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Foggy Days
Juliana EOAZ
Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 5:26 PM
Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 13


Here I am, just signed up to this board. It's all New to me.

 I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's in Feb. 2014 at the age of 56. I am no longer able to do my job without constant flaws. After 8 months of hiding my ever increasing AZ symptoms I went on Disability 6 weeks ago. The Doctors say my symptoms started in 2012.

My question is about the 'Foggy Days' that I am increasingly experiencing. Days of more confusion where my brain seems to sit in neutral...on pause. My movements are slower. On these days I am extra sensitive and emotional. I have difficulty forming sentences...collecting words. A feeling of exhaustion, more often blank stares and no initiative. 

What can be done to snap out of it? Or does it mean my brain needs to rest quietly?

Should I fight it or go with it?

 

Right now MOST days I feel good ...regular 'ME'. I call these 'Sunny Days'.

What was originally foggy days every 10 days at the beginning of the year, became weekly in Feb. and now 2-3 days a week. YIKES

Juliana EOAZ


Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 7:07 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Hi Juliana,

Welcome to our wold. The first thing I'd advise you to do is get involved in Best Practices. Doing this may well help solve the problem you wrote in about.

And maybe on those foggy days, your body is saying "give me a rest."

Many of us on these boards are convinced that participating in Best Practices has enabled us to stay longer in the early stage.
1. If you are prescribed meds, take them. Don't wail until you get worse.

2.Build up your physical strength. Strenuous exercise so that you get your heart pumping at a faster than normal rate for a time. Research has shown that this can actually build new brain tissue!
3.Strenous mental activity. A variety is best.4
4. Mediterranean Diet. I also take Omega 3 and antioxidants.

5. Maintain or increase your socialization activities.


Myriam
Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 9:00 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Welcome, Juliana. I'm sorry for what brings you here. I believe you will find these board helpful and give you the opportunity to vent and to share what is going on with you with those who us who are on the same journey. Mimi has given you great advice. 

 

Has your doctor prescribed the memory meds: Aricept or Exelon Patch and Namenda?  

 

Cooking with olive oil, lots of vegetables and a small amounts of meats and fish is great. Some studies have shown that a glass of red wine and coffee a day are great antioxidants. 

 

Do you belong to a gym? You may find that as time goes on, you may begin to lose your balance, so it's important that you get your heart pumping while being careful not to hurt yourself. 

 

There are many ways to stay socially active. It would be great for you to stay involved with friends and family, and to join in on outside activities. Also, if you find the Alzheimer's chapter nearest to where you live, they may have different activities, such as a weekly or monthly Alzheimer's Cafe in a local coffee shop.  

 

I live in Seattle and the Alzheimer's Association and Parks and Recreations has many activities, including Monday morning Zoo Walks, Friday guided neighborhood walks (Seattle has many different and diverse neighborhoods and we usually walk about 3 miles, ending the walk with coffee or tea at a coffee shop), monthly young-onset early stage support group meetings, museum and art gallery tours, water color painting in the park, etc. 

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you. 

 

 


Juliana EOAZ
Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014 3:10 PM
Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 13


Thank you both for the 'Welcome' 


The first med I tried was Aricept with side effects of nightmares and headaches and digestive issues the Doctors replaced it with the Exelon Patch. I have been on the patch for about 2 weeks. The only side effect has been that I am more tired which is a welcome change from the sleepless nights on Aricept. 

My diet is pretty good. I cook at home every day for my husband and myself. We live close to a park and I walk around it with my sister in law about 3 days a week.

I come from a large family and have an excellent support system. I'm careful to keep at least one activity per day on my calendar...even if it's laundry day or having tea at my mothers .

I have not yet contacted the local chapter of ALZ, I think my hesitation is I am so young and am not sure how it will make me feel.

Can anyone relate to the 'foggy days' question from my first post?

Juliana


Myriam
Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014 1:42 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


I am experiencing a little bit of fogginess, but usually not for a full day, although in the month of February (darkest winter days) I went though a series of days of fogginess, but chalked it up to a long dark winter with way too much rain (in Seattle).  

 

I used a full-spectrum lamp, which got me through the worst of it, but I have no illusions that one day, the fogginess will not lift...though I am eternally optimistic that a medicine will come along to at least stop the progression.  

 

Have you tried using aroma therapy? I believe it's one of the keys that has kept me in the early stage for the last 4 years. Lane Simeone (I'm not sure I spelled his last name correctly) has done a great deal of research on aroma therapy. Please go to the Clinical Trials board and you will find a list of the different aromas that help with cognition. 

