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Old 05-19-2021, 06:12 AM #51
glenntaj glenntaj is offline
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Default It's certainly true--

--that one of the more common side effects of gabapentin is trouble with memory, and overall slowing of neural function (which, as an antiepileptic, is why it is often used for neuropathy in the first place; it helps to calm runaway or inappropriate neural signaling out of proportion to actual stimuli).

And that side effect may be hard to distinguish from memory issues that existed before it was taken, and may exacerbate them.

If you do think about weaning off gabapentin, though, go very, VERY slowly. Often, dropping it 100mg/week is cited, to give the body time to adjust the up-regulatory effects that using these medications tend to produce, and to prevent rebound neural pain or even the possibility of seizures (the body tends to try to increase neural signaling in response to the medication's dampening effect, so removing it all at once can lead to runaway signaling).
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:48 PM #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenntaj View Post
--that one of the more common side effects of gabapentin is trouble with memory, and overall slowing of neural function (which, as an antiepileptic, is why it is often used for neuropathy in the first place; it helps to calm runaway or inappropriate neural signaling out of proportion to actual stimuli).

And that side effect may be hard to distinguish from memory issues that existed before it was taken, and may exacerbate them.

If you do think about weaning off gabapentin, though, go very, VERY slowly. Often, dropping it 100mg/week is cited, to give the body time to adjust the up-regulatory effects that using these medications tend to produce, and to prevent rebound neural pain or even the possibility of seizures (the body tends to try to increase neural signaling in response to the medication's dampening effect, so removing it all at once can lead to runaway signaling).
Really? Memory issues is a more common side effect of gabapentin? I heard on a site or two that it was more rare...but it'd explain a bit, honestly. Makes the idea of weaning off of it all the more enticing. Of course, we probably want to wait for her to be absolutely certain before we start weaning off. Just to be safe, at least. Or...maybe we could talk to her doctor eventually, and if we go for weaning off, we'll know if she's ready or not by her 2nd or 3rd week of it, and then we can slowly increase it back up if she isn't. Either way, hearing that memory problems is a more common side effect is kind of relieving. Yet, I know it'd be irresponsible to bet that all of my mom's memory issues are now just linked to this medicine that she's only been on for a little over 3 months. Either way, we'll both know for sure when we can finally get her off of it. Mom has said she has a hard time seeing a future where she's not on gabapentin. Given how well she's been recovering, I doubt that she won't be ready to start weaning off of it by next year at least.

I'm pretty certain her memory problems existed before she started taking it, so it probably wouldn't be farfetched to say that they probably are being exacerbated now. But even with that, she has been recovering well enough for me to notice. So that's kind of good news!

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Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
Hey SoulfulYin,

Thanks for the update. Thanks for sharing.

In terms of your mum's B vitamin regimen I think Benfotiamine ( B1) with a meal and B12 with water and then a B complex at another time of the day with water would work well.

I chose personally never to take Gabapentin or anything similar so can't comment on its side effects or its efficacy.

Your mum's memory loss is a concern. I wonder if this will help ...

1. Candle
2. Swan
3. Breasts
4. Nose
5. Hook
6.Golf Club
7. Cliff
8. Shapely woman
9. Microphone
10.Laurel and Hardy

You might think I've lost it, and you wouldn't be the first person, but these are memory pegs. We can remember a lot more if use visualization and the idea is that we link anything we need to remember to our memory pegs. So 1 is the shape of a candle, 2 is the shape of a swan. These are easy to recall memory pegs and we can form funny pictures in our mind to recall stuff, even your daily diary. So for example if we want to recall the last 10 Oscar winning films.

1. Nomadland. I can form the image of an old Arabian night in a turban in a desert ( a nomad) sitting on a flying magic carpet, beneath the magic carpet is a giant candle - the memory peg.

2. Parasite. A swan swimming on a lake being attacked by a giant insect

3. Green Book. You can think of your own one for this.

4. The Shape of Water . Think of a nose as a tap or faucet hot water through the right nostril cold through the left.

The point is to be creative and its so easy and fun to do that you can rediscover confidence in your memory pretty much instantly. The key is to think in pictures. This stimulates connectivity between neurons in the brain so is healing too and neuroprotective too.

I use these techniques all the time to recall things and it really helps me. It's worth giving it a try. You can learn and memorize stuff together.

Best wishes,

Atty
Thank you so much, Atticus. We'll definitely look into this 'memory peg' thing!
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Old 06-01-2021, 12:38 AM #53
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Default End of May update

Hey again, everyone! Things are moving along pretty alright. Mum's shoulder still hurts, but that's been a thing for months I'm pretty sure (I also don't know if I've ever even brought up her shoulder pain). We never really went anywhere to get it checked-- I'm not sure why we're waiting. It's not really a big issue for mom apparently, otherwise I think we would've. She doesn't bring it up often, and her arm seems to be able to move fine. It just hurts when she does it sometimes.

We're probably going to have to call her doctor tomorrow and try and figure out a plan on how to wean mom off of the gabapentin, if this is her last refill. Maybe get her some amitriptyline in case she still needs medication for her neuropathy until we can get her to a point where she doesn't need it anymore. We've still got a whole maybe ~3 weeks worth of pills left, but it wouldn't hurt to be prepared is all.

Mom's memory is, as always, improving gradually. Hard to tell she even has memory problems some days, which brings the biggest of smiles on my face.

We walked further than our usual distance, today! It wasn't an impressive distance-- maybe a block or so at best, really, but still. Glad mom did it. She even went up the bumpy hill in the parking lot without any help, usually she needs help for that. Good progress today, I'd say.

Her leg started to swell a teensy bit once more tonight, but she had forgotten to take her daily medications until like 8PM so that's probably why. She has lisinopril and amlodipine, both for something with her blood pressure (which has been normal for a while now, when it normally wasn't even with them both). Regardless, if her leg is still swollen tomorrow we'll put that compression sock back on her and she should be right as rain. Her leg wasn't shining or anything, and it still felt soft to the touch, plus it was only a little bigger than her other leg, so it's probably not much to worry about.

Now, something that did worry me. She called me into her room a while ago to tell me she had noticed she was drooling a little. This is the first time that's happened, I think. She does have heartburn/acid reflux and she hadn't taken her pill for it until about 2.5 hours ago or so (since that pill's part of her daily medications), and she was eating a bit of grilled food from the barbecue we went to on sunday. I figured it'd be okay to let her have some, since we've been doing alright with keeping her on healthier food and such. It wasn't deep fried or anything, and my grandma even made some food specifically for my mom to be able to eat, the same she makes for her diabetic mother, so it'd be easier on her body. I want to believe it was just from her acid reflux if only to prevent myself from stressing out from another possible medical complication rearing its ugly head, just when we were doing so well for the past few weeks. It was only a bit of drool. She seemed to notice it right away, and it happened while she was eating. Nothing else was wrong. She talked normally, her face was not drooping at all, her speech wasn't slurred, she wasn't tired or fatigued, literally nothing else was wrong. Just some drool that snuck up on her while she was eating, it seemed. I would hope it merely was just a result of her eating some good food-- she does have problems with eating too fast, too. We haven't had barbecue in...well, probably before the pandemic even, really. It's been a while. Grandma cooks really good food.

...But, if it's something else, if anyone has any idea what that is or suggestions...well, better safe than sorry, right? I need to have an idea of what to do in case things start lining up and it seems more and more like something is wrong. I mean, I hate the possibility, but I can't let anything else happen to my mom while I'm caring for her.

On a semi-related note, I really hate this trend of something that could be potentially very scary happening in the dead of night. No clinics to call, nobody to really seek counsel from. Our only option is the hospital, which, I guess isn't really bad, especially if it turns out we need it, but...well, ambulance rides cost like 1k. Mom just started making actual money again at work-- we can't have another bill we need to pay off tacked on, especially if it turns out she's actually alright.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:40 PM #54
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Hi SoulfulYin and it's great to hear that your mum is doing as well as she is at the moment.

Hypersalivation can be caused by a number of conditions.

I wonder if one of her medications is the cause. Make sure she's drinking a good amount of water and not getting dehydrated if it's really bad.

Hopefully that resolves soon, but certainly worth talking to her doctor when she goes next.

I understand your worry about having something go wrong at night. It's not good for you to get caught up in the "what-ifs" although it's totally understandable and I do it myself!! take care there.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:38 AM #55
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Default Mid-June Update

So I just wanna say, things have been going pretty smoothly! We've been walking every morning around half a block, but today we started yoga! Well, I started yoga. She was initially okay with trying yoga in the morning, but I understand if she's still waking up her body and all that. Mum has agreed to doing yoga after work though, and honestly I'm okay with her doing as much as she's comfortable with right now. 'Cause man, yoga's rough.

She used to do it every day in the morning back when I was a kid and we lived in Florida. We're getting back into that groove. We're also going to try and talk to her doctor today about her gabapentin, she's got maybe 10 days left on the 300mg pills, and if it turns out it's not time to lower the dosage yet then we have maybe another 10 days of the 100mg, since she's on 900mg a day right now.

Really hoping after 3 months she can stand the neuropathy without medications, which I'm sure is just wishful thinking. But I'd be just as elated if she can work just fine on a lower gabapentin dosage or a different medication. This is my biggest issue that I'm stressing over now, honestly. Mom's been improving very steadily, and that's honestly all I could ask for. Maybe before her birthday in September we'll reach a level reminiscent of our old 'normal'.

Speaking of birthdays, mine is on the 27th this month! Yay me! Hope everyone else is doing good!
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:21 AM #56
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Default Quick question!

