If it is critical to keep going to school, maybe you need a tutor from the start to help you stay focused (if you can afford one)
Or let your professors know you may need some schedule adjustments as your symptoms wax and wane.
This is a tough situation. On one hand you need to reduce the stress in your life so you can heal. Stress is bad bad.
On the other hand you need to try and stay in your life so you don't feel like life is passing you by (the way most of us live).
So yea, I would try to sit down with my professors and let them know you are battling a neurologic infection that cycles and causes cognitive difficulties. You need LOTS of flexiblity in your schedule...
... so sad to hear such a young person in so much pain and on all those nasty meds. Wishing you a swift recovery...
Blessing, Kim Kim
-------------------- We are spiritual beings on a human journey...
I spent the better part of three years in college trying to keep a full schedule, then a part time schedule, and wondering what was wrong with me, as I was then diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I've been out of college for a year and a half, undergoing treatment. I still don't think I can make it back and that pains me more than being sick. I really hope that this isn't the same for you but...
If you try and realize you can't keep up with the coursework, save yourself lots of aggravation and just withdraw from classes. Don't withdraw from the university! I wasted a lot of money on foolish pride and thinking it will be better next semester. Go home, get the medical treatment you need. Maybe take a class or two online. With a letter from you doc they should defer any scholarships you have. I know it sucks. I know it feels like you're failing, but I wish I would have done it earlier. All I got was sicker and poorer.
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-------------------- If Your Going Through Hell, Keep Going... Posts: 99 | From Shepherdstown, WV | Registered: Sep 2006
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Is there a Disability Ombudsman or a dean that works with students with disabilities?
If so, I would talk to them and see if they would make an accommodation to the finanical aid policy because of your disability. Accommodation is the legal word used under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Also find out what accommodations they are willing to make in the case that your illness interferes with your ability to take exams or hand in assignments on time.
I am in law school, and they are very good about working around my illness if I need extra time on an exam to take breaks, or to delay an exam because I started a new medication that causes side effects.
Sorry, but I don't have an answer on concentration. Although I would recommend staying away from sugars if you aren't already. The ups and downs they cause in blood sugar impact the ability to concentrate.
-------------------- "When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison Posts: 4711 | From Washington, DC | Registered: Mar 2004
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At George Mason where my sons attend if you have a doctor's letter you can get disability. On disability 9 credits is full-time. The office will direct you to notify profs and state the accomadations you need. (It is up to you whether you state your disability or not.)
My sons also get to schedule classes first so they are able to choose afternoon classes instead of morning classes.
I met last month with a disability advisor there and he also said that legally this can not be on your transcript and all disability records get shredded when you graduate.
He also told me that students are on disability for allergies, stomach problems......so many different conditions that we would not think of.
My one son had to drop out of college Junior year due to brain fog......he managed with the pain, fatigue and insomnia but the cognitive problems did him in. Now he takes 2 courses a semester here at our local college.
Contact your disability office. You will find helpful counselors, I am sure.
Posts: 1240 | From Centreville,VA | Registered: Mar 2005
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I also got through school by getting help from the disability office. I took a note to a disability counselor from my doctor detailing my health condition. Then with the counselor I talked about what accommodations I needed. I asked for things like - being able to extend deadlines on assignments, or take tests at a later date, being able to give presentations while seated, etc. Then, on the first day of class I simply handed a sheet to my professors to sign that detailed my accomodations - the nature of my health remained confidential.
As far as concentration, could you get yourself a voice recorder and record your classes? That way if you're unable to focus on a lecture you can listen to it later when you're feeling better.
Good luck with school. I know it's hard to go back Pam
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You may have to try a number of things before you get a level of improvement. Your best bet might be to find someone who does muscle testing so that they can determine exactly what will help YOU.
A naturopathic doctor is another option. You may need some sort of detox to help your brain function or it may be some other problem. Also, you may want to check the Buhner book, I think he has some recommendations. Do a search here as well.
I have been doing some research on brain and memory supplements. This is just a partial list along with some research that is not completed. This list also includes items that can cause brain function difficulties if one is deficient.
I'm not a doctor and I would recommend that you check with yours before you try something.
7-Keto DHEA DHEA is naturally produced by the adrenal glands and circulates in the blood stream where it is converted into testosterone and estrogen. 7-KETO is a clinically studied, safe form of DHEA that has been shown to enhance memory. 7-KETO is not converted to estrogens or androgens, a point of concern for many people.
