Cant pay attention help

lately it seems like i cant keep my attention on one thing after my surgery . all the doctor says to me is the right side of the brain controls attentionm and thats the side my bleed was on. has any one else had or has this issue cant you let me know how to deal with it or what can i go or take to make it better

I have serious issues with attention. I make lists which seems to help me. If it doesn’t make the list, it might as well not even exist.

It's a struggle of mine as well. I don't know how long ago your surgery was but if it was recent I will say that it usually gets better over time. For me reading helped. At first I couldn't read more than a couple of pages and lose focus. I tried to set a goal for myself of maybe 5 pages or 10 minutes. Small ones first, than increased the time. My attention improved a lot but that's not to say it's perfect. I still have problems staying focused.

thank you to for the info but my attention is more like when im out in public around a lot of people seems like my mind is just all over the place its been 9 months since my surgery and dont go out that much cause im not walking to well plus my attention problem

I used to love parties/get-togethers, whatever. Now I rest up before I go. Then I take cotton balls to muffle noise. My husband knows I may slip off to a quiet place for a few minutes even if I have to sit in the car. I have even told him "I HAVE GOT TO GO!" Over Labor Day, we went to a cookout. At one point I stood in front of the stereo speaker just to shut out all the voices that were wearing me out. It only took one day to recover to functional, 2 days to feel normal, whatever that is - LOL!

Hi blewis,

I have an old friend that after she had brain surgery, she had the same problem. As time went on, she kept on getting better. If I remember it right - it was about 6 weeks after her surgery that we (family and friends) really started to notice her attention span was getting back to normal. She still had some trouble with at times but, she eventually got back to her normal self.



I am like Karen.My bleed was on the right and that is where they operated however I think that my concentration is pretty good all in all. I know that I can't concentrate on lots of things at once and have to avoid certain situations if I am super tired. My priorities have shifted alot. The washing up can wait. When concentrating, I have to focus 110% on what is going on and stay really focused and present. I do get tired so balance out the periods of concentration with lots of rest and quiet. My problem is I still sometimes find it hard to say 'no I can't do that.'

Hi Blewis,

I just had a thought - you say all your dr has said is that the part of your brain where you bled controls attention yeh? Ask him to forward you to see a brain specialist who can inform you more about living with a deficit.

Hey Blewis,

Flower's suggestion just jarred my memory. You may want to consider seeing a neuro-psychologist. I saw one once and the dr. gave me some good advice on some of the things I struggle with. I think there's a GOOD chance that type of a dr. could help you - A LOT. Remember, I'm talking from experience (smile). We all need help from time to time, and there's nothing wrong or shameful in asking for it (wink).


My bleed and resulting craniotomy were on the right side of the brain as well and my attention has plummeted to a low I didn't know existed. I get very easily distracted in public and anywhere there is commotion. I end up so distracted that I feel lost and confused and forgetful. I don't go out much because of it; I can't even grocery shop correctly. I know I should force myself to go out there, which is my advice to you, because getting used to the commotion, adjusting and acclimating, is the best way to overcome it. I have high anxiety so just the thought freaks me out, but that would be my advice to you.
I don't know about anyone else but I noticed my attention is caught by different subjects and topics since my bleed and crani. It wasn't just that my attention span shrank but that I had different interests after my experience. No one else has ever made a discussion about that so I have no idea how common a thing that is.

One of the first activities I did in ST was "divided attention" (do one activity while keeping an eye on the clock and saying when every minute passes). I now do and my "attention" score is the most appalling. I'm going to keep on using and see if I can improve my attention score. I also use lists and a "to do" app on my phone - lots of non-brain-injured folks use this strategy, too: lists help me prioritize so I can try hard to remember the one thing I'm doing at the moment, then I can move to the next.

Ben just posted this check list to help us all keep track, so that we don't have to repeat our self hundred times to explain what is going on with us each day. The mood tracker I really like, helps me to moderate my stress overall, which affects my memory and focus cause when that is off the chart I get confused, frustrated, angry, grumpy beat. This helps me to redefine my "self" again. It is located under Doctor's Here is the link, hope it helps.

I've come to understand audio and visual can overload my circuits. Too many faulty bridges up there. For me I can go to a 7-11 and get a gallon of milk, I'm fine, but send me to Safeway or on the westcoast we have Costco/Sams Club. I start buzzing. It takes me the rest of the day to unbuzz..

Ben just posted a check list that Renee created for all of us to help ourselves, thus helping out loved ones here is the hyperlink:

I had my bleed on the right side also and from time to time i lose track of whats going on but i would say thats due to the recovery after enduring such a massive issue... God bless and keep the fight up

Here is one way to track things. Thanks to Ben & Renee.

This is my personal opinion, but I have noticed the medical doctors are wizards on fixing the plumbing (AVM) in our brains and the chemistry in the brain, but they don't really know much about how the actual thinking parts work. They concentrated on blood vessels supplying oxygen to the cells of my brain. This is very important as I can have no thoughts without a brain.

My problems with memory and attention were handled by the medical doctors in a very specific manner. Based on current medical knowledge, those functions were in certain areas of the brain. If those areas showed little damage, then I should have not problems with memory nor attention. That was an excellent analysis of the mechanical parts of the brain, but it did not help me. They looked at the plumbing, said that all the leaks were fixed, and I was fine.

Unfortunately, life was not that simple for me. So, I had to look for help elsewhere.

My psychiatrist was a medical doctor who always used medicine to help me. The psychologist had better success by helping me think. Together they've helped me learn what capability my brain has at this time. One thing they did that was very valuable was to send me for a neuropsychological evaluation. This was specific testing to measure how well my brain worked in many ways; memory, attention, ability to deal with multiple subjects, verbal, etc. These results were connected with the trauma of the AVM and the trauma of the surgery to the brain. The result was a good explanation on my problems with memory, attention, and other problem. Then, the psychologist was able to take that and help me move forward through life.

Each one of us is different, but as I was having limited success with medical doctors helping me with brain function, talking to a psychologist worked well for me.

Spot on. Mine was Dr. John Barry/Palo Alto California. Amazing man and help me to find tools and recognize when overload is upon me. To expect years with no other events to feel like you are present and understand the new you.

Neurosurgeon are great about the mechanic, but only neuropsych can help to put the puzzle together..It is a trauma and trauma come with emotional, mental, physical outcomes. Memory, attention, temperament, energy levels, empathy, tearfullness, joy, good belly laugh. Dr. Barry help us both myself and my wife to understand that healing, you never recover, but you heal from one trauma to the next. To own it. To understand "self" and presence in life and with love ones.

Neurosurgeon are mechanic and Neuropsych help you find peace and understanding. Thank you for sharing, validation, knowledge and knowing you're not alone and how important each physician role is as well and family and where you stand in all of that. You words were perfect..Thank you again

Hello,I do understand what you are going thru.My first AVM rupture was 23 years ago.I still have a time with staying focus on one thing.I just learn to not sweat the small things and enjoy my good days and living.LOL!I could spend all day looking for things I missed placed.I'll go fishing...that's always a good day.Good luck young man.Sylvia