← Return to Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Janie (@dougjanehaltom)

Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Brain & Nervous System | Last Active: Feb 22, 2021 | Replies (83)

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I am 63 yr old female and have been reading the boards relative to effexor xr withdrawal (highest dose 2015 375 mg), slow taper to May 2018 took last dose of Effexor XR 37.5 mg May 28th 2018, I started to have some balance dizzy issues in April and then by first week in June I had horrible anxiety (not my usual, had to be from the Effexor withdrawal), nausea, jitters, balance, dizzy issues, depth perception problems, was sensitive to light and sound, thought I was losing my mind –long story trying to make this shorter. Over summer through present time I have had gradual relief, still have some balance, dizzy issues, depth perception and mental challenges, which brings me to my latest diagnosis in subject line. (I was and still am taking wellbutrin XL 300 mg/daily for depression). I am not depressed and my anxiety has been reduced greatly (I think in part due to stopping the Effexor quite honestly), not taking any additional medication for anxiety – don’t need it! Praise God!

One of the changes I noted as Effexor was tapered was cognitive decline. Having difficulty multi tasking , making financial spreadsheets, challenging to make sense out of complex situations or interrupting the difference between 3 different options for scheduling (as an example–these are all things I have been really good at — until April/May of this year). Met with neurologist, (primary care ordered brain MRI which was neg), he ordered over 20 labs and they were all within normal limits and he referred me to neuropsych for testing – showed deficits in visual spatial ability, graphomotor reproduction of complex visual figural information, weakness in divided attention in verbal fluency format, block patterns and abstraction ability. “not severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of dementia but not normal, so mild neurocognitive d/o; predominately executive and right hemisphere pattern of deficit present etiology not clear in light of normal MRI. They are thinking perhaps i am having ophthalmologic migranes/seizures (only experience in right field of vision) and this may be part of what is impacting my cognition.

I will have follow up more specific/detailed MRI in May 2019, in mean time I am “to remain concerned but not consumed over these results”, call or make appointment if symptoms increase, (balance, dizziness, cognition etc).

Long story shorter I know that wellbutrin is typically not prescribed for people with known seizure d/o; from what i have read and know (i am RN behavioral health) wellbutrin can lower seizure threshold. Can you help me find any research or information that may relate to effexor withdrawal and or wellbutrin potential impact on cognition or correlation with optical seizures impacting brain function. I will have follow up more detailed MRI..not until may 2019, . I have been trying to put most of this puzzle together myself, I had to request initial MRI in June, request referral to neuro, self referred to opthamology and found my prescription was way to strong — leading to some of my depth perception and balance problems — new script/glasses now helping somewhat.

I appreciate any feedback you may have. Thank you, Barb

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Replies to "Hi, I am 63 yr old female and have been reading the boards relative to effexor..."

I have the exact same issues. Mine was diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis. Especially the cognitive deficits and the eye issues are hallmark signs of the disease. It took me 10 years to get the correct diagnosis. If I can help you in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. I wish you the very best.

Thank you to all that have enquired after me. Yesterday I noticed the “ view more “ box, I was thinking that no one was writing anymore, I should have known. I called the referred Dr’s office weeks ago and was told they do so many referrals a month, guess it hasn’t been my month yet. Now with COVID 19 all appointments we had have been postponed. My memory problems continue, my husband keeps telling me “ you don’t listen to me” trouble is he talks so much, I have a hard time filtering out what I really need to listen to. I have to laugh sometimes at the things I do. I made a meal for a man who’s wife had died and called to ask what time he would like me to bring it. I didn’t hear from him so just took it when it was ready. A few weeks later I was listening to my messages on my cell phone and found the message for the man. Apparently I called from our home phone and left the message on my cell phone, no wonder he didn’t answer. 😬 our house goes on the market in 11 days, we’ve been unable to find a place in NY, complicated by having 2 cats and a dog. Also trying to get our daughter set up with a day program to attend. Some days are better than others.

Hi Chris, hope you are doing ok during this pandemic, who would have imagined that we would be going through this. I hope your family has kept well. I have two Grandchildren who graduated from HighSchool, all their senior activities were cancelled. Another came home from college early to finish out the term. My Grandson got a new job and about a month later was laid off, as were all people hired within the past 6 months. Another Granddaughter starts college this fall if everything is back to normal.
Our house is sold and we move out June 12th, we don’t have a place to go to yet, something will workout. My daughter has been home, I took her out of her program before they closed it, now they have opened again but I haven’t sent her back, we still have a number of people in Maine getting diagnosed each day.
Selling the house and going through the inspection was nerve wracking, the first day on the market 3 people came to see it, of course we had to get the 2 cats ,dog, and the three of us out of the house each time. We didn’t spend much time at home that day. The first person bid the highest, over what we were asking and will pay in cash, so that part went well.
We’ve all had our doctor and dentist appointments cancelled and I never did get an appointment to check my memory, I can give them a call again and explain that we are moving, I’m not sure they are even open yet. If it doesn’t get done I’ll have to start all over again in NY……..find a PCP, get a referral and wait again.
My husband and I have had a stressful time with each other, a lot of work to get done on the house and yard, he has a problem with the muscle on his hip replacement pulling away from the bone. Will probably have to have surgery again to reattach it. This has all made him quite irritable and he continues to get impatient with me when I don’t remember things he’s told me. “You don’t listen to me “ which is upsetting to me. But I get through each day with a little help from my friends and mostly thru God
My last brother in Australia has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, is 85 but otherwise in good health, he says they are a little reluctant to do surgery because of his age so I don’t know yet what they will do.
My flowers seem to be extra pretty this year so I’ve been enjoying them, we’ve had some nice warm days, the birds are all back and singing happily so all is not lost.
Sorry this letter hasn’t been uplifting, I hope that you too are enjoying the Spring and warmer weather, sunny days help a lot.
Stay safe, Sarah.

