Absent minded?

I think I am seriously overworking but I have been making a few silly mistakes the last few days. I am a violin teacher, and was teaching a girl grade 1 yesterday. I registered this and was prepared for grade 1 but gave her aural tests appropriate for grade 3.

Another incident happened with another girl, much higher grade. I was asking her to play scales from another syllabus.

Then last week I was giving a demonstration, well rehearsed with my pianist, yet at the moment had a total lapse of memory and started playing the wrong piece. My pianist ‘busked’ it for me, but I owe her a drink now!

It is common for me to make mistakes all the time in life, but absolutely not in my professional work.

I don’t think I’m cracking up, just overworking - or maybe ms has put a spanner in the works somewhere?

Hi Josef, sorry to say, it’s a common symptom with MS. Google ‘MS and cognitive issues’ and you’ll get a whole bunch of links.

Not everyone with MS gets it, but many of us do to greater a lesser degree. Somehow knowing that it’s your MS causing the problem does make it a bit easier to accept (after all it can affect so much in our bodies… so only natural it would affect memory and cognitive ability).

The trick is to learn to live with the challenge! I have a blackboard on wall and jot things down as soon as I think of them… as literally seconds later I might have forgotten. Post-it notes are handy also, as is setting the reminder alarm on your mobile.

Stress and fatigue will make it worse, so watch your energy levels and think about how you can lower the stress in your life.

In your situation I would say ‘prep’ is very important. Make time the day before maybe to write out exactly what grade the pupil is on, and exactly what you will be teaching in the lesson. Read your notes carefully before the lesson and make notes there and then of things you need to remember for next lesson.

Most of all, learn to laugh about it. I live in sheltered with some very old people who of course also have memory problems… always having a laugh about being ‘confused-dot-com’!

Pat x

Not quite the same, as it wasn’t in a professional context, but recently, whilst out walking, I approached a place I know WELL, from a slightly different direction. For some reason, this was enough to throw me completely, so that I couldn’t recognize the place, or remember the well-trodden shortcut home. I had to go home by a much longer and indirect route, which was the only one I could remember!

I’ve had similar incidents once or twice in the past, but only ever at night, and never in a place I knew as well as this. With the earlier incidents, I blamed it on not being particularly familiar with the area, and everything looking different in the dark, so I wasn’t too freaked out by it. But this is the first time in broad daylight, in a place I know well.

I was OK, because I could still find my way home, but I knew it wasn’t the way I’d wanted to go. :frowning:


Tina I’ve had that happen as well. Was in a familiar area but couldn’t work out how to get home. Had to phone a friend who came in car to get me. Very distressing.

Pat x

Oh man, this really freaks me out, I can be doing anything at all and then next thing bang, I havent got a bl**dy inkling on what i am supposed to be doing, I play bass guitar in a calypso reggae band and when I get on the stage I find the the whole set is completely gone. the drummer has to keep reminding me of the song, something I should and do know like the back of my hand . I scrape through so if you find a cure please let me know!


I am glad it is not just me!! (Though my teenage children say it is) Workwise, I could be tutoring nurses on how to use a piece of medical equipment and forget parts that I know about and have done the same tutoring lots of times!

Also, I have been organising multisport races for the last 15 years. Last year I forgot the safety pins for their race numbers at one race, forgot the prizes for another! This year for a race this Sunday I thought all sorted but it transpired I had forgotten to book the British Red Cross for medical cover (Being a nurse, I would usually book that first!)

Perhaps a tick list is in order, both for jobs before and things to pack in the van!

You can’t beat a good tick list. Once a few things are ticked off re-do the list so it doesn’t get confusing. I know it sounds like a lot of work but it’s worth it in long run.

Another trick I use which is handy when you’re not near the tick list! If for instance you think of something you must do when you’re lying in bed… put something in a place where it shouldn’t be and think ‘When I see that I’ll remember so-and-so’. For instance a slipper on bedside table or a book on the floor. Works a treat.

Pat x

Oh, I do apologise for my last post, I assumed it was the brain fog we were talking about where you go into meltdown. Didn’t interpret the thread properly, the tick list is a really good idea for remembering things.

On a lighter note, I do find myself looking in my fridge sometimes though and don’t know why, I’m sure that’s not ms related though, just force of habit!!!


I found myself outside my front door, i had taken my debit card out of my bag and was trying to put it through the key hole?.I remember thinking to myself, why wont the card open the door, what is wrong.

I’ve left a bath running for 4 hours and left the gas hob on, but the door and card is by far my worst yet. It is becoming more common for me to get confused when out, forgotten pin numbers i’ve had for years and even my own phone number. I also answered the door and referred to myself by my maiden name even though i’ve been married 16 yrs, so embarrising and confusing.

Ooh, this doesn’t sound at all like you. But this sort of seemingly erratic behaviour is typical of MS cognitive dysfunction - and also sadly of other nasty conditions such as dementia.

Rule No. 1 is that you MUST take stock and STOP doing anything that could be dangerous. E.g. you can only run a bath / have the cooker on if you’ve got a timer running that you keep with you, and you mustn’t leave the timer or switch it off until you’ve checked what it was for.

Rule No. 2 is that you MUST fight it and try to improve. It won’t get better on its own.

Depending on how you’re fixed, you might ask your GP for a referral to a clinical psychologist for testing to check that it is indeed MS cognitive dysfunction and not some other form of degeneration (cheery, aren’t I?!). You may find yourself getting overwhelmed and a good clinical psychologist will be able to help you out with coping strategies.

Lolli xx

Thank you lollipop, I used to be so bright and multi-tasking was my middle name. I spent 17 yrs in the Army, as a pay/administrator who also dealt with court martials etc, so I was always on the ball. Now i’m finding it difficult to remember the simplest of things, not helped by three boys with behavioural special needs (autism). Anyway I have an MRI and C spine scan booked for 10 November in Cardiff, I just wish all these balance, memory,tremors and spasm’s etc would stop. My leg spasm’s and jerks, woke my husband up last night.

Thanks for your idea of a timer, I would never have thought of that. I must admit I have now stopped cooking as I kept cutting my thumbs when peeling veg etc. I now eat cereals during the day and husband cooks when he finishes work. My mum helps alot with the kids, (I have 4), at 42, I feel I should be helping her. I must say, dementia did cross my mind, but that some how scares me alot more than MS, I keep a diary, which has everything in it, even what I have eaten as I can’t remember what happened 2 hours ago.

Thanks again for your advice.


I found myself outside my front door, i had taken my debit card out of my bag and was trying to put it through the key hole?.I remember thinking to myself, why wont the card open the door, what is wrong. [/quote]

You have spent too much time at posh hotels? Thinking a card will open your door! :wink: