New here and scared

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
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Sara
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Re: New here and scared

Postby Sara » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:12 pm

Hi Natasha, Quickly scanned through the responses above and may have missed it but you might want to try (if you are not already) introducing some type of meditation practice into your daily routine to help with stress management. I personally use HeartMath and meditate for about 20 minutes a day. The ReCODE program recommends the Neuro Agility recording which you would do 5 x per week, laying down, in the evenings for about 30 minutes with lights turned down. This program has the potential to help you sleep better! Good luck.
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Re: New here and scared

Postby CoachDD » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:57 am

I agree with Sara and others - take a big deep breath and really focus on self-care right now. Be thankful that you are now armed with so much information (and support!) and that you are able to take control and make this the best life possible.

We are very close in age and I also suffered miserably with brain fog and memory issues over the past couple of years. THIS is what sent my on my journey to find out what was going on - and ultimately to find out that I have one copy of the ApoE4 gene. I also thought I had early onset. I've since learned that I do not (there are specific genetic markers and you can test for that), so that was a huge relief.

I also have a clinical diagnosis of Lyme along with heavy metal toxicity AND Mold Illness. It completely threw a monkey wrench into my plans and affected every aspect of my life. It also led me to a career change - and quite frankly, gave me a new perspective on life.

I tell you all this to say - please be patient and kind to yourself. I KNOW this is scary, but I assure you that if you take the steps to improve your diet, make some lifestyle changes (meditation is good!) - and if you haven't already, incorporate movement into your everyday life....it WILL get better. And it's okay to take baby steps - do one new thing a week if that's all you can do.

I'd suggest looking up Dr. Kelly Brogan, a board certified, Harvard trained psychiatrist. She has a program that allows people to gently come off of prescriptions and offers ways to naturally support your body to keep anxiety at bay. Dr. Aviva Romm (OB/Gyn) website is another great resource.

PM me if you'd like - I'd be happy to share more if you are interested. Best of luck to you - you got this!
Learning to Live (3/4)
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Natasha
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Re: New here and scared

Postby Natasha » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 am

Sorry I haven't responded. Thanks to those who responded to me and for your warm welcome and suggestions.

I guess I said too much about Lyme, etc... I'll edit that out.

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Re: New here and scared

Postby slacker » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:48 am

Natasha wrote:Sorry I haven't responded. Thanks to those who responded to me and for your warm welcome and suggestions.

I guess I said too much about Lyme, etc... I'll edit that out.


We have members struggling with Lyme and co-infections, so it's completely appropriate to bring up this subject. No need for apology or editing.
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Re: New here and scared

Postby Surupe » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi Natasha,
I relate to everything you said and feel like you so much of the day. I have been denying the fact that I’ve had anxiety and depression for most of my life and upon reaching age 50, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I am 4/4 and freaked out that my memory loss, brain fog, faulty reasoning and lack of concentration is due to Alzheimer’s. I research the topic at least 2 hours daily because I’m so stressed about it. I finally talked to my doc and had some anxiety when they gave me a quick memory test on how to draw 11:10 on a clock...I froze and forgot (momentarily) how to draw it. That started a cascade right in the docs office! He told me that anxiety, stress and depression can do horrible things to the brain. I found this article and it helped me quite a bit:
https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-s ... -fog.shtml
I feel your pain and hope that you are feeling better. I’m starting Lexapro tomorrow and am taking 12mg of Trazadone at night to combat the anxiety. I feel like Trazidone is better than Valium but neither are great. It stresses me out to take these drugs but I’m losing my mind as it is.
Hang in there. 8-)
Surupe
E4/E4

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Re: New here and scared

Postby slacker » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:50 pm

Surupe wrote:I’m starting Lexapro tomorrow and am taking 12mg of Trazadone at night to combat the anxiety. I feel like Trazidone is better than Valium but neither are great. It stresses me out to take these drugs but I’m losing my mind as it is.


I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling, and do believe that anxiety can cause forgetfulness. It's hard to remember things when you can't pay attention to what you are doing. Hope the meds help. Is therapy an option? Talk therapy may help you reframe what is happening to you so that you can manage your thoughts about it better.

ApoE4 is associated with late onset AD; your age excludes you from late onset!
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Re: New here and scared

Postby Fiver » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:57 am

I did a dive into the literature about a year ago and the data seems to indicate that SSRIs lower risk slightly or have no impact of risk. I did not find much of anything indicating that SSRIs increase AD risk. I would think you can address the anxiety/depression without extra worry about AD. In fact, one theory of how SSRIs work is by stimulating neuron growth, partly via increasing BDNF. They can have side effect, of course. But elevated AD risk doesn't seem to be one of them.

In general, addressing the problem should help.
A little tired of reading studies. A little worried about the lack of research progress. Ever notice Forrest Gump's Alabama jersey number?

