Frustrated with word finding

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Today is one of those days I am sure a seizure is going to hit me hard any day now if it isnt hitting me in my sleep :( I can not remember the name of the things for the life of me today. I can describe them to you they are on the tip of my tongue but there is no way my brain is letting the word come out. However this is my reality it is just is worse today that other days. I was talking to another mom today and had it happen three times in one conversation and then became very emotional and just wanted to cry does anyone ever feel this way??? I try to stay in denial to this day I stil tell myself it is my imagination, I have been living with Epilepsy diagnosed for 9 years and undiagnosed for much longer.
 

epileric

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I have the same thing happen to me, it's only recently that I've been getting frustrated with myself because I've been forgetting more words than usual & very simple ones.

It does bother me but I usually deal with it by making a joke out of it. Only in front of my close friends to I let them see how frustrated I am sometimes.
 
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Thank you for replying it is nice sometimes to know that you are not alone!! I could probably write a book to this group right now asking if some of the the things I feel are normal, if others suffer the way I do ect... but I think for now I wil continue to feel my way around. We moved to the area and I had a wonderful and paitent neurologist and my new neurologist is Mr. Rush ... Rush... he has now given me three options 1)suffer with meds that will never work for me 2) VNS, 3) Temporal Lobe Surgery. Thankfully my husband has received orders for a Permanent Change of Station move to Tampa the search is on for a new doctor!!!!!!
 

huskymom

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Wow! I am glad that you will be able to find a new doctor! I have days where the smallest of words is a problem. I will be talking and all of a sudden, I lose the words. I can describe what I am trying to say, but for the life of me it won't come out :) It is great that I work with fantastic people because they will help me figure out what I want to say. I really gets frustrating though!!
 

Cint

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me three options 1)suffer with meds that will never work for me 2) VNS, 3) Temporal Lobe Surgery.
I've been there and done all three of them and none of them completely worked for me. I had a left temporal lobectomy, making the word finding more difficult, have trouble remembering events, not to mention deep depression on top of it. I was only seizure free for 14 months and they came back worse than before surgery. I wish I never had the surgery done in the first place!! I have the VNS now and it has helped, but it hasn't completely stopped the seizures. It is not a cure all.
 

C0urt

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I am bad about it, I just use definitions or similar words when i cant find the word i need. it happens more when i talk than when i type.
 

valeriedl

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I do this all the time. Like you said, I can describe what ever it is but I can't think for the life of me I can't think of the actual work.

I was trying to think of the word car. I was trying to tell the person it was the thing that is parked in the garage, but then I couldn't even think of the word garage. After a little playing a guessing game we figured it out.

I'll even put the wrong word in place of the word that I'm looking for. I'll be talking about my cats and call them dogs.
 
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does this word find thing really have to do with seizures? i mean...do the neurologists believe it? is there a specfic place in the brain that is affected for this to happen??
 

Cint

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Some info on Epilepsy and memory, word finding, etc. from www.epilepsy.com

Problems of attention and encoding

Memory disturbance often can be traced to a problem with some other function. For example, attention is commonly affected in people with epilepsy. Epilepsy can reduce your attentional speed or rate of information processing. Years of research also have shown that many forms of epilepsy are associated with impairments in sustaining attention over time. Other studies have demonstrated a reduction in attention span, defined as the amount of information you can process at any given moment. All of these deficits ultimately affect your ability to encode information into some form of memory.

Many call this the "information age." Computers and other forms of media have given us access to levels of information that were never dreamed of before. Unfortunately, the amount of available information can be overwhelming to many. People with conditions such as epilepsy have problems processing information when it is presented at a rapid rate or over extended periods. You may find yourself unable to follow the dialogue when actors in movies or plays are speaking. You may miss out on key elements when people quickly give you directions, addresses, or phone numbers. If you are a student, you may have trouble keeping up with lectures. You may "space out" when required to sit and listen to something that lasts for a long time.

In many cases, people with epilepsy are able to process the required information, but not at the rate at which it is presented. If your processing speed is reduced, you can miss out on critical facts. When faced with a message that has three major points, you might fully absorb numbers one and two but fail to process number three. In many cases, you cannot succeed with just two out of three. In other situations, you may fail to absorb information because you can't keep focused over time. Some people have their attention "burn out" on them. Others tend to be very distractible and are prone to shifting their attention to details other than the topic at hand. Some can attend only to a very specific amount of information before becoming overwhelmed. To use an analogy, the funnel they use to obtain information is narrower than the one that others use.

The person in each of these examples will report a failure of memory. But what might appear to be a difficulty with remembering is actually the result of never getting the information in the first place-not only details that they intend to remember, but also background information that may be needed in certain situations. At times, seemingly irrelevant information might become critical. For example, someone may ask you, "Did you meet the guy with the blue shirt?" You might remember meeting a man, but because your ability to focus on incidental details is restricted, you may be unable to remember anything about his clothing. Problems with attention cause many people with epilepsy to have difficulty absorbing information in general. If you are unable to recall and retain information, it may be because you have this kind of problem with memory encoding. You cannot remember what you never got to begin with.

Problems of storage

Unfortunately, even if you successfully encode a bit of information, you might not be guaranteed to remember it because difficulties with storage also may affect your memory if you have epilepsy. Research has shown that people with epilepsy are prone to forget things more quickly than others. In some situations, it may seem that information "goes in one ear and out the other." This rapid rate of forgetting is thought to be the result of impairment in the ability to store or consolidate new information. This storage problem is ultimately linked to a defect in the "hardware" required for normal memory functioning. Difficulty with this stage of memory processing is no accident; epilepsy directly affects many of the brain structures involved in memory processing.

Problems of retrieval

Sometimes you may know that the information is in there, but you just can't get it out. In this case, it has been encoded properly and it also has been stored adequately. The problem is in gaining immediate access to it. This kind of difficulty in "retrieval" is a common cause of memory failure in people with epilepsy and many other neurological disturbances. Some retrieval problems might result from deficits in speed of access. If you are asked to remember something "on the spot" you may not be able to come up with it, but a few minutes later it comes to you. It is clear that the information was always there, but access to it was delayed. At times, access might become blocked altogether. Some form of distraction, like another piece of similar information, might get in the way of remembering.

Some people have trouble recalling things out of context. For example, you might not remember attending a certain party until you hear more details about it. Then you say, "Oh, you mean that party!" This shows that it is often difficult to retrieve episodes in isolation. Similar things can happen with words. You might not be able to come up with the word until you think about it in another form or meaning. A large part of successful memory functioning involves being able to generate a context for retrieval. Unfortunately, many people with epilepsy have subtle difficulties with problem-solving that might affect the ability to generate these contexts. In some cases, these people can't initiate a plan for remembering. In other cases, they might not be able to see the relationship between various contexts.

Epilepsy has significant effects on retrieval from declarative memory, the kind that we process consciously. You may have difficulty in retrieving episodes or events that happened to you, and also have difficult in retrieving what scientists call "semantic information"-words or facts in general knowledge. Just as problems with encoding are often the result of a problem with attention, this kind of failure in retrieval also may actually be due to a difficulty with attention or can be due to higher-order cognitive deficits in areas such as organization and sequencing. The kind of problems with word retrieval (also called "word finding") that many people with epilepsy report may occur because of memory impairment, or they may occur because of a disturbance in language functions.

The important thing to remember is that what we commonly refer to as a problem with memory often is the result of problems with a number of underlying processes that can be affected by factors associated with epilepsy.
 
