I feel similar. I spent my career doing math and engineering work. As soon as I am working with symbols I am very comfortable. I used to be able to invert a 2x2 matrix in my head. I am also very quick with estimating numerical results. This is a trick engineers learn for ‘back of the envelope’ calculations. But none of this ever parlayed into numerical accuracy. I like numbers, they feel friendly in my head. They have personalities but I can’t keep them disciplined without a lot of work. Part of this is ADD and Dyslexia but it’s clear, I have no natural talent.

My comma notation is an attempt to manage this. I suspect my post looks like a page of dense math, but the basic idea is very simple, allow the positions representing the powers of 10 to accomodate more than one digit and use commas to separate them. I find this helps both in actual computation and also for describing computational patterns. You have the freedom to arrange the terms in a way that suggests the procedure.

Realize that a decimal representation such as 567 is NOT a finished result. It tells you how to calculate the result -=` take 5 100’s add to 6 10’s plus 7 ones. While it’s true we can go no further, the ‘number’ is just a sequence of coefficients to be used in a summing algorithm. They are, of course, coefficients for a polynomial in powers of 10.