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Since becoming one of the main caregivers of my nursing-home residing mom who is 89, and my 93 yr old dad, whose home my husband & I moved into to care for him, my memory is SHOT. I feel wound up and cannot retain much of anything any longer; I really feel the excessive worry & stress is causing this. Anyone else experience this? It is frightening to me.

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thank you for all the comments. I have forgotten a couple of appointments and driven past my destination. I worry 24/7 that I may forget important meds for my husband.
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I have been taking my mom out once a week from her 24/7 care facility for the last four weeks. I have sometimes have her out as much as 8 hours. I feel a bit over whelmed when I have to do anything else. The rest of the family does not see my mom.
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Hard to successfully navigate in the moment when your mind is so full of to do's. I find I have to stop to prioritize and make lists and mark items off as they get done. Otherwise, I am jumping from one project to another - ending up with a lot of jobs only half completed. That's how the tub overflows and dinner gets burned and I forget to pick up the prescription. My Mom is 95 and I'm 71, and it's not that misery loves company, but I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone with all the crazyness and that some of you younger gals are experiencing this stress/memory problem.
I would be embarrassed to relate some of the kooky lapses I am experiencing. Maybe it's not my age afterall!
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I have been experiencing that lately, it is good to know the comments that we are not alone. I guess maybe we have too much on our mind and cannot always keep it straight.
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Yes. Everything seems out of sync, I'm sure it will be awhile for normalcy to kick in again. We have to hang in there.
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What was the question? I got distracted. Time to bring out the Ginko Biloba and decrease alcohol consumption. Yoga and meditation helps, too, and getting off the internet and taking a REAL WALK outdoors! Breathe deeply and exhale!
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Thanks, Jessi. my problem is that most meds (prescribed or OTC) - my body reacts to it. So, I take my cholest pills every other day, etc.... but I will try the VitD. I bought Omega 3 - and I reacted to it - as if I was having allergy symptoms. Tingling of tongue, lips, etc... I stopped. Of course, I just recently became allergic to shrimp. So, go figure!
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Today at work I went to wash my hands in the restroom and stuck my hand under the paper towel holder and could not understand why the soap wasn't coming out.....so yes caregiving does affect your mind ;-) I have to write everything down now..it could be that I am 57 too. I thought after raising my kids and having an empty nest life would slow down but since my husband and I both are only children it has not !! His mom is 88 lives next door to us and my mom is 83 and was placed in a NH Jan. 5th.
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Hi bookworm
Yes, I do know what you are saying. I actually do have a lot of stress related issues. I have OCD and anxiety on top of caring for my Mom (part time ). I get panic attacks and when I do I seriously cannot talk. I actually forget simple words. I am absolutely certain that stress effects memory and problem solving skills.

I am sorry you have pain. My friend was diagnosed with fibromyalgia but recently was re- diagnosed with "Misconnected Tissue". I think is what it is called. Something eles to check out if you still have pain issues.
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If you have pain, Vitamin D deficiency will make it worse; along with energy problems. I was extremely low on Vitamin D and my doctor told me to take 2,000 IU of D3, and within a month or two I was feeling so much better. It's also good on you ligaments and heart valve keeping them supple.
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I too wonder if I got fibromyalgia with these sudden pain popping up and it doesn't feel like regular pain. I used to describe it to my doc as pain coming from my bone. She never pursued, and I never pushed it. So, I do what I do best, pretend everything is okay (even my mind) and hope for the best....

