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How long did you battle with short-term memory loss


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Hello-

1st off let me state that finding this site is exactly what I desperately need at this time. I'm sitting with my husband in Neuro ICU for the 8th day after a nonaneurismal sah. Docs said they should be able to pull his drain and send him home by the end of the week (14 days) 

 

Physically he appears to be ok but his short term memory is shot. It's heartbreaking to hear him struggle remembering our children's name. He's currently all over the place of to where he thinks he is and why (he says someone got him sick so he fell off a bike...none of which are true)

I'm super worried we won't have our sharp, active 39 year old husband/father back.  

 

I know everyone is different. Just trying to hear feedback on others experiences with short term memory loss

 

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Welcome to BTG.

So sorry that you find yourself in this situation. Time is a great healer but everyone is different in their rate of recovery so there is no timescale. Things should get better but very slowly. I also said bizarre things in the very early days so my family tell me, I remember nothing of that.

 

I am 12 years down the line and still have problems with my short term memory although not as bad as initially.

I now have to write everything down immediately I think of it and have post- it notes all over the house.

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Hi there, and warm welcome glad that you found us.

 

Yes its an old saying but so true time is a great healer.  it just take time lots of time.

 

I'm 16.1/2 years and mines although still bad, not as bad as it was - you learn to adjust, you learn things to help with it.

 

Hope thing slowly improve. take care and remember you find time for YOU that's most important.

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When I saw my nieces who were my bridesmaids many moons ago they asked me "Who am I Win ?"

I needed thinking time so I said hold on and said when I came back I named them!! phew but I needed to say to myself my Freddie and Barneys kids and they are called ..and said names to myself. 

 

Your hubby will get there eventually, my Daughter had a book for me and she made me look at pics and say what was next to the plane etc .

 

My Hubby told me I wont remember things so I said my name to myself, Family and 9 Brothers and Sisters and thought, that's all I need to know. lol   

Hubs will get there eventually just keep him stress free ..hard but it helps xx

Good luck Both

WinB143 xx

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Hi there

 

So very sorry that you're in this situation, but you have definitely come to the best place for experience and understanding.

 

I'm lucky really in that I don't have problems with my short term memory - I just don' retain information that has no relevance to my life - i.e. if its not important then I tend not to remember.  To me my memory is not as good as it was pre SAH (ten years ago) but my family tell me that its still better than theirs.

 

Everyone is different and unfortunately that means the affects of short term memory will be different - but time is definitely a great healer and the brain takes longer to heal/mend than any other part of the body as it cannot completely rest. Lots of water should help with brain function though.

 

 

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Welcome to BTG.

 

I am sorry you have found yourself in this situation. I have a lot of sympathy for you. I always say to people that all this was worse on my husband than it was on me as I remember very little of it whereas he had to experience all of it and make all the decisions about my care.

 

I had my haemorrhage 19 months ago. I ended up in a coma and then had an EVD fitted and then a shunt. During my time in the hospital I had a lot of issues orientating myself - although I knew who my husband and parents were I got a lot of other things incorrect, for example I thought the year was 1998.

 

My family had to keep going over things with me to help me get them straight. I now think that this confusion was not just a result of the haemorrhage but actually all the medication I was on. This had pretty much corrected itself by the time I came out of hospital (I was in for almost 4 weeks). Coming out of hospital also helped me as well as I was back amongst familiar surroundings and a routine.

 

In terms of my memory now - I still have memory issues. I have sat neuro-psychological tests and spent a year in rehab. There I was told that my memory issues were a deficit in my attentional memory. This means that I don't actually forget things what actually tends to happen is that my brain does not pay full attention to things and therefore I do not make a memory of it.

 

As Skippy said above I tend to find now that I retain certain bits of information but not others - for example I tend to remember information people have told me but not who has told me it. Strategies such as writing things down and using reminders and calendars all help.

 

I hope your husband continues to make progress. Keep supporting him and going over things with him and hopefully over time things will start improve.

