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Thread: Need advice about confusion, memory problems

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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice about confusion, memory problems

    I've been newly diagnosed with lupus. But under a rhuematologist's care since last spring (taking a low does of Plaquenil for a year). But got an official diagnosis last week. And while I know that compared to many, I'm doing relatively well. The most troubling thing right now, since I've been dealing with the joint and muscle pain for most of the last three years, is my confusion, concentration problems, comprehension, memory, etc.

    I feel like I cannot function like the responsible 30 year old woman I am. I made a huge (and I mean REALLY huge) mistake with my checking account and now I'm overdrawn by an amount that seems insurmountable because I have no money. Why? I lost my job last week! Largely because of these problems thinking. I don't even know how it happened (the checking account problem). I haven't even started my taxes yet because it feels so totally overwhelming. It's like I have these basic tasks that I can do to get through a day but beyond that I just really struggle to function as I used to. I've always been super responsible and I feel like such a loser right now! Most people in my life would probably be shocked if they knew how bad this was getting because of the type of person I am!

    Anyway...I live in NC. My entire family is in CA. I'm so tempted to go home although I hate living in Southern Cal. I don't know what to do but I feel like I need help doing the basic things like...managing my finances/paying bills, remembering things, making major decisions, etc., etc. Have any of you experienced this? And if so, what did you do to work through this?

    As a side note, I had an MRI last year so that my Rheumy could check for lesions on my brain. I didn't have any. However, my problems have increased in a HUGE way since then and I now have lesions elsewhere. Are mouth lesions in any way connected? I mean now that I have the lesions is it possible that I also have them on my brain?

    I'm just really confused and don't know what to do next. I'm very overwhelmed. Any suggestions y'all have would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I'm not all that knowledgeable about the different ways lupus can affect a person but according to the lupus.org website, lupus can cause cognitive dysfunction (confusion, fatigue, memory impairment and difficulty expressing thoughts).

    It also says:

    The reasons for these symptoms are not known. It may have something to do with changes in how a group of chemicals known as cytokines are handled or may be related to certain parts of the brain not getting enough oxygen.

    Other tests including:

    Spinal taps,
    brain wave tests (EEG),
    magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or
    computerized tomography (CT) scans of the brain may all be normal.

    Cognitive dysfunction may come and go on its own, so the management of cognitive dysfunction is often frustrating and currently no optimal therapy is available.

    Antimalarials and/or steroids may be useful.
    Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and other interventions that assist a person in developing coping skills may be helpful.
    So it sounds like you may not necessarily have to have a lesion on your brain to experiencing these symptoms. I don't know about treatments specifically for lupus patients but I know in general for people who are having memory problems they try to write all the tasks they need to get done down in an organizer that they consult with constantly.

    Regarding your family situation...I currently live in LA and I know what you mean about hating it here (it can be so stressful with the traffic and everything) but on the other hand having a strong support group of family and friends is so important with a disease like lupus. Especially with the cognitive symptoms you're experiencing, moving back to CA may be an option you really need to consider.

    Hope that helps somehow and didn't sound too advice-y. I'm sure that whatever you decide to do will be the best decision for you =)

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    Ugghh, Change some minor details and I feel like I could have written your post. I have been the biggest DITZ lately (the past year or so) I forget everything and sometimes trying to make a simple decision is like trying to understand quantum physics. I just hope it isn't a precurser to CNS(central nervous system) Lupus. Right now I am "mild"...meaning no organ involvement...Anyone else have any info on CNS lupus related to cognitive impairment? Junebug

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