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Cognitive Decline

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    Cognitive Decline

    I'm freaking out a bit here. How severe can cognitive decline get? I'm noticing that I'm not as sharp as I used to be. Sometimes simple tasks seem hard to do. For example, I was figuring out some money stuff for the office I work at. We're talking grade three level math. It was tasking for me. Like, I couldn't do it. Once I buckled down and really focused I got it but, seriously??? Also, any, and I mean ANY distraction and I'm done. I can not work with distractions on anything that requires focus.

    I also find that I can not remember, 30 seconds later what I was going to do. Sometimes I see something on Facebook and think, hey I need to Google that and when I switch tabs to actually search it I can not remember what I was going to search. Mere seconds later!

    Honestly, this terrifies me! I feel so stupid. It's embarrassing.

    Please tell me this is "normal". Well as normal as anything with MS can be. But, seriously.....tell me I'm not alone. What can I do to help this?
    "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
    ~Leonard Cohen

    DX November, 2020. Ontario, Canada

    I have had some cognitive issues over the past couple of months. Though not as severe as you describe it had concerned me until I read that the pandemic and lock downs for the past year could cause this. My son and my husband who do not have MS have what they call foggy brain. Especially my son. Maybe things will improve once things get more back to normal. Try not to stress too much as that can make the situation worse.


      I don't know if this helps or not, but my cognitive abilities vary greatly depending on whether I'm having an exacerbation or not. I do have random days when my mind doesn't work as well as it should, but the worst episodes tend to be isolated and go in waves. While I was still working, I made sure to keep my detailed training notes handy to pull out whenever they were needed. If you don't have them, pick a good day and right down step-by-step instructions of what you have to do every minute of the day. Money and numbers are the most difficult things for me, and I handled our company's bookkeeping. I had many days when I had to use the instructions.

      I also live for Post-It notes. At home full time now, I have them hanging all around my computer with things like how to access my bank account, reset the computer, how to pay my bills. My kitchen cupboards are lined with them, explaining how to make coffee, where I store this particular seldom-used food product, what size lightbulbs are needed in the bathroom.

      You're definitely not alone, but keeping detailed instructions handy has saved my sanity.


        Regarding cognition, my cognitive abilities vary by time of day. Evenings, I don't do important tasks, such as banking, taxes, etc. Even when I am not aware that I feel tired, perhaps my brain just is.

        Regarding MS decline, I have found that significant dietary and lifestyle changes has made a big difference in decline. Consider Wahls' Protocol for dietary guidelines (no gluten, no dairy, no processed sugar, etc, etc) and reduce toxins in your life by using natural products for cleaning your home, for personal care, etc. Pracetice stress reduction and stress management, consider yoga and meditation, exercise moderately, etc.

        Try one small change at a time; you can't change everything at once.
        ~ Faith
        MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
        (now a Mimibug)

        Symptoms began in JAN02
        - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
        - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08

        - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
        - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.