Monday, March 22, 2010

MS brain fog...

Speaking of worrying about MS related things.  I find myself wondering whenever I have trouble remembering something if it is a MS thing.  I always considered myself very intelligent.  If anything smarter than most.  I like to think I'm not arrogant or conceited about it, but in the past my brain always worked quicker than most people.  I could look at a problem and  skip past 1/2 the steps and see the solution. I'm a problem solver.  It is part of what makes me good at what I do for a living.  All through out my education I was good at math.  I was able to clep out of several general ed, basic math and even algebra and trig classed, and jump right into taking advanced calculus without breaking a sweat.  I could do math in my head without any trouble.  I still can, but sometimes my brain feels like it is in a fog.  what used to come without a struggle now is like wading through molasses.  It's disturbing.

This weekend brought it to my attention more than normal.  We had gone out for a couple beers with a friend and I tried playing a game called 21zip or something like that.  It is a video card game based on blackjack.  There are 4 columns that you can play cards on, the object is to play cards from the deck on any of the 4 columns so that it adds up to 21 which clears the column.  obviously you can't go over 21, and you want to play as many cards in the deck within the time limit.  Plus you get bonuses for the number of columns you clear and the number cards you play etc.  It isn't hard, it mainly requires that you can do math in your head and/or spot patterns of what cards to put together to make 21.  Well, basically I sucked.  Something I once would have found so easy, and my brain sits there staring at the cards going "Duh..." And no it wasn't the beer.  My friend kept helping out and pointing out plays, which helped, but I basically felt like an idiot.

The friend even brought it up to M the next day, and said how surprised she was that I wasn't any better in Math than that...  and mentioned something along the lines of thinking I was smarter than that.  Wow.  I really thought the same thing myself.  What the hell happened?  I tried talking a little bit about it to M but she seemed to think it was perhaps an off night, and just mentioned how perhaps I needed to do more things to exercise my brain.

So, what I don't want to do is to just shrug off every little thing that pops up as being, "oh that must be MS".  As in, I feel tired today - oh that must be MS Fatigue.  Oh, my brain is struggling today, that must be MS.  Oh i'm tired and my brain is struggling that must be MS.  who knows.  maybe it is all related.

broken ankles, getting back on the bike....

It's been a while since I posted.  I'm still healing from the broken ankle - I have taken the walking boot off.  But I can tell that ankle is weak.  It gets sore when I use it, I'm going to have to work at it to get the strength back on that side.  Between the left knee and the ankle that is definitely my week side.

I go back to the Dr this coming Friday to have a new set of x-ray's and to make sure all has healed.  However this weekend was 9 weeks since I fell and broke it, so I decided it had been long enough.  I was supposed to have gone back to the Dr on the 15th and have the x-ray's and find out how the ankle was doing, but between a combination of not getting enough sleep over the weekend, having brain fog over the daylight savings time change and somehow screwing up my alarm, I over-slept.  I called to re-schedule and was given a Friday appt.  Silly me, I thought we were talking about last Friday (3/19) and only found out that it was not until 3/26 when I showed up only to find my Dr wasn't in.  Since it had been 8 weeks on the 14th, and almost 9 weeks by the 19th, I decided I didn't need to wait for 10 weeks to take off the walking boot and that maybe it would be better for me to start using it.  I've just taken it easy on what I've been doing.

I have discovered that walking around on bumpy terrain is a challenge.  I feel really unsteady, part of it might be the MS, part of it the weak knee that sometimes feels like it will just "go out" without warning.  Some of it is that the ankle isn't sure about twisting in all sorts of angles and directions and still holding up my weight.  When I see the Dr I am going to request getting some PT to try to work on strengthening it.

I also am really nervous about getting back on a bike.  Getting on it and riding is fine.  That I can do.  It is the "stopping" and getting off that worries me.  That and how to face going up a hill.  What if I get part way up and realize I'm not prepared and can't finish it.  So far I haven't been real successful on stopping without falling off.  Falling off and bruising my pride is one thing.  Breaking ankles is a whole other thing.

MS-related Bloggers requested to answer survey questions

From Lisa's Brass and Ivory site, I'm reposting a request for responses to a Survey:

Calling all MS-related Bloggers to Answer Survey Questions

I received a request from the National MS Society (US) to encourage as many MS-related bloggers as possible to respond to a survey regarding finding information online. Within the fall edition of the magazine Momentum will be an article - "Multiple Sclerosis: Surviving the Information Age" (tentative title).

Short synopsis: The Internet offers unprecedented amounts of information. It’s a boon and a minefield both. How are people with MS managing it? We’ll ask some MS Webheads and some experts on health information about facts, rumor, opinion, and challenges to received wisdom. We’ll also explore how people stay calm when faced with too much information.

The 10-question survey is meant specifically for bloggers but is not limited to those in the US. If I have your email, you received this same request. I do not have emails for every MS bloggers (not even close), so I ask that you pass this request on....perhaps posting it on your blog.

The NMSS is hoping to get as many responses within the next week as possible.

Here is the address for the survey:

Thank you!!

Lisa Emrich

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