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Old 07-08-2011, 10:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,408,211 times
Reputation: 13154

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately because my mother seems to have alzheimer's. We'll find out more after her appt in 10 days, but we've been seeing this coming for over 10 years and maybe even 15--just a long slow decline. Then lately she fell off the cliff and has gotten very confused so we'll hopefully find out soon what's going on. It's scary too b/c she is only 75.

But all this got me to thinking and comparing. My mother has never had a strong memory. She's never been good at memorizing information and she has a poor memory for events. I'm always bringing up something from the past but she almost never remembers what I'm talking about. On the other hand, she's always had a good memory to remember to do stuff that needs to be done. If she had an appt for later in the week, we could depend on her to remember it. Until these last 10 years that is.

But I'm the opposite: I have a great memory for learning info for tests and can remember stuff all the way back to when I was 3 yo. Not a lot from that year but certain events. I remember even a lot of the books that I read back in childhood and the characters and the way they made me feel. However I'm always forgetting to do the things that I need to do, even important stuff at times and it's downright embarrassing--at least I've learned some little tricks to help me remember to do them like telling someone to remind me to . . . and then I'm more likely to remember to do it even if they forget to remind me. I have ADD, which explains part of that, but how is I can remember some things really well and then not remember that I have a hairdresser's appt this afternoon? I know everyone forgets to do stuff sometimes, but I suspect I'm worse than most, or would be if I didn't have adderall and some tricks. Do these types of remembering come from different parts of the brain? They must.

Oh yeah, and the memory stuff from her alzheimer's is weird too. She will forget from one moment to the next that she just told a certain story and will tell it again, or forget that I just told her something. She has no short term memory of anything to do with people it seems. But she's into hoarding and has a fabulous memory of the things she owns and is very possessive--to the point of accusing many of us of stealing, when in fact she has too much stuff and it probably got misplaced. Now though she is hiding things to keep the handyman from stealing them, but she can't remember where she put them so she is convinced that he stole them anyway.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:37 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,222 posts, read 50,499,962 times
Reputation: 60101
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I've been thinking about this a lot lately because my mother seems to have alzheimer's. We'll find out more after her appt in 10 days, but we've been seeing this coming for over 10 years and maybe even 15--just a long slow decline. Then lately she fell off the cliff and has gotten very confused so we'll hopefully find out soon what's going on. It's scary too b/c she is only 75.

But all this got me to thinking and comparing. My mother has never had a strong memory. She's never been good at memorizing information and she has a poor memory for events. I'm always bringing up something from the past but she almost never remembers what I'm talking about. On the other hand, she's always had a good memory to remember to do stuff that needs to be done. If she had an appt for later in the week, we could depend on her to remember it. Until these last 10 years that is.

But I'm the opposite: I have a great memory for learning info for tests and can remember stuff all the way back to when I was 3 yo. Not a lot from that year but certain events. I remember even a lot of the books that I read back in childhood and the characters and the way they made me feel. However I'm always forgetting to do the things that I need to do, even important stuff at times and it's downright embarrassing--at least I've learned some little tricks to help me remember to do them like telling someone to remind me to . . . and then I'm more likely to remember to do it even if they forget to remind me. I have ADD, which explains part of that, but how is I can remember some things really well and then not remember that I have a hairdresser's appt this afternoon? I know everyone forgets to do stuff sometimes, but I suspect I'm worse than most, or would be if I didn't have adderall and some tricks. Do these types of remembering come from different parts of the brain? They must.

Oh yeah, and the memory stuff from her alzheimer's is weird too. She will forget from one moment to the next that she just told a certain story and will tell it again, or forget that I just told her something. She has no short term memory of anything to do with people it seems. But she's into hoarding and has a fabulous memory of the things she owns and is very possessive--to the point of accusing many of us of stealing, when in fact she has too much stuff and it probably got misplaced. Now though she is hiding things to keep the handyman from stealing them, but she can't remember where she put them so she is convinced that he stole them anyway.

Interesting. I know that the brain categorizes memories and stores them differently, but I really don't know many details about it.

I can also remember things from very early childhood--just flashes, really, but a couple of them are from before my younger sister was born, and I am two years and five months older than she is. But I often can't remember where I just put something or what I walked into a room to do. I too remember books I read years ago, sometimes passages word for word from books I haven't looked at in 40 years, and I can even "see" where on the page the words were.

I sometimes know answers on Jeopardy that I have no idea how I know--I must have read them somewhere and forgotten about them but they are stored somewhere in the back of my brain. Yet every so often (and I HATE this), someone will come up to me and say hello, call me by name, know my daughter's name and details about me, and I'm looking at them, thinking, "Who the hell is this person and how do they know who I am? I've never seen him/her before in my life." Sometimes I do remember who they are hours or days later, or I know that I know them but cannot place from where.