 

Take care,

Gemma

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Hi Jen Jen

 

Hubby is in the very early days in fact I wouldn't take much notice at the moment as It can take up to three months before you get a better picture of hubbys progress.

 

The brain needs to recoup some of any damage caused before he can make any steps forwards.  You will have some steps backwards but they will lessen as time goes on. Eight days to fourteen days is so very early on in his recovery and hopefully his memory will return. Patience is so hard, but take one day at a time and remember we are here to support you.

 

I wish hubby well.

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Hey Jen, wow those early days were a blur for me to be honest but like your hubby I had a drain and I was also 39 so a few things in common. Time will help but it won't be rushed. 

 

I apparently tried to keep keep a diary when I started to respond to treatment , the writing is like that of a four year old but I think doing it helped me to orient myself a little in this strange environment of hospital , also everything was like ground hog day. I could greet a visitor, turn away and then greet them again , it kept them amused and I had the endless enjoyment of visitors turning up even if it was the same person ? So short term memory was dreadful but I've learnt to manage it and had to practise new ways to keep the information.

 

The damage that comes with a bleed Seems to corrupts some survivors ability to file and make new memories, those that have need to learn new ways of retaining the information. That doesn't happen overnight.  The quick almost photographic way we used to form memory before doesn't keep the picture so well so writing notes really helps, I also find picture and photos help me recall too. 

 

Also my filter for all the ' sensory' activity gets really messed with. It's like your brain is really concentrating on trying to heal but then hang on its also got to steer the ship as well so it spends less attention than it did on doing that so we sometimes go off course , slow to almost standstill and bang into things, plus sometimes the filter between thought and spoken word gets broken as well ...I still do all of that when I'm fatigued. 

 

Main thing is let hubby do things one at a time, try to get him to pace himself  and give him plenty of sensory breaks to let the brain really rest. Keep up food and fluid, don't get tired, thirsty or hungry and One big thing is don't  have multiple conversations or talk across each other, if you can reduce background noise early days then that really helped me.

 

mine was over four years ago, it's been a long road but my hubby and kids and I adapted, learnt and evolved. You will find a new normal in time even if that day seems a million miles away from where you sit today. I'm back working albeit differently to before and my life is changed and different but I wouldn't turn back time strange as that may seem even if I do wish I could do some things effortlessly.

 

I won't say don't worry about the change that has come to your family , it's natural to worry but take care and be gentle with yourself , the fear and worry our loved ones go through is huge so be kind to you too. Everyone just has to take Baby steps 

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Hi Jen,

 

As said above it is such early days for your husband. While I was in hospital with the same as your husband a nonaneurismal SAH  (I also had a drain), I had long conversations with people and to this day I have no memory of them, whereas other visitors I do remember. And now I tend to recall almost all of the conversions I have, but as Skippy touched on sometimes some of conversations that have less reason to stick in my mind really don't lodge at all, but that's really the exception rather than the norm and I'm 19 months post SAH. 

 

The way I looked at that time in hospital and the weeks to month or two post my SAH, my brain was still very much still suffering the acute side of the trauma from the SAH, and when that calms a lot can sort it's self out. All our recoveries are different, but for now as Paul said, patience, one day at a time.

 

Jen, come back here at any time and ask those questions you need to, there is a wealth of experience and some of the most supportive people I have ever met.

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Hello Jen, and also a warm welcome to BTG.  I am so glad you found the site so soon. My wife had her SAH in May 2011 and I did not discover BTG until December 2014. (thanks to my great friend Winnie)

 

You mention that your husband has been in ICU for eight days. That brings back so many memories...all of a sudden your lives are turned up-side-down. You are trying to come to terms with what has happened to your husband-the hospital has become almost a home for you and you have spent much time in the cafeteria trying to come to terms with his brain bleed and what it might mean. You are trying to juggle your life to cope with your time spent in hospital, looking after your children and keeping in touch with friends, family and work colleagues. And you are exhausted.

