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Having difficulties with dealing with conversations as my brain and words don't work quickly enough!

Hi there fellow MSs, here’s one for you.

I feel totally inadequate after speaking with my colleagues (not a real job a voluntary job).

The others in the group know I have MS (and know all about it) but after each meeting I feel totally deflated as I can’t think of what I want to say and therefore get talked over. My colleagues are friendly and kind enough but I just feel like a blithering idiot. It takes me days to regain my self esteem.

I wonder how others cope or is it just my personality I’ve never had a lot of confidence, I know i’m not stupid, just slow and now know how the slow kids feel at school.

Hello anon I used to be in charge of a ward looking after 27 patients…now I couldn’t organise my way out of a bag of crisps Lol. Sorry that’s not very helpful is it. I’ve just been diagnosed in August…I just take it one day at a time. When I feel I need to I let people know my diagnosis and that I have problems with my memory and processing information. I get there in the end…just takes a bit longer. You’ve answered the question yourself!! Saying that you’ve never had a lot of confidence. Surround yourself with people you like and feel safe with and allow your confidence to build. Don’t be frightened to ask people to repeat things or slow down their speech. Never call yourself an idiot anon or let anyone else call you one. You just need to believe in you!! Think about may be taking a confidence building course? Take care xxx

Hi anon

I get this too at times, especially if I am trying hard to sound intelligent. The more I think about it the worse it is.

You wouldn’t believe I was a legal secretary and then a med sec. Wouldn’t be able to do it now.

It does improve a bit if I stop worrying about it.

Shazzie x

Thank you for your replies, Shazzie and Blosson, perhaps I could go on that confidence building course, feel I’m a bit old in the tooth but I suppose we are never too old for self help. You’ve made me feel a bit better anyway.

Hi anon It could be either of those factors. Yes, MS affects the thought process. I find forward planning useful and before attending meetings I jot down pointers for questions I want to ask. Other options are to raise the question with a colleague before the meeting and see if they will raise the point. Talking 1 on 1 I find easier than a group. Lack of confidence is a big hurdle and tackling this can really help. Confidence courses or books / CDs are a great start. I’ve used these before and found them great. I have recently done presentations to over 1500 colleagues and found the preconceived thoughts I had to be unfounded. All the best Neil

Your never too old to learn new things anon. Can I also say volunteering is a great thing your doing…and is real. I used to volunteer for the Red Cross. Unfortunately I can’t anymore. Volunteers carry out important roles in this country and abroad…be proud that you are one of these people. Neil’s ideas about books and CDs might be a good start for you. Have a look for Paul McKenna Noreen xxx

Thank you for your suggestions, the confidence CDs and books sound like a good idea I’ll look into them. May I add that I do take along notes but it’s when we are having general discussions that are raised that I have the problems and you have to think quickly that I have the problems. So sorry you are unable to volunteer now Noreen, I know how much it means to me and does take my mind off of problems and I am lacking ‘normal’ family support (too complicated to go into) so it’s important to have something else going on, even though it’s very little. Cheers