Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


MS and brain blips: Are you losing it, or did you pack it away someplace?

Have you misplaced anything lately?

I’m pretty sure the sum total of lost items should be classified as an official symptom of multiple sclerosis. And it is surely under-reported.

Who wants to count the number of minutes (or hours) spent, simply hunting for the cell phone, car key, TV remote control, favorite sweater, or any other missing item?

Maybe this happens to everyone – at least, to some extent. But the MS brain blip only seems to add to the frustration of this quandary. If you are an MSer, you likely know all about those instantaneous mental blanks that suddenly wipe the slate clean, just when you are trying to locate some essential object.

The lost item predicament jump-starts a series of frustrating questions.

  • When did I last see this thing?
  • Where did I last use it?
  • Where might I have left it?
  • Did I tuck it away someplace?
  • Could I possibly have thrown it away by mistake?
  • Have I finally stepped over the edge?
  • Did someone else move the thing?

It gets worse, if you live with a neat freak.

Oh, baby. Don’t even ask.

What happens when someone routinely tucks things away in nonsensical places? OK, maybe this person somehow thinks this is helpful or simply necessary. But …

Honestly, this can be crazy-making. Trust me on this one.

There you go, ransacking the house, hunting for a cell phone charger cord, for example. You could swear you set it on the kitchen counter last night. Only it’s gone. You search the car. You hunt in your desk drawer and poke through every kitchen drawer and cupboard. You reach into every pocket of every garment in the laundry basket for the elusive object.

And you find no cell phone charger cord.

So you muster all the energy you can, while stewing in an MS befuddlement, wondering if you have really lost it this time (and I’m not talking about the charger cord here). You drive to the store and purchase a new cord.

Three days later, storm showers blow through town. You grab your raincoat off the hook in the front hall – for the first time in more than a week.

There it is, the missing cell phone charger cord, hanging on the hook under your slicker. You didn’t put it there, and it absolutely doesn’t make sense.

Maybe you even asked the neat freak if he or she had seen the thing. And that person said no. (Hey, neat freaks often act on auto-pilot and may not even remember stashing stuff.)

But at least you found the missing item this time. Sometimes stuff hides a lot longer, and occasionally things even get donated or tossed without notice or reason.

Maybe we can’t blame this one on MS, after all.

Raise your hand, if you want those lost item search hours back.
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