For me, it’s sometimes yes, and often no. I wish I could find a pattern to what it is that sticks in my memory for longer than a fleeting moment. I know there are things about having multiple sclerosis that really worry me, and the cognitive function is perhaps the scariest one of all.
There was a saying I saw years ago on a refrigerator magnet – of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most – and I can now only half smile about that thought. The other half of me is sobered by the possibility that my brain power could be slipping away thanks to MS.
I’ve tried the memory games and training programs on line and none of them seem to aid in my short term memory. I went to therapy a while back and had a few weeks of tips and tricks taught, but they didn’t stick. Give me a list of five items to remember – let’s say the words are: apple, truck, cucumber, key and notebook – and just a few minutes after hearing them and even if I repeat them aloud, they are gone from my memory. Even as I am typing this I am trying to visualize the list of words and make it as far as truck before my memory hits a roadblock. Nope – the rest of the list is gone.
Even more frustrating to me – because honestly, how many times at my age will I need to recite a list of five unrelated items? – is how brilliant thoughts come and go without warning. I will be driving along and an idea for a new article or blog comes to me. I might be in the shower and thinking about whether the shampoo is rinsed out of my hair when up pops a great topic that you might want to read. You get the picture, right? And I imagine you also know the punch line … by the time I can get to a piece of paper or my computer to record my idea it is gone. I can’t begin to tell you how many absolutely brilliant pieces of writing you have missed because the idea went AWOL from my memory. At least I would like to believe they would have been brilliant but we will never know.
The exact cause of this problem may never be explained because there are several possibilities. It could be my age – I’m old enough and have learned so much that perhaps there is no room to retain anything else in there. Perhaps being post-menopausal makes a different. I know lots of women think the hot-flashes fry their memory.
And of course there is the main suspect – MS! There are certainly enough holes in my brain thanks to the lesions and they show no signs of going away on my annual MRI. Maybe they have short circuited the wiring in just the right places to pick away at the memory process, or the holes are like drains and short term memories disappear into those black holes.
What ever the cause, I do worry about my memory. Now here’s the test …. Apple, truck…. Damn. I’m stuck again. How about you? Can you name my list of five objects? I hope at least one of us can.
Wishing you well,