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that was very informative....I guess, I thought epilespy only affected the brain during an actual 'episode'.....I did not realize it had an affect on the memory banks of the brain in general.
thanks : )
 

neilB

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Memory or lack of

Hi,

I seem to be having more and more instances of forgeting words or what I was doing 10 minutes ago. Twice today I had to think what day it was and what I brought for lunch! I'm writing it off on my keppra which is new (at least I hope that's what it is). I noticed some posts on this site about vitamin B6 so I went last night and got some so we'll see:pop:

Neil
 

RobinN

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I have difficulty many times lately, so it doesn't just go hand in hand with seizures.
Has supplementing with fish oil every been suggested to you?
 

neilB

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Hi Robin,

I haven't tried fish oil but I got the B6 last night and a multi vit/mineral but I don't think the fish oil would hurt. I may just try eating more fish, since I've grown to like it as an adult (well as I got older can't actually say I'm an adult :roflmao:)
Neil
 

Cint

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I have difficulty many times lately, so it doesn't just go hand in hand with seizures.
What type(s) of difficulty? Short term memory? Long term memory? Word finding? What do you think yours is from?
 

RobinN

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Informational recall.
I actually think that a good amount of mine is due to informational overload. I have found that if I stop "trying" to recall it, go on with my project / conversation / writing... it comes to me later on.

I also find that it is harder for me to stay focused on book reading. I have been doing an extensive amount of "research" for the past 3+ yrs. Skimming, and taking information in quickly, I find that my patience with sitting and reading word for word, rather difficult. It is most likely common for internet surfers. I am working on giving myself enough time to just "read" a book, and hope to see the impatience improve.
 

valeriedl

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I have alot of trouble with long term memory (short term too).

I've found using a pocket calander I'll write down just little things that happened that day. For example- I went to the grocery store, went out to eat at a certain resturant, ran into a person I knew, went to see a movie or anything else like that. Just little things but I can look back and see what happened.

I'll also make sure I write down all the seizures that I have and details about what happened during them so that I can tell the neurogolist when I have my visit.

If it's something important I'll highlight it to make sure it stands out and I'll beable to find it easier when I'm looking for it.

This has helped me alot.
 

Westwind

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Thanks for posting that info Cint.

After being on toxic dilantin levels, my memory was shot. Years of memories I couldn't recall, my IQ dropped 35 points, and all that fun. I spent alot of time reading voraciously, and got my IQ back up, but still have 'memory holes'. Sometimes someone was ask me to remember something and I can't...but maybe 3 or 4 days later I'll remember it. Too late then, but better late than never I guess.

My short term memory and word memory have been deteriorating the past couple years. Drives me nuts not being able to think of a simple word. Or occasionally use the wrong word.

Did this strange thing a couple times this week where I'll spell a word for my daughter (she's 8) and I start out with the second letter of the word. I'll think the first letter, but not speak or write it. Odd.

Always figured it was the meds that caused all this memory stuff, not the seizures. But I also figure that 30+ years of AED's have to have a long-term effect on overall brain function.
 

meesher

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This is one reason we are so lucky to have and use computers. I use a diary section, spending each evening typing up what I remember of the day. Ideally, I re-read the computer entries for the previous day, but I am either totally blank about the info (do not recall doing it---or thinking it), but there it is, in black and white, or living color. Also, I tend to KEEP telling my hub things I think of 7 times a day, but repeat to him the same 7-21 times. Poor man. And he has a short temper, but who wouldn't, dealing with ME? I need to carry post it notes in my jammie pockets of "fabulously" interesting things I want to research, but totally forget. Lovely way to use the education my parents paid and paid and paid for. IQ is the same: it is your ability to learn what the test asks of you, then and there. And you can always re-read the section about which you are being questioned. Not so easy with math: I never could and do not do it. At all.
 

Starfish

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I was in the middle of giving a speech, and I forgot a word, lost my place, and I was just running off the definition of it and people were guessing what it was it was terribly embarrassing. The good thing is that most people find it amusing instead of annoying. I ended up settling for a different word :/ so sad.
 

PFunk

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I'm sorry to hear about that Starfish. It seems like you played if off well and people found the humor in it. :)

My memory and spelling are also crap. I once forgot how to spell the word of. Yup, of. Its two freak'n letters. I kept writing fo.

Oh and my life is full of sticky notes and calendar reminders. Hey, whatever works!
 
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