Author Topic: Memory loss post surgery  (Read 33412 times)

Heather Craig

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Memory loss post surgery
« on: September 30, 2011, 09:13:50 am »
My name is Heather and I am new to this site. I had my AN surgery 07/10/2008. My tumor was on the left side where I lost my hearing and still have some facial weakness, headaches and alot of balance problems. I sometimes wonder if it was even worth having the surgey at all. Since my surgery I have noticed an increase in memory loss and I just wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this as well. I see that I share alot of common side effects with most of the people on here but I haven't heard anyone mention memory loss. I just want to know if this is a common side effect post surgery.

mrmel

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 09:24:17 am »
Hi Heather
 Yes everything you are experienceing unfortunately are common results of this surgery, i have had every one of those problems. The best i have learned regarding memory loss is that due to hearing loss and blance problems our brain has to over work to compensate for those deficits and in turn uses a lot of resources to do that, and those resources deprive our memory, because it leaves less resorces for our memory etc. Keep me posted on how you are doing. Good luck.
                         Mel

Heather Craig

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 10:51:05 am »
Thanks Mel! I sure will and I'm glad I found this site. It's good to know there are real people who can actually relate to having an AN and surgery, and not just going off what the doctors tell you is normal or not.

Chances3

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 11:41:47 am »
Hi Heather,

Welcome to ANA, you're with friends who are willing to listen, perhaps dole out some advice, but more importantly, you are talking to people who know EXACTLY what you are experiencing and going through.  I had my AN removed 11 months ago, there are days when I regret having it done because my life hasn't returned to normal, and I am afraid this just might be the new normal for me, although my doctor keeps telling me I have more recovery left.  I'm not going to give you a litany of my symptoms, but I have some of those you have mentioned.  What might help you with memory is Omega 3 Oil.  You can get it naturally by eating fish, I find a meal of salmon helps.  I have also had a lot of success with Omega 3 through Flaxseed Oil.  I would suggest going to the Vitamin Shop and speaking with a sales person that knows their stuff.  Quality sleep also seems to help, and as crazy as this sounds, exercise your brain.  I do by reading a lot.  I hope this helps, please don't be discouraged, take one day at a time, and be thankful for all we have.

God Bless.

Heather Craig

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 12:20:51 pm »
Thanks again and I have to admit, 3 years post AN surgery and I feel like my side effects are worse now than b4. But I am still taking it day by day. Right after the surgery I was in so much pain it was unbearable but then I started to feel some relief. Now I'm so fatigued and memory loss and vertigo are increasing. I lose my balance and tip over just standing still. And please dont let me walk in the dark without turning on a light bcuz that would be tragic lol! But whatever i'm dealing with I just thank God Im alive and appreciate what I do have and know that it could've been worse. I see the doctor on tuesday so I can let her know whats going on and then probably another MRI...( im suprised i havent grown a tail yet from all the radiation) But im keeping my fingers crossed and my spirit lifted!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 01:05:24 pm by Heather Craig »

CHD63

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 12:27:41 pm »
Hi Heather .....

Mel is right about our brains using a great deal more energy directed at trying to hear and keep our balance that some of the perceived memory loss is really a refocusing that is happening.

The good thing about that is, time has a wonderful way of helping us to adjust.  As we regain more balance and/or adapt to the lesser (or at least different) input of sound, these things become more automatic and we can return again to focusing on recalling events from our memory.

Right after my first surgery 3 1/2 years ago, I had significant memory problems.  It was terribly depressing because I was so afraid this might be part of the "new me."  As time goes on, my memory has improved to where I think I am essentially the same as before the diagnosis of an acoustic neuroma.

If, indeed, your symptoms are increasing, by all means check with your doctor.

For many years I have taken Salmon Oil capsules daily as a supplement, as well as eat fish at least once a week.  Who knows?  Perhaps that has been the secret.

Clarice
Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

Heather Craig

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 12:33:56 pm »
Thanks for the advice Clarice. Since everyone is talking about vitamins I might just give it a try. I'd try anything to avoid another surgery or prescription meds that might alter me more than the AN already has :)

Jim Scott

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2011, 01:11:33 pm »
Hi, Heather - and welcome.

I'm sorry to lean about your post-op problems.  You've already received some good answers to your question regarding post-op memory loss so I won't belabor the issue beyond stating that even though I experienced an almost trouble-free AN surgery (and radiation) I have noticed some slight memory loss.  I attributed it to age (I'm 68) but realize that it might well be related to the surgery and the increased work my brain has to do just to function relatively normally.  Fortunately, it is minor and doesn't impact my quality of life.  I admire your positive, optimistic attitude in the face of your post-op issues and hope things improve for you, soon.