Mishka- that was funny. I laughed. And yet, not funny..if you know what I mean.
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Yes, stress can---- wait, what was I going to say? ;o)
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Yes, but then I also have fibromyalgia (just found out that was it) so now I can blame it on the "fibro fog". I'd been concerned about the memory problems even more than the pain issues, especially after starting to care for Mom. Thought it might be a certain medication, so went off of it, and that wasn't it. Finally, 2 years later, got my diagnosis. I also have very low Vitamin D. I have to supplement daily.
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Thanks Bookworm. I actually thought of getting tested for Alz myself. However I will wait and see how the supplements I just purchased at the local health food store work for me and my mother. They actually had a section of supplements for brain health. Check it out everyone. The lady at the counter also told me to drink plenty of water which seems to help everything in the body. Unfortunately my mom will not drink water. She says it rusts your pipes...lol. I've tried flavored water, diluted juices and even soda. Her main thing is Coffee so I sneak in 3/4 decaf. Not sure if that is better but can't think of anything else. I'll keep everyone posted regarding the supplements. I hope they help both of us.
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Jessi, it's okay. I once ...well ..several times did what you did. Only after I hit the submit button, I remembered "the topic". Didn't help that after my post, more people responded...fortunately, someone else posted and brought back the subject. Trust me, this won't be the first time! =)

With how very forgetful I've been becoming, I swear I've had to stop myself from going to the clinic and ask to be tested for Alz! Hey, my mom started showing signs of Alzheimer when she was in her early 50's. I'm just 3 years shy of 50.

By the way, Everyone....Yesterday on HLN news they brought up this study that was done. When people our age (40s, 50's, etc..) think of ourselves as OLD, then we start showing signs of it. Even just saying: I feel old. Just anything that makes us think we're old - we start showing it. I guess it's the half empty glass vs the half full glass. I was hoping they would go into more details, but they didnt.
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I'm sorry. I turned this into my thing. I am new and will try to stay on track.
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I will Chloesgrams2012. Thank you for your input. I agree that laughing is the best thing. We do that so much. Especially when my mom is trying to say something and it comes out so weird and funny. She actually knows she's doing it so we both laugh about it. It's better than correcting her. Anyway, she really laughs when I forget about something. Laughter is the best medicine. I feel very fortunate that my mom is content and happy at our home. I moved her from her home in Missouri where she cared for two horses. Now she has to small dogs to love. We were so afraid she would just hate it but she settled in very nicely. So far so good, but its definitely an adjustment. It's like having a small child around the house constantly following and asking questions. I just go along with her and answer all of her questions over and over again; and always listen. There is no point in arguing. Just give in. It's so much more peaceful when you do that. I constantly hug her and tell her I love her. I also touch and hold her hands. She loves it. I also tuck her into bed; bring the dogs in to sleep with her; kiss and hug and tell her I love her every night just like I did my son. She is happy when she goes to sleep. It's all very exhausting but she did that for me and then some. Now it's her turn.
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You are joining the world of caregiving and all the "fun" things that go with it, LOL! Not to discourage you in any way, I have been taking care of my Mom for 2 1/2 yrs. and I am "nuttier than a fruitcake"! My husband is always telling me of the crazy things I do and we get a good laugh, cause if I couldn't laugh we both would definitely be crying. Gonna try your vitamins and see if it will help me out, too. Hang in there and keep me posted. I will be saying a prayer for you.
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Wow.....I can totally relate to the memory issues. The other day while sitting in the passenger seat of MY car while my husband drove (he does on the weekends). I looked at the dash and said "Wow, it's 75 outside?". My husband looked at me like I was crazy because it was the heater temp showing. He said I was scaring him. What is wrong with me? I have also been having problems finding words when talking. I am 52 and only 3 months into caregiving. I've been doing research online regarding supplements. I just recently started taking C & D and will be also picking up "for your brain" vitamins this weekend (B & others, because I can't remember). I am hoping it will help. I also agree with exercise. I have since stopped exercising since taking care of my mother. I believe they all go hand in hand.
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It has taken almost 6 months for me to feel normal again. Yes, there were memory problems for me while being main caregiver. I found it helpful to just slow down...first things first and I made myself notes for items I had to remember. It is just all more stressful than we realize sometimes.

I did double up on most vitamins and find some quiet time to myself each day.

Best wishes!
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Try some vigorous exercise that really gets your heart pumping.........you will quickly find plenty of oxygen feeding your mind. That is why at 40, and taking care of my dad, not to mention being a CNA, has helped a great deal.

