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Unread 06-18-2005, 06:01 AM
Brain Fog!

About 6 months ago, I started to develop some frightening brain fog. I am a teacher and it seemed to be getting worse and worse. My students noticed it and would "fill in the blanks" for me. I would look at an object, know what it was but call it a totally different name. I would start "zoning out" in the middle of teaching. I got lost driving home one day (took a wrong turn & didn't realize it!). My regular doctor refered me to a neurologist, who did the basic tests (MRI & EEG)....all came back ok. Then, he did some more extensive "questioning" tests. The "scores" came back stating that I had a drop in memory. Mind you, I did have a blood test during all of this (my gyn sent me for routine blood work) and was not menopausal. Well, I had an appt. one week post op (by coincidence) to see the neurologist for a 2 hour testing session again! I cancelled it, thinking it's not a good idea to be questioned by a neurologist one week after having anesthesia! I am now scheduled to go back the end of June. that I've had the hysterectomy (no more ovaries) and am in surgical this even a good idea for me to go back for this 2 hour test?? How acurate can these results possibly be if I now AM in menopause?? I am honestly half tempted to just can the whole thing with the neurologist. I know I don't have MS, I don't have a brain tumor. He thinks it's either stress (I told him that right now, my life is the LEAST stressful it's ever been!); depression (no, I'm not depressed); or an ORGANIC (??) imbalance. I am most certainly going to bring this up at my post op appt. with my gyn next week. But as I said....what's the point of going to the neuroloist now....when my brain is probably MORE fogged up because of the surgery & menopause! Sorry to have rambled.....just wanted to know anyone's thoughts on the issue!
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Unread 06-18-2005, 06:15 AM
Brain Fog!

I would call the neurologist and explain to them that you just had surgey and that and you wonder if you still should keep your appt with them and if just having surgey would affect the results. Let them decided whether or not you should keep your appt.
Unread 06-18-2005, 10:20 AM
Brain Fog!

Hi Lisa,
I started with the memory fog just before my surgery so can certainly relate. It's amazing how the words or even the subject being discussed can just fly out of your head. As a teacher, and especially since it has gotten worse, pursuing this is going to be important so I would hate to see you drop it and just live with it. I agree with Blondey that calling the neurologist and telling them is probably the best bet.

Another thought - when you were tested to see if you were in menopause, did they DR do a saliva test to check the hormone levels of each hormone or did he do the blood FSH level? I've read that the FSH test is not a terribly accurate indication of whether you're in menopause. I had normal FSH levels for almost five years, while at the same time dealing with the night sweats. Are you on HRT now? If so, have you seen a difference in your memory? I've been on premarin for just two weeks and already have seen a dramatic improvement.

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Unread 06-18-2005, 10:39 AM
Brain Fog!

Hi Ashley,
Thanks for your response! No, my dr. did not do a saliva test....It was just a blood test, and that was back in November, I do believe. No, I am not on any hormones right now. My dr. wanted to wait to see how my body reacted to surgical menopause first. I have not had any nightsweats or hot flashes whatsoever (neither now, nor prior to surgery). I don't even feel as though I am in menopause yet, even though she said I would be there within 72 hours of the surgery. I suppose I could call the neurologist and tell him about the surgery and see what he wants to do. I'd like to talk to my gyn first and find out exactly where I am here in the menopause chain! Perhaps she can shed more light on my previous bloodwork and hormone levels. I wonder if it is too soon to have hormone levels checked (at my 2 week post op appt. on Wednesday). I'll see what she says about the memory thing. Sure is mind-boggling (no pun intended!), isn't it!
Unread 06-18-2005, 03:20 PM
Brain Fog!

I started having night sweats and increased PMS symptoms at 37 yrs old. They did a blood test and said I was not in peri-menopause, but they did not do a saliva test. All symptoms continiued to worsen over the years and I am now convinced that their test didn't show what was really happening. It became obvious by my symptoms that I was indeed in peri-menopause. I am 48 (49 in 3 weeks) now and am 7 weeks post-op. My doc also wanted to wait on HRT to see if I had any symptoms. He figured why take it if I don't need it. Well, I started having really, really HOT night sweats (much worse than the years before surgery) about 2 weeks after my surgery so doc put me on low dose of Premarin at 3 weeks post-op. I hate to take it, but the hot flashes were sooooo bad that I figured I'd try it for a little while. It helped within a few days and I'm sleeping so much better now. My brain was alsoo really foggy after surgery--for about 4 weeks. Don't know if the Premarin has helped that or if it's just improving naturally as I heal. I have a friend who had a hysterectory 14 years ago and kept one ovary. Even though she is through menopause now, she has never had one single hot flash or menopause symptom. Some people are just lucky that way, I guess. I think I've had them all--must've gotten her share too, huh? Anyway, in your case, since you had memory loss before the surgery too, I agree with the other sisters who said to call the neurologist and see what he thinks about taking the test. Maybe he will have you wait til 6-8 weeks post op to make sure you're past possible surgery-induced fogginess. Good luck and keep us posted )
Unread 06-18-2005, 03:45 PM
Brain Fog!

What an interesting post!
I started having memory problems about a year ago(or more?), I guess. Never mentioned it to the doc - figured I was just gettin gold (I'm 35).

I have forgotten my address (good thing the kids know it!), have trouble remembering how to get places, etc.

Perhpas I will mention it!

Unread 06-18-2005, 03:47 PM
Brain Fog!

I feel your pain!!
I am a teacher, too, and brain fog really hit me hard before and after my LAVH. 400 kids names? Gone! Train of thought while teaching? Gone! Using prep time wisely? Gone!
I was a mess--barely functional at school. The day after I started on my estrogen patch, my brain fog got better-- I am still not what I was a few years ago, but I am hoping that my fog will continue to slowly lift as my body adjusts hormonally.
Perhaps explain all of your memory/menopause issues to your neurologist and get his input.

Unread 06-18-2005, 04:27 PM
Brain Fog!

oh my gosh, DO sound just like me!! My high school students have been so gracious about it and have been fillling in the blanks for me. I could have 5 items on my desk and I'd look at them and could not for the life of me figure out how to organize them or where to put them! I write my lesson plans on the board each day and I couldn't figure out which class I had in the room and which plans I needed to look at (I teach music theory classes and have 4 choruses). I was conducting one day and my accompanist stopped playing. I asked her why she stopped and she said that I didn't cue the chorus in! Duh.....totally not me! I am starting to wonder if it was indeed hormonal. It all started in December and kept getting worse and worse. Then, I had the endometrial ablation in January....which probably REALLY woke up the hormone Gods!! I am so tempted to not follow through with the neurologist and just stick with the gynecologist. The neurologist had mentioned that if it is an organic imbalance (whatever THAT is!), that it could be treated with medication. Just what I DON'T want....more medications!! I will start with my gyn (on Wednesday) and see what she says. I must say that the past few weeks....things have not been as bad. I dont know if it's because I'm not using my brain much while I recuperate or what!
Unread 06-19-2005, 05:24 AM
Brain Fog!

I have very little memory of the last 2 mos before hyst and afterwards I would go to do somethnig and have to go back to where I was to see if I could remember what I was going to do. The worst thing I did was leave a fire on under a pot of grease--thank goodness my guardian angel was with me and sent me back into the kitchen. I really thioutght it has gotten better over the couple of months but Thursday I was rushing to get to VBS and ended up throwing my cell phone in the washing machine--was only in there 2-3 min but that was 2-3 min too long and how am I ever going to remember phone numbers I didn't know anyway?

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