Having problems with memory and feel helpless at times

I had gamma knife done on my deep brain avm in January of 2014. I did fine for about the first 7 months or so, but I have found myself being very forgetful lately. For example, I will put dinner into the oven to bake and then I forget I was making dinner so I make my self something to eat. Or, I forget where my keys are. Or I lose my cell phone. It's days like these that I feel so helpless...
I program everything into my cellphone these days so that I won't forget to attend a b-day party, or my kids' play at school. But, if I don't program stuff into my phone as soon as it enters my mind, then chances are I won't remember unless I see some sort of "reminder".
Anyone else experience this after gk?

I do not know if this will help at all...but I did not have gamma...I bled and had embolizaion and coiling, removal.......14 years ago...I still have days upon days of memory deficit...I write lists every day for the next day..and phone...but still have occasional problems because I then lose the list..I do not know how but it just seems to fall into a black hole somewhere....I laugh and recreate another.........
My suggestion...make it a game..sticky note the world and have a sense of humor on your decorating prowness...thank goodness sticky notes come in fun colors...

I have had 2 occasions where things I had been able to do/remember I all of a sudden couldn’t do/remember. Both times after others noticed as well, I went to my neurosurgeon and had ct’s only to find fluid building up in my ventricles or under my bone flap. Now, when something changes for the worse I go in.

I am in the same boat with you . After gamma knife my memory skills are not the same, I have to write things down or they are ’ gone forever ’ it’s sad that I cannot remember many things about my children’s growing up years. There are things I do on a daily basis , I have a keyless start car and I never ever take the control out of the zipped pocket in my purse, I have the ’ find a phone app’ , and use the note section on my phone to keep passwords / user names etc… I feel certain what is lost regarding memory will not come back but can only hope it does not get worse.

The “black hole” part is so true! I couldn’t help but laugh when i read that. I used to be better organized but every list i try to make gets lost somehow. So now i try really hard to put a list on my phone. Thats if i don’t lose my phone. Lol. And i think i will try the sticky notes. Or even keeping a notebook handy might help me also.
Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated!
Take care.

I used to be so organized. I kept track of everything. But nowadays im lucky if i can remember to enter things into my phone (grocery list, upcoming events, etc.). I always fear that i will forget things if i dont enter them into my phone immediately.

I had REALLY BAD memory problems for the first 5 years and still do on occasion… Especially during stress, illness, etc… It HAS gotten much better though! I still write a calendar/ to do list on my phone every day to remind me what “to do” every day… But it’s an up and down thing for me… I had My AVM rupture followed by 3 embo’s and a craniotomy… Still pushing, every day… Always getting better! Had my bleed/ craniotomy 12 years ago…

How long after gk did you experience this? It sounds scary. What did they do to treat it?

Hi Michele,
Yes i definitely think memory problems and stress are related! Sometimes i feel fine, until i realize that i cant remember where i put things and then stress kicks in to high gear. And then once im stressed, i cant even think straight! Today for example, my husband was at work so i decided to reorganize my kitchen. While trying to do that, i got a phone call from my daughter who was at a friends house who lives like 3 blocks away. So…i grab my purse and get my other kids buckled in the car…only to realize that i forgot my keys. So i go looking in the house and my keys were nowhere to be seen (and neither was my cell phone or glasses). I eventually find my glasses. Then i find my cell phone. After frantically looking for my keys for several minutes, i still couldnt find them. So… i had to call my daughter and tell her to walk home. Then i had to go get my kids back out of the car. My daughter made it home safely. Then my husband came home from work and searched for my keys…only to find that the keys were in my car the whole time! And to top it off, i dont remember ever putting the keys in my car! My 4 year old swears he didnt do it, but really dont have a clue!
Anyhow,did you take any meds do help with the memory problems? Or did they naturally get better over time?

Thanks for your response :slight_smile:

Hi...i think u r already following the right thing of making notes in your cell phone....so the brain is already programmed to remember only ONE TASK - i.e to check the Cell phone, instead of trying to remember each & every stuff....but the feelings involved and the stress one suffers when going through this process of facing anxiety that you may forget and the stress involved in converting thoughts into words and the time it consumes..itself may give us a feeling need 48 hrs per day - 24 hrs to make notes & 24 hrs to actually execute the tasks.... but all i can say is IT IS a STRUGGLE...and the acceptance of this is the real strength......but as we practise to meditate our emotions and accept that new habit of us trying to make notes.....our body & mind starts accepting this "NEW ELF" and slowly all the anxiety reduces and finally the number of instances where we forget things like leaving the microwave unattended reduces and we start getting self confidence & slowly things start improving.....this is a cycle....and faith is the only answer :) good wishes are always with you.

Cheers
Santhosh
Bangalore, India.

I wish I could have answers for you. I though, can't remember how to program my cell phone! I am so frustrated too and I don't have kids to care for and remember their schedules. I feel your pain. Let's hope it gets better for both of us! I did not have gamma knife, but did have a craniotomy.

Me too- I understand completely. I’m trying to learn ‘that one thing’ to use my phone. It is (slowly) getting better - good luck to all of us struggling with this persistent leftover of brain repair.

Its been over 12 months now that I have had my AVM excised, however I get days when my memory just goes and short term memory is shot. On other days its fine. I always prided myself with my memory so its a bit worrying. I use all sorts of thing from leaving messages on my phone to post-it notes on my dash board of my Car.

Hi Momof5,

I developed memory problems 2 years after my GK. Like you, I too have to write everything down. I don't use my cell phone often so,... I write all of "my things to do" on my calendar. I also keep a notepad on my refrigerator to keep a running list of things I need to get at the store, mostly groceries. I will often put a posty note on my wallet at night as a reminder too. I use the "sticky notes' on my computer a lot as well. I will really be lost if I ever forget how to write.. lol

Ben :)

Yes short term memory problems are a pain. I use smartphone. Callenders. Meds in a daily meds box although i rely on my hubby alot for that and at work they are very patient. My work is reasonably adjusted to help my memory problems, no telephone work as multi taskkng causes probs. But i get by and im working instead of just staying at home. As if thats a choice today.

I have no stress whatsoever and still have memory issues. I had a bleed but no other treatment except a shunt. AVM is too deep and too bad of a location.

Anyway. I write down everything I can as soon as I think of what I need to remember. Good luck to you!

That sounds scary. Did they do any treatment to correct that?

Ya I had trouble remembering how to use the alarm on my phone a few times now. Then my kids had to help me figure it out. My kids are very understanding :)

Ya I will email my husband (if hes at work or something) if I think of something I need/want to tell him about because I no longer trust myself to remember to tell him if I wait to tell him the next day or something...
But I also use a calendar on the wall plus my cellphone. I tried to use a journal to keep track of my grocery list, etc. but it only works if I remember that I wrote it in the first place! Lol

Before the memory problems, I used my calendar a lot and wrote things down on a notebook. But since I started having memory problems, I find it harder to rely on "paper" and easier to rely on my cellphone because I can just use the notepad app and the calendar app that shows me every upcoming event for the next week.
Take care Ben. Hope things get better with all our memories :)