Not to brag, but I have a good memory. Not necessarily for practical, every day things (where are my keys??), but for names and faces; for places and directions; for stories, movies and trivia; for events; for information about people, I really do have a very good memory.
If I had been given a choice between physical or cognitive problems when I was first diagnosed, I would have chosen the cognitive ones hands down. I was all about hiding my MS and to me, cognitive problems would be easier to hide. I figured that I would just use my cell phone more to keep track of things and that would be that.
However, I’m learning that it really doesn’t work that way.
I’m finding that there is a general fuzziness to my memory sometimes. When I try to tell stories to people, the details are a bit hazy. Not always, but more often than I’d like. I’ve also had a “foggy head” on and off for the past two years. When it gets like that, my mind feels thick, heavy and cloudy and my train of thought labours to slog through it.
I’ve also had two memory lapses that scared me.
At work I speak in French. French isn’t my first language so sometimes I don’t know words, or I forget words. When I forget words, there is always something in my mind to take the place of the missing word; the English word or at the very least an image of whatever it is I’m trying to say. One day I was speaking and I was going to say a word and there was nothing there. No word, no picture, nothing for me to grab onto, just emptiness.
I can’t remember the all details of the second episode, fittingly enough. I’m pretty sure it involved me signing something. I have a vague memory of looking at my signature on a piece of paper and being shocked that I had signed something and didn’t remember. At any other time in my life I would have found the humour in that situation. However, coming so close on the heels of the other episode, it really upset me.
When my physical problems first started way back when, people I confided in tried to reassure me that it was nothing; it was a pinched nerve, my purse was too heavy (?!) etc. However, I knew something was very wrong. That creeping numbness, it was not right. Similarly now, when I confide in people about the memory lapses, they try to reassure me that it is normal; we all forget things as we get older. We do, but not like that. That void in my head during those two episodes, it is not right.
I’ll be 37 in December. I’m too young for any kind of cognitive decline. MS seems to be quieting down in my brain and I can only hope it stays that way. The thought of losing that part of myself makes me profoundly sad.Tags: cognitive, diagnosed, learning, memory