Friends suggested I do an AMA on Reddit because if I tell someone I have short term memory loss they seem to be really interested and ask a plethora of questions.

Edit: Asked for proof; a little difficult to come up with something because of the lack of documentation considering I'm in college and don't have all the paperwork, but here's an image of all the meds I take per day to help with it. I know it's not all that helpful, and some of it isn't for the memory loss, but that's all I can really come up with unless someone has a better suggestion.

Edit: My close friend Kelly is on here answering things - klooney27 - so if you think of anything to ask her that might be an interesting perspective.

Edit 2: I'm going out for the night and studying for my test, but I'll be back on either when I get home or tomorrow to answer any new questions!

Edit 3: I didn't immediately think that I did this AMA yesterday, but when I logged onto Reddit I remembered and all was well. But another anecdote for you all: Yesterday I was looking at my bank statement and noticed an $80 charge for something I did on Friday but didn't remember. I had to contact my boyfriend to see what I did on Friday because I have no recollection at all but he helped me sort it out and figure out where the charge came from.

Also in the beginning of this text, I was trying to get directions somewhere because I get lost ALL THE TIME because I never remember where anything is and so he's constantly helping me remember how to get places.

Edit 4: You all are so incredibly amazing. I couldn't get to every reply and question, but I tried to answer a great deal especially if something new came up. This was such a heartwarming and humbling experience that I will keep forever (hopefully). I've taken plenty of screenshots of some of the kind and humorous words you have given me so I can remember them later. Questions have slowed down now, but if anyone still has anything they want to say I will be reading them and will reply if it's something I haven't already covered. Thanks again and I hope you enjoyed reading this, because it was so much fun to experience!

Comments: 1100 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

aNonSapient1727 karma

Boy, this is embarrassing. You already did this AMA.

alexfergy1409 karma

I honestly just felt a drop in my stomach and had to go check my past posts just in case. You've duped me.

aNonSapient540 karma

Sorry. I had to. My mom similar issues after brain surgery. Always have to poke at it.

alexfergy599 karma

I completely understand, life's no fun without a few jokes!

dr_pepper_35671 karma

Have you ever thought of doing an AMA on your memory loss?

alexfergy759 karma

I read this and thought, "Hey that would be a good idea" before remembering that I was currently in the process of doing one. Upvote for you.

ljones12440 karma

Do you find people find your condition funny? I understand that it is serious and is obviously not particularly how you may choose to live, but reading through the comments and seeing you forget to answer half a post made me chuckle, I apoligise.

alexfergy459 karma

Oh I'm light hearted about it. I can easily joke about it with friends. Apparently I've told one of my friends I had short term memory loss like 5 times and he jokes about it constantly.

ljones12261 karma

I wish I had a friend with something like you have, it would be funny to make fun if I knew them, I just feel bad laughing if it's someone I don't know

alexfergy295 karma

It's interesting for the people who don't know and just think I'm forgetful. Before I met one of my closest friends here at my college, she thought I was just really mysterious and "aloof" before I told her. My friends and I joke about it, and I don't take anything to heart.

ljones12619 karma

Do you find people find your condition funny? I understand that it is serious and is obviously not particularly how you may choose to live, but reading through the comments and seeing you forget to answer half a post made me chuckle, I apoligise.

alexfergy344 karma

My friends and I joke about it. My friend Kelly and I were just laughing about how I forgot to answer half of it because that wasn't on purpose at all.

ljones12492 karma

Do you find people find your condition funny? I understand that it is serious and is obviously not particularly how you may choose to live, but reading through the comments and seeing you forget to answer half a post made me chuckle, I apoligise.

alexfergy698 karma


ljones12412 karma

Twice, I was going for the hattrick.

alexfergy368 karma

Try asking tomorrow and we can test to see if I remember it. I probably will because you spell apologize in the British fashion and I think that's super fly.

SmellBeforeRain267 karma

Do you speak Whale?

alexfergy372 karma


Groovy_Peppers246 karma

Wow that's an interesting story. But should you be doing an AMA in theater class? Glover might be a little upset.

alexfergy162 karma

OH MY GOSH. Were you sitting behind me? I could have sworn someone was looking over my shoulder.

alexfergy138 karma

We are now going to make a vow that you will tell no one about this.