I have also found that white chicken breast or some form of B-vitamins and protein help too. But when PMS comes rearing its ugly head, I find no matter what I do, I seem to get more forgetful and lose my concentration. It never fails.
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Yes Stormy that is so true. I hear that the thyroid is like your gear shift if it is stuck in low you are tired, or if it stuck in overdrive you are hyper. Also the lack of vitamin D is surely something to look into and thanks for the reminder, hence get out in the sun for at least 10-15 mins a day, some day light for sure, and I must make sure that this is something I will do for myself right now, glad that the days are getting longer and the warmth is on the way, well as warm as it can possibly gets in Ireland. loads of rain, need to bring my raincoat with me and open for brief sunbursts. LOL. I always feel better in a garden for nature and greenery and out in the air and light.
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I was having memory problems also and still do sometimes. But mine was coming from having hypothyroidism. It can cause memory problems and brain fog. It causes alot of other problems. Your thyroid gland effects alot of things in your body that you just would not think that it does. So look up hypothyroidism and the symptoms and see if you have any of the symptoms of it. Also if anyone in your family has thyroid issues then you could have them also. Cause it is heredity. My sister was having brain fog bad too but hers was coming from a vitamin d defiency. Hope this helps! Stormy
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Sounds like you could use some time for yourself to refocus. I find that I must practice mindfulness. I keep myself in the here and now and sometimes need to look down and see where my feet are exactly planted. It is when I am far into yesterday or looking into tomorrow too intently that I forget to put the pot under the coffee maker in the now, ever do that one. I too have had that OMG I am losing it moment when I do things like this, but I realize I was paying no attention to what I was doing.
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My memory is getting shot too. I'm forgetting more and more. I'm only 47 yrs old but my memory is like a much older person. How many times the microwave pings, and I open the fridge door to get out?? Twice, i paid for items at the store, and walked away without taking the bags. I was panicking so badly, I emailed all my siblings that I'm getting Alzheimer early. Then they each told me of their senior moments. But still...sooooo forgetful. Chloe, I'm currently reading a book on Loving Someone with Dementia. Maybe it will have something on this topic...later..have to do the parents and then hit the sack.

P.S...I sure hope it's not permanent!!!
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The big question is: Will we ever get our mental capacity back like it once was? I am really scared that I will never be the same again. Any thoughts?
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For sure stress of care giving affects memory! I drive past my destination, forget appointments, go to the post office to mail packages, but don't take the packages, burn dinner, forget to start dinner......

Aside from the stress factor I think it is the distraction factor, my mother talks 90% of the time (mostly complaining, criticizing, obsessing, and ruminating). Always has around family, but acquaintances think she is so quiet, gentle and sweet lol.

Anyway this constant complaining, jabbering and questioning distracts me to the point of near insanity. I can't concentrate on anything with her always following 2 steps behind me and never a moment's silence. I can't even escape long enough to go to the bathroom, she's outside the door talking, very much like caring for a child, that you are not allowed to correct or discipline.

Some days I think it won't be long before I have less mental capacity than she.
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Yes, I have experienced what you are going through. My mind just doesn't work. I can't even remember to pay the bills! Yesterday, I went to the gas station, went in and paid for my gas, came back out, got in the truck and drove off!! I finally remembered what I had done, so I turned around and went back and luckily, no one had pulled into the pump and got my gas. That is just one example. I do all kind of dumb stuff, that I never did before, and just hope and pray no one is watching me. Sometimes I really worry about me, too! Take care and know you are not alone.
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Yes, stress can interfere with short-term memory, as well as the ability to pull older memories from your brain. Research has shown that elevated cortisol during prolonged stress may be a factor in short-term memory problems through the hormone's effect on the hippocampus. It makes me wonder if prolonged stress could be one factor that could lead to Alzheimer's on down the road -- I don't know.

My only advice is try to chill. Things happen in life and even when things seem terrible, if we step back from it, we see that it is all just part of life. It would be nice if we could learn not to take things too seriously and just go with what is happening at the moment. Worrying about tomorrow is a problem that I have. I try hard not to do that, because it just causes anticipatory anxiety, which is not useful or good for me.
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