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Reged: 07/30/13
Posts: 23
Memory Issues?
      #273681 - 09/01/13 08:36 PM

I feel bad that I don't post here more often, but life has been so busy since my husband got out of the hospital it seems like the only time I have on the computer is when we are searching for an answer!

Today we decided to take some time together just the two of us and do something fun. We decided we wanted to go to the zoo, something we had done as a second date. The first sign of trouble was when he asked me for directions to the zoo. We both grew up in this town our whole lives and he could get there with his eyes closed normally. As we wandered around the zoo I started talking about that first time. It's a favorite conversation between us, he teases me that I rode him on the second date because he crawled into a giant turtle shell recreation and I sat on the top for a picture. He couldn't recall any of it. He didn't know where we were or recognize anything. On the way home I caught him staring at the duck ponds with the swan paddle boats. That is another favorite memory for us, it was a fourth of July date that meant a lot to both of us. He had just talked about that day two days ago. He couldn't remember it!

He can remember things about his childhood and how to get to our house. He remembers who I am and which key operates the front door lock. But his memory of the last two years is extremely spotty! It's scary and upsetting for us both to experience. Is this something that is normal for someone like him? The doctors all say he is doing wonderfully, his CD4 count has tripled since he was first diagnosed and his viral load is almost to undetectable levels. He should be getting better but this is something so new that we don't know whether it is just part of his recovery or something we should be really worried about!

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Reged: 05/15/13
Posts: 488
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Memory Issues? new
      #273682 - 09/01/13 08:53 PM

Hey Ninja, so good to see you stopped in to give us an update. Summer is a busy time and especially busy when bringing someone back to healthy! It's good to hear your husband is out and about.

The memory thing I wouldn't worry about. Mention it to his doctor but don't point a finger at meds or anything. Think of where he came from, he was in a hospital bed not knowing anything around him ... it is bound to have effected short term memory aswell, again check with the doctor.

Best thing though, just let it ride ... let him experience life as brand new again. As loong as you guys are on this journey together that is all that matters. I have some memory issues too but my wife just kinda laughs it off and goes along with things (although I was no where near where your husband went) I did have issues on the first intake of meds, the effects of the body decreasing VL and building CD4s, but it is stabilizing nicely. I am praying and hoping that will be his case too, life will slowly come back, memories will slowly come back! Stick with him, don't get angry just recognise it for yourself and introduce things back to him slowly. He's been on an adventure many of us could only imagine!

All the best to you hun and to hubby aswell ....

anotherday ... in paradise!
daily ponder ... be the reason someone smiles today!

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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1895
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Memory Issues? new
      #273687 - 09/02/13 01:32 AM

I aso have short term memory issues. I just had a cat scan and am scheduled to see a nuerologists. My hepc dr has put me on Aricewpt which will take months for any effects to start. There have been times when I couldn't remember which way to turn . I try to keep notes as reminders. Talk with your doctor, keep a journal. See if a MRI or cat scan could be done I know it's unerving. Try not to panic and see how itmay stablize in time. But again talk to your doctor .

Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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Reged: 03/10/13
Posts: 13
Re: Memory Issues? new
      #273700 - 09/02/13 07:28 PM

If you search google you'll find many scholarly articles about the incidence of HIV related dementia. One medicine in particular (Sustiva) is well documented to cause brain damage. Although CD4 counts are good and viral loads are undetectable science still doesn't know the effect HIV virus has on the brain as most of the medicines do not penetrate the blood/brain barrier. Likewise, some medicines themselves can cause side effects. I am experiencing cognitive issues too. I can think much more clearly OFF meds entirely. For some reason my body seems to not be able to metabolize them well or something we are not entirely sure. There are also other things to consider such as Syphillis, Toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus ... all of which can be detected through blood tests and are known to cause all sorts of brain malfunctions. I am awaiting my results on these tests and I go for an MRI of the brain next week. If my local dr. cannot find answers for me I may have to travel to another city.

I would suggest having your husband make an appt. with the dr. and rule out any diseases that could be causing his mental decline.

I wish you both all the luck!!!

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Reged: 08/31/13
Posts: 24
Re: Memory Issues? new
      #273712 - 09/03/13 04:39 PM

Never have those issues. Glad I still can remember childhood memories. Even those things before and after I started taking ARV, I can still clearly remember.

Even things I have to do at work. Say for example, things I have to do a week after I was reminded, I still can remember it...

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Reged: 06/18/09
Posts: 302
Loc: Georgia
Re: Memory Issues? new
      #273721 - 09/04/13 01:20 AM

As I tell my support group - TELL YOUR DOCTOR!!! That's what they're there for. (We also have people who try to tell us they couldn't go to the doctor, because they were sick.)

At every appointment your husband has with his HIV doctor there are going to be several questions asked. The same questions at each appointment. These have become the standard for the initial detection of most (NOT all) problems that can occur with people who have HIV.

One of the questions asked is - Do you have memory problems/lapses? This can be of particular importance, because as wonderful as most of the meds are used to treat HIV most of them don't cross the blood/brain barrier. So, HIV can get in the brain and cause problems. There are usually treatments for just about everything, but the doctor HAS to know there's an issue. It could be a medication issue. It could be a disease issue besides the HIV. No way to just talk with someone and know.

Your husband isn't the first. Your husband won't be the last.

When I got sick 14 years ago it was due mainly to a nerocognitive disease. It was before I started going to the HIV clinic. My memory from that time and the 5-6 years before is sketchy at best. At times I can remember more. And, memories do come back. But, I've always had a problem with short term memory which my having HIV hasn't helped.

The thing is each person is different. Each person has to deal with having different issues. Some of them treatable. Some may not be. The only way you'll know is if you bring it up with your husband's doctor. Don't rely on him to say anything. Call the clinic and speak with someone there. Go with your husband to his next appointment and speak with the doctor. Privately if you're afraid of embarrassing your husband. But, do something.

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