I am kind of afraid to share this but....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Last week I thought I was going insane.  I was taking Kate to ballet and a woman (who was on the phone) in front of the studio said hello to me in the most warm and friendly way.  She used my name and Kate's name and even hugged Kate.  I looked at her and she looked familiar but I could not for the LIFE of me recall who she was or how I knew her. Luckily, since was was talking on the phone, I did not have to stop and chat with her.  Mere seconds later (inside the studio) another woman who looked vaguely familiar also said hi to me by name.  I give her a quick smile and hello before ushering Kate into her class.  I immediately ran to the bathroom and locked myself in the stall for what seemed like at least 10 minutes while I tried to place them.

I could not remember who these two women were.  I know I knew them but I could not place their names or where I knew them from.  I literally had to go through questions like...

Do they go to our church?

Do they live in our neighborhood?

Are they from Kate's former pre-school?

I finally made the connection and they were ironically and coincidentally from the same place (Kate's Montessori school from 2 years ago).  But the whole scenario freaked me out.  It wasn't that I just could not recall their names...I had NO CLUE HOW I even knew them. I know that stress and not eating well (I had been eating way more carbs than I normally do) can effect memory but this one scared me.  I am doing some things right now to try to "feed" my memory better and I will share about that in a later post.  But I am wondering if anyone else has had things like this happen to them.  I used to have the best memory.  It is kinda scary.


Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going.

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

42 comments:

  1. Hey this happens to everyone I think....Yes I could be looking at the person I want to introduce, and come to a blank when trying to think of their name....

    So just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one! HA!

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  2. That used to happen to me a lot. I would be introducing people and I would FORGET their names. You are not alone!

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  3. I have always had a terrible memory although I succeeded through school and tests. My "social" memory and my "what I had for lunch" memory are pitiful yet I can remember complex accounting equations from college. I'll be interested to read what you have been doing to boost brain power!

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  4. We moms are so busy that its hard to remember everything. There is a popular phrase in Spanish,(although is lost in translation and it rhymes in Spanish, goes something like "everything wont fit in one bag no matter how much you try". Its important to take care of our minds and bodies, but know that I think we are all on the same boat. Some days I don't know which way is up.

    Daisy

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  5. I had a memory like an elephant, I could remember names, recall places from previous years, crazy bizarre things that my husband swore I was the only one who would remember such a tidbit. NOW.....holy moly batman I can barely remember my name somedays. I use to make lists because I was super organized(that blew away with my memory)but now I HAVE to make a list to get anything done. I feel so scatterbrained and feel just ridiculous at times when David ask me if I did something he asked and I looked at him like he is just crazy!!
    My doctor thinks it's just being the mom to a 3 year old and hope that she is right. She says I am using the space and memory that I use to use for all things consuming like a child(and less interaction with other adults) But man is it frustrating and I feel like a flake and want to explain that I use to have a great memory.

    Very overwhelming. Fornuately for me I do remember to make the lists and I do get something done around here most days:) LOL

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  6. Hi Kim,

    I had a simliar (although more extreme) episode like this last weekend. I went to the ER. All of a sudden, I couldn't spell, read or remember. I thought I was having a stroke (I am 31). I was diagnosed with a migrane -- but never had a headache. It was one of the strangest and frightening things I have ever experienced. I couldn't remember close friends' names or even my parent's phone number.

    I just wanted to post because initially it was just disorienting and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't type a word that I knew I knew!

    I just wanted to share that it was a migrane in the event it happens again. I was surprised that a migrane could have that effect (especially without other symptoms like headache or visual disturbances).

    Megan

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  7. I've had the same thing happen. It's a particular issue for those of us who have moved a lot--too many places to associate people with!

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  8. Time to increase the fish intake. Let me explain.....
    My 11 year old son asked me last night at dinner if he should eat more fish. I asked him why. He said he wasn't doing so well at remembering all of his spelling words and he heard that eating fish makes one smart, so he thought maybe I should be serving him more fish because he said it's "brain food".
    Not to worry. Things like this happen to me frequently. I was shopping in Costco the other day and a woman came up to me, touched me on the back and said, "shopping without the kiddos today"? Obviously she knew me because I have a fair tribe of children and they love to grocery shop (especially at Costco), but, unlike you, I swear I didn't know this woman. She continued to say a couple of things to me, but I never did place her.

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  9. I really do it now as well, I CANNOT remember a name or how I know someone. I have started playing words with friends to exercise my brain a little...haha. I thought reading alot was supposed to help keep your mind active and alert hmmmm? Can't wait to see what you share about how to feed your memory!

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  10. about 6 years ago, i walked around WalMart for almost an hour before I remembered what I went there for. I sat in the parking lot and cried so hard...felt CRAZY! Our lives were in a state of MAJOR change and John's 14 yr old daughter lived with us and was giving this new stepmom a run for her money. That good cry helped me so much!

