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Mind problems

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
I am not sure how to phrase this or make sense out of this, but here goes.
I think most people know that for the past 4 years I have been on narcotic pain medications (different types), Nerve medications, Muscle relaxers and gosh knows what else.

I know that my short term memory has decreasingly been getting worse... My wife still believes its part of the Male genetic problem of Selective hearing

I've been decreasing my medications except for Neurontin and Cymbalta. This has 'sort of ' freed me up to having some more wine and other treats... not an abuse though.

About 4 weeks ago, I was in my hot tub, with a nice Vodka and Tonic (second one), no meds that entire day.
My wife was outside on the patio and noticed that I started talking to someone and holding a complete conversation, hand gestures, laughing, etc. This went on for about 10 minutes. Then I just put my head back and relaxed.
When I got out my wife asked me about my conversation.
I had NO idea what she was talking about! Kinda scary.

We have a close good friend who is a doctor and someone I have trusted for many years. His initial comment was to start coming off the Cymbalta and get a neurological test just to make sure there are no other problems.

Well I did that and passed. No problems. Just the normal stuff, short term memory, a degree of depression just dealing with chronic pain for over 30 years, recent retirement, etc... but nothing major.

That doctor did suggest that the alcohol and the hot tub, when all my blood vessels get dilated more, could have contributed to the problem. His feeling is that even while the medication levels have dropped and none were taken for atleast 18 hours prior, that all of that still is in my system and adding everything up, the haliciation might have happend. But he wasnt sure....

So now, I just want to keep an eye on things... One action to help my short term memory. . Have someone pick three words, do not write them down, but daily have someone ask you what those words were. Also to take one of those words and spell them backward.... Heck I have enough trouble just spelling.

Anyhow, thats it
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • Hi- I know that when I was on Flexeril - I would have perfectly sane conversations and my wife would ask me what happened and I could not remember a single word. Now this was kind of dangerous with work and I got my sweetheart involved in keeping notes for me, because I needed to be on it for a short time.

    Now for the worst occasion, I had an hour long conversation with my mother and as you guys know, we are all still about 12 or 13 years old, right!? Well - I have no clue of what she said or what it was about, but answered all of her questions with complete ability, except I could not remember a single word. She disowned me for a couple years. LOL, it was not funny at the time.

    I know from the drug monographs that some of this gets stored in our fat, so having it show up later, like in a hot-tube makes some sense to me.

    Scary though.

    Been on the meds for about 4 years now and am close to 50. So - I'll keep up with the video games and keep the brain working!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    In fact, now that I am retired and sitting around, I need stimulus.
    I have been on the computer looking for a Poker game so I can practice on that. Everything I've seen is online poker with some group, I just want plain ole poker.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I haven't hallucinated like you guys have or forgotten conversations, but sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing dreams from reality. I'll ask someone about something they did and they don't know what I'm talking about. Then I realize I had dreamed it.

    One time, I believed something to be reality for two years before I found out I'd dreamed it.

    Strange, strange...

    PapaRon, maybe you should get yourself a Nintendo DS. I'm totally addicted to mine.

  • i have found that alcoholic beverages take away my memory more than anything else. i'm not on narcotics but just a few drinks puts my memory to sleep. the next morning i cant remember what happened the night before...on some occasions that's a good thing... ;)
  • Are you guys supposed to be drinking ANY alcohol while taking prescription drugs?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Per many of my doctors, a glass of wine would be ok, assuming you had not taken any narcotics that day.
    And yes, the same should apply to other medications such as Nerve meds, Muscle relaxers, etc.
    Still the rule of the road is NO alcohol with medications that indicate that alcohol should not be used with xyz medication.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Moderation is always the key.
    Before working for IBM and for many part time jobs in between, I was in the wine industry. I organized a few trips to France for wine futures and ran dozens of wine tastings per year. For the past 20 odd years, I have run at least 3 wine tastings a year, for the past 10, I ran a wine tasting at one of the better wine shops in our area and recently I've coordinated wine dinners in our association.
    During all that time, I had always had to limit the wine intake, not so much because of the medications I might have been on, but to make sure my mind, my palate was perfectly clear so that I could identify and describe all the finer parts of a wine
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron,