 

Lane, if you read this post, could you list the aromas? 


Paul Hornback
Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014 5:31 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Juliana, I've had EOAD for over 4 years now and I can most certainly identify with your foggy days. Before my diagnosis I was having a day every other week. Since my diagnosis they have steadily increased. Now I have about 3-4 a week and sometimes 5. It is much like you describe, I'm in neutral most of the day and very sensitive from an emotional stand point. It is difficult to cut through the fog but one thing I found that helps is vigorous exercise. I walk almost every day but on my foggy days, I try to walk early or do aerobics. Getting the blood flowing into the brain makes a huge difference. The fog doesn't completely clear but I fell much better. If I just lounge around all day, I'm useless for the whole day.

I suppose any type of vigorous exercise would work like cycling, swimming, running, etc. Exercise has really helped me find hope for my worst days.

Hope this helps.

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:42 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


Welcome to our online support group, Juliana.  My dx is cognitive impairment nos.  My neurologist prescribed Exelon patch.  I noticed improvement in my memory and functioning after about two weeks.  It's been nearly five years (in May).   

 

I don't have foggy days.  I am doing much better with this medication and Namenda.  I still am aware that I have memory, concentration and attention problems, but much, much less that before I began the meds.

Have you been tested in an overnight sleep lab for sleep apnea?  Treating sleep apnea with CPAP does help my fatigue and poor attention.  It's important to check out and treat any conditions that can contribute to cognitive dysfunction.

Can you tell us how your diagnosis was made?  I had three evaluations before I accepted my diagnosis.

Keep coming back for suggestions, advice and support.  There is a great group of members here who will support you!

Iris L.  
 


eaglemom
Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 4:28 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2775


Welcome, so glad you've found the forums.  I know you'll find tons of information here.

 

As for your describing "foggy days" that is exactly how my DH describes it.  He was diagnosed at 54.  Is no longer working and on disability.  As for the "foggy" I find it usually happens when he is either concentrating on something very hard, way too much stimulation (like in a restaurant - noise, people, music, loud speaker, etc) or he is simply over tired.  I can just look at him and see the look coming on.  He says he feels it.  As for how we handle it - obviously it depends on the situation but I get him away from all of it.  I've found aromatherapy helps and very calm soothing music.  

 

Welcome again and thats how we hand the fog.

 
eagle

Juliana EOAZ
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:28 AM
Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 13


The first test I had done was the 6 hour Neuro test which showed an extreme loss of short term memory. Next an MRI, EEG times 2, Many many blood tests to rule out other causes. Finally a Lumbar Puncture which (along with history of mental lapses) presented the Diagnosis.
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 8:36 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


Hi, Juliana.  Are you on any medication?  Exelon patch and Namenda have helped me a great deal.  I posted earlier that I don't have foggy days.  I don't now, but I did--many, many foggy days.  The usual antidepressants were of no help.   

 

Look into medication, and follow Best Practices.   

 

 

Read Myriam's post on exercise. 

http://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=posts&t=2147505716 


Iris L. 


BBobAZ
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014 4:49 PM
Joined: 6/5/2013
Posts: 22


Julianna, to answer your specific question about intermittent "foggy days" and not pry into your specifics or give general advice, I will simply concur that foggy days do occur, usually with no warning, often in the middle of exceptionally good periods.

 

No long term medications, supplements, dietary, exercise or lifestyle changes have had any effect on these days (thankfully few) for me.  I do find that if I go to bed early and sleep 12-14 hours (!) when they occur, I am usually fine the next day.

 

Hang in there, try not to get frustrated, even if you just have to wait them out.

 

 

 

 


Myriam
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014 6:04 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Me, too, Juliana. I'm beginning to have 3 or 4 "foggy" days a month. It's a little disconcerting when it happens. For me, it very much feels like I've had one or two shots of scotch.
TheoT
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 1:25 PM
Joined: 4/7/2014
Posts: 10


I know that I have foggy days. Unfortunately I just can't put a handle on them. I just look at was is going on today and recognize that I'm in an unfamiliar place.
wwkayaker
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 2:24 PM
Joined: 3/4/2014
Posts: 32


Hello Juliana:

 Well it seems that for many of us foggy days are part of the picture of Az.  I myself find it difficult to overcome this problem. I would suggest that for some depression may play a part and meds for it may help.  I find exercise helpful and as the weather is improving I hope to get out more with my golden retriever on long walks through the woods.  What is surprising for me is I can have a great day on a Tuesday and for no apparent reason a lousy day the next.  I too had to leave my profession because of symptom's related to memory loss and this was a very difficult time for me.  I have learned to deal with not working mostly but still miss the human contact on a daily basis.  