Animal research indicates that 7-Keto™, a natural metabolite of DHEA, is a more active inducer of thermogenic enzymes than DHEA. Research on humans has shown that supplementation with 7-Keto is well tolerated.
Other benefits: Strengthens the immune system. May improve lean body mass and fat metabolism. It may decrease body fat and weight.
Acetyl L-Carnitine Carnitine is a vitamin like substance related to the B vitamins. Many studies have shown that acetyl L-Carnitine improves memory and learning and has a countering affect on some of the negative aspects of some diseases.5
It slows deterioration of memory and reduces the production of free radicals. It may also enhance brain metabolism..1
In one double-blind study of 236 elderly subjects with mild mental deterioration, the group that received 1500 mg of L-Acetylcarnitine daily, demonstrated significant improvement in mental function, particularly in memory and constructional thinking.6
For more about carnitine see: Information about L-acetylcarnitine, Acetyl-L-carnitine and L-Carnitine
Boron Boron is a trace element that improves brain and memory function and promotes alertness. It is needed for the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium and helps the body use energy from fats and sugars. 1
According to the U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, they conducted five studies that assessed brain electrical activity in both animals and humans. They found that Boron deprivation results in decreased brain electrical activity similar to that observed in nonspecific malnutrition. Also, boron deprivation results in poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and short-term memory.3
According to the U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, establishing a dietary reference intake for boron is justified. "An analysis of both human and animal data suggests that an acceptable safe range of population mean intakes of boron for adults could well be 1-13 mg/d." They state that recent findings indicate that a significant number of people do not consistently consume more than 1 mg B/d; this suggests that boron could be a practical nutritional or clinical concern.4
Other Benefits Immune function Energy utilization Motor speed and dexterity Lipid Metabolism Bone support Necessary for absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Caution: According to "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" 1, do not take more than 6 milligrams unless prescribed.
Choline Choline raises acetylcholine which is a very important nuerotransmitter. It maximizes mental ability and prevents memory loss in adults.1
Creatine Monohydrate Creatine is produced in the body from the amino acids methionine, glycine and arginine. Some studies have found that creatine can protect the brain from neurotoxic agents.7 Several studies have found that neurons exposed to either glutamate or beta-amyloid (both highly toxic to neurons and involved in various neurological diseases) were protected when exposed to creatine.
DMAE Aids in learning and memory.1
Note: Not intended for everyday use. It is best reserved for days when you need to be more focused and alert.1
DMG (Dimethylglycine) Dimethylglycine is a derivative of glycine, an amino acid. It is a building block for many substances like methionine, choline, numerous hormones, neurotransmitters, and DNA.
Other benefits: Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels Energy Athletic endurance Autism Therapy Antioxidant Immune system support
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and the active component in fish. It is found in fish (about 12%) and some microalgae's. It is needed by infants for brain development. It is required for normal brain function in adults and children.
Deficiencies are associated with learning difficulties as well as fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, unipolar depression, aggressive hostility, and adrenoleukodystrophy. Decreases in DHA in the brain are associated with cognitive decline during aging and with onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease.2.
Warning: Fish oil increases LDL (the bad form of cholesterol) in some people. After taking fish oil for awhile, have your doctor check to see if it has increased your LDL. Elevations in blood sugar levels may occur.
You may need to take vitamin E to protect the oil from oxidative damage to your body. 13
Possible Side Effects Fish oil reduces blood clotting so you may notice nose bleeds. Some who supplement with several grams per day will have gastrointestinal upset and/or may burp up a "fishy" smell.
Other benefits - may be helpful for: Angina Bi-Polar disorder Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Depression Diabetes Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) Epilepsy (given in combination with EPA) High blood pressure High triglycerides (see Cholesterol) IgA nephropathy Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) Lupus Migraine headaches Menstrual cramps Osteoarthritis Osteoporosis Peroxisomal disorders Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Schizophrenia
Preliminary evidence suggests fish oil may be helpful for: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Borderline Personality Disorder Dyslexia Cognitive Impairment Asthma Raynaud's phenomenon (abnormal sensitivity of hands and feet to cold) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cystic fibrosis Reducing the risk of prostate cancer preventing weight loss during cancer chemotherapy DHA is important for normal development and functioning of the brain and retina in the fetus and in infants and may also reduce the risk of premature delivery in pregnant women.
