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Terrible short term memory! Perimenopause - or dementia?

(5 Posts)
BlogOnTheTyne Wed 27-Mar-13 12:36:34

My memory has become terrible! Having always been on top of everything and always, always early for appointments etc., utterly conscientious etc etc - in recent times, I'm shocked by what I'm forgetting!

Is this perimenopause of might I have presenile dementia? I'm 50 and my late father developed dementia but that was well into his 70s.

Today, for the first time in my entire life, I mis-remembered the time of my GP appointment until 3 mins before I was due there (far too late as it's a 35 min drive away). I knew I had an appointment and had written it down in 2 different places but had thought it was an hour later than it really was. Yet up until today, I'd KNOWN the time of it!

Several times over the last few months, I've done really weird things like I completely forgot that I'd even forgotten to give DS2 his main Xmas present until days later when I saw something similar in a shop and only then remembered!

I daily find myself going to a different part of the house to do or get something, only to completely forget why I went there.

This is after an entire lifetime of being almost obsessionally on top of things and being able to juggle masses of things to remember and never ever get it wrong.

I'm LESS stressed than I was in recent months, at present and anyway, even when stressed, I never used to forget things at all. (I know stress can affect short term memory).

I assume I'm perimenopausal at 50 but still have regular periods.

Do these memory problems sound like what other people get at this stage of life or might it be something much more worrying?

Is there any online test that I could do to see if my short term memory of way out of the norm now?

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 27-Mar-13 12:47:41

Welcome to my world! grin

Like you I was concerned about what the cause could be, although I was more inclined to point the finger at past depression rather than demetia - I can still slip into mild depression quite easily even now.

However, a chance conversation with two friends I hadn't seen in ages was very reassuring. Their experiences were pretty much the same as mine (and yours). Appointments missed and details forgotten, when I was previously a walking filofax. Wondering why you'd come to that room, not even a clue about whether it was to do something or fetch something. Anything out of sight being out of mind. I also find my concentration is a bit shot, do you?

BlogOnTheTyne Wed 27-Mar-13 14:53:33

Whew! What a relief. I was beginning to think I was going slightly mad really. A few years ago, I'd very very occasionally do ridiculous things like put the kettle into the fridge but they were few and far between and easy to laugh off as a one-off. Now it's like this all the time!

I don't think my concentration is any worse but I do feel I haven't learned anything intellectually new at all for years and years and can barely keep up with my DCs homework!

Does it just get worse from here on in, then? I don't have time to practice memory techniques or something like that but would that sort of thing help? I'm already snowed under with lists of lists of things to do but have always relied on lists anyway. Sometimes now, though, I mislay the list under piles of paperwork and then forget that there was a list and that there were things on that list that needed remembering and doing!

Seriously, though, does it get worse and worse or does it plateau once you've properly reached full menopause? What happens then? Do we acquire untold wisdom and extra cognitive abilities, transforming into super-beings or it it just downhill all the way?

The main advantage of being this age, at the moment, is that I no longer care at all what other people think of me - eg how I look, what I say and do etc. Self-consciousness seems to have gone. However, this is a complete nightmare for my DCs who are now at the stage when being painfully self-conscious is the stuff of every waking moment and they squirm in embarassment if I so much as speak in front of their friends!

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 27-Mar-13 15:09:39

This is all presumption on my part, I KNOW nothing because I keep forgetting to research it properly.

I'm presuming it will settle down. Just as hormonally-all-over-the-place adolescence settled into stable adulthood, I'm thinking that the perimenopause will settle into post-menopause and my memory will return to stable adulthood. I'm basing this on my mother and aunts, who all seem to have fully functional memories.

Yes to the lack of self-consciousness! Although I have always been predisposed to embarrass DS grin, it's character-building.

crazynanna Wed 27-Mar-13 15:15:31

I gave my GP's address instead of my own at Argos for a bed delivery last yearblush

The looks I got when I ran back to the shop to tell them will stay with me forever.

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