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  11. This happens to me (and sometimes I never do figure out where I know them!) and it scares me too. I know fish oil is supposed to help - and getting enough sleep.

    I'm looking forward to hearing the great advice you get!

    xo ellie

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  12. Indeed you're not alone! I thought you were going to say that these friendly women were readers of your blog and just "felt" like they knew you and Kate!

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  13. Don't feel bad...I think we've all been there. It probably threw you for a loop that it happened with 2 people in a row.

    I remember when I was pregnant that I did such strange things...I certainly had the pregnancy brain, because I would forget to lock my car, left the back hatch open once when I went for a walk. I accused Subway of not giving me a gift card that I purchased...(Okay, I didn't really "accuse" them, but it was days later that I found it)...only for the manager to call me later and say that they viewed the tapes in the store and saw that I did in fact receive the gift card. OH my GOODNESS! How embarrassing. I truly felt like I was losing my mind. Now, I'm not saying you're pregnant or anything, BUT??? Just kidding...

    I think sometimes we have to find the humor even in those things that make us scared/fearful. Come check out my blog...it will hopefully give you something to laugh at. :)

    Be Blessed...
    Heidi (hi-d)
    http://hi-dho.blogspot.com

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  14. It happens to me all the time when I am tired.

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  15. Oh yes.
    I have been caught stumbling trying to remember the person right then and there. In front of them. Nothing like a humbling moment. OY!

    I would swear that all the anesthesia I have had over the years has affected my memory, especially my shorter term memory. After my surprise 4th major surgery a few years ago, my short term memory really took a hit. My long term memory is still really good.

    I have just learned to deal with the fact that I may not remember something I did this week soon after it happens. Just give me a month and then I will be able to recall it!

    Thanks for being real! You are loved, we are blessed!

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  16. Yes it happens to me too, especially if I see familiar people in a different place than where I would normally run into them. It is very startling when it happens though.


    Blessings,
    Robin

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  17. This happens to be all the time and I even forget my good friends last names all the time lately. Once I was sitting in church with a friend. I had to write her a check after church for some make-up and for the life of me, her name was erased from my brain. I spend the better part of church trying to remember her name so I could write her a check.

    A lot of my friends also say they have had this issues lately. I don't like getting older - LOL!!

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  18. Hey at least you eventually remembered. I think it must be that you and Kate are so memorable, that eveyone remembers you - even casual acquaintances.

    I'm a teacher and was reading something today in a meeting about kids and learning. Regarding retaining information, it said something to the effect of, 'the brain ruthlessly weeds out information it does not deem important..'

    Your brain is just busy with other things, and had to do some 'weeding out!'

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  19. Hey at least you eventually remembered. I think it must be that you and Kate are so memorable, that eveyone remembers you - even casual acquaintances.

    I'm a teacher and was reading something today in a meeting about kids and learning. Regarding retaining information, it said something to the effect of, 'the brain ruthlessly weeds out information it does not deem important..'

    Your brain is just busy with other things, and had to do some 'weeding out!'

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  20. I can usually recognize faces...but never remember names or where I know them from...not exactly the same thing...but I wonder if the first woman threw you enough to make you have anxiety and not thinking clearly with the second woman?

    I have to punch in a code of 5 numbers when I enter my school building and when I leave...every day. One day about an hour before I was to leave I had a panic attack because I could NOT remember the five numbers. I do it without thinking twice everyday...but I just couldn't think of them for the life of me. I thought I would have to leave and pretend I forgot to sign out...but then they DID come to me in time...but it was weird at the time...

    Worry not...I would chalk it up to anxiety with all you have going on...

    Take care!!

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  21. So...I just randomly found your blog on someone's sidebar. :) You probably know how that goes. But, I can't help but comment on this post, because this sort of stuff use to happen to be fairly frequently when I wasn't sleeping well. So, I'm not sure if you have had any sleep issues recently...but that can be a BIG cause of forgetfulness. I have the CRAZIEST stories of what I would do when sleep deprived....but it all goes away once you get more rest. :)

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  22. It happens to me all the time also:) And by the looks of the comments...all of your other friends too! Yay we are a team!!!

    I really worry Greg though and Lottie. Lottie tells me that I always forget important things and remember the things that don't really matter. It's true:)

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  23. Yup, it is really upsetting. I don't know if it is an age thing (I am 42), a busy thing or a not eating right thing. I recently had my third baby and it was so bad, I was sure something was wrong.... Turns out I was right.... i am currently dealing with a thyroid imbalance.

    Long story short, you are not alone... At all!

