Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Not Easy

Janet writes: I apologize for the couple weeks of silence from us. Between health problems and issues with children, we have been a bit preoccupied. Solving all these problems puts the ol' brain into high gear for a while, and when you are dealing with the cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis, that high gear eventually burns out and leaves you on the side of the highway. Anyway, things are settling down slightly, so I wrote the following: 

We read a lot of information about multiple sclerosis and about health problems in general. It seems everyone is an expert and everyone has their little niche of advice to give. “Use a pocket planner.” “Take fish oil.” “Get enough vitamin D.” “Get a Blackberry.” And so on. We all want that one little thing that will make all our health problems better, and many people are perfectly willing to step up and hand it to us. I’ve done it myself – and I should know better!

The fact is, even with all the gadgets, vitamins, and special helps, living with the cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis is not easy. Life has a tendency to bombard you at times, and all the calendars in the world don’t compensate for that feeling of being overwhelmed. Four capsules of fish oil might help the memory click along a little better, but they don’t stop the mid-day crash when all body systems go into “sleep” mode, including the brain. Tim becomes very frustrated when he can’t finish a project because his head won’t let him or when he has to check his phone calendar five times because he can’t remember if he entered something correctly. My own patience wears a bit when I have to remind Tim of appointments or other things multiple times in a day. We both feel like we get stuck in the cognitive mud and the only thing that will pull us out is a good nap!

I guess what I’m saying here is don’t expect a miracle cure for the cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but don’t give up on living either. All the compensation techniques, gadgets, and vitamins might not be “the answer”, but they can get you through a day. At least, they can pull you along until nap time!