Valleydachs
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:37 PM
Joined: 4/30/2014
Posts: 3


Juiliana, I cannot believe how much of what you wrote is exactly what I'm going through!  I have these exact questions.  Do I just say "go with the flow" or can I fight this thing. 

 

I'm off to read more of the comments on your post.  I am 52 and just one the start of this roller coaster ride.


Valleydachs
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:47 PM
Joined: 4/30/2014
Posts: 3


Myriam wrote:
it very much feels like I've had one or two shots of scotch. 

EXACTLY!  I feel like I have a big buzz on 24/7.  Because my ears also ring and buzz all day, every day, I feel foggy ALL THE TIME. 

 

It's NOT nice.



Juliana EOAZ
Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:41 PM
Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 13


Thank you ALL.

It is awseome to have a connection to fellow sufferer's of EOAD. I plan to post again about another symptom that I have and try to link to other's with the same.

Juliana EOAZ

 


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mit86
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 2:42 PM
Joined: 5/9/2014
Posts: 2


I am not sure where to turn for my problems. I am 28 and I have had a memory problem ever since I was a little kid. As an adult I have started to take note of many cognitive impairment situations here are just a couple 



 

Up until now I have dismissed it as just bad habits but I am really concerned

because of the patterns. Everyone around me has noticed that I don't pay

attention to detail. Call me Space Cadet or clueless, or mindless

 

I miss things like a person having a cast on his foot

I am always forgetting conversations

I don't read through things thoroughly so I miss details

I am always misplacing things

I have terrible direction sense. And I find it hard to focus on multiple things 

while driving

I have been told by bosses that I lack attention and time management skills

 

I would really like to get to the bottom of this. Any help would be greatly

appreciated. 

 

God Bless 


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 4:25 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


mit86 wrote:

  And I find it hard to focus on multiple things  

while driving 

I have been told by bosses that I lack attention and time management skills

 


welcome, mit.  Many  conditions can cause what you are describing.  If you are texting while driving, stop immediately!  Everyone's attentions should be strictly on the road while driving.

It is unlikely at your age that you have dementia.  If you review the 10 Warning Signs of Dementia, you will get an idea of what signs are indicative of dementia.
 

http://alz.org/alzheimers_disease_know_the_10_signs.asp

You need a thorough medical evaluation to search for causes such as vitamin deficiencies, hormonal disorders, and the like. 
 

 

Also, neurocognitive testing may help you.  You might discover that you have adult attention deficit disorder, or something similar.  This is a diagnosis that comes after extensive testing and review of school and employment history.

If there is a history of use of recreational substances, let the examiners know this.  These subtances can cause changes in cognition.
 

Write down your observances, and try to get objective input from someone who knows you well.  Then you can take all this information to the best examiner you can find.  Find someone who regularly examines young adults for neurocognitive issues that you are having.  

Best wishes with your search.  Be persistent.  There is hope for you.  Feel free to give us an update and to ask more questions.

Iris L.  
 


alz+
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 1:09 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Foggy Days:

They scare the heck out of me! I wake up and can not figure out how to boil water. Not kidding. It will take me 30 minutes to figure out how to make coffee which involves boil water, put paper filter in cone, grind beans, add beans TO PAPER CONE and pour in boiling water. On fogged days I go back and forth from sink with a pan, too big a pan, too small, empty pan on stove, fill pan, put whole beans in cone, remove beans, spill beans, try to find paper cone, add hot water before grinding/adding beans, and on and on! Yikes. I think ok, nursing home next stop, it's over, will never read another book etc.

Next day, clear as a bell. I get slower about 2pm most days so do most stuff in mornings.

I came to realize the FOG meant my brain was telling me "slow down, I need time to relax, I am going to build some new pathways, give me the space to figure this out." Sitting quietly, lying down daydreaming is probably medicinal.

Being mindful my brain is simply processing INCOMING information slower I realize people chatting around me, questioning me, and lots of artificial noise takes up a lot of my bandwidth, so to speak. No TV in other room, car radios while riding in car. Over stimulation of slower processing shuts me down.

Lack of good sleep, no sun, lack of fun etc drain me.

