At a loss for words.

Don’t you just hate it when you lose or can’t retrieve the word you want from your brain?  Since becoming ill I have found it is a regular occurrence.  I will be talking to someone and in the middle of a sentence I can’t come up with the word I want to use.  Try as I might, the word won’t come.  Sometimes I have been successful by trying to find another word that means something similar.  In the middle of a reaction as I was in yesterday, I was hard pressed to come up with the other word.

What was the word you say?  I don’t know.  I still don’t know.  I was trying to convey how when dealing with someone I would just respond very vaguely without giving either a yes or no answer.  As I was searching for the word I became tearful.  I tried and tried and finally came up with equanimity (calmness, poise, serenity, self-possession).  It seemed to work but wasn’t really the word I wanted to use.  Maybe I was wanting to use apathetic (showing little or no emotion, indifferent, not interested or concerned).  As I am writing this definition I think that is the word I wanted to use.

As hard as I try to retrain my brain by reading, crossword puzzles, etc. I still lose words in conversation even more so in the midst of a reaction.  I still find when I type that I transpose the same letters in certain words over and over again even though I know how to spell the words.  Yesterday when I was in the reaction my handwriting became hard to read (see picture for a sample of my handwriting in my journal during a reaction) and I spelled things wrong, my right hand became very cold and I had a much harder time expressing myself.

I have been told that mold mycotoxins can damage brain cells.  Sometimes you regain some of the processes you lost but usually not all of them.  When I was first exposed to mold (didn’t know it then) I would take phone messages and then look at them and realize they didn’t make sense and have to re-write them. Sometimes my boss would come in and ask me what the message meant even after I am sure it had been rewritten.  My handwriting was also deteriorating .  At the time I would become frustrated over this but it never dawned on me that something serious was going on with me and my brain.

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4 responses to “At a loss for words.

  1. Oh yes, absolutelly have the same problem with finding the exact words when I am talking to someone now after my mold exposures. But I also find that I have a very difficult time reading outloud now as well. I have trouble pronouncing words correctly and must go very slow in speaking them and still might not get it right.

    Worse still, is that I am no longer able to retell a story or describe a situation or object due to those “blanks” that we get in finding the exact word. And the more I want to argue a point, stress a pertinent fact, and prove that I am correct in what I am telling someone, the more I can’t get ahold of those words, remember the point I was making, recall the fact I need to prove I am right and therefore what was once one of my very best talents and abilities…..being able to debate and advocate…..is now an embarassment for me to even try to accomplish.

    However, I find that I still have my ability to “write” and express myself perfectly….as I can take my time and read what I just said, correct my mistakes until I get it as perfectly written as I used to be able to speak it.

    In my former profession as an advocate for people with disabilities we called that an “accomidation”…..The ADA garantees that if needed on a job or other situations we face, we who have this disability are now allowed the right to be accomidated by another reasonable means of being able to do the same things that people without disabilities can do.

    Keep this in mind if you are having troubles communicating verbally on the job if you still have one or if you are involved in any legal situations where it is imperitive that you be understood correctly.

  2. Patricia – Thank you for the information regarding disability through ADA. When I was doing my deposition and could not go into the courtroom, the judge agreed that the deposition could be held around a table in my driveway with my attorney, the defense attorney and the court stenographer making the hour long trip each way to my home. Later when it was time for trial, the judge, my attorney, the defense attorney and the stenographer again drove an hour each way to hold court in my garage for two or three days spread out over the course of a few months. One of the court dates was in February and it was cold. One day was very hot and the judge had on his suit. Once trial was over and whenever we had to go to court for a hearing to clear something up, my attorney (bless his heart) went and defended me while I sat at home by my phone if needed.

    I, too, find that writing is much easier as I can take my time searching this old brain of mine for the correct words and can correct all the typos that my hands make in transposing those words. I would tell you which words they are but I can’t remember which ones they are until I type them and get flustered at the same mistake over again.

  3. I know this is one of your older entries, but it seems more appropriate to respond here, where so much of what I have read in this and your previous months’ entries are familiar. I have MCS with food sensitivities and suffer from many of the same symptoms: forgetfulness (which I actually think is not an accurate term to describe what happens), word loss (which I am experiencing right now as I try to think of the next symptom), vocabulary decline (I, too, do crossword puzzles in the hopes it will help), letter-reversals and misspelling (I used to be excellent at spelling), etc. I also know how it is to have to wear a mask in public. Your blog entry about that sure hit home. I sometimes, probably foolishly, try to go without it just to avoid the stares and reactions. But I really wanted to thank you for your entry above about how you handled your court appointment; actually meeting outside and having them come to you. I have been in a struggle with the Social Security Administration for nearly 7 years trying to get on disability. My last court hearing, I began with very high anxiety and then was affected by fragrance exposures. My brain was so “dismembered”, I answered things incorrectly (only to recall the mistakes later), and was cut off by the judge when I tried to explain my cognitive difficulties. My strange behavior was seen as insincerity and I was denied assistance. Should I get to the point of having another court hearing, I will insist on what I need in order to remain a little more coherent.

    • I am sorry that you are a fellow sufferer. Yes it is sometimes difficult to describe what we are going through when the “brain fog” kicks in. I wish you luck with your SSD.

      Thank you for following me. I hope to hear more from you in the future.

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