Groovy_Peppers134 karma

I shall speak no more of it. Memory erased.

alexfergy101 karma

My sincerest appreciation.

jestill180 karma

Do you ever watch the same movies repeatedly and get the experience of seeing them for the first time?

alexfergy324 karma

This is an excellent question because this is the only constant thing that happens all the time that I know of. I can read the same book or see the same movie as many times as I want and be surprised every time. If you were to ask me what Harry Potter was about, I could tell you the main characters, that it is about magic, but any more specific questions I'd have a hard time with.

djgucci98 karma

Who kills Dumbledore?

alexfergy185 karma

Okay Harry Potter wasn't the best example because its so popular, but Snape kills Dumbledore I believe. Is that right? I can only remember the movie scene of this, not anything from the book.

djgucci38 karma

That is right, I would have figured you'd know just by the sheer number of "Snape kills Dumbledore" posts. A more serious question: what is your favorite movie and/or book and do you remember the plot?

alexfergy73 karma

Remember the whole plot? Nothing. I can tell you the broad terms of Harry Potter, but I could tell you main parts of the plot but I'm sure it would be out of order. For just general favorite books, I like books by John Green. Favorite movie? I really don't remember many movies that I could even list that I've seen so this would be hard to answer.

Insane_Overload23 karma

Well now he knows Dumbledore dies

djgucci41 karma

It's ok, he'll forget.

alexfergy81 karma

Edit: I completely messed this up, I meant to say I'm female but I tried to be clever and then erred.

bobdebicker175 karma

Do you remember Sammy Jenkis?

But seriously, have you seen Memento? It's a pretty good thriller about short term memory loss. Although it may cause you to become paranoid.

alexfergy121 karma

Who's Sammy Jenkins? Enlighten me please. No, I haven't seen Memento but I tend to stay in the family comedy genre of movies because of how jumpy the condition and medication makes me.

FancyMFMoses17 karma

Do you have a movie that is new every time you watch it? My Father has memory loss (just getting older) and we joke that he only needs to own one movie to watch for the first time each time. We also joke that he gets to meet new people every day.

alexfergy34 karma

I can enjoy watching the same movie over and over as long as it's spread out a couple of days and still be surprised, this is one of the few advantages of having this condition.

Tanjinuts140 karma

How do you keep track of your period?

alexfergy386 karma

There's an app for that.

Tanjinuts100 karma

How did I not know about this..

alexfergy171 karma

Dude, seriously check it out. It's a life saver for those memory impaired and not.

OnceYouGoJack10 karma

but how do you remember where you left your phone?

alexfergy25 karma

Luckily, I have an iPhone and use the Find my iPhone feature all the time with iCloud. This has a tracking feature and is able to play a sound from remote access. It is a lovely feature with all things good in the world mixed within.

WideEyedPup135 karma

Okay basic stuff --

  • do you know what it is caused by;
  • how severe is it (examples of what you forget);
  • how does it affect your daily life?

alexfergy329 karma

Good questions, I should have included this in the information.

Cause: In short, head trauma. I'm not going to get into very much detail because it's not my favorite subject, but let's say I had a difficult childhood. It's all good and dandy now but my parents were very strict and hands-on with their punishments.

Edit: Oh my gosh thank you for the reddit gold!

alexfergy508 karma

Oh dang it, I completely forgot to answer the other two.

To cover the severity, it's not an exact science like a time limit or formula or anything like that. I won't remember doing or saying different things and am forced to go by trust of those close to me for most things. Also, most of the things I forget I won't know that I forgot unless someone brings it up and I have no clue what they are talking about. A recent example was I went to the movies one day and the next day a friend asked if I liked the movie. I had absolutely no recollection of going to the theatre that day and had no clue what they were talking about.

For how it affects me, I describe it as basically a huge inconvenience. I set alarms and reminders for absolutely everything in my life, from when it's about the time to eat to if I made plans with someone that I am to see in even an hour. I try to take a good amount of pictures to help remind me of things I did during the day and constantly leave myself voice memos of things I need to do. If I didn't have my calendar or it got deleted my life would turn to chaos.