I think some of it is just from years of information overload--I work with contract/RFPs/bid documents, and I have to read so much at work and get a grasp on different aspects of business that I am not an expert in--law, engineering, finance, etc. I have endless bits and pieces of information rolling around in my brain that I have to stay on top of at all times, plus I deal with endless numbers of people, both internal and external. To top it off, I have OCD tendencies, and while I don't have any of the stuff that people usually associate with OCD, like hand-washing, there is constantly a "voice" running in the background behind the other thoughts warning me to do/think this that or the other thing, which I have continually to work to ignore or I wouldn't be able to function with the real-world thoughts. Ironically, managing the intrusive thoughts all my life is probably what made me good at my job.

Someday maybe it will all just blow up inside and I'll become a babbling idiot repeating nonsensical bits of information that's not related to anything else. But I'll still be able to recite the passage from Little Women where Beth dies.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,408,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Someday maybe it will all just blow up inside and I'll become a babbling idiot repeating nonsensical bits of information that's not related to anything else. But I'll still be able to recite the passage from Little Women where Beth dies.
Oh who could forget that? If it has to do with feelings, I will remember it.

Here's one: I cook and bake a lot, but I have to have a recipe in front of me, even if it's like biscuits that I've made a thousand times or I will leave something out every time. But I have a fabulous memory for spelling and how the word looks. If it doesn't look right, it's not spelled right.

I swear sometimes too that I'll have a false memory--I'll remember doing something or putting something somewhere, but it won't be so, and I could swear that I remember doing it. Was it an esp intense dream or did I just imagine doing it, so I thought I did?
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:06 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,222 posts, read 50,499,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Oh who could forget that? If it has to do with feelings, I will remember it.

Here's one: I cook and bake a lot, but I have to have a recipe in front of me, even if it's like biscuits that I've made a thousand times or I will leave something out every time. But I have a fabulous memory for spelling and how the word looks. If it doesn't look right, it's not spelled right.

I swear sometimes too that I'll have a false memory--I'll remember doing something or putting something somewhere, but it won't be so, and I could swear that I remember doing it. Was it an esp intense dream or did I just imagine doing it, so I thought I did?


LOL, I do the same thing all the time. I'll "remember" putting something in my purse, but there it is, still lying on the table. In my case, it usually happens when I'm trying to do too many things at once.

Regarding what a word looks like--I used to be very puzzled by people who couldn't remember how to spell a word, because all you have to do if you've already read that word somewhere is call it up on that little screen inside your forehead and read it off. Eventually I realized that some people don't have the little screen, or don't know that it's there.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:44 PM
 
2,700 posts, read 5,152,810 times
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I have a crappy memory and I'm pretty certain that my 25+ year history of depression is largely to blame. My memory definitely got better once I was able to move beyond the depressive state, but it's still swiss-cheese.

My grandmother had dementia and I've noticed that my mother's memory loss is getting worse. I definitely think that memory issues could be disabling for me in my old age.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
[/b]Regarding what a word looks like--I used to be very puzzled by people who couldn't remember how to spell a word, because all you have to do if you've already read that word somewhere is call it up on that little screen inside your forehead and read it off. Eventually I realized that some people don't have the little screen, or don't know that it's there.
Oh how funny, I have that little screen too. And I also have a screen for maps and can keep myself found most of the time.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:55 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,228,445 times
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So far as recognizing women I have not seen for a while - They change! Different hair style/color, clothes, weight, eye glasses, etc. Men are easier because they look the same.

And something interesting... I've lived in several different cities. And get to know the streets and so forth. When I move to a new city, I learn the streets and how to get around. But when I return to a city I used to live in, I don't remember the streets! So I think that memory is "limited" and gets replaced with the information from the new city I am living in.

Then so far as what to remember, I think Einstein said something about not needing to remember anything which can be written down. That advice comes in handy for me. I write down things I need to buy at the store the next time I go, appointments, things I need to do. Then just look at my calendar and lists each morning.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:02 PM
 
6,774 posts, read 7,485,434 times
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one of the somewhat possitive effects of suffering with depression is that i have develped an extremley good memory , by the same token , its also a bad thing to remember stuff you would perfer not
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:23 PM
 
1,385 posts, read 1,778,416 times
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I seem to have a good memory for the bad things people have done to me and a poor memory of the good things they do for me! Lol! Human nature.
I do take Ambien to sleep and my memory is horrible due to it. I know it's the Ambien because the more I take the worse it gets and then if I cut back my memory gets much better. I hate that even though I know it affects my memory, I still take it (is it affect or effect, I forget)
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:27 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,228,445 times
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Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
one of the somewhat possitive effects of suffering with depression is that i have develped an extremley good memory , by the same token , its also a bad thing to remember stuff you would perfer not
Actually when I think of some bad memories from way back - maybe something dumb or embarrassing I did in high school or whatever...

No one else remembers these things except me! I try to think of embarrassing things other people did way back when and I don't remember any of those things. But I'm sure those people are still burdened by what they did.

Anyway in my case, none of those people are there anymore. They don't remember. The high school is not even there anymore, they tore it down and rebuilt it. I go and visit where I grew up and I don't recognize anyone - they have all moved on.

So as I say... Forget about it!

Note: Another thing to think about along these same lines is what "other people think about you"... Actually they are all worried about what you are thinking about them!
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