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Anyone else find themselves suddenly feeling overwhelmed?
WildRose
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 6:23 PM
Joined: 7/6/2016
Posts: 19


I was buzzing along, doing some housework - nothing too strenuous - and felt rather suddenly overwhelmed. Perhaps I was trying to do too many things at once - something the neuropsych wrote in her report was to do one thing at a time, and I guess I was trying to fold/put away laundry, start dinner, finish up dishes... 

I can't describe the feeling well, but it's as though I feel just suddenly DONE, mentally and/or physically exhausted, and cannot deal with any more. It happens frequently now when out and about doing shopping, errands, attending events. 

Thoughts? If you've heard of this or experienced it, I'd like to know how you cope with it. 

My technique of berating myself for my incompetence while reminding myself of the days when I'd be standing at the stove cooking dinner, while a toddler hung on my leg and a baby nursed, on the phone resolving a network issue, all whilst supervising my 7-year-old's homework, doesn't seem to be cutting it <wry smile>. 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 6:58 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


Wild Rose, those days are OVER!  And why not?  We have been around the block a few times.  Our time for ripping and roaring is past.  At least, that's how I see it.  A wonderful social worker from APS urged me to focus on doing ONE task at a time.  That has been such a comfort for me, because when I do so, I can accomplish!  Multitasking makes my head spin!  I am happier with a non-spinning head.  

 

I must add that Exelon patch and Namenda have a lot to do with my non-spinning head.


Iris L.


Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 7:02 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


I so agree with what Iris wrote.
a_step@a_time
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 7:02 AM
Joined: 11/21/2015
Posts: 237


STress has lots to do for my issues going on.  I have (formerly close) "medical" employee family member who deny my illness. So creates stress for me around around my friends who I ask for "lookout" for me for help.  Since "medical"  family person deny, friends believe i dont have dementia onset, just mental delusions.  Funny thing is that the friends haven't realized my "medical" family member is doing social activities WITHOUT me there!  (Funny also b/c I can tell they already exposed to my illness).  I've been labelled mental patient and left out due to mental illness/delusions!  So stress of isolation sucks but at same time I know I'm carrier....
a_step@a_time
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 7:11 AM
Joined: 11/21/2015
Posts: 237


NNot only stress present overwhelm but also illness (like cold, cough, or flu) contribute.  My brain and body feels attacked by ill feeling. Like getting head cold, the body is less alert to life stuff going on (brain fog I suppose).  Makes me feel vulnerable in life. (I live alone).  Lately I eat inflammatory food b/c well I miss coffee, and stuff like chocolate covered espresso beans.  So not only I pay in brain issue, I also itch randomly over my body.  Ugh, the stress of regret of giving into 'bad' foods that cause inflammation.  I guess I start to hope the nonbeliever right and give up my self care and go enjoy indulgence. Humpft! My bad!  Then the constant itch cause insanity stress.
Topdogjim
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 8:01 AM
Joined: 7/14/2016
Posts: 20


I am just realizing the effect of overload. Yesterday my wife sent me to the produce department to buy vegetables for a stir fry and I just froze when I got there. It was like being dropped into a foreign country. Buying produce should be second nature for a chef. Eventually I just bought a bag of veggies already cut up. 

Looking back this happens at many stores, stopping in to get a coffee, overload. An employee came up to me standing there and asked if I was ok. 

These realities are overwhelming. I'm just trying to take it step by step. I'm not sure if this response is appropriate to the op. It did help me to understand a few things. Thanks. 


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 10:37 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Wildrose,

Overwhelmed = stress overload. Thank you for raising this important topic which I think is deserving of it's own thread. 


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2016 3:54 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


Step, I am sorry your family members treat you so badly.  Unfortunately, you are not alone. My two closest friends treated me badly, too.  They said I was having a pity party, and talking too much about myself.  They told me that everyone has senior moments.  Now, we are no longer friends at all.


I felt very alone and demoralized when they abandoned me.  But guess what?  I survived.  And I am thriving, without them.  I don't want anyone to be in my life who will pull me down, or who will set up obstacles for me.


Nevertheless, my bad experience with my closest friends have brought me to the conclusion that I should keep my personal medical issues to myself, and not disclose to the public.  I too live alone.  I rely on my cyberfamily here for support and advice.  I still have social friends for social activities, but I am not relying on them for help.


I understand about the comfort foods.  It has been, and still is, a struggle for me.  But it is less of a struggle, because I am finding comfort in the anti-inflammatory foods.  Especially now in the summer, when there are so many delicious summer fruits and vegetables.  I only like salads when the weather is hot.  Now, I love my salads!


