle from whomever I am talking to, or at the very least gives them a cue that I realize the pause is there.

It surprises me at how quickly I was able to fall into this habit, which is both good and bad. I feel like it’s good because it means that I am learning how to live despite the limitations a chronic illness can bring, but also bad because there are times when the pause stretches too far and I find myself at a loss and then I end up berating myself for not being able to see through the fog and recover whatever it is I am trying to remember. The habit feels like a consistent reminder that things have changed, that I am different than I was just a few short years ago. (Aside from the obvious change we all face with the passage of time.) Luckily this memory issue hasn’t caused any major debacles and I can usually get the word after a little bit. Of course the frustration of not being able to think of a word  can be tough to overcome; but I try to think of it like this, if nothing else I seem to be getting awfully good at charades.

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From → Chronic Illness

3 Comments
  1. I think the change happened last week; I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

    I have issues with remembering words, and I’m feeling like this is a fairly regular issue on the podcast where I forget words, names, things that I should remember because I looked them up within 30 minutes of recording or i usually know them pretty well. I’ve done a lot to try and fix my memory issues, but so far nothing has really helped. It’s hard to not have it hurt your pride. I’m glad you’re finding a way to cope with it!

  2. I think it depends on what browser you are using. I normally use Firefox and my Dashboard changed early last week.

  3. As someone who has lived with short term memory issues their whole life I completely understand what it feels like. I have really good *long-term* memory, and I can remember plenty of things like 90s country songs, random facts from Jeopardy, and the plot of a good many Star Trek episodes. But I’ll loose track of a conversation, or I’ll forget something someone just said to me, or I just simply won’t remember a few words in the middle of a sentence.

    I’m also in my late 20s (just turned 28 in November), but for me the issue isn’t related to chronic pain or fatigue, for me, it’s related with ADHD and the associated other issues it’s wrapped up with that people don’t normally think about.

    Like you, I’ve developed coping mechanisms though mine were formed at a much younger age and includes weird hand waving motions due to constantly talking with my hands.

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