Believing my body is telling me what it needs, if I am tired I respect it. I might walk to corner and back but don't force myself to exercise. I allow myself to enjoy a slow state as much as possible. I like solitude, a great foggy day was to swim in a pool by myself. I watch birds at feeders out my window. I listen to coffee house on XM and day dream. When possible I use medical grade cannabis and day dream, doodle in journal. Going to local thrift shop I browse for an hour or more, sometimes help put books on shelf there or sort socks. I nap if I need it. I take a B12 sublingual liquid which always perks me up. I bought an InfraRed Sauna and swear by it for any one living in winter climate.

On weepy days I cry. Prefer to cry alone. If I am weepy in public and people ask how I am doing (very small town, everyone knows everyone) I say "Weepy Day" and sometimes get extra cookies at bakery for that. My husband massages me, full body massage, puts me to sleep and I wake up full of ideas.

My sense is when they first started happening and I panicked the cortisol makes everything worse! so I try my best to relax and rest.

The smell of a horse helps. Also noticed when I injured my ankle and took an Advil I seemed normal for some hours. Who knows.

Hope to read about your journey. There will be many wonderful experiences.


Juliana EOAZ
Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:15 AM
Joined: 3/29/2014
Posts: 13


Alz+  Thank you for the ManY ideas you shared  having  found to be helpful in riding out the "foggy days". For me they often comes as a sort of "Reality Check" ...YES I do have EOAD after days of 'near normalcy' (now that I am removed from the fast paced job I held).
kwc
Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 5:18 PM
Joined: 5/22/2014
Posts: 37


I found out I have Alzheimer's just before this past Christmas 2013   I have been thinks of while in places like WalMart I feel  like i'm in a cloud. I see here fog and it seems to fit better. I was wondering if it was just me or was it my imagination. I see that it isn't.  I am early on still can do a lot of things. I find I get really stressed when traveling through cities. I really get stressed it this part of it. I used to be really good driving through various cities now I'm like oh no ones comming up. I even use my GPS an it tells me to move over even  but still get all knotted up inside.
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:50 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


Welcome to our online support group, kwc.  I'm sorry you have to be here, but you have found the right place for support and learning about your new life.

Please feel free to start a new thread to introduce yourself.  You can click on the green "Add Topic" tab on the main Younger Onset AD page.  Can you tell us what led up to your diagnosis?  
 

 

What we call Best Practices help us function better and aim to prolong the early stages.  These include: 

 

--taking medication as prescribed 

 

--exercising vigorously to tolerance 

 

--eating the Mediterranean diet, including anti-oxidants and omega-3 fats 

 

--continuing to stimulate our brains 

 

--continuing to socialize. 

 

We also get good sleep, avoid stress, and some use additional therapies such as aromatherapy.
 

Please tell us how your treatment plan is going. 

 

Iris L. 


Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 8:08 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Hi KWC,

Welcome to our boards.

 

We're so glad you found us.

 

Have you contacted your local Aliz. Assoc. chapter yet? If not, do call the help line: 1-800-272-3900 and ask for the #. Call during normal business hours. Ask what they can do for you? Ask if there are any Early Stage support groups in your area? Some chapters have montly support meetings for us.

 

Do read everything you can. Read, read and read some more.

 

In my opinion, the very best beginning is  Living Your Best in Early-Stage Alzheimer's by Lisa Snyder. 

 

Go to alz.org and keep clicking on links. Not too much at a time because we can only take is so much at a sitting.

 

If you were given a neuro-psych exam were you given the results? If not, ask. What you did best in are your strengths. Use these to cope with everyday living. What were you weaknesses? Recognize that these are problem areas. How can you cope?

Do stay with us.


alz+
Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:02 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Looking for a post on feeling incapacitated by lethargy. Most of the above posts are close. I have days when I am up and at 'em, then a string of days where I have to FORCE myself - sometimes over hours - to get out of bed and do something.

 

Once in awhile my dog forces me up to go for a walk. If I go as far as I feel I can and then have to walk back it can unstick me and I feel "free". Swimming last winter in local pool was wonderful - yet it often took everything I had mentally to force myself to go, change into suit, and get in water. Once in water, I did not want to hassle getting out so I would swim a long time.

 

Is this lethargy part of illness? How much of depleted energy is from the buried stress of knowing what is to come?

 

I had some MM (Medical Marijuana) last year that must have been a sativa strain and it got me out of bed and cleaning happily but never found that strain again. I am now juicing the fresh leaves and for weeks my physical energy came back.Enough for me to participate in house purge garage sale. Now I am frozen again. Will try once more this evening to walk dog.