DawgClaw269 karma

Upvote for forgetting something.

alexfergy236 karma

Another advantage, generous upvotes from internet friends.

aldothegeek36 karma

I'm sorry to hear this. My 14yo son was recently diagnosed with some short-term memory loss due to head trauma. He has had two fairly severe concussions from football. Now he's done with contact sports altogether. It's pretty scary stuff. Fortunately, his symptoms are not nearly as severe as yours and he's not on any medications as of yet. My wife and I have been working with him to become more organized because he forgets where he puts everything.

alexfergy71 karma

I appreciate that more than you know. It's difficult and not something easy, but you learn to deal with what comes your way. I've had some tougher circumstances than most at my age; my father passed away when I was 16, I had a challenging childhood, and I worked 3 jobs in high school to help keep up with everything. These things have made me extremely independent and as strong as ever! There are far worse things that can happen to a person, so I'm thankful for where I am no matter what life throws at me. I wish you and your son the best of luck, as long as he does a little extra work and do little things to try to help himself out, he should be fine!

samirlk93134 karma

How do you remember things you learn in college ? like what things do you have to do to make you remember things?

just in case...How do you remember things you learn in college ?

alexfergy312 karma

College is more difficult for me than the average person for sure. I have to study probably double the amount of a normal student and I secretly attend each class twice per day when I can. So, essentially I go to class twice as much as a normal student with my schedule. I also record each lecture, take a crazy amount of notes (I also sell them for a good profit), and review material every day.

samirlk93203 karma

I'm glad you actually try and not use your condition as an excuse. Keep it up.

And for all of you lazy people out there, you have no excuse.

alexfergy140 karma

Thanks! I try to not let it be a crutch. Obviously I use medication, which I don't consider necessarily "cheating" but other than that I do most things like everyone else.

uhmmmm_crap118 karma

I... uhmmmm - I forgot what I was going to ask you.

alexfergy376 karma

I forgot what I wa

Lightofmine126 karma

You are such a good sport about all of this. It's awesome. Have an upvote.

alexfergy140 karma

Thank you, I really appreciate you saying that. Have a great week!

ODBrunizz77 karma

What did you have for breakfast?

alexfergy188 karma

I had half a ham and mustard sandwich. It took me about 1 minute to think of it and remember because I haven't put my food in my calorie counter yet. I log my food each day so I remember that I've eaten 3 average meals per day because some of the meds suppress my appetite.

Willard_55 karma

Why ham and mustard for breakfast?! Have you forgotten which foods are lunch foods?!

alexfergy209 karma

I don't believe in associating certain foods with certain periods of the day and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Also, I don't really like many breakfast foods.

jimmycarr129 karma

Hell yeah, this is a good attitude to have!

By the way can I ask my question here? I want to know exactly what you're diagnosed with, and was it from birth or did your memory gradually deplete as you got older. My memory is terrible so I'm kind of hoping it won't get any worse or turn into a serious condition

alexfergy41 karma

I'm diagnosed with more than one thing, and the actual title is much longer but it is equivalent with short term memory loss. It wasn't from birth, it was from head trauma, and it got worse as the trauma continued, but then leveled out as the situation got better. I don't think it is getting any worse since that's been handled, but I can't know for sure.

eex23 karma

You had better not tell me you hate bacon.

Nobody hates bacon. Got it?

alexfergy73 karma

I understand your concern and I am happy to inform you that I love bacon.

PeacekeeperAl69 karma

If you do something then wait a year will you remember it as it goes to long term memory or do I not fully grasp the mechanics of memory?

alexfergy151 karma

I see where you are getting that, but that's not really how it works. The way I understand it is that everything starts in your short term memory but it gradually moved into a long term memory state if you repeatedly do that function or think about it. So as an example I used in another reply. Lets say I meet someone named Kelly, if I only see her once I will probably never remember her again, no matter how much time passes. But if I see her everyday, I will remember who she is. If I see her everyday for 7 years I will probably never forget who she is. But if I saw her everyday for 3 months and then didnt see her for 2 years, I most likely wouldn't know who she was after that two years.


Pepperidge Farm remembers.

alexfergy91 karma

Upvote for you good sir.

danyal_ahmed55 karma

Did u ever have a girlfriend?? How did it complicate your relationship?

alexfergy216 karma

I actually have a boyfriend, I'm female. It doesn't complicate the relationship much, he knows I have it and how I got it and he is amazingly supportive and helpful. I have to make sure I appreciate and remember the little things he does for me, because they truly do mean the most. One time he did sit me down when I was upset with him and told me that he felt that sometimes I forgot the little things he does to make me happy because of the memory loss, so I've made a huge effort to remember those things because he was absolutely right.

