Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Posted by Janie @dougjanehaltom, Nov 20, 2020

I have recently been diagnosed with MCI and I'll be attending Mayo Clinic group on this. Each day just seems to bring me challenges. I have days when I get depressed because I feel like I'm being a burden to others. I will be attending MCI seminar at Mayo Clinic in January. I need help and support in this area.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Brain & Nervous System group.

@emyliander

I don’t think he understands at all and I haven’t wanted to push the issue , right now we have so many stresses that take up our time trying to get the house ready for sale, we took our daughter out of her program due to COVID 19, our married sons all have their own stressors due to the virus and work, just like everyone else. At least I don’t have to remember all our Dr. Appointments right now.

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@emyliander – I'm very sorry to hear about your frustration with memory issues. My husband has struggled with this and I know how difficult it can be for him at times. I would encourage you to read a blog by one of our Mayo Connect members @virginialaken
Her blog is at this address: https://virginialaken.com/ She herself has been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Her blog is a brave and beautiful sharing of her personal journey in navigating the many emotions and stresses that come along with this diagnosis. If you read through her blog posts, I believe you will be inspired and find some or many that you can relate to.

When you find one that really resonates with you, consider sharing it with your husband. It might make it a little less threatening or emotional for him if he reads the experience of someone else – more objectively – vs. hearing it from his wife. Sometimes I think our guys tend to want to "fix" the problem and get frustrated – or go into denial – when they can't. If he can read about someone else's memory issues and NOT feel like he's being called upon to solve a problem, maybe he can give you more support. I'm wishing you the best. Hope this helps some. Will you read the blog and let me know what you think?

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@cancersucks

Wonderful advice that will help so many . God bless

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Hello, @cancersucks – agreed that @artscaping had some very good suggestions on dealing with memory issues. Have you also experienced any challenges with your memory?

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@emyliander

Hi Chris, thank you for your thoughtful message. I had just about finished a message to you when my iPad said “emergency iPad too hot “ and turned itself off. So I put it in the refrigerator for a little while to cool it down. I had been sitting with it on my lap with the sun shinning through the window onto my pad. First time that’s happened. So I’ll start again.. I’m trying to meet with a clinician but it’s a long process and now everything is cancelled because of the COVID 19. I will take my meds and get a diagnosis if I can get in there before we move. Structure in my life is nonexistent at the moment, each room has been torn apart to redecorate and to pack some things away. We still have quite a bit to do, outside also. I do have a calendar on my refrigerator and on my phone, I don’t always remember to check it. I get up at 6am each morning, an hour before my daughter gets up and then my husband. I enjoy the quiet time to have my tea and read the news on my tablet. I even try not to wake the cats and dog up. One of my cats is demanding as soon as he wakes up. I also have a daily bible reading I do.
It would be good for my husband to learn something about MCI, we do usually include each other in decision making, but I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, while he tells me so much about everything it boggles my mind. You say he “may be more invested in the outcome “. I don’t think either of us know the outcome or how to achieve it. When you say “ step by step “ it reminds me of a very funny old movie called “Baby steps.”
Have a good day, 🍷 here’s to our memories.

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Good evening @emylander, thanks for the good cheer. How did you know that I love red wine?

I am just thinking about you and wondering how things are going during the CORVID-19 crises. Are you sequestered and free from threat of the virus?

Are you noticing some MCI situations? I do. I have also succumbed to some pretty high anxiety including electrical shocks and tingles all over my head. I have to stop what I am doing and take 10 deep breaths.

Baby steps just mean that relationships are quite challenging especially when there is a medical condition involved. I have unwittingly let my frustration and anxiety spill over a bit the last couple of days. We just got our groceries delivered and sort of had two opinions about how to sanitize them. That's all done and we needed a break from solving problems and now from each other. He is string trimming on the river bank and I am writing to you. Perfect.

What I do know is that family members, especially males. want to fix you. And when they cannot, they become a bit unglued.

If it's ok with you, I am going to put you on my "message list" so that I can check in every once in a while. You can always let me know what's going on and how your days are going as you climb your uphill battles with the house, the move, and the memory. We will just work around this horrific pandemic.

