Hydrocephalus: Memory and Processing information

StudentI can’t help feeling a bit frustrated at the moment.  I’m trying to learn/study and am starting to feel like a complete failure or more precisely, like an idiot.  I know that I have probably been the hardest on myself all these years and, even though I have moments where I remind myself to just ease up, I still find it entirely hard to do.

I’m in the process of studying for an English test for Immigration purposes.  It’s not so much that I need to study to speak English (I’m a native English speaker of course, with English being my 2nd language) but more a case of me needing to get the hang of the test format.  More importantly and my biggest struggle, is reading a piece of text and then answering questions around it.  Interpreting something, which has been written down and then giving my own viewpoint or a summary of the text, seems like the hardest thing to do as well.  It’s the whole “processing of information” that is literally doing my head in!

Firstly, I think it’s completely ridiculous that I have to prove my command of the English language to begin with (just venting).  But, I shall comply for the sake of the process and because I know…I’m not more special than the next person who has to do the same test.

I passed the IELTS test I done 2 weeks ago but scored lower than I had hoped for in the Reading component by .5!..Simply because I need a certain score to get the desired number of points, I am now being forced to re-do the exam and hope for the best.

I don’t even know if I can claim that I have a “disability” and somehow get more time to complete the test or whatever arrangements they have available for people who have special requirements.  I have no “evidence of brain injury” to prove this and I’m not 100% certain that I can or should classify myself in the “disability” category.  Furthermore, I’m considering a different test altogether called PTE Academic where I believe there are other people in the same room as you, seated in little cubicles with a headset, in front of a computer.  I’m nervous about this type of setting, simply because I REALLY struggle to concentrate with noise around me.

After my first operation in 2007, I became aware of the fact that my learning was affected and no matter how much I brushed it aside, it was a struggle no doubt. I know that my short-term memory is affected and despite doing daily exercises to keep my brain trained and flexing it to improve my ability, I’m still not at the level I’d like to be.  (I see progress…but it’s slow).  After I had my 2nd, 3rd and 4th operations, I realized that the problem was a bit bigger than I had initially thought.  I struggled to read and retain what I had literally just read.  I became frustrated with myself because I used to love reading novels and immersing myself in the story-line but because I forgot what I had read before, I ended up having to go back a few pages…chapters even (I kid you not) just to refresh my memory.  I just gave up and in the end I completely stopped reading books.

I feel frustrated, weak and just want to give up…but, I know that I need to do this for my family (and more importantly for myself).  I would love to get some advice on how you deal with your memory issues but more importantly if you too struggle with processing information…


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5 thoughts on “Hydrocephalus: Memory and Processing information

  1. Pingback: I’m still alive..! | @skyewater33

    • I don’t have the answers either but I try to find what works for me and keep at it. It’s just about doing the best you can and not being too hard on yourself (easier said than done I know).
      Blaming the shunt is a good excuse for most things too 😜


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