@emyliander, Good afternoon, Sarah. It's been a few weeks since I got your update. You do cover the waterfront very well. I appreciate every word.

The first thing I loved was imagining your extra pretty flowers. Take time every day to put your feet on the earth and focus on something beautiful. I also love listening to all the birds. The beautiful Piliated screeches, the Eagle has a gentle whistle.

My heart goes out to you for all of your work to sell the house. Sounds like it worked…..the very first buyer…..and cash. Wow!

And, the most distressing thing is to learn about the difficulty within your marriage. I know it would be difficult to find a therapist right now as you prepare to leave. I am wondering if there is a self-help series of exercises or better yet a Zoom encounter option. If you think that might work……let me know and I will see what I might be able to find.

It is sad to see that because of a lack of understanding of the cognitive issues that interfere, you become fearful of not remembering something. We, my life partner and I, have an understanding that works pretty well. We even rehearse. If I need help in a conversation, I say "Jay, please help me with the name of the person who came to fish with us last year". I have to give him a little more info in my request. When I get it right, he gets it right, and no one would ever know that i completely forgot the name.

We are very open about my "disabilities" and we don't feel like we have to explain everything. And now for the chuckle……I have tinnitus in my right ear and compromised hearing in the left hear. If the head in the middle ever gives up on me………..

Be safe and wear your mask, be protected and free.

I too have taken Klonopin 0.5mg daily for many years, it is a small dose but it’s the only way I can keep my emotions in control without crying at any unexpected time of the day. I also have memory problems as I’ve written about before.
What will you do, stop the Klonopin? It’s not a choice I have made so far.
I tried taking Buspar, it didn’t help me.
Have you been formally tested for your memory problems? COVID 19 delayed my appointment for testing and now I have moved to NY and have to start over again.
I hope you can find an answer to this dilemma and would be interested to know what it will be.

@helenfrancis . You are so right . Research is most important with any problems . I look it up if the Dr doesn't give me a satisfactory answer . I use the pharmacist for med information and interactions since they have all my meds. Very good source also . Drugs.com is a good one online

@helenfrances Yes I found it as we can't get out now so I use it every time I get a new med .

Hi @emyliander, how are you? It's been awhile since we heard from you.

@helenfrances, I'm so glad you got the technical issues worked out and were able to log back in. Happy to have you back.

@artscaping, let's get this discussion going again. I miss your posts and conversation here.

Greetings…welcome to our first reunion, Sarah, @emyliander, and Ellen @helenfrances. It certainly does seem like it has been a long time since we had an update and a timely conversation? Sara, @emyliander, how is your new home? Are you all moved in? I have to ask…..do you have a garden for your flowers? And I hope your daughter is tucked away at her special school or is COVID19 still mandating that she remain with you.

And how about you Ellen, @helenfrances? You, in June, were waiting to complete a withdrawal from Clonazepam and continuing to do research and some shared decision making about your road ahead with your neurologist.

I think in June, we were all talking about how cognitive impairment at the mild stage was affecting our lives. Do our life partners and families recognize our somewhat staggering memories? I think you were looking at a shared support group or class with your husband Sarah. And I was asking you to get a medicine review to make sure those stomach issues were being taken care of.

I will share with you a couple of medical hurdles that I find challenging right now. I found a tiny crunchy nodule on my sternum which ended up being squamous cell carcinoma and was promptly surgically removed. Now I wait like so many others who receive a cancer diagnosis of any kind.

You're not going to believe this one…..I sure didn't until I had spent several days in what I call an itch bomb. It is called neuropathic itch and does its annoying work inside your body. No matter how hard you try you can't scatch it because you can't reach it. So now I am being a guinea pig for different medications to see which might work best without side effects. At the end of two weeks, I make a switch and we see what happens with a new trial.

So…fill me in and fill me up with news and highlights. It seems like things are pretty quiet with the travel restrictions. I must admit I am hungry for a play at the Gutherie. Dinner at Sea Change…..actually sitting in a restaurant might also be nice. Shoot, I would even go to our adopted granddaughter's softball games if I could remember the day. And that is where I will end for tonight. I am noticing greater difficulty with recent memory especially when I am talking and lose my thought. I see people either trying to help me by feeding me the words or looking away as if they haven't noticed.

How are your memories holding up………do you have any tricks or hacks to share? As Ellen says…write any time. And I say…..do it now or you just might forget. My very best to you both……..I would love to hear from you.

May you have peace and ease.

@fiesty76 All the time I put my glasses somewhere at night have to hunt on morning so frustrating same as the remote list it the other night then after a hour of hunting found it .

Good morning @dorty, I just re-read your story and couldn't help wondering how you are handling the prerequisites for a comfortable life. It has been some time since we connected. We are working on Quality of Life issues that will improve the chances for happiness. Do you have anything that you need but just don't permit yourself to aquire. Now is the time.

Here is the post as it was sent. It is not too late…….in fact we all would be better humans if we took better care of ourselves.
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

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