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Re: New here and scared

Postby NF52 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:02 am

Surupe wrote:... I have been denying the fact that I’ve had anxiety and depression for most of my life and upon reaching age 50, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I am 4/4 and freaked out that my memory loss, brain fog, faulty reasoning and lack of concentration is due to Alzheimer’s. I research the topic at least 2 hours daily because I’m so stressed about it... I’m starting Lexapro tomorrow and am taking 12mg of Trazadone at night to combat the anxiety. I feel like Trazidone is better than Valium but neither are great. It stresses me out to take these drugs but I’m losing my mind as it is...
Surupe
Hugs, Surupe, from a 4/4 older sister (age 67) who wants to recognize your strength in reaching out to Natasha in the midst of your own pain. I once read a great memoir by a wonderful Irish author, Nuala O'Faolain, titled Almost There about how difficult the early years of the 50's can be for women. It starts out with a line I won't do justice to, but goes something like this: "I wish I had known when I turned 50 how wonderful my life would be at 60." Reading that in my early 50's, with a stressful job, a crazy (really) sister and a mother with dementia, I hoped that she was right. She was! I would rate the early 50's as at least as stressful for many women as puberty, with changes that are as head-spinning and difficult to figure out. Like you I found out that I had to treat the anxiety that I experienced, but eventually the causes of the anxiety had been resolved or my ability to reframe and respond to them had improved. None of that had anything to do with being ApoE 4/4--except maybe we have an ability to think deeply, to be a little too introspective and a little obsessive when we're searching for answers.

Like you, I spent several years with hours per day looking for answers, information, studies, etc. to understand this foreign world of ApoE 4/4. Now, 5 years later, I read less and feel much happier. I don't have to go back and earn an unofficial biochemistry, neuroscience or even a health coach degree. I just need to feel empowered to do what makes me happy, and to understand that "perfection" can be the enemy of mindful peace.

Hugs, my friend. Life will get better. The Lexapro and Trazadone will give your brain a chance to do what it does best: fix problems in the background while you sleep and lead a life with maybe no more than 15 minutes a day spent reading about apoE 4.
4/4 and still an optimist!

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Re: New here and scared

Postby Surupe » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:04 pm

Slacker, Fiver and NF52,
Thank you so much for your helpful responses!
I do realize that ApoE 4/4 is not the early onset gene but when I think of all my risk factors, I am worried that the decline could start early for me. My memory and executive functioning has really declined over the last year. But, after talking to my doc (which I was scared to do), I feel okay with taking the Lexapro and Trazadone he offered. The Trazadone has helped me sleep well and took away hot flashes waking me every 20 minutes. I will start the Lexapro after I get through the next few crazy weeks at work.
NF52, we do have some things in common with our special ed backgrounds! Part of my stress is this insane job I have and the pressure I’m under. 70 hour workweeks with deadline after deadline ( I started a new Special Ed position 2 years ago) has been horrible for me. I didn’t realize how stress had been affecting my brain. Doc ordered some counseling for me which I will do promptly!
The early 50’s are no joke, that’s for sure! I feel more stressed now than ever before. Maybe soon I can start to rest easier about my 4/4 status but researching to fix things is in my blood. Maybe the Lexapro and therapy can help a bit .
Thanks again, for your insights and support!
E4/E4

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Re: New here and scared

Postby NF52 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:25 pm

Surupe wrote:NF52, we do have some things in common with our special ed backgrounds! Part of my stress is this insane job I have and the pressure I’m under. 70 hour workweeks with deadline after deadline ( I started a new Special Ed position 2 years ago) has been horrible for me. I didn’t realize how stress had been affecting my brain. Doc ordered some counseling for me which I will do promptly!
You remembered my special ed. background! (And I remembered yours too. ;) )

Your counselor may be able to help you think about what in your job you can delegate (to aides, teacher assistants, related service staff on your team), or "kick up" to an assistant principal, school counselor or psychologist. And you may also be able to consider the 80-20 Pareto Rule: that 20% of our efforts brings 80% of our results. Maybe each IEP doesn't need to be exhaustive in its descriptions of PLEPS or PLOPS (depending on your state, special ed. types will know what those acronyms mean). And maybe parents can be gently encouraged to hold questions until 10-week parent-teacher conferences. And maybe if you're the go-to point person that the principal asks to be on every Shared Decision Making team, and every Special Olympics planning group, you can tap one of the newbies for the job. When I retired, they promptly hired an additional administrator (as an assistant to the role I had) and an additional secretary, and hired an outside firm to do Medicaid billing. Don't be the person who was "irreplaceable" until they find they can and do replace you with one or more people who choose not to ruin their health. Hugs, my friend!
4/4 and still an optimist!


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