 

You have definitely found the right place to get the help and support you need from people who `have been there` both SAH sufferers and carers. That is evident already from the earlier posts....and you will find yourself searching the various forums to help you understand what you and husband can expect in the days-weeks and months ahead.

 

As has already been emphasised.....your husband will need time....and it is so important that you accept this in these early days.  Pressing for `back to normal`  is something to put on hold as you patiently wait for him to show signs of improvement. It will be great if he returns home next week.

 

Take care of yourself.. eat well and get plenty of rest and sleep......talk things over with a close friend.

 

And please don`t hesitate to ask your new BTG friends for help and support.

 

Subs

 

 

 

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I am Subsy pal who I found trawling the internet one day and trying to help his wife.

 

You Carers go through it,  my advice to Subzero was join BTG and take Mrs Subs out for a coffee, he hasn't stopped since lol xx

 

Once your hubby gets out and about and remembers places and has a silly treat he will start feeling like he is back.

I remember before shunt was put in my family looked sad so as we went through doors I said "open Sesame" that was me trying to cheer them up.  These were early days for me and I couldn't hold myself upright.  They said I wont ever walk again 4 steps at first then onwards and upwards  with my Families help.   

Good luck to you all and lots of water as someone has said xxxxx

Love

Win xxxxx

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Jen, if I was to meet someone new they would not know I struggle with short term memory. My family notice, I notice and can tell the difference and I make the odd mistake at work which shows it up but day to day I can usually use new techniques now that mean it doesn't show. That uses more energy though. So I would say I have relearnt ways to retain short term information but I could only do that once the healing was really underway. 

 

So so to answer your question of can you get it back? Yes , in differing ways for sure, for some people it just returns similar to before others like myself we have to find new ways but there will be a way through. 

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From the initial onset, NO total blank even to this day & I'm ok with that who wants to remember things like that!!!

 

If he has to have rehab they will help with the memory things.

But for me writing things down every thing now with me is lists, notes, diary's, stuff on the callender.

 

But it is all early days for you the brain need time to heal, its kind of like a computer re-booting itself easiest way I find to explain to people if your computer savvi you get it.

 

 

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Hi Jen,

 

Welcome to BTG and I send prayers for you and your husband.  I am 11 months post NASAH.  I remember going to the first hospital, then apparently for 2 days I thought it was 1987.  I had an EVD and spend 10 days in ICU.  Now I do have some short-term memory issues, but nothing dramatic.  I never had a great memory anyhow. 

 

Sometimes when I ask my children something they tell me that I they already told me that.  But it is not dramatic.  We almost treat it like a joke.  Dad and his memory!  Long-term things like names are no issue.  I think the biggest thing is I can spend a day doing something and the next day it feels more like a dream than a real event.  In other words, I feel a little detached from my memories.  I am in the moment, but later, it feels remote.

 

We are all a little different to a lot different. His sounds similar to me except he is younger.   It's still really early and he has some physical and emotion things to deal with for a while. 

 

My advice to you is to be understanding.  It's easy for a while, but a few months from now, this will start to feel old to you, but it will still feel very fresh to him, so try not to be dismissive if he has a headache or feels some anxiety.

 

Best wishes.

 

Chris

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Ditto Chris very well said. I have never really thought about it feeling like a dream but totally get that and have that too. 

 

Its early days, the memory does recover but to what level depends on the individual.  As Daf says and like her, if you didn't know I had had an SAH you would not think I had any problems. It's the loved ones close to you who recognise that fact.

 

Just  take each day at a time, you'll both get there and eventually recognise the new normal.  

 

Clare xx

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Hi Jen

I had my Sah June  2015 I think I must have left my short term memory in the hospital. !  My memory was never so good before my Sah, My sons used to call me a Goldfish. Like everything else, it is improving,albeit slowly.I know I felt better once I was home, in familiar surroundings

 

Your sharp, active husband/father is still there he just needs time for everything to heal.

Keep in touch on here, let us know how you and your husband are doing

Love Jan xx

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Hi Jen and welcome to the site.  It truly is a wonderful place.

