I Can't Concetrate Anymore

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nina_and_me, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I've been out of work on disability for a little over a year now, and I've noticed a decline in my ability to concentrate. Not only do I have trouble concentrating on what is being said, I have trouble remembering the few pieces on information I have to hold in mh memoty banks. My handwriting has also declined - my mother noticed it about a month ago when I filled out an envelope, and the letters were large and shaky. It really looked like it had been done by grade schooler.

    I believe that adderrall, which was prescribed as n adjunct treatment for depression, helped with the concentration. But about three years ago, my blood pressure went through the roof - from 110/70 to 160/110. The doctor tried HCTZ, and waiting, hoping that the hypertension was caused by stress and would disappear when the stress went away. The problem is the stress never went away, and the doctor couldn't let me blood pressure stay that hight any longer, so I've been on metopolol for the past two years.

    Anxiety and conctration, along with fibro and depression, are such big hurdles that I can't even thing about work - even a temp job. I wonder if this is something I can get conntrol over. I've been in therpay for several years, and it's helped with many problems, but not these.

  2. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I have had a major improvement in my brain function after starting protein shakes once a day and adding a supplement called "miracle reds". Miracle reds is concentrated, powdered fruits. I mix it with 8 oz, 2% low fat milk.

    Anyway, I was posting before it seems we might have borderline vitamin deficiencies. If you can take one shake a day with your favorite multiple vitamin, sometimes it helps the brain function.

  3. homesheba

    homesheba New Member

    i hate it and i have really noticed
    that my handwriting is all scribbly now
    no matter how careful i try to be..
  4. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I think a lot of this illness is showing up in my brain!

    I used to have handwriting like caligraphy. Now I have to concentrate to write well enough to understand it myself.

    I can't remember what day it is from one sentence to the next.

    I've had to give up painting because I just can't do it. It's so frustrating.

    I'll be so glad when the treatment progresses to help with these things.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2008]
  5. layla1954

    layla1954 New Member

    I used to be an avid reader, now I can only handle a few pages (if that) at a time before I lose concentration. Sometimes I find myself reading the same sentence over and over before it "sinks in," and it's SO frustrating. I do better with stuff I read online because it's in smaller chunks that I can mentally digest.

    My handwriting went down the tubes too. Sometimes it's barely legible even to ME, lol.

    It's funny because my brain still works really well in some respects, the deficits are spotty.

    Nina, I'd love to try adderall... I haven't spoken to my doctor about it but have been thinking of it. I don't know if I could take it though, I'm a little concerned it would bring back the anxiety which I've only gotten rid of in the last year or so. Did you find the adderall increased anxiety for you?

    Layla/Lee Ann
  6. pluis

    pluis New Member

    Try audiobooks. The library carries them.

    I have the same symptoms.

  7. layla1954

    layla1954 New Member

    That's a great idea! I'll do it.
  8. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your replies! The response was much more than I was expecting, and I thank each and every person who replied.

    I will re-read all of the replies and reply to everyone. It's getting late (11:40pm), and I have to get up and drive 3 1/2 hours for three doctors' appointments. I'm planning to leave here around 3:30 - my appointment is at 8:00, but I'm a little crazy about being at places on time. The last appointment is at 1:30, and that doctor always runs behind, so I don't expect to get out of there until 5:00. I probably won't be home until 9:00, and I'll probably fall into bed for a few days.

    I need to get a somee sleep, but I always have trouble when I know I have to get up unusually early.

    Depending on how I feel after the long drive, I'll start replying to all of the wonderful posts you have written.

  9. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    Hi Lee Ann!

    The adderall did increase my anxiety, but I was on a very high dose. I think if I had been on a lower dose, it might have been different. We didn't have time to experiment with different doses because the blood pressure issue was critical - 160/110 - if it had been much higher, I would have been hospitalized until it was down. It's worth saying that I took adderall for several years without an increase in anxiety and without any blood pressure problems.

    Coincidentally, I have a sister who is five years younger than I am, and she started having panic attacks and developed high blood pressure during the same month and year that I did. I didn't know it at the time, because we each told our mother separately, and she didn't share it with either of us until a year went by. I have risk factors for high blood pressure: morbid obesity is the biggest one, lack of execise, and family history (my dad had high blood pressure as a result of type 1 or juvenile diabetes.) It alarmed my other sister enough to go get her blood pressure checked, which was normal.