I had a trick for getting over my cookie addiction.  I take an apple and slice it into 16 slices.  Then, I imagine that each slice is a cookie.  So, I have the impact of eating cookies, without imbibing so much sugar, fat and carbs!  It worked for me.  Now, I don't keep cookies in the house.  If I go out, I will eat one or two cookies, but not a handful or a bagful, like before.


Jim, making decisions used to be very hard for me.  Every item in the store requires a decision!  I had to stop shopping in the supermarket for a long time.  I went through a period of getting my meals from fast food drive-thrus.  This is not a good idea, and I knew it at the time, but I felt like I couldn't help myself.


Fast forward to today--I rarely visit a fast food drive-thru.  If I want to eat on the run, I will stop at a sandwich shop.  I order a turkey or a tuna sandwich.  I don't spend a lot of time looking at the menu, because it is too much.


My suggestion to you, Jim, is to make a specific list, and to purchase only that.  For example, purchase one head of romaine lettuce, and two tomatoes.  Or, whatever it is you want to purchase.  Then come home.  Be sure to bring your produce into the house.  Don't leave it in the car, like I have done at times.


You will learn to accommodate and function better.  It will take a bit of time.  But it is possible!


Iris L.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 5:51 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


You raise a GOOD observation an point.  I often notice a BIG disconnect between what I think/feel/assume I can still do (I mean, I FEEEEEEEL like I can do it) and what I can really do. 

I think, an this is just based on my own reflections of myself, is that we do no see ourselves (as far as our skills) as particularly different...so we go about things in the same old ways.  The problem is, we are changing. 

Whenever I tax my brain, I do become instant exhausted....like I haven't slept in years.  I find a nap helps...an waiting until next day pick up where I left off. 

On an emotional level, you have start adjusting that things are going be changing...an find a way make that ok.  I like think of myself as caretaker an steward of my body an brain...like a loving supportive person helping me get through the day.  It works for me.

It is so common for me, especially amid all the reno, try be get things done an no be able do it...an wonder why.  I seem have 3 cycles (I also have a co-morbid autoimmune which affects my health)...one where I feel good/able do...but am actually really weak, but my brain VERY good at planning.  So I get into planning mode and I draw up plans, I make decisions, etc.  Then, the planning gets hard me...I try an try...I FEEL like I can do it, same as before...but not much comes out.  I don't feel particularly strong or able...but I am now (other cycle) able organize silently, wordlessly AMAZINGLY well.  So, I have switch out of planning mode an go into clean/organize/do mode.  Eventually, that cycle wears off, and I become overwhelmed by these tasks that just the day before were wonderfully easy and soothing do...I try go black planning, but am brain dead...then I realize, I am ready for the hard work that requires my strength an endurance.  Then that will wear off an I will be tired, exhausted...but knee deep in a project (like painting house with it half done)...an I am couch bound, weak an fatigued...only find that I am again, really, really good at planning, thinking out, and making decisions...which is good, because now that I have executed some of the tasks...I am ready plan the next few steps.  I can no longer see the whole picture, like I used be able do...an I can no longer "imagine" things how they will be as I used be able do. 

I never recognize the changes as they are coming on...so I fall right into each one.  Only because this has been going on now for months, and because I have finally been able put words it...I don't get as concerned with it, but now can rather go...ahhh, time change plans, do something else.  It becomes easier and easier weather it as I go. 

And, I am always amazed by what stays intact.  Like my drive get these projects done.  Or, the other day, when I was doing a big task...I was amazed at myself just how really good of a job I was doing.  Like, I did no know that of myself...and was re-discovering it (perks of dementia, I get re-find things I real like about myself...or the day, or nature...or of anything).  Or even that I naturally gravitate towards being happy.  All that stays perfectly intact.  I find that extremely comforting know. 

I try say myself, when I am struggle struggle with something...that occurs as it should be so easy do, it was always easy do...I try say self, it is just hard NOW...as in it may no always be so hard for me. 

I hope that helps. <3


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 5:57 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


PS, we do go through phases where we have an increased need for sleep.  I found I went through this in stage 5.  Although caregiver descriptions of it can sound quite different...from an insiders experience of it...it sounds (at least my experience of it) a lot like what you are describing here. 

I also find, being "on" for people...even though I do quite well socially at the time...in the later part of day, I am exhausted an brain toast...it takes a LONG Time recover.

It can be hard sort out, because IT FEELS ok at the time...or it FEELS LIKE you can do it...but learning limit ones self can be a really useful tool in maintaining you self an you life.  I learned that from the physical illness side of my life...because although I can do a physical task, I will PAY dearly for it later.  So, I still do tasks...I just meter them out with rest periods in between. 