    I have heard that about the hot tube before and if I remember(lol) correctly my doctor warned me about the time spent in one for that reason. The only thing I am really bad with lately is doing repetitive task or not staying on task. Like today stopped for gas and apparently swiped card at pump. Went inside to pay for the gas and get a soda, to find out i paid at pump. I still can't remember paying for that gas although she printed reciept and it is my card number. Now mind you i had a million things on my mind. So some of that could be just plan old stress. You would think being retired wouldn't have stress but right now you are in the transition phase still and I think you do have stress as to what to do with your time. Before you had to do xyz by xyz time. Now the day is yours and that is something to get used to. You may not think you had a routine, as you worked from home, but i am sure you did. We are creatures of habit and do things in a structured manor, albeit everyone is different it is still there. Now yours is changing and you need to find the routine of the retired Ron. Hope that made since, it worked in my mind...jk
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Tam, I am just beginning to find this out ... I've understood what stress can do to your mind, but honestly, I never thought that retirement would bring on some stress.

    At first it was just the whole concept of going full speed (well as fast as us spineys can go) to an abrupt stop!... That I have been able to handle (at least I think I have) But what is tough, is doing nothing! I enjoyed the summer not having to work, but I find that NOT doing something becomes stressful.
    And the more I dont do something, the more I find myself not wanting to do something. This I have to change and have already started to.

    Maybe all of this comes into play with some of the problems I described up front here.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have had weird issues when I'm resting in my chair or bed I will be having a conversation in my mind that may or may not go with what is going on in our house with my wife and daughter. I will open my eyes and start to add to the conversation, not knowing if its all in my mind of if its a realavent topic I want to disucuss.

    I have never had any issues once I'm fully awake, I stay focused, unless I'm in substantial pain or I'm juggling too many things in my head. I hate the fact that I dont see me even reducing the meds I need to function in the near or far furture and do wonder if time will change thier effects on me? I havent had a day without pain meds in a year and a half................we just have to do what seems to allow us to cope and live a somewhat normal life.
  • Is vodka a wine??? And with morphine??? You really think that is safe???
    I know if my tummy wasn't bad I'd probly have A drink,but not with my meds in my system. And I wouldn't trade taking meds for a drink. that might have something to do with that memory problem. Hmmm, you be careful with that!
  • Ron,
    My mind problems have improved after getting off of Lyrica. I still have problems with concentration and short term memory lapses. Concentration is the worst. I have a difficult time reading because I can't concentrate enough to "get it". I have a hard time reading posts usually. I've all but given up on chat at this point, simply because I cannot keep up even if there's just a few people logged in. By the time I figure it out the conversation has moved on to something else.
  • HollieSterling38 said:
    Is vodka a wine??? And with morphine??? You really think that is safe???
    I know if my tummy wasn't bad I'd probly have A drink,but not with my meds in my system. And I wouldn't trade taking meds for a drink. that might have something to do with that memory problem. Hmmm, you be careful with that!

    Vodka is not a wine. I don't see where Ron mentioned anything about drinking it while taking morphine (maybe I missed something cuz I'm tired) and no, it's not safe or recommended that any alcoholic beverage be consumed while taking CERTAIN medications. Each medication is different and anyone taking meds should check to see if alcohol can be consumed while taking that medication/


    That would be a bit unsettling to find about the conversation you had by yourself. Next time just claim you were talking to a ghost or something like that. :)

    A lot of the medications we take, are metabolized in the liver. So adding the stress of alcohol to the process isn't quite the recommended practice.

  • But it could still be in his system. That's all I'm saying.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Alcohol does not stay in your system that long. Its only after long time abuse may it show some elevation in liver functions test.
    On the other hand, Marijuana usage stays in your system for over 40 days. I know that because during part of my time with IBM as a manager, we did drug screening and it was proven just how long MJ does stay in your system
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • was talking about meds in your system
    And mj only stays in your system 24 days I know cuz I'm a smoker.
    But not a concern for me! I don't work!