May you be content and at ease.
Chris

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@dorty

Hi,
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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Hi Chris, Being on lock down ( as I call it ) is hard, especially for our mentally handicapped daughter who usually would be at program each workday, it’s challenging to try and keep her occupied for part of the day and work on the house at the same time, especially when I can’t take her anywhere.
Last night while cooking supper I put our dinner plates on the back burner to warm up from the oven vent and was cooking mushrooms on the front burner. All of a sudden the bottom plate exploded all over the place, and my mushrooms weren’t cooking. You guessed it.
I’m worried about my son and his wife who live in NY. It’s turning out that the virus is easier to catch than we first thought. I know everyone has the same worries and I feel bad for everyone. My sister in law in Spain sends funny videos which help, and I pass them on.
How are you doing, I wish my husband could go fishing for a while.
Thank you for your company.

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@debbraw

@emyliander – I'm very sorry to hear about your frustration with memory issues. My husband has struggled with this and I know how difficult it can be for him at times. I would encourage you to read a blog by one of our Mayo Connect members @virginialaken
Her blog is at this address: https://virginialaken.com/ She herself has been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Her blog is a brave and beautiful sharing of her personal journey in navigating the many emotions and stresses that come along with this diagnosis. If you read through her blog posts, I believe you will be inspired and find some or many that you can relate to.

When you find one that really resonates with you, consider sharing it with your husband. It might make it a little less threatening or emotional for him if he reads the experience of someone else – more objectively – vs. hearing it from his wife. Sometimes I think our guys tend to want to "fix" the problem and get frustrated – or go into denial – when they can't. If he can read about someone else's memory issues and NOT feel like he's being called upon to solve a problem, maybe he can give you more support. I'm wishing you the best. Hope this helps some. Will you read the blog and let me know what you think?

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Hi Debbra, I thought it was very interesting and uplifting, thank you for the link.
Virginia mentioned having nightmares which I have experienced in the last year but never thought there was any connection with MCI , do you think it’s coincidental or have you heard that others experience this. I signed up for her blogs which maybe I did before, because I got a few emails from her but didn’t recall who she was and didn’t reply.
Have a good day,
Sarah.

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@emyliander

Hi Chris, Being on lock down ( as I call it ) is hard, especially for our mentally handicapped daughter who usually would be at program each workday, it’s challenging to try and keep her occupied for part of the day and work on the house at the same time, especially when I can’t take her anywhere.
Last night while cooking supper I put our dinner plates on the back burner to warm up from the oven vent and was cooking mushrooms on the front burner. All of a sudden the bottom plate exploded all over the place, and my mushrooms weren’t cooking. You guessed it.
I’m worried about my son and his wife who live in NY. It’s turning out that the virus is easier to catch than we first thought. I know everyone has the same worries and I feel bad for everyone. My sister in law in Spain sends funny videos which help, and I pass them on.
How are you doing, I wish my husband could go fishing for a while.
Thank you for your company.

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Good cheery morning to you @emyliander. How nice to see your message when I sat down at my computer. Thank you for staying in touch.

We are watching the wood ducks come up the creek. The river is high today. And my chipmunk is learning tricks today. So spring is coming and we are watching it every day. My life partner does love those chipmunks so sometimes we just sit on the front porch together and watch them play. It was actually 60 degrees yesterday.

I am sorry for your "oops" in the kitchen. Since I try to stay out of that room, that hasn't happened to me. Here is one to add to our "oops" list. I thought I could manage a frozen pumpkin pie so I placed it in the oven. When I checked on it, I turned it so the other side would be in front and it slipped and fell down the back of the oven. It took me days to get all the pumpkin pie out of the oven. So….I have never tried it again.

My anxiety when I can't remember is becoming a critical issue when my life partner gets anxious. Just putting the online list together is challenging. I have to figure out how the software works, and how the categories are lined up. So….we did a trial run and managed to get it done. He doesn't understand that they may not have the 1-gallon tubs of chocolate chip ice cream. We got through it but not without some less than cozy moments because of my MCI. We shared our feelings and pledged mutual support one more time.

Have you ever used CALM for meditation and to clear the mind? At the end of each session, there is a message. I share those with my family, especially my OCD granddaughter.

I am still concerned about your medications and supplements and the possibility that interactions can contribute to foggy brain. If you can't get to a clinician to help you, you might try your pharmacist. Mine has been helpful.

Here's a tip or two……when you have time…..go through an old photo album and share some memories. Can you include your daughter at some point?

You're still on my list…….
May you be content and at ease today.

Chris

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@emyliander

Hi Debbra, I thought it was very interesting and uplifting, thank you for the link.
Virginia mentioned having nightmares which I have experienced in the last year but never thought there was any connection with MCI , do you think it’s coincidental or have you heard that others experience this. I signed up for her blogs which maybe I did before, because I got a few emails from her but didn’t recall who she was and didn’t reply.
Have a good day,
Sarah.