Jim

P.S. MRI scans do not use radiation so not to worry about mutating/growing a tail. ;)
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

jaylogs

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2011, 01:37:24 pm »
Hey Heather...so sorry you've been having all these problems post surgery...I too have had some issues with memory loss. I was just commenting to my wife the other day how I've noticed how bad my word useage has gotten when I write.  Maybe it's because I'm getting a little older (I'm almost 47) but I always have prided myself on my writing abilities. Also, it seems that my powers of name recollection are a little worse than usual.  I can talk about someone and then a little bit later I'll try to remember their name...and can't! Most frustrating!  But, all in all my experiences post surgery have been on the positive side. I tend to be the glass half full type person anyways, and my outlook on that hasn't changed.  Take care, hang in there Heather! And keep venting....we know how you feel! :)
Jay
8.1mm x 7.8mm x 8.2mm AN, Left Ear, Middle Fossa surgery performed on 12/9/09 at House by Drs. Brackmann/Schwartz. Some hearing left, but got BAHA 2/25/11 (Ponto Pro) To see how I did through my Middle Fossa surgery, click here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jaylogston

Mei Mei

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2011, 04:39:31 pm »
Hi and welcome to the ANA Forum.
I'm having the same problems especially with Jay.    I even spell wrong when I'm typing emails.   I even forget sending emails and send again.    I called an audiologist near me and he returned my call  and I have no recollection of that.  I called them and the secy. said you talked with him last week.    I stop mid sentence and forget what I was saying.   It's really awful.   I took a two day neuropsych.  exam and my IQ went way down especially my vocabulary.   It didn't halp that I was having a headache during the exam.

Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Mei Mei

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 07:13:31 pm »
Dear Heather,
I just found another example on my Facebook messages that I don't remember writing at all.   I am very embarrassed by it and how could I have typed such nonsense?    Someone at the Symposium said this was happening to her and many in the room agreed.




December 22Seroun Mei Mei Wang
Hi Mami,
I think of you so much and wonder hare you are different in your album . It's anise keeping up with old friends this. I hope you are having a peace fellow Christmas and a most happy new year!!!!.
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

pjb

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 12:08:58 pm »
Your not alone and if you need to vent this is the place for it...You just learn to compensate for the new "US" and it's not so bad once you know where your having the most problems we just take a little longer and have to really focus and my motto is that does help "It could have been worse" and thank goodness it wasn't does help on those bad self pity days...
Diagnosed with a 1 cm. AN had Retrosigmoid
Approach surgery July of 2009, several problems after surgery.

Rich D

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 06:47:12 am »
 :D

Hi Heather and everyone;

I had a 1.2 cm AN removed surgically in Feb 1995.  Yes, 1995.   I lost my hearing in my left ear and my balance nerve on the same side.  Immediately after surgery, I noticed that my short term memory was not the same.  I had to take detailed notes at meetings to remember the details clearly.   Now, at 64 years old, I am questioning my perceived decline in short term memory loss.  Example:   I fully engage in a conversation with my wife about an upcoming family event on a Tuesday evening, but by Wednesday or Thursday, I don't remember it at all, until she reminds me of some of the details in our discussion.  Then, I remember the details.   I have recently gone to see a Neuro-psych doctor to see if my perceived change is the result of aging, the beginning of dementia, or just the same old AN post treatment effect.  Does anyone else have a similar experience?

MDemisay

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2012, 12:21:21 pm »
Dear Heather, Rich D and others who have commented here,

It is quite common to have these symptoms of supposed forgetting.....In 2004, After my operation, I placed myself in Kessler Rehabilitation in NJ for 3 weeks I was seen by a Neuropsychiatric doctor and given a battery of tests they determined that I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and I received along with my therapy tools with which I am able to cope.

Some tools I still use today....and it is useful to use them....I use a calendar to mark off dates that I do not want to forget, I use my phone to list people by alphabetical order and I constantly write notes to myself that I put in my pocket, needless to say I go around all day long pulling notes out of my pockets...

I have one nagging problem though, I am so occupied by these little things that I let the big things like anniversaries, or birthdays for other people slip by!

It is very frustrating sometimes but if it doesn't make it into my calendar it's not on my radar......

The therapist said to keep lists and this is helpful....but with time you learn to adapt and if an event slips by, I always try to do better next time. I don't beat myself up about it as much as I used to.

This is the new me! Learn to cope......

Mike
1974 - Dr. Michelson  Colombia Presbyterian removal of 3 Arterio Venous Malformations
2004- Dr. Sisti  NY Presbyterian subtotal removal of 3.1 cm AN,
2012 - June 11th Dr. Sisti Gamma Knife (easy-breasily done)"DEAD IRV" play taps!
Research, research, research then decide and trust in God's Hands!

jennifer7

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Re: Memory loss post surgery
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 07:13:09 pm »
I hate the forgetfulness, even with lots of lists and calendars (I love my phone it helps so much) its difficult. For me when I'm put on the spot I cannot remember a name, even my children's at times. Or thoughts get lost so fast, I can't type fast enough to get it down before its gone.
"Traumatic brain injury", I guess that makes sense. Sorry to hear 17 years later it still bothers you.
retrosig 2/10/10 1.2cm
headaches, facial weakness, tinnitus
hearing preserved :)

 


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