Research: Omega Oils Influence Mood, Impulsivity and Personality
Garum Armoricum (Stabillum)
Huperzine A Huperzine A is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It is an alkaloid that is derived from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata. Huperzine A is an over the counter supplement however there are several cholinesterase inhibitor prescription drugs that are approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Cholinesterase inhibitors are designed to increase levels of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger involved in memory, judgment and other thought processes. A cholinesterase inhibitor slows the breakdown of acetylcholine which in turn helps to maintain acetylcholine levels. This allows the brain to work better.
There have been several studies on animals and humans that have shown that huperzine A significantly improves cognitive ability. Phase IV clinical trials in China have demonstrated significant memory improvement in elderly people with age related decline in memory, Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia, with minimal peripheral cholinergic side effects and no unexpected toxicity.8
Huperzine A also possesses the ability to protect cells against hydrogen peroxide, beta-amyloid protein (an amyloid that circulates in human blood and in cerebrospinal fluid and is deposited into plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease), glutamate, ischemia (shortage of blood supply to an organ) and staurosporine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis (programmed cell death ).8
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is currently planning to do a clinical trial of Huperzine A for alzheimers disease. Clinical Trial: Huperzine A in Alzheimer's Disease
Animal and clinical safety tests have shown that Huperzine A had no unexpected toxicity.8
Lecithin see Phosphatidyl Choline
L-Carnitine Carnitine is an amino acid. It is a vitamin like substance related to the B vitamins. It is usually considered to be an amino acid because it has a chemical structure similar to that of an amino acid. Canitine is considered to be a lipotropic agent (a nutritional compound that promotes the flow of fat to and from the liver).
L-Tyrosine L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is essential to metabolism. It is a pre-curser of adrenaline and the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Complex Low levels have been associated with impaired brain function.
Phosphatidyl Choline (PC) Phosphatidyl choline (PC) is one of the primary elements of lecithin. Supplements labeled as lecithin usually contain 10-20% PC. When medical researchers refer to lecithin, they are talking about phosphatidyl Choline.
Lecithin is a fat emulsifier, it breaks down fats and allows them to be digested better. It helps cholesterol and triglycerides remain fluid and less likely to build up along artery walls. It has been shown to improve the ratio between the LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) and to lower the LDL.
There is no scientific agreement on the use of phoshphatidyl choline for Alzhiemers Disease. Several studies have not proven it to be helpful but there is controversy about the way the studies were conducted. According to Dr. Atkins, memory enhancement is more obvious in people without alzhiemers disease. He mentions one study in which considerable short term memory improvement was seen in healthy adults when given 10 grams of choline chloride.10,11
Other uses: For more information, see the article on Phosphatidyl Choline High homocysteine Cholesterol/Triglycerides Liver disorders Tardive dyskinesia Alzheimer's disease Bipolar disorder Gallbladder attacks Hepatitis Heart Support
Phosphatidyl Serine Several double-blind studies suggest that phosphatidylserine can help maintain cognitive function in older individuals and may be able to improve memory and learning skill in some.
An animal study showed that supplementation with phosphatidyl serine improved both the spatial memory and the passive avoidance retention in older rats.9
Why It's Important To Remember Phosphatidyl Serine
PDR Health Phosphatidylserine
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
Thiamine (Vitamin B-1)
Vitamin B Complex
References 1. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, A practical A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins Minerals, Herbs and Food Supplements"
I also have TN problems, mainly my right eye and ear. I would like to tear it out sometimes - you know the feeling.
I'm currently taking Tegretol and Dilantin. That keeps the pain mostly under control. If I get bad attacks, I still need Vicodin, Xanax and a lot of TLC from my husband to get through the pain. Icepacks help me. There was a post a few days ago about nervepain, with a lot of suggestions.
Have you tried Rescue Remedy? It helps me live through the day. You get it at every health food store. An Ultrasonic Face massager might be beneficial and Buhner's Book, of course.
I mainly get really bad attacks during my period. If that's case for you, your hormones are out of whack.
If there is anything I can do to help, send me a PM and I'll try my best!
Carry a small pocket size bottle of germ-x lotion and use it frequently and get a N95 mask to wear if you are in class near a hacker(cough) and while going down the halls.The N95 is the only mask short of a respirator that is good at keeping out the small pathogens. Who cares what other people think about the mask
You don't need to be being infected with other bugs while battling Lyme.