 

So, I typed a rather involved response for you last night only to have the IPad freeze up and lose my stuff. I just didn't have the stamina to start over then. I had my SAH almost 8 years ago due to a ruptured aneurysm. I recovered relatively well for the extent of the bleed as I was blessed to get very excellent medical care very quickly (angels are among us!) and I didn't have vasospasms or other serious complications. I will say that the brain does weird things when under assault. Even though I understood what had happened and why I was in the hospital from the get-go,

 

I did have one day where things went wacky following an angiogram and I repeatedly asked my husband and sister where I was and why.  This went on long enough for it to become quite tiresome to them.  We laugh about it now, but it wasn’t so funny then. I was released after 11 days and my husband had me stay at my in-laws for a time so I wouldn’t be alone.  I just wanted to be home to rest in my own surroundings.  REST is the most important thing your husband can do right now.  The brain does not like to be bled upon and it takes TIME for that blood to breakdown and go away.

 

I think Daff’s response is quite excellent.  Like her, most people would not guess I have brain damage from the SAH.  Depending on many variables, the brain is able to rewire itself to some degree, to compensate for cells that die.  What we must adapt to is the fact that the “new” areas are not as adept at performing a given task as the original area was, kind of like people; we all have some natural talent that we are a whiz at and then there are the things we do serviceably well.

 

Over time, we learn to adjust and figure out what we must work harder at  (like memory) or limit (like trying to multi-task) or not beat ourselves up about (like getting freaky in the grocery store because there are too many colors and boxes and labels – that still gets me after all this time). 

 

My short term memory is horrible at times.  I don’t have children, but the pets names get jumbled all the time until I just say “whoever you are”. Recently I was doing a grocery list and couldn’t remember the name of a laundry soap I’ve used for years.  I ended up writing “gentle cycle soap”.  For the life of me the name would not come then just popped into my head a couple days later.  It’s unsettling, but not the end of the world.

 

This experience is so fresh for your husband – and you – right now.  When I think back, I believe I was in a degree of denial about magnitude of what had happened.  Initially, I worried about getting back to work and other stupid stuff instead of taking the opportunity to recognize what the true priorities are.  I know it’s hard, but tell your husband not to be in hurry.  He may have headaches for awhile, he may have bouts of anxiety, and he’s bound to go through a range of emotions.  Any of that would be normal for what he’s been through. REST, REST and REPEAT.

 

Prayers for patience and progress.  Colleen

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Hi Jen, glad you found this site, you will gets lots of support and information on how a NASAH can affected people in so many different ways and each person is unique with their recovery. 

 

I am a year to the day after my bleed and although never needed any intervention I still have tiredness, anxiety attacks when I can't seem to cope like I used to and difficulty finding words, my mind goes blank as I search around inside my head. I am finding, after a very busy summer of travelling, socialising and stress from outside commitments that my head is aching more and I am exhausted and I am reading that as time to adjust and rest. It is listening to the brain and body and giving it time to rest and heal.

 

Drinking loads of water is a must, resting the brain too without lots of activity going on is good. I remember a young doctor in the hospital saying to me rest and rest, he said even looking out of the window is making the brain work hard as it actively processing every movement your eyes are taking in, then add in picking up a cup to drink, adds more to your brain. I made a point of keeping remembering that and to think how much my brain is working without me knowing and realising how hard that must be for the brain and how tired it would get. It is waiting and taking thinks at the person's own speed. 

 

For you it is very hard, to watch the unknown and have the reposnsibilities of being a wife and mother. The injured are taken care of, the loved ones need to make sure they look after themselves? Here at BTG people understand, feel free to voice concerns and worries, it certainly has helped me, as I had no information what so ever when I left hospital other than treating the headache, nothing  to understand the little  breaks in missing words, the frustration of dealing with not driving or just not putting something in the right place. 

Each day is a milestone for you both.

 

Keep well Jen and hope your husband is home soon. Take any offers up of help to assist you.

Regards, 

Irene

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