cognitive problems? WAY WORSE than i expected.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dani78xo, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    so today i started MCAS Math summer school.

    i almost started crying.
    i couldn't remember ANYTHING from Algebra 1 in 9th grade.

    i always remember at least vaguely how to do things,
    especially since i take math every year.
    but i had to read each question about 6 or 7 times JUST TO UNDERSTAND what it asked.

    and even then, i had no idea how to most of it,
    even though we went over all of it in algebra1.

    i feel so stupid, i had trouble just multiplying.

    i felt like everyone was laughing at me.

    any advice?

    i also couldn't concentrate or more than 5 minutes without my mind wandering. and when i focused on concentating, i couldn't concentrate on what she was saying,too.

    i feel like i'mway over my head.

    -danielle
  2. turtlelou

    turtlelou New Member

    Dani, have you be labeled disabled by the school system you are in? There are accomedations the school could be making to help you succeed. In my state the plan is called a 504 and it is written to help people who do not need special education classes but may require simple adjustments to level the playing field. For example, an accomodation might be giving you longer to finish a test, or having you take a test at you peak time of day. Or giving you longer to complete assignments.
    When I first became ill I got terrible arthritis and had a terrible time writing or typing. I was working on my master's degree at the time, so I registered with the disabilites resources. An accomodation for me was to have more time to write my tests. Once I was filed there, the professors had to give me accomodations whether they thought it was fair or not. I was also given a few extra months to finish a research project because I was so fatigued.
    This made a huge difference for me and it is your right. If the school gives you a hassle you can get a special education advocate. They almost always are helpful.

    Please don't think of special education as one type of person. It serves all types of people whose needs are not being met by the system: gifted and talented, mood disorders, any kind of physical disability, sight and hearing challenged. This could really help you succeed.
  3. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    turtlelou,
    yes, i was actually thinking about getting a 504.
    i couldn't go to school nearly at all last year,
    though since i'm able to go a little longer,
    i think with a few adjustments i'd be okay.

    do you know how to go about getting a 504 though?
    and is there any way to get it during the summer,
    or would i have to wait until september?

    i know the 504 would help me alot,
    like with extended time and frequent breaks during classes,
    (i never realized how completely UNcomfortable those metal chairs are until i got sick)

    but i don't think it would help me in terms of things i can't remember.

    -danielle
  4. ckball

    ckball New Member

    I can't really help your cognative abilities but can you take a small mini recorder to your class, you can play it back later?

    I did not even attempt algebra in high school. I hated math and didn't get it. I ended up working with numbers later in life, still had a hard time concentrating.

    Good luck, your education is a very important thing. Our brain has that use or lose it quality.. Carla
  5. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    Don't feel Stupid-Its just the DD!!
    I had a similar problem earlier this year at work. I'm a financial analyst and was always pretty sharp. I was having a hard time doing very simple things like dialing my phone let alone try to do my work!!! I kept forgetting my passwords etc. I am now feeling a bit better and have found that NADH supplement really helps on those days when I just can't seem to get it together. It's for mental alertness and clarity. I get mine at FFC and it's called NADH Energy Max but you can order NADH on many websites.
    Give it a try, It's not very expensive.
    Good Luck to you!!
  6. lostmisty

    lostmisty New Member

    Don't feel stupid! I've lost my ability with numbers too and the ability to put names to faces. I have to see people repeatedly before their names stick. Make yourself a small notebook with formulas you can refer back to over and over. Refreshing it constantly can help bring what you knew back to the front of your thoughts. Good luck!

    ~Katie~
    [This Message was Edited on 07/10/2006]
  7. turtlelou

    turtlelou New Member

    Start with your school counselor. Since you have a diagnosis this will help. Your school district may ask for a diagnosis from your doctor. Also, call special education services and explain your situation. Be prepared for a fight, but I hope it is easy for you. If you have trouble you may need to ask for an advocate. Also get on the internet and do a search on special education 504 plans. Can someone help you by going to meetings and things? Since you battle fatugue it would be great to have someone there with you. Don't worry about being nice either. You may really need to fight to get what you need. It's been my experience that the squeaky wheel gets the grease in these situations, so squeak long and loud. I'm really rooting for you. I'm wondering if you could get a tutor to help with you memory problems? Is it easier for you if someone reads the problems to you?
  8. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    TURTLELOU,
    my guidance counselor is part of the problem.
    she won't change my schedule, and insists that i have to take wellness2 first semester next year, which includes a cardio fitness test, running one or two miles, pushups, situps, etc.

    the schoosl been horrible to me, and i have a feeling if i asked my guidance counselor what to do for a 504 she'd tell me that i shouldn't even try.

    but i'm determined because i believe it's the only way i WILL get through seven hours of school a day int he fall.

    and they tried getting me a tutor this past year when i was too sick to go to school. the tutor that they chose had no idea how to teach any fot he classes that i NEEDED help with. they wouldn't find another tutor.

    and as i found out today, though it may be different if it was one on one, that i can't concentrate at all if there's distractions int he room, like people talking.

    the school also told me that i wasn't eligible for a tutor, and i KNOW that next year if i go to school full time they'll deny getting me any help, even if it's in addition to school.


    LOSTMISTY,
    that sounds like a pretty good idea, though i'd probably have to go back and look over the formulas probably every night. i can't even remember how to WRITE an equation.


