I think I need some help

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm not sure where to start with this so if it's a bit scattered, blame it on the subject of the post.

    I am on the verge of losing my job because of my performance. For whatever reason, I'm just not getting it. Not all of it, but enough that it's obviously affecting things. I plan on setting down with my boss tomorrow and "re-learning" the things I'm having issues with. I'm really hoping this works as this is a great job and I love it. It's probably the best job I've ever had on various levels.

    The big problem though is my brain. There are times I wonder if I'm losing it and other times I wonder if I have ADD. In some ways, I've always been a bit of a scatterbrain but in other ways, I can remember all types of things. But, I am (and always have been) easily distracted unless I'm in "the zone" with whatever I'm doing, I have a raging case of CRS (can't remember s***)...unless I write it down, at LEAST half the time I will forget and even if I write it down, unless that paper is right in front of me....I will still forget. Things like did I take the keys out of the car when I shut it off, what I walked into a room for (a lot) and even stuff that I do at work every day (with no problems) I will have a brain cramp and forget how to do it.

    I know I'm not doing a good job of describing this but I don't know how to. The thing is though, it got SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much worse about 10 years ago when I was put into a temporary drug induced menopause. OMG....my brain turned to mush. It recovered some but it hasn't been right since. Obviously if that is playing a part then not much could be done I'm sure. But, I still wonder about the ADD. Is there a test somewhere that I can do?

    I've GOT too keep this job. I love it and this just isn't like me. I'm kind of scared and worried.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Have you talked to your physician about this? I know it would be really hard to do because I myself would most likely be having a good day at that point and second guess myself. However, you need to let your doctor know that this is serious and that it worsened considerably after the drug induced menopause. If that is playing into this, there just may be medications to reverse the effect? Maybe something wasn't done right during that procedure? I don't know, but better to have the doctor say there is nothing then to assume and find out different later.

    It is good that you are putting in the effort to talk to your supervisor and do whatever you need to do to be successful at your job. When you write down your notes, can you take them home and reread them over and over while at home?

    I don't know about the ADD test. You doctor should be able to help point you in the right direction for that also.

    Good luck with your job.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    There are some programs out there that allow you to boost your memory. I know that reading, keeping a journal, keeping a datebook, and writing all help me remember things. Have you tried making flashcards. Maybe when you start to do something you haven't done in a while at work, you forget the first step and then panic. Having homemade cheat sheets that list the steps may help.
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Mstang, I'm so sorry that you're struggling at work. Especially since you love your job.

    I have a pretty bad dose of CRS myself, so I've come up with a number of strategies that help me stay on the straight and narrow. Thing is, I have to do them every day, otherwise things fall into a s*** bucket pretty quickly.

    Hope they help:

    1) The notebook
    I keep a hard-bound notebook (like the kind people used to use in high school chemistry lab) and I carry it around with me everywhere I go at work. If I'm meeting with someone, or someone asks me to do something, I write it down. I make sure to label and date it, so that I know what the heck I'm looking at later.

    Here are 2 examples from my current notebook:
    Mar 6th, 2009
    Dee's new contact info:

    Mar 9th, 2009
    Action: Write report on Change Management strategy for each IT department. Due: March 24th.

    2) The to-do list
    Every morning, I get to work about 1/2 hour early, so that I have time to make my to-do list. I write the list in my notebook. This is actually the most important part. I used to write it on a sheet of note paper, but I was always losing the paper. In my notebook, it's always there. I may have to flip pages for 15 min to find it, but it's there.

    I write the date and "To-Do List" at the top of the page.
    I write a numbered list of everything I have to get done during the day, both work stuff and personal stuff. I just write in the order I remember it. I flip back through the notebook to the previous day's list, and copy everything I didn't finish onto my new list.

    Throughout the day, as I finish tasks on my list, I put a check mark through the number with a red pen. If I have partially completed the task, but have more stuff to do on it, I circle the number. If the task is really important, and I should get to it before I do the other stuff on the list, I put a big red star beside the number.

    I keep the notebook open to my To-Do List page, unless I am writing notes from a meeting or conversation or something.

    When I use the last page in my notebook, I start a new one. I transcribe my latest To-Do list from the old notebook to the new notebook, and start the process again. I NEVER EVER throw away any of my old notebooks. I make sure to write the start date and end date on a sticker, which I slap on the front cover. All of my old notebooks live in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet. If I can't remember something, it's usually written down in there somewhere.