One bonus for him is if I'm mad or upset, which honestly doesn't happen very often because I'm pretty easy going, I usually forget the next day and then we are back good and he pretends like it never happened.

ewanwhatarmy61 karma

You are like the perfect girlfriend...

alexfergy73 karma

Aw, shucks. I've gotten that once or twice before. It's partly because of my past and it makes me really easy going, but since I am forced to trust him so much, I have to be really understanding of his concerns and do what I can to fix it because many times I don't remember doing certain things.

nic0lk55 karma

So if someone told you a joke that really made you laugh, they could tell you that same joke every day and you would find it just as funny?

alexfergy84 karma

Probably not every day. But if they waited a few days between I would assume I would find it funny again.

nic0lk39 karma

How do you remember that you still have this Q&A?

alexfergy81 karma

Well this is super interesting, I'm on my meds, and I'm constantly answering questions. But tomorrow morning I probably won't remember I did this until I check the mail icon or someone reminds me.

nic0lk26 karma

Is there like a length of time that you can remember something? I once read that the world's shortest memory went to a man that could only remember something for 8 seconds, then he would forget it. Is there a time limit for you?

alexfergy87 karma

There's not an exact limit or formula, but there are definite patterns when it happens. If I'm off my medication I can count to about 20 until I forget that I'm counting. On meds, I can count to about 70 or 80.

damieneimad49 karma

I love this post because you've already answered it 2 or 3 other times with the same answer. I'm not sure if it's because you forgot or you're just catering to everyone who asks, but it's funny. :)

alexfergy54 karma

I'm sure I've done it. I told someone to ask the same question tomorrow and see if I remember it, and as of right now I don't remember what the question was but we can see tomorrow if I remember it or not. Feel free to test whatever you would like, just let me in on the joke if I've done it or not!

damieneimad13 karma

I'm going to find one of the other similar answers and just copy+paste what I said in a few hours and see if you remember. mark my words. ;P

No, but really I'll probably forget to do that.

alexfergy33 karma

I think it's already happened, actually.

nic0lk17 karma

Sorry if I'm asking so many questions but I still have some more if you don't mind. Have you ever tried to watch a show like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, but you kept watching the same episodes over again?

alexfergy33 karma

Ask away, I'm waiting for class to start and don't have anything to do. Unfortunately, I've never seen either of those shows, but here is a list of shows I do watch frequently if you can relate the question to these:

Big Bang Theory, Friends, HIMYM, Everybody Loves Raymond, Parks and Rec, Once Upon a Time (most confusing by far), Modern Family, the Middle, Roseanne and others that I just don't remember.

nic0lk16 karma

Oh yeah all those shows are great. What I meant was have you ever tried to watch a show where you had to watch the episodes in order to understand the plot? Also, have you ever tried to read a book and finish it the next day only to forget where you where and what happened?

alexfergy43 karma

Okay, I get what you're asking now. And yes, I have. Once Upon a Time is a great example of that and I get frustrated every time I watch it but I continue to do so. I watch that show with a very patient friend every time, and we are constantly pausing so they can explain things to me.

Dapends51 karma

Do you find people find your condition funny? I understand that it is serious and is obviously not particularly how you may choose to live, but reading through the comments and seeing you forget to answer half a post made me chuckle, I apoligise.

alexfergy87 karma

I only remember this because apoligise was spelled funny. Success! But you may have worded it a bit differently.

Imwe50 karma

  • What's the difference between you taking your meds and you going without them?
  • How organized are your belongings? Do you always put your stuff in the same place?
  • Do you have something like a diary to note important events?

Thank you for answering these questions.

alexfergy87 karma

The difference for when I take them and when I don't is night and day. The medication is similar to ADHD/ADD meds but not exactly the same. I have a far better chance of paying attention and remembering things if I'm on the medication than when I'm not. The only way I can really explain that is if I count out loud. If I'm on the medication, I can count to about 70 before I forget that I was counting. If I'm off of it, I can count to like 20 before I forget what number I was on or that I was counting at all.

My belongings aren't as organized as they should be with my condition. My room is filled with a billion command hooks for important things like keys and such, so those always have a place. But I am constantly searching for things all the time. For 2012, I spent over $200 in replacement fees for one credit card, one debit card, a sports pass and student IDs.