I know I posted already that things have been going smoothly, but there is an issue I'd like to ask about...

Does anybody know anything that could help concentration? My mother's recently been worried about work, because sometimes she just can't focus. She says she feels like it's been getting harder than before, even. I'm not so sure that's true, but the difficulty concentrating I understand and see. She says sometimes she'll miss things at work or just not be able to get anything done, and we can't keep going on like that. So if anyone's able to help with that, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Before, I remember flaxseed being mentioned-- I'm pretty sure that helps, right? Should we get some of that?
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:17 PM #57
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Default brain foods

Flax seed is good for memory.

oily fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, berries, green vegetables etc.

I'm vegetarian and don't eat oily fish (any fish) so don't get omega-3 fatty acids that way.

If I did eat fish, I'd eat a lot of it and not buy supplements. Same with eggs, but don't eat eggs.

Exercise is great because it gets the blood flowing and stirs up those happy hormones.

I eat oats for breakfast. Made with water. Not the instant type oats, the rolled oats. I sprinkle with some ground flax seed and lots of blueberries. Fresh blueberries are extremely expensive in my climate here so I always have snap frozen ones in the freezer.

I prefer to get a lot of nutients via food rather than in capsules. Some supplements are very expensive here compared to the US. Ground flax seed is inexpensive. Can buy flax seeds and grind them yourself. Ground would be more easily digested.

As far as I know and I may be wrong, the oil is better for you than the seeds.

Happy Birthday for the 27th. Mine is 3 days later, so Yay us! Have a great day.
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Old 01-07-2022, 05:40 AM #58
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Default Hello again & Happy New Year!

It's been a very long time since I posted an update on how my mom's been doing. I didn't know if it was appropriate to make a whole new thread or not, so I apologize if this isn't the correct way to do it, but there's been quite a few things that've happened since I last posted anything:

1. Mom has been off of Gabapentin for several months now. When we were first weaning her off of it, she definitely didn't enjoy that. But she held strong. Now it's been maybe ~4 or so months since she last had any Gabapentin. She's been suffering none of the effects of her peripheral neuropathy in maybe a little under that time. So thank the stars above for that!

2. We got a treadmill recently, and starting this weekend we'll be using it every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday to keep up our walking habits, especially since it's been really chilly this year. Just now the temperature is -15 F! So walking outside isn't really a good idea right now.

3. She's been off of alcohol for almost an entire year now! She technically started about the 13th or so of February, and she hasn't had a drop since. Once we officially reach that date, I'll be keeping close track of the days from then. We haven't really celebrated this yet, but I plan to surprise her on her 'sober anniversary'.

4. And now for the bad: the other major problem we were dealing with, her memory, is still stubbornly persisting. It's mostly just same-day stuff that she occasionally struggles to recall correctly, though. She's aware they've happened, just not entirely certain of the way they happened. To be fair, she hasn't had any Methyl B12 or Benfotiamine for several months now, I think maybe ~5 months was the last time she had any? We sort of just ran out & forgot to buy more on Amazon...she's still on the B1 her doctor has given her, though. She also swapped jobs a few weeks ago, which the change in scenery & coworkers probably doesn't help with her memory issue. It's still a bookkeeping job, though. Just with a different company now. Her doctor even told her not to swap jobs sometime early on last year, maybe in May or June, apparently-- though I never heard that. Maybe if I had, I could've convinced her to reconsider. She still does her job excellently when her memory works. She even told me yesterday how well she did her job-- there was much more work than usual & she got it all done on the same day. The issue is when it doesn't, nobody but her really understands why, despite her telling her new coworkers of her cognitive disorder...
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Old 01-09-2022, 10:26 PM #59
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Hi, it sounds as if your mum is much improved and doing really well in many areas. Good idea to get that B12 back on the schedule. Any chance she can do the same work from home?

p.s. hope you are well too.

________________

(gosh, I just noticed an error in the post I wrote before you. I said "don't eat eggs". My grammar on the net is terrible lately. I keep leaving words out of sentences. I meant to say "I don't eat eggs". Everyone should eat eggs really, they're very good for you. Choline and all that. I don't eat them these days for other reasons.)
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:17 AM #60
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She is! And I don't think so, this job requires her to go in for work. Her old one didn't except for like Friday & sometimes Thursday. I also think looking for a new job is she's doing now actually. It's just obnoxious-- nobody knows how to act like an adult in these professional jobs that all seem to require so much previous experience & all these prerequisites, based on the stories I hear from my mom about this one coworker in particular as well as a couple coworkers from her previous job. If her first boss hadn't been so nasty to her in the first place this whole issue wouldn't even exist for us right now. I can't imagine the thought processes of these people when they go out of their way to make life harder for my mom.

I'm pretty good, but I'll be a lot better when my mom can find a job where she won't have to be so stressed all the time.
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