Doctor, doctor: Memory loss, and flu jabs in pregnancy

I had brain surgery in 2007 to stem and clip a burst aneurysm. Since then my ability to recall the names of people and places has been dramatically reduced. I forget the names of even close friends and of places I have just visited. Did my surgery do this? Will it improve?
You are describing classical nominal aphasia, in which the part of the brain that allows you to recall names has been damaged. This is the result either of the bleed from the aneurysm or of the surgery that was needed to correct it. Either way, as it happened several years ago, it is unlikely to improve much now. There are techniques that you can use to help yourself – tricks of memory recall – which your surgical or rehabilitation team may be able to explain to you. Sorry I can't help you more, but you can be reassured that your condition shouldn't get worse, and that it isn't a sign of continuing brain deterioration.

I am four months pregnant and a bit anxious because I had the flu jab last week, as recommended by the NHS. Now I'm wondering if it is safe and whether it was worth doing. Obviously it's a bit too late to worry now, but I would like to know what your thoughts are.
First, considering that you will be late in your pregnancy if the flu strikes again this winter, it's excellent that you are protected against it. Flu is at its most dangerous in the last two months of pregnancy, when your lung volume is compromised by the size of the baby pressing upwards from the abdomen. There is no fear that the vaccination will have damaged the baby's developing organs, and as the vaccine does not contain live virus, it can't infect your baby. Many millions of people now receive it annually, so it is one of the most researched vaccines, both for benefits and harmful effects. As a GP working in two busy practices, I have never had to deal with a serious reaction to flu vaccine. I know that is only anecdotal evidence, but it does boost my confidence in it. So don't worry.

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