I use my calendar for absolutely everything as well as alarms. I honestly don't know what I would do without it.

jewfro66748 karma

Have you ever drank alcohol or smoked weed?

How has it affected you if you have?

alexfergy108 karma

I have never had any sip of alcohol or done any type of drug because I'm scared to do so. I assume it would be bad in combination with all the medication I'm taking and I don't know how it would affect me, and I don't plan to do either of those things anytime soon. But good question!

jestill40 karma

How many credit hours are you able to take at a time?

Back in the 90's an undergrad friend of mine had short term memory loss due to a car accident and could only take a couple of classes a semester at most. He could definitely remember the doctors told him he could not do college, but he gave them a big fuck you. Stick with it.

alexfergy70 karma

My university doesn't know I have memory loss issues because I don't like telling people and the paperwork is complicated. I can't function like everyone else but I make do. The minimum anyone can take at my university is 12, and I do really well with 12 credit hours, but to graduate I need to be taking 15, which is pushing the limit for me. I take about 7 hours of summer courses after each school year which helps me ease the load. The only people that know at the university are a few professors who listed that they didn't want voice recorders or computers at their lectures. But once I go to office hours or shoot them an e-mail, everyone has been super understanding and let me go along with what I need to do. They are supposed to ask for paperwork, but no one ever has because I assume it requires effort on their part as well.

jestill48 karma

You may want to consider letting your university officially know if you start to get overwhelmed. Even if you don't get overwhelmed, there is often financial help that would be available to you as well. Back in the day this included help with tuition, any tutoring that would help, and materials such as computers and books. Being able to get out of college without major debt would make the paperwork worth it, and you would be able to take fewer classes a semester if needed. Good luck.

I could foresee things like google glasses being helpful for the command hooks you use, and they could help with things like remembering friends names. My friend knew that he knew me, but constantly felt the need to apologize for not remembering my name over the three years we hung out.

alexfergy38 karma

I completely agree with you and I've strongly thought about it before. I probably won't end up doing it because thankfully I am luckily enough to have the Texas Tomorrow Fund, Hazelwood Act, in addition to grants and scholarships that cover all of my tuition.

I hope Google Glasses becomes a thing, they look amazing but it will be a while until that technology is fully developed. Did you see that graveyard site with all the failed google technologies? I found that very amusing and the google glasses has an open casket looking thing.

celerym35 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. You're clearly highly intelligent and are dealing with (what I find to be a terrifying) condition commendably! I suspect you'd be really good with programming, because if you keep things modular and documented, you don't need much memory! So a simple question: what are your interests and hobbies? Where do you see yourself in the future?

alexfergy46 karma

That's so flattering, thank you! I am strong on the technical side of things. I love computers and anything technological. I love being outdoors and learning new things. I am a planner, as I need to be with this condition. As of now I am hoping to graduate in 2015 and get a job in an IT department at a stable company. I worked for a big name company as a technician before it hurt my financial aid, and I would LOVE to go back with them after I get a few years of experience under my belt with another company.

EtaUpsilon33 karma

Let's say that, for example, you pack your lunch everyday: a turkey sandwich. But the day before, you feel like having some fun and you pack yourself a massive Kit-Kat bar. In theory, when you reach for lunch the next day you'll surprise yourself with different food! Have you ever done something similar? Great AMA btw.

alexfergy51 karma

This is an excellent example. If I happened to pack something out of the normal, I would be surprised if I got a kit-kat in my lunch. I am very routine with almost everything I do, so anything out of the ordinary happens I am caught of guard. And thanks, most people find the condition interesting.

288127 karma

How are you at writing exams?

alexfergy95 karma

Absolutely horrible! If I'm off my meds none of it makes sense. I'll write a sentence, stop in the middle of it and start the beginning of a new sentence and it doesn't make sense to anyone. Luckily, I'm an IT major and so writing exams are few and far between. Speaking of exams, last semester I was in an exam about halfway through and then left to go get a scantron from downstairs when I forgot mine with the permission of my professor. After purchasing the scantron, I just left the building and forgot I was taking the exam. Ended up getting a 40, but the professor was really understanding and only graded the portion I had completed.

namelessderp11 karma

Oh geez, I'm a programmer myself and I can't imagine doing my job with any kind of memory loss issues. The number of things I keep juggled in my head at any given time is insane. I'm guessing yours is more the hardware side of IT?

alexfergy10 karma

I'm actually less into the hardware side compared to the technical side. I don't do a whole lot of programming and I'm still in most of the introduction classes for my major. But it's something I enjoy learning about and find it really interesting and I use the terms and knowledge daily, so I can remember those things better than other information.