    3) The Posters

    If there's something I need to refer to regularly, I pin it to the wall at my desk. My cube at the office is made of that foam-core stuff that takes push pins really well. When I've had plaster or dry wall, I've used painters tape or sticky notes.

    I reserve this only for things I really need to refer to. This way, I'm not wallpapering my work space with random stuff. Right now at my desk, I have an Inventory Definitions cheat sheet, a Phone list and an Org chart, because they all relate to the project I'm working on. When this project is over, they come down, and the reference stuff for my next project will go up.

    Gosh. Writing it all down makes my system sound like it's a lot of tedious hard work. It's not really, just something I have to do to keep my brain functioning. Since I don't have the ability inside my head, I need to impose it from outside.

    Carrying the notebook around becomes a habit pretty quickly. I even got a cute little slipcover for it with my name printed on the inside flap. That way, if (when) I leave it behind somewhere, whoever finds it knows it's mine and I can get it back. The to-do list thing has been my saviour. Just a few extra minutes in the morning saves me from an entire day of sitting at my desk muttering "what am I supposed to be doing now?"

    I hope this is of use to you.

  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are struggling at work, especially a job that you love! I think I would definitely call a doctor. I hope things improve soon-hugs.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I had a similar experience after I had major surgery about ten years ago. i couldn't read books (one of my favorite pasttimes) for more than twenty minutes at a time couldn't remember how to get to places I had driven to on a few occasions. Had some problems keeping a train of thought. It lasted for about a YEAR.

    some things come to mind to maybe have checked out.

    Magnesium deficiency

    B12 deficiency

    Sleep deficiency

    endocrine inbalances

    High Cortisol levels (stress harmone)

    Blood sugar (both high and low)

    If you have insurance I would see an endocrinologist for a harmonal workup and a full metabolic workup.

    In the mean time there are things you can do to improve memory as others have mentioned. The one thing that really helped me wa to be mindful when doing things and listening to people.

    Good Luck! -RM
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You are so not alone with this! My memory has gone downhill ever since I became severely sleep deprived with Duckie. I now tend to make cheat sheets for processes, etc, so that I can pull them out when needed.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My brain has been mush since the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and menopause did it no favors. And you're right, when you suddenly forget something you've known how to do so well you do it without thought, it's scary as h*ll.

    Unfortunately, I do that more and more. And if easy child teases me one more time that I have Alzheimers I'm gonna skin her alive. *Well Mom, they say some Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)'s can cause it* grrrrrrrr

    Old memory is ok. Thank God as it carries me thru most brain-farts. (that's what I call them) And I can fake it based on old knowledge. New memory still is wishy washy, and it depends on how it's learned as to whether or not it'll be there when I need it.

    I find that if I'm given too many instructions at once, expected to pick it up fast, and quickly moved onto the next task...........It doesn't stick. Leave me alone and let me do it several times to make it stick. THEN move on to the next task. That way I do fine and it usually stays with me. But sometimes out of the blue for no apparent reason, even learning it this way it can be lost during a brain-fart. But it will come back later once the moment has passed at least.

    This has been one of my biggest issues in school. If the classwork is moving at too fast a pace.......I don't keep what I've learned for very long. Doesn't make final exams fun either cuz I've got to go back and re-teach myself all the old material. THEN after I've done that it sticks. lol sheesh

    When you go over these tasks you're having trouble with......make sure boss isn't moving to a new one until you really have down what you're supposed to do with the first one. Make "cheat sheets" and write the steps down. If you have to, memorize the cheat sheets and when you have a brain-fart make yourself go thru mentally all the steps til you get to what you need. (saved my arse many times)

    You are soooooo not alone. :)

  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    There is a test for ADD/ADHD called a TOVA Test. Its a computer program that not only can, in conjunction with the doctor, diagnosis ADD/ADHD, but it also can pick up other problems. I had one a few years ago, and confirmed I had ADHD, a learning disability in math, and possible petit mal seizures (and I thought I was just being blond) but I chose not to take medications. I am totally able to hyper focus at work - its anything at home I have the problem with - the least little bit of stress and I go brain dead and would forget my head if it wasn't attached. And if my home life crosses over into work, like having to make a doctor appointment, take SO somewhere, take difficult child somewhere, even getting a home related phone call its all over and it takes me a while to get in my groove again.

