Fighting Cognitive Battles
The statement "the struggle is real" is overused so often these days. For those of us dealing with cognitive issues, while cliche there's not a better way of stating our I lived my former life as a detail oriented, organized and always prepared individual. I have a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and a Master's Degree in Business. Today I describe my life as perpetual chaos in motion. I spend most of my day looking for things I lose over and over again. I forget to turn the water off in the sink, turn the oven off and have to have help filling my pill box up weekly because I will forget to put something in every time! I'm also changing to an oral MS drug because my compliance with my Copaxone injections is unreliable...I forget! I'm only 53, so this is very upsetting and frightening for me. I'm not one to feel sorry for myself nor have I ever been angry about having MS. I've met some amazing people and gained some incredible insight about myself in this journey.
If I could make people understand what NOT to say to people who share this struggle with me, this would be just a few tips:
- Please don't tell me you forget things all the time too. It isn't the same kind of forgetfulness trust me!
- Kids...forgetfulness does not mean I have lost my intelligence!! Do not try any shenanigans!
- Trust your friends to understand your weaknesses. I'm so grateful for mine.
- Consider talking to your physician about cognitive rehab. You might be surprised at the tricks you learn to help yourself become more organized.
- Never let anyone make you feel alone, unworthy or less of a person. Share your story about MS. You not only raise awareness but you also may inspire someone who feels hopeless and afraid. It's not always an ending, for me its been an incredible new journey.
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?