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The Never-ending Scavenger Hunt, Brought to You By MS!

The Never-ending Scavenger Hunt, Brought to You By MS!

Have you ever participated in a scavenger hunt? It’s a challenging game where you have to look for items that are hidden in a general area. It’s like hide and seek with someone who never gets tired of waiting for you to find them so they can just sit in their hiding spot forever! Sounds like a lot of fun right? Well, I guess it used to be… back when my memory and my vision had not been impeded by multiple sclerosis (MS)… but now? Thanks to MS? It feels like my daily life is a never-ending scavenger hunt because I can never find what I am looking for and it is not fun!

Either I can’t remember where I put what I am looking for or my awesome vision makes it feel impossible to successfully scan my surroundings and find it. It’s so frustrating! Even if this is not an issue for you I am sure you have found yourself spending half an hour looking for the TV remote so you can just change the channel! That maddening feeling of hopelessness that makes you feel like a danger to yourself and others while you toss the couch cushions around and reach under pieces of furniture that you never even realized had a space under it? Or the utterly despondent feeling you get when you just can not find your keys or your wallet/purse? That is the feeling I have to live with every day only sometimes I am faced with it while doing things that are simply part of my daily routine! Like washing a dish at the kitchen sink – but hold on, where is the sponge? It’s not in the designated sponge spot. Is it under another dish? On the counter? Behind the dish rack? Is there a sponge under the sink? OK forget it, I guess there are no more sponges anywhere so it looks like dishes will never be cleaned again! Ever! I’m just going to watch TV – wait, where is the remote? I could have sworn I left it right here! I am going to go mad… I would write down where everything is but I can’t even remember where I set my pen (that I was just holding) down.

My vision does this to me too. Not only is my vision not as sharp as it once was but I have oscillopsia so everything looks like it is almost moving. On top of that I get major sensory overload when I am looking at a crowded environment. It’s like my brain can’t decide what it should look at; like it is unsure if any given item is any more important than another. Does your household have a junk drawer? Let’s use that as an example. I might KNOW for a fact that what I am looking for is somewhere in there but when I look inside I am so overwhelmed by the jumbled mess that I have to just dump it all out and look at one thing at a time. Is this what I am looking for? Nope. Move it to the side. What about this? Nope. Add it to the “nope pile”. OK you know what? Screw it! This is just too much! I give up!

So all this has been a major contributing factor in making me a creature of habit. I like everything to be in its place so that if I wanted to? I could close my eyes and still reach around my surroundings and grab what I want. I don’t want to spend half the day looking for something; I don’t need to be reminded or taunted by the fact that my memory and my vision are not what they used to be. This would work great if I lived alone but like most of us? I live with other people and since most people do not share my OCD-like habits of making sure everything is in the exact same place as it was yesterday? Things have a tendency of relocating. So it would seem that I am stuck participating in a never-ending scavenger hunt where the items I have to find are the very items I need to get things done throughout the day.

This might sound like it is not an MS thing because “everyone loses their keys” but I am just trying to paint a picture that everyone can relate to. The fact is, as my memory and vision have gotten worse over the years so has this problem. It seems like all day I am just looking for things and for one reason or another, it has become very difficult for me to find them! I swear I can FEEL that my brain is not making a connection; it’s just ONE synapse away from remembering where it is and whether my vision is making things more difficult to find is not even a question! I am sure there are others with MS who know what I mean but honestly? I don’t think I have ever REALLY talked to people about this. So since you were diagnosed with MS, have you found it more difficult to find things throughout the day? Have you become uptight about making sure everything is in its place? Share below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Mamag55
    2 years ago

    I just discovered your blog if that is what you call it?! My brain is an absolute mess, I look great at 61, but every post you have written describes me to a T! I am beyond OCD of which my husband doesn’t understand and I feel that every waking moment is like trying to solve the next piece of a jigsaw puzzle. After pressuring my neurologist to look harder, keep looking, don’t tell that my MRI is stable, she paused and said “this is interesting” hmmmm Come to find out my hippocampus, which controls memory, impulses and more has exponentially shrinking since my MRI’s started 7 years started at the time of my diagnosis. So now I have an Alzheimer’s doc who is following that. Cognitive issues are so very frustrating and few get it. I do. Thank you for validating my insanity. Good luck to you.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi 10rmm3q, we’re so glad that you found us, and that we’ve helped you feel validated! We’re always here to share support. I’d like to also invite you to visit our Facebook page as well. -Warmly, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • Julie
    3 years ago

    This is me thru and thru. I use to be so lax in just leaving things laying in a general area. Now I could hide my own Easter eggs.

    The one thing I am adamant about is a place for everything and everything in its place. Even my grandkids know that nana is a nut for putting her purse in the same place no matter what. My bathroom has to be arranged just so and so does my bedroom.

    In my bedroom things are hung the same way and clothes are separated by season. Books are filed back in the same place and seriously, don’t mess with my habits. If it sounds a bit anal, I don’t care. I don’t live with anyone so it’s much easier than if someone were having to live with my habits.

    I have big problems shopping too. The lighting, the crowds, the music and the announcements over the intercom, it just makes for total confusion for me.

    Make your living area as comfortable for you as you can. Don’t let anyone mess with it. It will make you a less grouch MS’er. Or at least it does me.

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    You know, even since I wrote this my issues with finding things have got worse. Probably because I am having a little flair which includes a pretty drastic nystagmus making looking around THAT much more difficult. So I have been thinking “man, I am already pretty anal about keeping things in the same place but now I REALLY have to get even more detailed”. Like, yes, the remote for my TV is on my desk but now I feel like I need to designate a specific spot; left side in the exact center of where the TV is so that I know EXACTLY where to start reaching my hand out to grab it before I even look at where I know it is… whatever, you hit the nail on the head, it’s MY space and being able to find stuff like that makes me a lot less stressed and grumpy and that is what matters most to me.

  • jennyb
    3 years ago

    I am forever losing things. I try to be really careful about where I leave stuff. Sometimes if I just wait awhile and go back, what I am looking for is right there.

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    Do you find it to be better if you ALWAYS put things back in the SAME EXACT spot or is that just me being all OCD?

  • swigereddie
    3 years ago

    I know exactly how you feel it seems like day in and out you are constantly looking for or trying to remember something as simple as a wallet, hairbrush or a pair of shoes….things that you need for simple day to day tasks if you can even get out of bed…. most people do not realize how much they take for granted… sometimes i wish there were a way to even simulate it to people so they could even grasp the feelings of frustration and know how hard it feels to have this…. But even in my short time since my diagnosis I have learned… WE CAN SURVIVE!!!!

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    yes, a way for people to realize it is not the same as misplacing your keys every once in a while,

  • Joelle Buck
    3 years ago

    Yeppers. This is me.. I seriously think that I have been kidnapped by the Gypsies that are secretly watching and laughing at the loss of absolutely everything right at the time I need it. I live alone and I can spinning for days at a time and not know where I start or where stop. I crumble into a HOT MESS . I am dizzy and looking for a way out of this house of MIRRORS.

  • Matt Allen G author
    3 years ago

    Yeah, the dizziness and swirling vision certainly does not help. At least you lie alone (which is usually a bad thing) because you don’t have to worry about other people moving things around, just you and your MS-brain haha…. -sigh-

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