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  24. I remember the most ridiculous things and details . Then I forget really important and significant things. I get so embarrassed because I really think people think I am lying or being absurd. For example ( so embarrassed to admit this) at thecpediatricians office when they ask date of birth for my kids , I really have to think hard for the years they were born. Ugh!

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  25. That happens to everyone. You also may not have a strong visual memory. Eric remembers a face forever and he's never wrong. I remember events and moments and he can't remember those for anything.

    I also find that the more I have on my mind, the more likely I am to forget something. I liken it to an overly-full hard drive with no more space! :)

    Don't worry. You are perfectly normally and probably way too busy.

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  26. A resounding YES! Things like this happen far more than they should. Case in point the other day, I was looking for the house phone, looked all over then found it....in the refrigerator. Then I am known to call people then by the time they pick up I have forgotten who I am calling so I will just say "hi this is Tina, do you know me" then they will laugh and I will know who it is. I, at my last physcial asked my doctor about this, and he reassured me, telling me its that I have too much on my plate. Can't argue with him on that one!

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  27. Its well known in psych Kim that the more we have on our minds, the less we can attend to detail and retain information. So its not a memory deterioration, rather a reflection of what's going on in your life.

    Go easy on yoursefl
    Yve

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  28. Happens to me all the time and I'm supposedly the one with the good memory in my family. My sisters do not remember things from our youth at all! Ha ha -- I make myself sound wonderful whenever I remind them of something that happened in childhood! :) Take it easy. Also think when I have a lot on my mind, it happens more often.

    janet

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  29. I used to have a great memory, but find the last few years that it is slowly getting worse. I tell myself, that it is because of all the information we are bombarded with today. Technology is great, but it has made our lives so much faster and does not allow us to catch a breath and absorb the information.
    I have heard meditation is great for the memory. I know with kids, a job, a house it can be difficult, but even as little as ten minutes a day helps!

    Susan

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  30. ALL.THE.TIME. Drives me nuts. You are not alone and it is worrisome. I'm looking forward to hearing about how your diet change works -- I might follow it, too.

    Hang in there!
    Melissa

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  31. If your body was used to GF and now you're eating a lot of gluten carbs, that can be a side effect. I was complaining about trouble focusing, remembering, etc. and then ended up GF for a different health issue and it cleared my head up so much! When I went back on gluten for a little while (a week is all I could take!), I felt all muddled and "slow" again! I really do believe in the food piece!

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  32. Perfectly normal....well at least for me. I'm always calling one of the kids by the other's name!! They have gotten so use to it...they all now have a saying "doesn't matter WHO you call us...just don't forget to call US for dinner"! Poor kids sure no how to handle their poor mom!!

    Sidenote: I as well forget names and sometimes faces. It will drive me nuts if I walk off, so I just slide this little line in on them "I know the face....but I just can't remember where! Ok....JOG my memory...how do we know each other?" Works everytime for me!!

    *disclaimer* this works well w/NON household family members...pretty horrible to recite that to kids, hubby or even the dog that protects the house.

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  33. Been there, have a t-shirt :)

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  34. Been there done that - I USED to have the BEST memory. now..not so much - I call it "mommy brain meets menopause brain"! Comes with the 4's - along with all the lights in the world going dimmer so you can't see and gravity finally defeating muscle mass in your body!

    Welcome to the club my friend!

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  35. lol...You are making me laugh! :) I have a horrible memory, so I'm no help. I've been saying I need to get some of those vitamins for memory...but I can never remember to pick them up!! hahahahahaha...SO SAD!!!

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  36. It seems like it might be low risk to share it.......you'll likely forget that you ever told us :)

    And most of us will probably forget you shared it, so it's a win-win.

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  37. It happens to me too. I feel very sorry when people say: " Hello Belén. How are you ?" and I even don't know their names or even who they are !!!
    It doesn't happen every day but I don't like the feeling.

    Belén

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  38. Well this happens to me all the time!!! I have even graduated to the world of "progressive" lenses (bi-foculs!!!) Good grief, getting older is hard some days!

    I hope Harry's appt. went well for him yesterday!!! Praying for your precious boy and his family!!!

    Love,
    Di

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  39. This happens to me All The Time! I have such a tough time placing people when I see them outside of where I would normally see them, if that makes any sense. It's good to know we're not alone. Thanks for sharing.

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  40. Okay - I am so there!! And I care too, which drives me even crazier! So......if you have supplement suggestions - I can't wait to hear about them!

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  41. Yes I have. A few weeks ago a woman very familiar talked to me at a basketball game; I recognized her son too, but could not place them. Really bothered me too. It took over an hour, and then I realized she was a neighbor a few houses down. We don't see each other often, kids go to different schools, but I've known her to 8 years. So yep, I get it, and get how scary it is. If you find something that helps, I'm happy to know what it is. Alzheimers runs in my family line, so it scares me to death.

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Thank you for your kindness.