I also use a mindless brain game on the kindle (various candy crush games) help me re-collect my brain.  You might try something like that when tasks overwhelming you...see if that doesn't give you some space an time, an brain resting, be able get back the task ability. 

Again, hope that helps.  <3


WildRose
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 8:03 PM
Joined: 7/6/2016
Posts: 19


Oh, do I hear you all. I know exactly how it is to be drained by "busy" events. This has always sort of been an issue, as I am introverted by nature, but now, this seems exponentially worse. 

It seems that events/situations, medications, weather, what I eat, illness, noise - anything which causes even a tiny amount of stress - now has a much greater impact... at least in some ways. I think this may deserve its own topic heading, maybe. The effects can be both physical and cognitive. 

Wow, flashback memory: I remember my aunt (who now is in long-term care with dementia) going through this, perhaps 10 years ago - it struck me that someone who'd been so calm and complacent was now rattled by just about every little thing (as am I!). Perhaps it's one of the earliest signs? 

Wonder if anyone has studied this - ?stress intolerance? - as it relates to cognitive decline. hmmm. 


llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 9:52 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I am an introvert also and need down time, quiet and alone time to decompress and rejuvenate. My work requires high levels of communication with others and I don't mind the company I keep when I am alone.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 10:00 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


I believe stress intolerance is indeed a sign of cognitive impairment.  Unfortunately, people and even professionals relish giving stress reduction tips, as if that will solve every problem.


  One of the geriatricians that I consulted kept urging me to use lavender oil on the soles of my feet as a solution to my memory lapses!  I couldn't take that.  We have a hard time being taken seriously.


Iris L.


BlueSkies
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 10:44 PM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Funny, I just posted about how much stress I am under due to being in the middle of moving and OMG yes am I struggling cognitively and physically.  Extreme exhaustion and brain fog.  I must continue on though.  I have no other choice.  I will be so relieved when it's all over.  I never use to find moving so difficult.  Seems everything is more difficult these days.
BlueSkies
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 10:47 PM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Iris, if it weren't so sad what the doctor said to you it would be funny.  Doctors say the darndest things sometimes!
llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 6:27 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Blueskies,

Good luck with the move. Get as much help as you can. I last moved 3 years ago and it was difficult. It took quite awhile getting organized, settling in and making the house feel like home.  I had to get renovations done after settlement so things were topsy turvy for several months. 

I did some of the renovations in the kitchen such as refinishing the cabinets and tiling a backsplash and saved myself about $3k. It was tedious and draining and it took me some time and many rest periods to recover afterward. I think my handywoman days are behind me!


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 6:44 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4384


For a person who dealt with disasters daily and was extremely capable of handling many at a time I have changed so much. The purchase I just made has created so much anxiety that its going thru the roof. Thank good my wife is stepping in to handle the things as I keep wanting to get out of the purchase because of all of the issues and she is taking control and saying it will all get better once we are done. I was one that most came to for this type of support as I always was cool headed and never panic. I thrived under pressure cooker situations. Today I have total melt downs.  I am even able to realize the issues are not as big as I make them out to be but that does not change the outcome.  

 


Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 8:37 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Hi again, Wild Rose.

You are dealing with your diagnosis and also dealing with a seven year old son! wow!

Some folks in Early Stage have found it helpful to counsel with a social worker. Perhaps one can be recommended from your local chapter. You absolutely need someone who is knowledgable about Younger Onset AD.


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 1:26 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


We have difficulties because our executive function abilities are impaired.  We have to figure out ACCOMMODATIONS to enable us to COMPENSATE.  That should be our focus, not berating ourselves because we can no longer multitask and thrive under pressure the way we used to do.

Iris L.


Larrytherunner
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2016 10:54 AM
Joined: 2/26/2016
Posts: 278


Wild Rose, I have some understanding about what you are going through when you said you were mentally exhausted. I have experienced some early signs of Alzheimers at 69. For about a year, I was experiencing extreme mental fatigue. Physically I was in great shape, jogging everyday with no known health problems. But mentally I was feeling extreme mental fatigue, especially when using the computer or reading or trying to make a decision. I had to reduce my computer and reading time and started watching more TV. 

In February this year, I ran across a research study using the generic asthma drug montelukast, brand name Singulair, as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's. It was found to lower brain inflammation and restore the blood brain barrier in elderly rats. You can read my four posts in the "clinical trials" section under the "montelukast" and "leaky brain" topics.

I started taking montelukast 10mg twice a day since February this year and within the first few days, the mental fatigue began to go away. I feel completely normal again. I am an American but I live outside the states, where this drug does not require a prescription. Someone in the states may have to go to a doctor outside their network and say they need it for asthma. It is a commonly used drug for Asthma attack prevention, especially for children, and is very safe for long term use.