Ttremblet24 karma

Have you ever seen 50 First Dates? I you have, what are the odds of that plot happening to you?

alexfergy41 karma

I have seen it, but thankfully my condition is not that severe as of yet! So the odds are hopefully a million to one, because my brain doesn't reset overnight.

jewfro66715 karma

How do you remember if you saw it or not?

alexfergy56 karma

I remember because you mentioned it. The movie also came out in 2004, which is before I had this condition, so I'm sure that's a part of it as well. But if you asked me to make a list of movies that I've seen, I can assure you that 80% of them would be missing. But if you gave me a list of movies and had me check which ones I've seen, I would probably only miss about 30% of them.

jackmeeker22 karma

What's your favorite kind of muffin?

alexfergy124 karma

I didn't know how to answer this. So I googled 'muffin' and here is my favorite picture of a muffin:

Ttremblet20 karma

Dude, where's my car?

alexfergy60 karma

Oh my gosh this reminded me of parking garages, they are my NIGHTMARE. I have to park on Floor 3 Row D spot 24 everyday, no matter how many spots are open before it. I used to park in the first spot available and I would spend ~30 minutes searching for my car.

RlyRiley12 karma

There's an app for that, too! (Or you can just take a picture of the nearest sign pole)

alexfergy28 karma

I've tried using those, but the location service is always weak in garages. Also, most of the time I forget I have the app and forget to use it. I used to send myself the parking level and row, but I'd either forget I send it to myself and occasionally I'd look at my phone and think, "why did I send myself these numbers", until I starting putting PARKING SPOT next to it.,vbddmY2

I usually take pictures of the parking columns as you suggested and that has worked pretty well, I cleaned out my camera roll the other day of I could show you about a million of them.

Boney_boner18 karma

Do you enjoy reruns?

alexfergy75 karma

I rarely know the difference between a rerun and a new episode of something, so yes I enjoy reruns.

NO_thisispatrick_18 karma

How often do people compare you to Dory, and do the jokes get old after awhile?

alexfergy42 karma

I only really tell people on a need to know basis, so not that many people know (except for you guys now, but I don't think it will get leaked out to anyone I know because no one knows my username). I've only gotten the Dory joke once that I can remember. But the people that know are going to ask how I got it, and when I say head trauma and say it's a long story or I don't want to talk about it usually that wards off most jokes.

CowboysAndAnthrax16 karma

When you think about your life and what you've done, is it just one big blur? And with your relationship, do you remember going on the dates or the gifts you've gotten?

alexfergy35 karma

It's very blurry and confusing, which sometimes makes me sad. I know my accomplishments and I remember what I can, but I know it's not nearly everything. It's disappointing that when I tell people that I played piano for 10 years and used to perform at certain functions, when they ask me to play something I don't really know how.

My relationship is fantastic in my opinion. I have such a great, patient, and understanding boyfriend that he is just so great for me. I do remember dates as far as I know, but I wouldn't really know which one's I've forgotten. I know we've gone to some movies and dinners that I have no recollection of, but I still appreciate the gesture that we went. I do remember every gift I've ever gotten, I have them all on display and something that means that much can never be forgotten.

freemarket2716 karma

does this condition qualify you for SSDI?

alexfergy25 karma

I had to look up what this was, but I am not sure I had actually never heard of that before. I will definitely be looking into this further so thanks for the heads up!

panterspot16 karma

How many posts on the frontpage do you read before you can start over from the top again?

alexfergy24 karma

I can remember Reddit pretty well. I'm sure if you showed me the front page from today tomorrow, I wouldn't recall any of it if my medication had worn off.

Sonic0316 karma

How do you handle being in a relationship? is it hard? How many first dates would it take to make an impression?

alexfergy26 karma

I am extremely low maintenance in my relationships, but I am picky about who I choose to date. In all my relationships, it takes a few months of just "dating" because I really get into a relationship to make sure it is a good fit for me. I need someone with specific qualities like patience and understanding, so I make sure I take the time to really get to know someone before I get serious. The last relationship I had was about 2 years and now I'm in another that we are almost at a year. To make an impression isn't hard, I only go one a series of dates with one person at a time. So I will not have two "first dates" in one week unless I plan to not go on any more dates with the first one. This helps me focus on the development of the relationship and the person.