    MOLLYSTWIN,
    yeah, i know its the dd. but it still doesn't make the confused looks the teachers give me go away. they don't understand. they think i'm juststupid, annd apparently my guidance counselor told the teacher i'mhorrible at math anyways.

    PRICKLES,
    it's nice to have someone else who understands =]. i found that even a minor distraction, like someone whispering, causes me to lose concentration. it seems almost impossible to have a normal school life with this dd.

    CKBALL,
    i don't know if they'd let me, but even if they did, it would probably end up confusing me more. i need to SEE it being done, like ont he board, to grasp the concept. and since i can't remember anything i've learned its harder. not to mention, it would be nearly impossible to listen to what the teacher was saying on the tape behind all of the noise of the kids talking.
  9. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    I developed cognitive problems along with my FMS. This caused me considerable stress and aggravation as I am an accountant, and attention to detail is a large part of my job responsibilities.

    I spoke with my doctor and she prescribed Adderall for me. I only take it when working. It has been amazing, allowing me to concentrate and be able to do my job. Please talk to your doctor about your problems, maybe he/she can help!

    Good luck,
    Kat
  10. mrdad

    mrdad New Member


    I know it must be difficult at times for you but don't
    get down on or blame yourself. As a former High School
    teacher, I have witnessed how cruel some other students
    can behave. Insulate yourself with friends who are sup-
    portive and ignor the others as best you can.

    Be sure that your teachers are aware of your cognitive
    problems and have your counselor bring them to some under-
    standing. We are always around to offer you support and
    advice if you solicite it. Don't try to handle your fus-
    tration allow. Feel good about yourself knowing that you
    are performing at best at the moment.

    Will have you in my thoughts,
    Mrdad
  11. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    Danielle, we had to deal with this type of thing with two of my daughters. Whenever I hit a road block (like your guidance couselor) we'd just go up the next level. That may mean the district superintendent's office or the school board, but you can get them to cooperate. Just use the word "discriminating" a few times - that will light a fire under them!

    One of my daughters was in a car accident her senior year and had terrible headaches. She had a very hard time remembering things and her concentration was awful. In her case we finally pulled her out of school and she studied for the GED and got great scores. She had no trouble getting into college later, but what really made the difference was her being able to study at her own pace, take breaks and naps when she needed it, and getting rid of the stress from school.

    Jan

    PS - check out this website for your state Vocational Rehabilitation services - they can be a great advocate and are very geared toward helping you achieve your goals in spite of disabilities. I would definitely give them a call:

    http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/2002/news/0905let.html


    [This Message was Edited on 07/10/2006]
  12. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    KAT2002,
    i was thinking about that today, actually.
    i started crashing when we had about an hour left
    of math, and i couldn't think anymore.

    even looking at a number confused me.
    i think it might've been the fatigue,
    and i'm going to be asking my doctor about something that can help me concentrate and stay awake.

    OUCH,
    yes, thsoe articles are reallly helpful.
    i'm gonna print them out and show them to my guidance counselor when she comes back after summer.
    maybe they'll help me to get a 504.

    my summer school teachers think i'm just a dumb person to begin with, and though math has never been a strong or easy subject for me, i've always been okay at it. average.

    the amount of troulbe i'm having...
    they REteach me something i learned in 9th grade,
    and i can't remember it twenty minutes later.

    i can't remember any of the formulas we went over today.

    my moms in denial, and insists that since it's been over a year since i was in any math class, i just need to catch up. but no one else is having this much trouble. i'm the most determined in my summer school class to catch up, but also the one who keeps falling behind.

    one of the teachers was talking about a formula that i was perfectly FLUENT in in 9th grade, and today when they mentioned it i got compeltely disoriented.

    i don't remember how to multiply fractions.
    i can't do multiplication in my head anymore.
    and i can't add stuff.

    those are all things i used to be able to do, and now i get confused whether i have to add or subtract to make formulas work.

    my mom claims that i just need to study a little bit. but i don't see how i can study if i've already forgotten everything i went over today.

    ROCKYJS,
    i'm probably gonna get a 504 at this point, because the school isn't being helpful enough with me just TELLING them that i can't do certain things.

    if i have to go higher up than the special education department to get that approved, then i will. and if the school messes up anymore, setting me back further, i'm definitely going to the superintendents office.
  13. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    Ouch, those are great reading. Thanks
  14. turtlelou

    turtlelou New Member

    Dani, it sounds like there are a lot of people who know how to help you. I hope some of the advice you've gotten helps. Don't give up. People who have never lived with or gotten this disease don't understand. Your teacher may be one of these people.

    Your illness entitles you to some accomodations and adaptations. If you are feeling very ill and cannot make it through class, your district should have a teacher who home schools. This would probably be better than a tutor. You may need to ask for a different counselor. Try to get a special education advocate. I don't know how to go about getting one, but I know the parents in our school district who have received their aid have more success with the school district. Try going through special education services. Your district should have a main office. It will help take the burden off you. Some people do not treat people of your age with great respect.

    Does exercise make your illness worse? It is one of the worst things I can do. It sends me into a flare and crash. If exercise hurts you, you should not be required to take Wellness.

    Please keep us posted. I so want to see you succeed.