What was this post about again?
The daily struggles with memory, concentration and focus are sometimes unbearable. My personal struggles with this aspect of MS are most challenging.
I will sometimes be in a familiar place that will become unfamiliar in an instant. I’ve learned to utilize GPS with turn by turn instructions even when I know where I am going to help with this; however, one time I found myself driving in a familiar but unfamiliar place and the GPS told me to turn right and I could not recall which way right was. It came back to me fairly quickly but I felt what is becoming to be a familiar panic.
Another way MS affects my cognitive abilities is memory. I find myself doing familiar tasks such as putting water in the horse trough and then walking off to do another task and forgetting the water is on. Laundry is the same way, I often will have clothes drying for hours on end wasting propane and ruining clothes because I forget the dryer is running. Reaching in a cabinet for something but forgetting what for is common place for me. For this, I am attempting to learn to remember to set the alerts on my smart phone.
My job demands concentration and the ability to perform math functions. I find it difficult at times to answer simple equations. I do not have an answer for this one, other than I utilize a notebook and scratch paper as well as calculators and problem specific calculators I find on the internet.
People used to tease me that I have the mind of an engineer and that I over think everything. I used to pride myself on that. I see what I am becoming and I hate it.
I’ve learned to deal with the pain, and minor modifications around the house help with mobility. I am not terribly bad off yet. I get around without assistance or aids but I can feel the day is coming when I will utilize a cane. I’m much slower than I used to be.
Perhaps the saddest realization is the inability to go throw a saddle on my mare and go riding when I want. The carrying of the saddle and mounting her are a problem. Once in the saddle I would be fine for a time, but eventually the time will come to dismount. I am having trouble asking for help, it almost seems to me like giving up. I suppose I could have a mounting ramp built and devise a cart to carry her gear, I won’t admit defeat easily.
I haven’t allowed myself to deal with this disease yet. I suppose in some ways that keeping this blog is allowing me to start dealing with it. I’m scared. I’ve seen the decline. I was very athletic, I used to do survival excursions, mountain bike, and I did a lot of the labor chores around the farm. Now just standing for long periods of time is difficult. I tire so easily.
I get annoyed a lot more these days too. It’s hard to say whether that is directly from the MS or an indirect result because I am having so much trouble dealing with the disease. I try to keep a positive outlook most days and keep myself too busy to think about it, but these brief pauses in my day to examine my experiences with the disease give me small pangs of want for yesteryear when things were so much more carefree.