“Next Tuesday, we’re going shopping,” says my Mommy.
Monday arrives and I haven’t forgotten that we are going shopping on Monday; I just haven’t realised that it IS Monday.
One of my big problems is keeping track of time, especially dates. Birthdays and special events creep up on me and catch me unprepared all the time. I know when things are supposed to happen. I hear when some-one tells me about something. I also know how long it is supposed to take me to get ready to leave the house – I really hate being late, but I can’t seem to get a handle on this particular issue.
Like Adrienne Dellwo has said:
The farther out something is planned, the worse it seems to be. It’s like my brain files it under the heading “months away” and then never updates it to “next week.” If something is set for tomorrow or a week from Thursday, I do pretty well. Those things apparently go into the “really soon” file and stay more on the radar.
There’s a learning disability called dyscalculia – a learning disability that deals with math. It is similar to dysphasia, which includes those word-finding difficulties so many of us have. Dyscalculia not only impairs math and number abilities (forgetting concepts, transposing numbers), it also involves:
- Difficulties with time: inability to remember schedules, keep track of time, or remember a sequence of events.
- Spacial problems: impaired direction sense and memory of how things are laid out, leading to frequently getting lost or becoming disoriented.
- Difficulty sight-reading music or learning instrument fingerings.
- Inability to remember names.
Research shows that dyscalculia involves dysfunction in a specific part of the brain – all of the above problems stem from the same cause. It means that this is ONE problem only; and not a whole lot of unrelated issues being attributed to FM.
This doesn’t necessarily make me feel better after being at the casino last week and not being able to work out the action on the Craps table (I was a Craps dealer/supervisor for 14 years!)
Dyscalculia can occur as the result of some types of brain injury, in which case the proper term is acalculia (or Acquired Dyscalculia), to distinguish it from dyscalculia which is of innate, genetic or developmental origin.
Dyscalculia isn’t something you can take a pill for – it’s something you have to live with. Scientists have yet to understand the causes of dyscalculia. They have been investigating in several domains including short-term memory being disturbed or reduced, making it difficult to remember calculations (Does this sound like Fibro Fog to you?) I haven’t found any scientific research that says that FM causes Dyscalculia (if you do, please share it with all of us!) but it certainly makes it worse.
The good news(?) is that it is a recognised learning disability, just like dyslexia or dysphasia. If it causes problems for you at work/school, you can talk to your boss/teacher about having this learning disability without having to disclose that you have FM, or trying to explain brain fog.