 

The mental fog (i.e. staring at washing machine in wonder for 20 minutes) is less but I dislike the restraint of this utter fatigue.

 

Looking for help, advice, information. I wonder if the illness drains adrenal glands? Thyroid function tests normal but my understanding is those tests are next to useless. I want to move again1

 

love and courage


TruthfulKindness
Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:16 PM
Joined: 7/26/2012
Posts: 9


By The Way, has anyone tried www.dementiamentors.com? We dementia patients started it in order to get other formats (besides text) to support each other.  It has video and also we get together weekly for group video chat.  My first will be this week and I am looking forward to it.  -- Truthful L. Kindness
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:21 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


alz+ wrote:

Looking for a post on feeling incapacitated by lethargy.  

 

Is this lethargy part of illness?  

 

 

 

Yes, I believe so.  Lethargy is part of illness.  But which illness?  I have several. 

 

Years ago, energy was described as being on a roller coaster.  When we feel good, we exert ourselves.  Then we feel bad, and stop exerting ourselves.  We fall into a pit.  Then we feel stronger, and exert ourselves again. 

 

We can't handle too much exertion. 

 

I've been sleeping poorly--only ~3 hours/night.  This is not good for energy. 

 

 

Iris L. 


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 7:11 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist to rule Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD. Sometimes the symptoms are not noticed during childhood or the adolescent years and adults are also being diagnosed with these disorders. 

 

There are therapist, psychiatrists and psychologist who specialize in treating ADD or ADHD and medications that help increase focus and concentration. Daniel G. Amen has several books on ADD and ADHD and groundbreaking research. 

Don't allow yourself to feel bad about your boss's remarks. Whether it's an attention deficit or a memory issue that does not make you any less of a person and neither have anything to do with intellect. There are many professionals and individuals from all walks of life who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD who successfully manage their symptoms and excel in their chosen fields.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

 


llee08032
Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:55 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Juliana,

 

So sorry to hear about your diagnosis! It is only 5 months so don't expect too much of yourself so soon. Take care of yourself in getting the best treatment but please be kind and gentle to yourself along the way! Rest when you need to and try to do some of those things that maybe you always wanted to do but put off for another time. Make this time for you! Allow yourself to be selfish for once.


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:03 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


llee08032 wrote:

I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist to rule Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD. Sometimes the symptoms are not noticed during childhood or the adolescent years and adults are also being diagnosed with these disorders. 

 


Ilee, I've been to highly credentialed psychiatrists and psychologists over time periods of several years.  My impression is that they are CLUELESS in this area.
 

As far as rest and gentleness, these were missing from my treatment plan.  I finally broke myself away from the clutches of these professionals and I'm much better.

Iris L.
 


llee08032
Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014 7:35 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Iris,


I agree as far as dementia goes some psychiatrist can maybe at best help with the depression. I got a referral for a psychiatrist from neurologist and after seeing him a few times I stopped going and now get PCP to prescribe depression meds. 



Upon my first visit I found out he was a forensic psychiatrist who mainly prescribed Suboxin for opiate addiction! He mostly asked about my past and childhood and the only memory testing he conducted was serial 7's. I did not do well with serial 7's but did okay with memory of significant past events. He was insensitive and disagreed that I have problems with my memory. It seemed that he chalked up my memory issues to stress at the time over me selling my home and divorce.



Mit86


I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist to rule Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD. Sometimes the symptoms are not noticed during childhood or the adolescent years and adults are also being diagnosed with these disorders. 

 

There are therapist, psychiatrists and psychologist who specialize in treating ADD or ADHD and medications that help increase focus and concentration.

make sure you see someone who specializes in treating attention deficit disorders.


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014 11:11 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18520


I admit I may be jaded on the subject of psychiatrists and psychologists, because my experience has been so negative with all of them. I could write a book!   

 

One psychiatrist, who was also a forensic psychiatrist, perfomed the six hour neurocognitive testing in 1989.  He said my scores were too low for me to be a doctor, so I must have been faking.  My scores were consistent with my scores in 2003 and 2008.  I'm not faking. 

 

The distinction between ADD and dementia should be apparent after extensive neurocognitive testing, done by a qualified neuropsychologist.   

 

I have no qualms with the two neuropsychologists who tested me in 2003 and 2008.  They were competent. 

 

Iris L.