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Hi Sarah @emyliander – I'm late in responding because I don't get over to this page often. Glad you liked Virginia's blogs. You don't have to respond to her email – the emails just let you know that a new blog post is out. I'm not sure about the nightmares. I wonder if others on this post have experienced nightmares and link it to MCI?

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@dorty

Hi,
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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@emyliander, Greetings and good afternoon, Sarah. You made it to the top of my list today. Just teasing…..I have been trying to imagine walking in your shoes for a day.

If it is ok with you I will use Sarah. It is a bit of a good memory. Living in Hawaii, I decided to finally adopt a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Bringing them in from the mainland required 3-month isolation. Many doggies died from kidney disease because they had to use their cage.

Bringing a Cavalier in from Australia was a 24-hour hold. So…I soon have an Australian puppy named Sarah. Only problem, Sarah as a name doesn't work. Before her native blessing, we had to change it to Kala, Hawaiian for Sarah. Remember, there is no "S" in the Hawaiian language. So Sarah is sweet memories of my first Cavalier and how much I loved her.

It is probably getting very challenging for you. Just living with uncertainty……can create anxiety. It is bad enough when your memoryless moments create anxiety. Have you and your husband had a good chat about how the household will deal with the realities of now…..divide up the tasks and share in the planning? Does he help with your daughter?

Fishing won't happen for a while. They are spawning right now. Is there any news on your house sale and your move or did everything screech to halt.

Does your memory let you down when it comes to math? Wow….I have to stay focused. And another thing while I'm at it…..do you find background music disruptive? I use music to mask the tinnitus in my right ear. I have to turn it up a bit because I don't hear well out of my left ear which gets drowned out by the tinnitus crickets in the right ear. Then if I try to concentrate (LOL)…….all of those other things are way too distracting.

I am laughing now, just reading it over. Can't believe it is true. We have to do a lot of adapting. I hope you are adapting to the refreshing nature of spring?
What are you doing for yourself at this time? I am applauding positive steps in practicing self-compassion.

Be safe and secure. You are still on my list and in my thoughts.
Chris

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@helenfrances

You are a strong woman. Thank you for sharing your positive attitude about your diagnosis.

I also have MCI (mild cognitive impairment). After testing my neurologist assured me that I do not have Alzheimer’s. Yet?
I was prescribed Clonazapam for a head tremor. I became dependent on this pharmaceutical..I did not know that it affects memory and mood!
I am now tapering off of Clon with the help of Escitalopram.
I am looking forward to meeting a (referral) psychiatrist who will counsel and manage the decrease in medication. 🙏 please

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I did not know that Clonazapam could affect memory. I have been on it for yrs for anxiety but only in the last yr has my memory declined. I only take 0.5 mg daily.
I asked my PCP for a referral to a neurologist, she said I needed to go to a geriatrician for testing. Would. You agree . I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for them to call with an appointment.

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@dorty

Hi,
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

Jump to this post

today our children came for my husbands 80th birthday ,our kids are college professors, one 28 year old grandson and his wife. The conversations went like this, "do you remember what's his name? Used to live on what's that street that was just right off highway something" Remember the guitar player that was popular, oh you remember, he had a mustache and we saw him in Nashville" I have taken Xanax for 30 years, three of us take omeprazole, one takes a pill for epilepsy. Docs tell me mine is stress related, I have a brain tumor, my husband never took a pill in his life so I don't worry about it. I asked the doc about omeprazole and she said forget everything they said about it, new studies show it doesn't cause memory loss. Everyday things change.

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@emyliander

I did not know that Clonazapam could affect memory. I have been on it for yrs for anxiety but only in the last yr has my memory declined. I only take 0.5 mg daily.
I asked my PCP for a referral to a neurologist, she said I needed to go to a geriatrician for testing. Would. You agree . I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for them to call with an appointment.

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Hi, @emyliander – would you consider contacting the medical center for an update on your appointment? How are your symptoms lately?

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@emyliander

I did not know that Clonazapam could affect memory. I have been on it for yrs for anxiety but only in the last yr has my memory declined. I only take 0.5 mg daily.
I asked my PCP for a referral to a neurologist, she said I needed to go to a geriatrician for testing. Would. You agree . I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for them to call with an appointment.

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I would like to know more about clonazapam. My husband recently started taking this because all his Parkinson's meds make it impossible for him to fall asleep without it :-/

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