DawgClaw14 karma

What kind of work around have you devised for internet passwords? What about verification services that require you to select a picture, is there an easy way for you to circumvent the need to recall those sort of things?

alexfergy24 karma

I have an excel file of all my usernames and passwords for all sites. I also use keychain on my MacBook Pro. If anyone was to get my computer, they could easily ruin my life with that type of unlimited power. I use safepass for many login-ins for more important sites.

umasstpt1213 karma

Could you explain how were you diagnosed? At what age and how did you realize you were suffering from short term memory loss? I'm assuming it got gradually worse over time instead of just waking up one day and realizing you had it?

alexfergy27 karma

It was gradual but at a fast pace. I was diagnosed after many rounds of testing and multiple doctors. My family and I realized something was up after my grades went from all A's to B's/C's that just didn't add up with how much I was studying. And I started to have conversations at which I was just stop in the middle of the sentence and walk off or not recall certain events.

spyyked11 karma

While understanding that any disorder is not a laughing matter.... What are some of the funnier situations you (or your friend) have you found yourself in because of your situation?

alexfergy36 karma

Okay so I asked klooney about this and this was her response, which I forgot this happened and it is quite comical.

"I think the fact that you're on the bank's watch list for fraud because of all your debit cards is hilarious because you would never do any type of fraud."

alexfergy34 karma

I still have fun with it. I can't think of anything specific, if it happened and it was funny I probably forgot but let give this one to klooney after she gets back from her class. She's in water aerobics right now, which I find really funny because I imagine it's her in a midst of elder people.

mbuchan711 karma

What exactly do the meds do to help with this? and do you know what they do physiologically?

alexfergy26 karma

I was diagnosed officially when I was about 16, but it started around the age of ~13 and gradually got worse. So with the being said, the doctors didn't explain it in very technical terms because I wouldn't understand it. What I was told in a short summary is that part of my brain that contributes to memory is "asleep" and it doesn't produce the hormones (I'm sure that's not the right term) that it is supposed to. So the medication "wakes" that part of the brain up and makes up for what my brain is not producing.

menomenaa8 karma

You know how they say sense of smell is deeply connected to memory? Are there smells that make you 'feel' nostalgic or that make you feel like a memory should be triggered, even if you don't know what it is?

Also, how do emotions play into this? You said at one point that if you had a friend named Kelly for three months, you might remember her every day, but if you didn't speak after two years, you could run into her again and never remember her. What if, though, in those three months you had an intense relationship with someone? Like dating, intimacy, love, etc. Would they enter your long term memory quicker? Or would they "stay" longer?

Thank you so much for doing this! My mom taught art to a man with no short term memory -- his was very short, a matter of 10-12 seconds. He developed tricks to have conversations, knowing full well that half-way through, he had absolutely no idea who the person was or what they already talked about. He did his best to make the other person not find out. I thought that was both very considerate and also slightly sad. He only drew apples. over and over, only apples -- does your memory loss affect your creativity in any way like that?

alexfergy11 karma

I've never experienced anything that triggers the sense of smell with a memory. On occasion I will smell something that I know I've smelled before but I don't know what it is, but that's about the extend of that.

Emotions are a big part of this. It is a really frustrating and slightly embarrassing condition and being a female, I have had a few tears over some instances. If it was a deep intense relationship I would imagine that I would remember who she was, but not many aspects of our relationship. As I said, it's not an exact science so I can't give really concrete answers unless the situation has come up and I remember that it's happened, but that's the best way I can imagine the outcome of that. But some things "stick" or "stay" longer than others, which is a good way to describe that.

ArcticMonkeysFan3 karma

Do you have any problems with re-posts on Reddit?

alexfergy14 karma

I'm not sure. I don't post things very often because I'm more of a lurker, so I don't personally think I'm reposted anything. As for others, if I read the same post within an hour or two I'll usually remember it, but if I see it a day or two later I won't know it was a repost unless someone is like REPOST REPOST OP IS A LIAR.