    Reading is one of my favorite pasttimes, but like you, I can't concentrate long enough to get through more than a little bit at a time. I used to be one of those people who could read a good book in a weekend. I've been reading a new book by my favorite author, and I'm only on chapter 4. Normally, I'd stay up late just to read her books.

    It's scary because I'm afraid that the mental fogginess will worsen. I've tried concentration games on the Internet, and I do okay sometimes. Other times, it's bad. My mother, who is almost 69 (I'm 43) gets annoyed when we play board games or card games because I am so slow and have to be reminded when it's my turn.

    I hope things are going well with you.

  10. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    Thanks for the suggestion! What kind of protein shakes do you use? The only ones I know of are Slim-Fast. Can you buy "miracle red" in stores or do you have to get it on line? How long did you take them before you noticed an improvement?

    I would really like to try them and see if they work for me.

  11. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I'm sorry that you're handwriting is unpredictable. It's very frustrating. There are days when it's okay and other days when I have no idea what it was I was trying to write. I stopped working a year ago, and I hid the handwrting problem by typing forms, lables, etc.

    But when my mother saw my handwriting a month ago, she thought something was wrong with my hands. She asked me to try to write smaller because I used up too much small on the envelope, but that just made it worse. She made a new envelope for me but asked me what I was going to do if I ever needed to mail a letter.

    The answer is - I plan to rely on labels. I know it's not as personal for things like cards, but it's the best I can do.

    I hope you're doing well.

  12. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I'm sorry about your handwriting. My handwriting was legible before the fibro, and my printing was pretty, but I certainly could not write like you did. To watch that gift go into hibernation must have been very difficult, and I wish there was something I could say that would make things better.

    You have a very good attitude - you said something like "when they find a cure for this". Right now, medical help seems to just treat the symptoms, and I'm not sure they're even pinned down all the factors that go into this. But, in time, they will, and we'll be able to run again, think again, and live a normal life again. Thank you for being so hopeful.

  13. Grammcrkrs

    Grammcrkrs New Member


    I JUST posted about Adderall for my g/daughter..who has ADD (NOT ADHD)..and Epstein-Barr, CFS and Fibromyalgia..and she's only 18!! But she's had the symptoms for years.

    Adderall has been a big help for her..am glad you wrote about Adderall in your post. Thanks!

  14. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I can't imagine how difficult it must be dealing wtih this for any Enjgligh teacher. English was my favorite subject in high schhool and college. I loved the writing, the literature, anayzing the deeper meanings - like art. I often find the wrong word poppin out of my mouth or falter before I can answer. Growing up, my parents corected everything we say from pronunciation to grammer, and English became second nature to me.

    I'm so glad you're okay with reaing. Of all things I love to reading wins hands down.
    Jp[e upi
    re readuomg a good book

  15. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I'm sorry that you won't be released in time to get a class this year. The doctor will help you figure out when the time is right.

    I just read through the posts I typed last night, and it's as if I didn't proof them before I pressed send, but I did. Yet, words are spelled incorrectly, and there's a sentence that makes no sense at all.

    Teaching is a noble profession. I have very fond memories of my 4th grade teacher, and several junior high and high school teachers. I don't think students or teachers realize how many people they've touched until the students are older.

    I believe that you will feel better...I just believe that.

  16. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I just now saw this post.

    Thank you for giving me the lift. Later, I was told that it's the toxins and infection that does that to our brains, and when we get better, it comes back--the concentration and abilities that we miss. A LLMD told me that.

    So, I do believe I'll paint again! Yay!

    Hugs to you, too!
  17. SpiroSpero

    SpiroSpero New Member


    a very easy thing to try for you would be a gluten and casein free diet. Most autistic children have great improvements on it. If your digestion is not well, those highly reactive proteins could leak into the blood stream and cross the blood brain barrier causing and huge variety of symptoms including impaired concentration and depression.

  18. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    hello. i was wondering if you have looked into the possibility of infection causing your illness.

    i got sick after mono (EBV) and antivirals are helping me. my brain fog was the worse you can imagine. i had to drop out of school long ago and eventually could not even read a paragraph in book.

    i have been sick over 15 yrs and after a year of antiviral treatment, the brain fog has lifted about 10-12% so far.

    some patients are finding out they have bacterial infections also and antibiotics are helping them.

    good luck

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