Saturday, August 11, 2007

When You Can't Think Straight

I depend on my mind. Is there anyone who doesn't? But MS threatens to take that, too.

My father, an Air Force pilot with a disciplined mind, was not always lucid after a long fight with Parkinson's. My mother has suffered several strokes and gets frustrated when she doesn't understand something that once was familiar. She is even more frustrated when she knows she can do something and everyone around her knows she can't. There are many reasons we fail to retain our faculties, and MS is as cruel as any of them. So what can an MSer do to reduce the encroaching threat of cognitive difficulties?

Peg Shepherd, RN, MSer, writes a blog for WebMD called Living with Multiple Sclerosis. She tells us about 50% of MSers will experience some level of cognitive impairment. She continues on this topic and covers coping strategies along with a post on cognitive testing.

My doctor told me to play word games -- crosswords and trivia -- to keep my brain active and ward off the mind-stealing Monster. Now Peg Shepherd echoes that recommendation. Anyone want to play?

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3 comments:

Merelyme said...

oh thank you for this post! i do worry about losing my brain power. my brain is about the only thing i can count upon in hard times. there is supposed to be a book out there about how to improve cognitive functioning when you have MS. do you know the book i am thinking about?

Shirl said...

Hi Vicki - I am currently battling against my own short-term memory malfunction - am seeing a new neurologist on 28th and intend to get help if I can.

Vicki said...

Merelyme,
Jeffrey Gingold wrote his story in a ‘mental wheelchair’ in FACING THE COGNITIVE CHALLENGES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. I don't think that is what you are talking about -- I will look around and get back to you.
Shirl,
According to your blog, this has passed for now, so that's good. How frightening to go through an episode like this. Here's hoping this is your last one.