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Q & A

I find myself having issues with my memory. It's very selective, and most of what I truly remember is the old stuff and the stuff I really care about. The rest is foggy.

Any one else experiencing the same issues?


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Jul 6, 2008
    • Any one else experiencing the same issues?  HELLO.  This is a site for women 40 AND BEYOND.  Of course, we all have and do!

      Surprisingly, in my professional life, my memory is impeccable.  I remember things my clients told me from months ago—details of their lives they’ve shared that they themselves don’t remember.

      But, about six months ago, I had “foggy brain syndrome” intensely.  I was constantly loosing my car keys, cell phone, sunglasses, reading glasses...I really got worried when I started losing water glasses!

      I’d get sidetracked driving to familiar places, passing turn-offs and driving around for awhile before I would realize I missed my exit.

      Not only did I miss the exit, I missed my brain!

      I made a 911 visit to the mid-life guru.  Good thing I didn’t forget my appointment.

      Amidst tears and blatherings on my part, my good doctor took out a sample hormone patch and sent me immediately to the bathroom to apply ASAP.

      Call me a placebo sucker, but I swear I could feel the fog clear by the time I drove the 25 miles back to Boulder.

      Seems like a lack of estrogen was the culprit.

      Haven’t had a day of brain freeze since.

      Now, hormone replacement therapy is controversial, and I did my homework.  It became a question of which poison did I want to pick?

      I picked the help of the extra hormones to get my mind and my sanity back. And I’m continuing to look at more natural alternatives, but in the meantime...I remember who I am, and that’s a good thing!

      Hot Women/Hot Humor

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Debra Roby wrote Jul 6, 2008
    • Oh, yeah!  Early in perimenopause I had severe brain fog.  I could forget a thought in the middle of a sentence!  It’s one of the symptoms that will appear before any hormone test will say you‘re menopausal.

      HRT did not help memory (perhaps because I needed to be on an anti-depressant to take the HRT), but from the other side of menopause, my memory has become clearer.

      One thing you need to do: Get Enough Sleep.  

      And learn to make lists and write everything down.

      OK.  Three things.  I forgot...

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Jul 6, 2008
    • Yana,
      I’ve been experiencing this for a long while-it unfortunately started w/ menopause and now that I’m for the most part through w/ that-I still can’t remember things!!!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Julie88b wrote Jul 6, 2008
    • Yes...I can be very forgetful....I usually blame lack of sleep or hormones or stress...I am basically in denial!!!


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • Oh yes! Just this week I was at the theatre and a good friend of my daughter’s came and sat next to me. I began to introduce him to my neighbour and completely blanked out his name-and I’d just said it!! He was ever so slightly offended and said it must be my age.

      However, memory loss with age is not inevitable and there are things we can do. I lead several seminars some of which are particularly aimed at older workers and they all say the same thing, men and women, although as everything seems to get worse with the menopause I'm sure that doesn't help!

      You can train the brain in simple ways.
      Here’s five tips to help improve the memory.
      1)Breathe deeply several times a day. Don’t hyperventilate that really doesn’t help. Instead, just breathe out a bit more than usual and then you will take in a deeper breath. The brain needs oxygen.

      2) Never get dehydrated. Often elderly folk appear confused and wrong diagnosis are made when in fact they are simply dehydrated or have a urinary tract infection, so have plenty of water on hand and sip at it when the fog descends. It helps on so many levels.

      3) Do some simple exercises in your head, like count up to 100 in 3s. 3,6,9,12, and then count back down starting from 100, 97, 94, 91 and so on. It’s more difficult than it sounds and really gets the little grey cells going!

      4) Make sure to change your routines from time to time. Try using your non dominant hand more than the other for an hour, pick up a coloured crayon to write with instead of a pen, sit in a different seat, that sort of thing.

      5) Don’t ever say ‘Oh it’s my age!‘If you keep telling yourself you‘re forgetful, guess what, you become forgetful! Instead, when you forget something say ‘It will come to me in a minute’ and you’ll find it usually does!

      If you try any of this do let me know if it helps!
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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • I agree with Jane and azdana.  I absolutely hate it when my friends say, “I’m getting old“.  Give me a break.  The 50’s are the new 30’s (not really, but it sounds good).

      I was in the grocery store recently.  I was in age denial and wearing a blue jean miniskirt.  An elderly woman stopped me to tell me how wonderful I looked in my skirt.

      I laughed and told her it really was a bit ridiculous for my age.

      She said, “Hey, I’m 87 and I never think that way.  You look wonderful and that’s what you should focus on.  You are as young as you think.”

      That wise woman made my day.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • Mary and Dana, thank you both for your comments!
      We are truly as young as we stay in our heads.  

      I have told loads of women about saying ‘It will come to me in a moment’ and so many come back and tell me how it actually works!

      And as for how we dress...if a woman feels good she looks good. Be comfortable in your skin and everything looks great on you!  

      Enjoy getting older, it’s great!
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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • Your friend Mary sounds like an amazing role model. Long may she continue to inspire you!

      My mother who is approaching 80 is my role model with regard to ageing. This week end my son had his first professional play on and all the family were there en masse. There was an after show party at a nightclub. I was slightly anxious about taking Mum but she loved it and was a hit with everyone.  

      She loves to dress up and her favourite recent possession is a bright purple handbag I bought her. She swings it about with great aplomb! She goes to keep fit (Nifty Fifties)twice a week and is a member of the Golden Oldies,a singing group for the over 70.s And she ferries about the village what she calls the ‘old folk’ in her purple car!

      I plan to age with attitude like the amazing Mary and my Mum and we’ll be looking forward to the best times of our lives!

      Rock on!
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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • Good for you!
      But what a coincidence! My son, who is home at moment having just done his play, loves Phoenix Suns and despite being British we have a huge Suns flag adorning the outside of his door so I see those colours every day!
      I guess you know this poem by Jenny Joseph?
      Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

      By Jenny Joseph

      When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

      with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

      And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

      and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

      I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

      and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

      and run my stick along the public railings

      and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

      I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

      and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

      and learn to spit.

      You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

      and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

      or only bread and pickles for a week

      and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

      But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

      and pay our rent and not swear in the street

      and set a good example for the children.

      We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

      But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

      So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

      When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      VICKY CORYEA wrote Jul 7, 2008
    • hello————-I have always read that this is hormonal....not sure that makes ya feel any better but I read several books and they all say that this syndrome is normal. as the other gals have said, something to do with estrogen.personally I have not had that problem yet. I am 51.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jul 8, 2008
    • Ladies,

      BIG THANKS to all of you, at least I know that I’m still semi normal...

      My grandma started telling me that I’m pre menopausal since I turned thirty. I love my grandma, and she still has all her scruples in tack, but ANY problem was attributed to going through menopause. When I read your answers, I called her and announced that she is right, I’m pre menopausal, she was soooo happy to hear that she is finally right.... thirteen years later, but non the less.

      I agree that we should never use our age to claim anything but wisdom. Browsing the streets of Madrid, South of France, Italy and Switzerland, I have to say that once I again I’m very impressed with women. Cosmetic procedures are just not evident here. Most women are impeccably dressed, most wear heals, and proudly display their wrinkles on their face. At the beach no one has implants and are parading the beach with their breasts that far from perfect, and no one seems to mind.  I LOVE that. No on seems to be on a mission to be perfect or compete with size zero models or twenty something girls.

      What was really funny and appropriate to this post, last night sitting in a restaurant, a women in her fifties used her napkin as a fan to put out what seemed to be a hot flash, and there again no one seemed to mind that she wasn't hiding it and when it was over, they raised their glasses to salute her.

      NOW that's impressive...I need to remember this one...
      In fact, maybe I'll start practicing hot flashes early, it will go well with my lack of memory theme and will get all the attention I need and then some..

      If I can just keep this thought in my memory long enough.....

      All the best,

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa VM wrote Jul 9, 2008
    • Actually,, I have always had memory issues when I need something and for the life of me can’t remember where I put it because I put in a real good place so nothing would happen to it...
      However, I am a historian and genealogist, so if I get to a point where I am walking through a room and I hear someone ask “I wonder how much it cost to build city hall” and I can’t quickly turn around and say, building started in 1876 with a budget of $15000 however by the time it was finished in 1878 the total cost was estimated at $23600, give or take a few dollars...
      Then I know I am in trouble, or when a family member calls and says are we related to..... if I can’t run a mental printout of the some odd 640 ancestors I have uncovered to date, then I have a problem....
      So I guess for now my memory is in tack...

      And hey, whats wrong with Purple and Red, I kinda like those colours together, and the fact that they tell me I’m too young to wear them makes me feel real good!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Angelic48 wrote Jul 9, 2008
    • Oh Yeah.... My Mother said it is just part of ageing....I do not agree.  I know people in their 80’s that can tell you everything from young childhood to now...I believe it is this thing we call life...We have so much on our minds with all areas of life that we block the things we really want to recall but pushed to the very back and covered it up with today’s thoughts...

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 9, 2008
    • I like red and purple; hot pink and lime green. But then I have interesting (strange) tastes... or so my mother always told me. :) I just recently started wearing shorter dresses, tank tops, and more flattering clothes again. I used to go for the ‘matronly’ look. The change in clothes has given me a changed outlook. I don’t feel so ‘frumpy’ anymore. :)
      As for memory - mine is decent, better than it used to be actually. There was one point in my life that I lived in a fog, and couldn’t remember what I had eaten at the last meal, or why I had just walked into a room.  

      Dee Dee

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