By the way, phase 1 clinical trials have just started for this drug for Alzheimer's and related neurological disorders, so if you want to wait until it is approved, you will have to wait at least a couple of years. Try 10mg twice a day for 2 weeks and see if it works. You will never know if you don't try it. Best of luck.


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2016 12:23 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


Welcome, Larry.  As you probably know, other medical conditions can mimic Alzheimer's Disease.  Respiratory disease can decrease oxygenation in the brain.  It is possible that the montelukast is opening up airways and allowing more oxygen to get to your brain.  Just a thought.  


In any case, I am very glad that it is working for you, and I hope that it may work for other patients with memory loss.  I truly believe that there are many conditions that are called Alzheimer's Disease, and that we need to investigate more options for treatment.


Iris L.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2016 2:02 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4384


Larry -  Did you actually have a medical diagnose by a doctor using test? Thanks

 


Larrytherunner
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2016 7:40 AM
Joined: 2/26/2016
Posts: 278


MIchael. No, I have not gotten a diagnosis. I am retired living in Ghana for the last 7 years. There is shortage of doctors, medical facilities and lab equipment here, and I am sure such high tech tests would not be available.

I realized that it was likely Alzheimer's because my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's more than 10 years ago. Many years before she was diagnosed, she was suffering from mental exhausion. She was always saying that thinking was making her too tired to do anything. She had alot of problems planning ahead and keeping appointments. It was years later that we saw that she could not remember things that had recently happened.

I am sure that I don't have asthma or any respiratory disease as Iris has suggested. I ran track and cross-country in high school and college and have continued to run daily for more than 50 years. 

I know there are alot of supposed treatments being talked about, and no doubt, most don't work. I was attracted to montelukast (Singulair) because I read about research at a major university in Austria that found that it could reduce brain inflammation and was a possible treatment for Alzheimer's. I also found another research study at a major university in China published by the NIH that came up with simular results. I also saw that it was FDA approved (for asthma) and available and safe for long term use.

The drug is non-prescription here, but I know that you will have to go through a doctor so I hope it won't be too difficult to get.

The drug is extremely safe and used by million of people. You can take it for a few weeks and see how it works. I think that would be better than waiting 2 or 3 years for the clinical trial results. The way I see it, there is a lot to gain if it works and there is practically no risks. Thanks, Larry


Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2016 7:50 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Sorry Larry, But self-diagnosis might be a dangerous path to be on. I'm certain that dementia exists in your country. The fact that relatives had the disease does not mean you have it. At the very least you should have a complete blood work up and brain scans to eliminate the possibility of it being something else. 

Please do make a call to the very best large teaching hospital in your country and ask if they ave a dementia department or find out where there is one.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2016 10:26 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4384


I totally agree with Mimi. Some things can be reversed or even prevented if caught early. You could be masking a bigger issue and then it could become to late to treat it.  If you want to reach out to me privately I may be able to put you in touch with some people. I have some friend I can put you in touch with that can point you to the right places. 


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2016 11:54 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362


I would like to know more about the montelukast clinical trials.  Larry, perhaps if you posted your experience in the Clinical Trials message board, the members who regularly post there might be interested and might have more information on the status of the montelukast clinical trials.  


I have spent some time in West Africa, not Ghana, and I know that there is modern medical care available in the capitals and larger cities.  Nevertheless, as you say, Larry, most medical care is less technologically oriented, according to our American viewpoint.  It is a good idea to be sure you don't have one of the diseases that mimics dementia.  Do the best you can given your circumstances.


Thank you for sharing about montelukast.  Please keep us updated on your progress.  


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2016 9:53 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Welcome to the board Larry. You sound as if you are very aware of the brain changes and symptoms you are experiencing. I felt like I was hyper aware of every change for a long time before actual diagnosis. From reading your post, I would think also that the running is helping your brain,  that you have high IQ and what is known as cognitive reserve. I stopped running some years back due to some bone issues and have missed it ever since. I think I'm still deriving some benefits from my running days even now. 

For some formal diagnosis is confirmation of what was already known. Please do post about the monteleukast on the clinical trial board also.

Do some research if you haven't already on some of the alz drugs such as aricept and namenda which are helping many. Pursuing a diagnosis is your  personal choice but you could possibly benefit from the other drugs as well. As you may have already read another member on our board is having success with CBD oil. 

I cannot tolerate any of the alz drugs so reading about alternative treatments and possible cures is inspiring beyond words for me. My heartfelt thanks to you and so many others who are blazing the trails of discovery!