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What kind of cognitive changes have you had because of MS?

Cognitive problems are something I discuss often (when my brain allows it). I suffer from memory issues, trouble concentrating, word finding, difficulty reading, general fogginess, and a number of other cognitive-related problems. These issues had a lot to do with me leaving the workforce and have completely changed my life.

While reading through some comments here, I discovered some people having issues that I was unfamiliar with (example: not being able to think to themselves, essentially having to think out loud much of the time). That got me wondering what sort of other cognitive changes people have experienced. So, do you have any of these issues? Memory problems? Brain fog? Confusion? Word finding? Anything you think may fall under the umbrella of cognitive symptoms, I'd love to hear about your experiences!

  1. I totally went blank remembering one on the doctors name I worked for, “hi dr— nothing, I could think of his name.
    This has become so disturbing to me, I applaud myself on my my memory, but, now I can’t recall a lot of things.

    It’s like my mind is driving in the direction and it just stops at the four way intersection, not knowing which way to go even though the street name is clearly on the sign.

    1. That's a good analogy, . I hope people are forgiving when you forget. Thinking of you and sending lots of gentle hugs your way. - Lori (Team Member)

    2. for me, I can see the picture of the word and can even describe it or give the definition, but the word itself gets lost somewhere between my brain and mouth/hand. Like bird, I’ll say it has wings, flies, has a beak, and sings, but “bird” just gets lost. It’s so frustrating because I’ve always prided myself on my intelligence. My kids want me to go back to school and finish my degree, but this prevents me from even trying. It makes me feel so dumb.

  2. Good Q,

    My wife and I were chatting about this on the weekend. She was curious about finding ways to relate to what was going on in my head. We landed on the adjective 'fuzzy'. Upon exploration I came up with "I used to experience life as a detailed photograph, now I experience it as a painting." While the contents of each reality are the same, the gestalt is different. I haven't finished exploring this concept entirely, but I know my perception of the world is changing.

    1. Thank you subnormal! Oh, I love that description! That does a great job of capturing it, in my opinion!

    2. Thank you for that analogy! Now.. I need to remember this by the time by husband comes home from work so I can tell him! 🤣. No, really I still can thinksome. Lol I’ll take a pic of your article! 🧠👍

  3. I've been sat with my phone in my hands trying to figure out a reply to that for about 20 minutes, that could be one of my problems, but I'm not sure. I don't usually think I've got too much of a problem until I do or don't do something that usually gets me into trouble, then a feeling of shame comes over me and it leaves me doubting myself even more than before. I'm afraid to say it's definitely a case of "the lights are on but nobody's home" sometimes.

    1. Thank you

    2. Funny thing about that one particular sentence is that it's been used to describe me since I was a kid (the lights are on but nobody's home). Kinda makes me wonder if me being a "dingbat" was the first sign of what's to come.🤔

  4. I have cognitive issues also, I have trouble with memory, concentration and of late pausing when speaking. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago so I have been dealing with this for awhile now but now adding MS into the mix I find it a little worse at times

    1. I have cognitive issues as well. I had to leave job because I couldn’t focus and concentrate like I use too. I was a Clinical Documentation Specialist and imagine going to a doctor to remind him of a query I sent to him to answer or clarification and when you get to floor you totally forget what you are there for or in the middle of asking for clarification your mind goes blank when you trying to respond or give him explanation why you wrote the query. Even now talking with family members on Thanksgiving I couldn’t remember some names and have know these folk awhile. What I do to help me is read, do puzzles and exercise. AARP website for members to sharpen their cognitive skills. It’s a challenge for all of us with MS. Me my family and friends chuckle and they say it’s cog-fog. Im not ashamed and family supportive.

    2. You're not alone! I too live with both MS and fibromyalgia, although the pain of Fibromyalgia is resolved with consistent exercise, cardio, strength, balance and flexibility. I know that when you are in the full agony, the idea of exercise is abhorrent, but somehow, I managed to achieve a certain level of fitness, and that keeps the pain at bay. I wish you well. Therry, a Team Member

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