CowsGoM003 karma

Do you remember writing this?

alexfergy6 karma

Yes, yes I do. I will probably forget in an hour or so if I'm not on my computer or thinking about it. But of course when I log back into reddit and see the orange mail sign, I'll figure it out after a brief panicking period.

globgob3 karma

do you get used to not remembering things or does it continually freak you out?

How did you get short term memory loss? Some sort of accident, or...?

How do you get through your college courses (do you remember things you learn in class)?

Finally, what kind of things are you sure to remember forever, versus what kind of things tend to slip through the cracks?

alexfergy11 karma

I wouldn't say I am used to it, because I don't know how much information I truly don't remember if that makes sense. If someone mentions something and I have no clue what they are talking about that's the only way I know I've forgotten something. But I am constantly really anxious and jumpy. I do get really frustrated sometimes because it's not easy, but I have really supportive friends that help me out when I get panicked.

I briefly covered the cause, basically it was head trauma. I remember really memorable things forever for the most part. For example, I will always know my name. I use it every day, I write it everyday, and I say it everyday. But on the other hand, apparently I went on vacation to Georgia a few years ago I don't remember going there at all.

Tigernaut3 karma

Has it been clinically diagnosed or is its something you just realized as you were growing up?

alexfergy13 karma

It has been clinically diagnosed by many doctors, including a therapist, a neurologist, and one other doctor that I don't remember what it is called. I went through multiple written tests, oral tests, and brain feedback-like tests, including sitting for hours in a chair with one of these things on my head -- Except mine was rainbow colored.

TryHardzGaming2 karma

So when you forget something is there just a gap between what you remember doing last to present time or does your brain create something to fill the gap?

alexfergy3 karma

There's just a gap, my brain doesn't invent imaginary things to fill that void. Let's say you asked me what I did yesterday. I honestly don't remember what happened yesterday but let's say I went to the movies, ate lunch and dinner, went to the library and went to class.

I could probably tell you the general order of these things and maybe a broad summary of what happened, but if I went to the movies at 11 a.m. and then ate lunch at 3:00pm, I wouldn't be able to understand or grasp the time in between for what I don't remember what happened. Logically, I could figure out I drove back home, but when I go over the events in my head, it just jumps over that period of time.

DamnColorblindness2 karma

What bit of technology do you find the most useful for your condition (if anything)? i.e. calendar alarms, phone camera, etc?

//If it helps you a lot, maybe it'll help us out a little.

alexfergy2 karma

I take advantage of every technology I can. I use calendars as a life line, oh I have so many. I use alarms for even simple things, such as remembering to eat. I use the camera to take pictures of where I parked or where I put something. I makes a TON of lists; to-do lists, grocery lists, assignment due dates and everything else under the sun.

CloverTheClever2 karma

If you are a redditor, what Subreddits do you frequent?

And if your aren't, is klooney? Do 'ya share reddit things with Alex?

Super follow up: thoughts on Reposts?

alexfergy5 karma

I am a frequent redditor, while klooney is not as much. She mostly hovers around tumblr and gets similar content. Since we are both technologically savy, we share internet things constantly. I'll give her a heads up on this in a minute (if I remember) and she can add some commentary to it.

RlyRiley1 karma

How does your memory relate to your senses? Do you remember the tastes of new foods or acquire new tastes? Do smells ever trigger memories that you'd forgotten?

On that note, does your memory impact your preferences towards certain things or aversion towards other things? (foods, music, movies, hobbies, etc)

What are your hobbies?


alexfergy3 karma

The correlation of senses to memory isn't really there in my situation. I'm sure it is in some subconscious manner, but I can't think of any examples or ways to explain anything. Sorry, I know you were looking for something much more interesting.

My memory does impact every decision that I make. I stray away from any type of alcohol or drug use because I'm scared of the effects. I am very routine, I don't try new things very often just because life is easier without the changes and I won't remember them anyways. I plan studying and activities around when I am on or off my medication. I have to manage my time and resources very carefully to make the most out of the time that I have. I am off my medication right now so my answers are about to get a lot more tangent-oriented and probably won't make as much sense as when I started.

[deleted]1 karma


alexfergy6 karma

Oh I'd totally remember that. If anyone loans me $1, I make sure to set a million reminders to pay them back the next day because I would never want that to happen. I would never want to be that girl, but I wish you the best of luck with that settlement, that stinks.