  • Holly - this does not make sense. MJ does last in your system, enough to be found in the body, 4 weeks after.

    Ron, Lyrica, I just started it and have had to rely on a digital voice recorder for taking notes for myself. This is new and the only med that has been added to my list. Concentration is noticed as a problem. It takes more effort to remain on task, is what I would say? Does that make sense?

  • This truly bothers me for your sake. IF you are taking Morphine and drinking anything it could cause you bad problems even death. My pain meds clearly state on the bottle not to drink alcohol while taking this medication.
    But you are an intelligent man and I am sure you would never jepordise your health just for the sake of having a drink.
    I am sure it must be other meds you are on causing this problem.

    Good luck my friend...I am sure you will get this sorted out soon.
    Patsy W
  • Pat - re-read his post, he was not using meds and drinking, that was a post that Hollie added. Not a fair comment!

  • I know this was a worrisome experience for you and I'm glad nothing serious is going on. Heck, some days I forget whole conversations or call my dog by my daughter's name. I guess it's all the meds. Anyway, I know responsible patients who will have a drink from time to time, and if they do they won't take any meds that day or skip a dose until the alcohol gone out of the system.
  • Hi C45,

    Yes, you are correct.

    I have been noticing an increase throughout the boards lately, where people are NOT taking the time to thoroughly read a new topic or post. This is resulting in a lot of flippant replies to the poster, which is a shame.

    Please... when a member takes the time to start a new topic, let's be respectful and read the post in it's entirety. Start from the beginning of the new topic and work your way down to the last post. You may want to do this several times, in order to get the full meaning of what the poster is sharing with us and accurate information.

    Flippant replies are causing a lot of frustration for those of us who read posts in their entirety. When I see false information posted, due to not reading an entire thread, it is becoming very annoying. This also causes the poster a lot of unneeded stress in having to repeat themselves.

    Again, please take the time to carefully read through posts. There is no need to rush, as you will miss pertinent information and sometimes add false information.

  • David-k
    Ron-hope u discuss what happened with your dr and things are well.

  • You were drinkin vodka which is not wine.
    Is why I asked!
    Hope you're doing alrite!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I've been dealing with my condition for over 35 years now and I am fully aware of what I can do and what I can not do.
    That is just one of the reasons I have such a trust and confidence in my Pain Mgt doctor. She understands me , she knows what I do and what I do not do.

    - First, I have never taken Morphine
    - If I have any drink (even though vodka is not wine) its on a day that I have no medications
    - This is done seldom and ONLY after I have conferred with my doctors about it.
    - My doctors have totally forbidden any usage of marijuna. That they believe would be some of the first steps down the tube. But I hold no grudges to you for using that and do not attempt to say you are wrong
    - I have spent years studying and researching what can and can not be done. That includes all the exercises, food,beverages, etc... So please do not pretend you know what I do or what I dont do
    - I am concerned about the blackout, but this is something that has been discussed with my doctors and there is nothing to worry about. It was more of any environmental thing (Hot tub usage)

    The purpose of this thread was to open up some discussions regarding blackouts or forgetting or whatever.... IT was NOT, let me REPEAT a thread to tell me what I have done or not done. Hollie, if you have every lived a tenth of what I have lived, then perhaps I would listen to you.

    I normally will not get this angry but between your posts and your messages, you have set me over the edge. People that know me here, know that that does not happen.... so give yourself a star, you did it
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Dear Moderators/Authorities,

    Would it be possible to edit the posts from Hollie on this thread?

    I don't believe her posts are of any value to this topic and it would be unfortunate to close yet another thread... due to this ignorant behavior.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Dear Ron,

    What you have posted about your mind problems, is something I can also relate to. Like you, I have had a difficult time with short-term memory. I first started to notice this in April and that is when the signs of depression also kicked in with me. I made an appointment to see my counselor and she has been an enormous help to me. She started me on a low dose of Lexapro and it took away the early signs of depression. The memory problems, however, are still full force and I know this is a result of three medications I take: Oxycontin, Percocet and Lyrica.

