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Deteriorating handwriting - is this an ME symptom?

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by Sasha, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    haha yes.. I keep a diary and it is striking to see how much my handwriting varies.. sometimes it is pretty orderly and sometimes it is all over the place..
     
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I think that mine is largely muscle weakness. It starts off OK and then deteriorates. For example, I printed off and needed to sign a series of letters. I could do one with a legible signature but not two. I could only sign one then in 15 minutes of rest sign another.

    Both the physical effort and the concentration are exhausting.

    Cognitive difficulties play a huge part as well. I cannot write a cheque on "automatic pilot". Every section needs total concentration. Writing a card becomes a nightmare. Can I write one that is legible and at the same time will it make sense? If I need to concentrate on actually forming the letters I cannot concentrate on the content.
     
  3. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Trying to take notes at a lecture is a real test and shows all of the deterioration in one's abilities, because there one has to keep listening while trying to jot down facts at the same time. My spelling and ability to construct words is really poor--garbagey looking. Often I just stop, and listen instead. Then afterwards immediately go to a quiet place and write down what I remember. Or, I have to stop listening to the speaker in order to focus on writing a few words correctly..I really try, however, because I know my memory will let me down afterwards, so any key material I can get down, I will have in no other way afterwards.
     
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    nods. its one of the reasons why I had to give up my college studies close to the beginning of the ME/CFS..

    on the days I was well enough to get myself there it was no use going anyway as I couldnt at all listen to the lectures while at the same time write down what was said. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldnt do it, it took my complete attention just to listen to the pace of the talking.

    Then I couldnt remember anything which was said when the lecture finished.

    I spent 8mths pushing myself to collage and lectures, which I could gain nothing at all from. The fact it takes so much to listen and write to the point its impossible to do, is the big thing which I think will never allow me to study again.
     
  5. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    Yes, my mother noticed my handwring changing before I had any idea of being sick. She thought I was getting lazy about it, she was a teacher. I think it was because my muscles were getting weak. At my sickest I could barely write at all. I had to type everything or no one could read it including me. I had noticed this on grocery lists before I got sick, could not read my own writing, thought that odd. It is better now but still not what it was, I cannot grip a pen or pencil properly. I have written things over and over to have it look better, notes to friends Xmas cards and such.
     
  6. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    tania, you should be entitled to a note-taker. "should" might be the operative word, but the disability support office at your college/university ought to provide a note-taker (I think this is another student in the class who knows s/he is taking notes on behalf of a disabled student), or possibly allow you to use a hand-held voice recorder (so you can listen again, if that works better than reading again).

    note: none of this (copying other students' notes, using a recorder, or any such thing) may be done informally--you must either have the permission of the teacher or go through the disability office

     
  7. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Tania, How sad for you! Were you alone too in this experience, without really understanding it yourself or what to do, without support?

    I thought Willow has some good suggestions if you try taking a course again.

    I remember once, when I was still pretty well, I was an assistant to a teacher. Once when she was giving a lecture, a deaf person was in attendance, so she had me type notes on a laptop in order that the deaf woman could sit next to me and read them--then have the notes later too. That was years ago before this kind of assistance was as common and accepted as it is now--relatively speaking.

    Don't give up! I hope you find a way and means to pursue any learning you want to have.

    Sing
     
  8. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    It is both gratifying and sad that so many others have this symptom, too. It's very difficult to write now and it takes me much longer to do it than type. I feel like a first grader learning to make letters for the first time. I attributed it to not doing much long-hand and mostly typing. Apparently, however, it's a legtimate symptom.

    Thank you all for your knowledgable replies and anecdotal stories. I will show my husband this thread when I tell him it's so difficult to write checks that I can no longer keep up the checkbook.:innocent1:
     
  9. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Good idea BEG! (about getting your husband to do the checkbook). Now we could start a new thread on mathematical abilities too. Deterioration there as well.

    Sing
     
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Hand held voice recorder wouldnt have helped as I couldnt listen and remember anything I heard when I say anything I mean basically nothing. I may only remember one little fact after listening to a whole lecture, I'd have to listen 1000s of times to get the info from one lecture.

    I did have another student give me all her lecture notes but couldnt read half of her writing (many of the students used their own shortenings and abreviations when taking lecture notes.

    What would of helped me greatly at the time was if I'd been given the lectures typed.. maybe if that had been done I may of been able to continue with my studies longer then what I ended up doing.

    I did get put on the program for students with disability but they never offered that option to actually just give the class notes to me.. just for me to do like independant studies where I just answered questions out of the whole text book etc (rather then the teachers/class notes).. thing is I wasnt able to understand much of what I was reading in the medical text books (hard to learn medical subjects alone) so needed a teacher to simplier explain and help me due to my decreased comprehesion ability.

    I did have two tutorial sessions with a higher grade student who tried to me..but two sessions cant explain a whole year of stuff. I would of needed constant tutorial.

    So it ended up even with special compensions given to me eg allowed to delay exams, longer periods to do exams in (cause I was writing very slow) etc etc. I just couldnt do it, as I didnt know any of the info. I dont think I will ever get over how disheartened I felt after a whole year of trying so so hard and pushing myself with the result of getting bedbound for 9mths.
     
  11. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Tania, I hope you will let yourself feel how much you did try, the efforts you made, and appreciate yourself and have compassion too for all that. Let the recognition of your effort be a path straight into the depth of your heart, which can carry it. I hope I can say this to you, and to all of us who try so hard. Sure there are lessons about limits and respecting them, trying to operate within whatever your bounds are, most of the time. But I feel there can also be compassion for those efforts we make to try to fulfill purposes which mean so much.

    Sing
     
  12. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    I want to echo what Sing said: good for you for trying and doing your best, Tania. I'm sorry they didn't have the accommodations you needed, and I hope and pray you will be well enough to follow your heart one day very soon.
     

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