Memory Loss and Lyme Disease
The Inability to Retain, Recall, or Critically Think
Memory loss is a sub category of brain fog in those with Lyme Disease. It spawns frustration and can really ruin a great conversion. In the eyes of the people we encounter everyday, we become a person for whom has been misconstrued. Much like every other symptom manifested from Lyme Disease, it is an incredibly unpredictable variable. As treatment progresses in the right direction though, there is nothing but certainty that the debilitating affects of this symptom exponentially dissipate.
Inability to Recall Short and Long Term Memory
How easy is it to recall what day of the week it is or where you were just a few hours before? It's not easy. It literally requires you to stop what you're physically doing to focus any amount of energy towards figuring it out. Even after spending a good 10 seconds on concentrating, all one can up with is a blank. Literally the simple task of recalling short term and long term memory has become a challenge. It is as if the slate of memories one's brain contains has been wiped clean. Make no mistake that not being able to recall short term or long term memories can become very frustrating. Especially if one if carrying on a conversion with a person who has the same memories.
A feat that should usually take no more than a fraction of a second leaves others wondering why we can't recall this simple information in a timely manner. For many of us, figuring out such an answer actually requires visual or tangible evidence. We literally have to physically travel to a place where the memory was created or to where a hint can be given.
Inability to Retain Information
If attempting to recall information from the past wasn't troublesome enough, retaining newly presented information at times is nearly impossible. It's almost as if our ability to learn has been locked away. The place in our brains where we store new information has seemed to close its doors.
The world possess a wealth of information which is presented to different people at different times. Information is a continuum. We posses the ability to continuously learn as not all the information alive can be obtained at one time. One could never contain all the information regardless as there is new information being created all the time. If everything in the world could be obtained in one shot, then all we would have to worry about is creating critical thought or recalling memories. This would also be an implication that no new information is created which in turn is the reflection of a non existent continuum.
Reading a book is an easy task for one with Lyme Disease. Comprehending and retaining what has been read is what has been compromised. Reading a sentence or a paragraph many times over has become the coping mechanism for this disability. Even after attempting to drill the information into ones head, it seems to vanish in thin air. This process can be compared to a balloon full of helium. One can continue to pull the balloon down towards the earth as many times as desired, much like reading a sentence repeatedly. Once one decides to let go of the balloon, the information and the balloon are gone and out of reach.
Difficulty Finding the Appropriate Word
Words are our attempt to reflect our thoughts in the most honest and truest manner possible. Though words can never truly depict how we rationalize inside our heads, it is an art and passion. We strive to articulate the appropriate words for the feelings or thoughts despite their ability to inevitably diminish our true internal meaning.
It can be incredibly embarrassing or frustrating to lose the ability to choose the appropriate word for one's portrayal. A feeling arises in the brain and depending on our vocabulary knowledge, a word is immediately matched with it and is used verbally to convey that emotion. With Lyme Disease, this everyday taken for granted function is shut down. This inability does not discriminate against vocabulary knowledge as even the simplest of words can not be recalled. In the eyes of the people we converse with, we come off as stupid. It's not even feasible of defending one's self of the impediment due to my next point.
Inability to Critically Think
Not only is not being able to find the appropriate conversing words demoralizing to our self-esteem, but so is the inability to create critical thought. Forget about finding the right word to portray your thoughts. What about being completely unable to find the appropriate thought? Critical thought is essential for functioning normally in life. It is the catalyst that has driven the great accomplishments of our species. We are constantly thinking even if we aren't consciously aware or intend to.
It is the job of the human brain to analyze its environment continuously in order to maintain a balance between pleasure and pain, good and evil or right and wrong. The choices we makes are designed to please us to the greatest extent of their capabilities.
What happens when the ability to think has been obstructed? Life surely doesn't move as fast as we intended it to as the time is now being consumed by our attempt to rationalize. For some, the thinking process has in a sense completely shut off. Any type of rational thought, no matter how hard we concentrate, just can be rendered. For others, a simple reminder or spark is needed to fuel the concentration. Take for instance the second natured task of starting a car. With Lyme Disease, this simple task which use to be performed without intentional thinking, has slowed us down. We must set aside time to intentionally think and reconstruct in our minds what it takes from us physically to start a car. The actions deemed necessary to performing a simple task must be sought after in great deductive detail.
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