    I have never had memory problems prior to my fall and the introduction of taking high doses of narcotic pain relievers, has been a brand new world for me and my body. You, on the other hand, have been dealing with this for so many years. My dear, dear friend... you just wouldn't be human if these mind problems didn't get to you at times. I'm doing my best to just "go with it" while I take these medications, but when this side-effect interferes with my conversations... having to pause to reach for words... forgetting what I was talking about mid-sentence... and having it affect my writing abilities... it's a real drag.

    Your ideas of online poker and the flash cards are great. I used to play backgammon and euchre online... and I might just try these when I have my good sitting days. Until that time, I have found crossword puzzles and trivia games make me feel like I haven't lost my mind. Sometimes I can't answer as quickly as I "normally" do, but at least I do recall the answers. Have you ever been stymied by looking at an actor on TV or in a movie and knowing their name... but you just can't remember it? Same with listening to the radio... I struggle to remember the name of a band or a lead singer. I have that happen a lot. As long as the person can be looked up online by the television show or movie they are in... I can satisfy that temporary mind block.

    My counselor told me something a few months ago, which has helped my mourning process of missing my full-time professional job and having until next June to physically heal. She told me that I have a new full-time job during the day. My new job is for me to focus on taking care of "myself", so I will heal properly both physically and mentally. What a brilliant suggestion she gave me. Each day I do work diligently on my physical healing and I do the same for myself on the emotional level. I know I will have set-backs and I'll deal with those times when they come. There is one area I need to work on... and I'm still having a really hard time diving into it. That one is for me to complain, out loud, when I'm having a bad pain day or feeling blue. It sounds so easy to do, right? But for me, it's very uncomfortable to do that. In my mind... I have always thought complaining gets me nowhere. So, I keep my complaints to myself. I am learning that this is not healthy for me, particularly in relationships. I need to share myself, just as others do with me.

    I want you to know that you are not alone with these struggles and I really do empathize with you.

    Always keep in mind that you are an intelligent and functioning man, who continually gives of himself to help others in need. You make the world a better place, Ron.

    Tammy :)

    P.S. If my message doesn't flow very well, it's because my last Lyrica dose is starting to set in.

  • It is possible to edit the comments, but it would then make everyone's replies seem very strange. I think people are smart enough to see things for what they are and move on from the stupidity.

    This is just my opinion though.

  • Never ment to upset u bout it, sorry I was wrong.
    But to give you some advise that maybe you can take to heart.
    Don't think I'm stupid please!
    About six years ago my dad had a massive avm, which I know u haven't but he's recovered and I know that alztimer( excuse spelling)
    Runs rampit in my family and he has weird things still go on and my family is concerned of this being early signs of it, he's only 63. Something to look into.
    Hope you aren't still doing this.
    Hope you are well.
    Sorry if my comments upset you guys. But just my opinion.
    Ron, maybe it was just as your dr said, the heat and all doing this.
    Maybe turnin temp down just a bit. What was his advise to do?
    Take care!

  • Thanks for the reminder. I did re-read his post and you are correct. Sorry I got off track. That is easily done when you read other comments and I am sure Ron understands this.
    I also know Ron would never japrodise(sp?) his health by having a drink on top of meds.
    I stand corrected. So Sorry Ron.
    Patsy W
  • Generally, if I am initiating a thread, or commenting in one, and someone makes a remark to me that I decide to ignore, I will not address it. I think the majority of those here feel that some remarks are just not worth addressing. By the same token, if I make a remark that is not addressed, I assume I've made a statement that others do not feel merits a response/reply or (God forbid) that I've insulted someone, or said something so ignorant... In that case, I will not keep bringing it up in the hopes someone will say something, ANYTHING, about it.

    Just throwing that out there...
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