    I can't function writing stuff down - its too overwhelming for me to look at all that stuff on a piece of paper. If I am at a meeting, I start to doodle if I have to take notes. But I am an auditory learner and keep what I need to do in my head - any paper involved- forget it.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Okay - I'm taking notes for my notes - and I had DF put a hook in for my keys at night and a carbiner for my keys that I have to hook to my purse handle other times or I LOOSE THEM.

    I, like you, thought I was loosing my mind. Look up things about stress. You don't have to be ADD or AHDH or anything else- STRESS is draining and you have a TON of stuff on your mind. My doctors had my cortisol levels tested. All I remember was he sent me back 3 times and each time the reading was higher than before. If it was supposed to be a 10 - mine was 10,000. He said my cortisol levels were unchartable. Cortisol is a stress hormone (I think - I too have CRS) but I know it contributes to weight gain, mental fatigue, and you could just need some GOOD vitamins - not flintstones chewables - something for your age.

    Ginko Biloba is supposed to be good for memory too - I think - see? CRS again.

    You're not alone if it helps but I implimented a lot of the things Triniity spoke of and now DO carry a notebook - which is great because I'm so worried I'll loose THAT? I can't find my phone 1/2 the time - but that's okay because it's usually in the pocket of my car console and unless I park in the same spot daily? I can't remember where the phone or the car is. Didn't I go to Walmart in a Jag? "Why of cOURSE you did Star - and it looks just like that 1991 Ford Explorer with the faded roof." OHhhhhhhhh I see......(and gets into someone elses faded car.) yeah - I"m there.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Never fear, I am here to save the day! There is a new medication out to help all of us with CRS! Yes, I know...who could have imagined it? This miracle medication is called CerefolinNAC and my psychiatrist prescribed it for me at my last appointment. I am supposed to start taking it after my neuropsychologist testing.

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It must be terrifying to think you could lose the best job you have ever had. Hugs.

    I have had some difficulty with memory but I figured it was a combination of juggling several different issues simultaneously. I do a lot of what Trinity does. I keep a running notebook/ journal for who has called and who I spoke to as well as what the result of the conversation.

    I think you should start with talking to the physician to rule out something that is treatable. In the meantime use your employee assistance programs to help keep your job.
    I would also use some tools to help you remember and to focus routinely at work instead of just "hyper focus".

    Good luck. I hope this works out in a positive way.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've always had that problem, even when I was eighteen. I don't know why, but I've lost many jobs for that reason, and now I finally realized I can get disability for it. It's not Alzheimers or else I've had Alzheimers for 55 years...lol. I wish I had suggestions--no medications helped me remember or learn how to multi-task. I finally took jobs that were one-step jobs until I applied for disability and actually GOT it. I was told that people with mood disorders often have memory problems, but I also have some soft neurological signs--and a severe non-verbal learning disability. I also have face blindness (can't recognize people even if I know them well--never ever could!) If I were you, I would see a neuropsychologist. I did and he identified everything. It didn't help me learn to multi-task, but it DID help me get disability, which is very helpful. We get it for the kids too. Sometimes medications can also change your brain chemistry...as can menopause. Since I've been past menopause I suddenly notice I can't remember names, and that's one thing I once remembered really well. Jotting things down helps! I love post-its!
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. This must be very frightening to you, and probably to your family.

    I can remember part of high school where my mom had severe CRS. Part of it was stress and part was a medication she was on that she couldn't stop.

    We used notes and post-its, many put in the bathroom by the toilet or on the mirror so she would actually SEE them. I know she used many of the techniques lined out above.

    Right now she is fascinated with the Brain games out there. I know husband has found the nintendo DS one helpful.

    Go to the doctor. Get things tested, AND go see a psychiatrist to see if they can help. You won't know until you ASK. My mom was in her 50's when she was diagnosis'd with inattentive ADHD. I still think part of her problems are seizures (Absence type mostly) just based on behaviors I have seen, but the ritalin DOES help when she remembers to take it.

    Sending lots of support and gentle hugs. We are here with you through this.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Janet!!!! :D

    Me and my doctor are soooo gonna chat about that!! THANKS :D