Slowing down and confusion

Hi. I have RRMS and was diagnosed 3 years ago. I’m finding that I’m getting quite confused recently. I read numbers incorrectly, can’t find the correct words, have to think (momentarily) about how to switch the oven on, get confused with time, can’t finish my sentences… I’m getting slower at completing tasks too. All of this is beginning to upset me. I’m in my early 50s and work 4 days a week. A few people at work have moaned (behind my back) that I take too long to do things. Amazing really, as I always get the jobs that no one else can do/wants to do! This is causing problems with my confidence and is beginning to get me down. I’m just wondering how others cope. Any advice please? Thank you.

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Are you dealing with a relapse right now? I only get them every couple years, but they last for months, and these are some of the problems I have. Have you discussed any of this with your MS nurse?

Hi NorasMom. Thank you for your reply. I don’t think I’m having a relapse but I am very stressed at the moment. So I’m guessing that is not helping. I did see my neurologist a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned it then. It wasn’t so bad then and we decided to keep an eye on it. I’m sure it’s the stress, I need to handle it better.

Best thing to do is ignore them hun. Not being funny about this but a lot of people are like that now a days, get things muddled i think we live in very stressful times.

can i ask are you female? menopause symptom too.

if not female sorry i said that lol.

I do it all the time forget what i want to say get words wrong. i am slowing down. I have on my door. DELIVERY MAN, a disabled person lives here. A TORTOISE, not SPEEDY GONZALEZ so please be patient with me.

they think its funny and i get treated with a lot of respect.

I wish your work mates walked in your shoes for a bit.

have you spoken to work about considerations of working with a disability?

Stress can definitely be a large part of it. I’ll echo CC and ask if you’ve talked with your supervisors about making accommodations for you? More sit-down breaks, a lighter workload, more time allotted to complete tasks…Without the cooperation of the people around you, the problems just get worse.

During your clearer-headed moments, make detailed notes for yourself. Maybe list your work duties in order and then specific directions for each job you have to do. Do the same for household appliances. Keep these with you and refer to them as needed throughout the day. I had to do that for one of my last jobs, and it made a world of difference.

I really feel for you, and I am sorry that people who do not understand the context are grumbling about your work rate. Depending on how supportive your employer is, it might be worth having a word with your boss and/or HR to talk about how your MS affects you and how they can support you to do best job you can. No harm, either, in reminding them about your role as department long-stop, dealing with the things that the others can’t do or prefer to avoid! I do think it is best to take the bull by the horns and initiate these difficult discussion up-front on your own terms.

I think these things are best thought of as the cool, unemotional business matters they are: it’s a matter of resource management for them. It is in your interest and theirs for you to be able to make your best contribution. Plus, of course, you are entitled to ask them to make adjustments to your working environment to support you (some slack on work rates, for instance, extra pairs of hands to help you out at peak times etc), and they are obliged to consider these and act on them if they are reasonable.

Above all, remember that none of this is a reflection on you as a person or as an employee. This employee happens to have MS, and that’s just the way of it, and it’s a resource constraint for them to manage, as they manage any other resource constraint. That’s business, and that’s life. None of this - none of it - is your fault.

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Hi Crazy Chick. Thank you for yr advice. Yes I am female! And yes I have wondered if it might be the menopause but my neurologist thinks not. Anyway, whatever it is I think I need to not take myself so seriously. As for work, you’re right people don’t understand. I look well and I just don’t think they realise what is going on inside.

Thank you for your advice. Some great ideas about writing things down when I’m feeling less fuzzy headed. Not sure how to tackle work, I’ll have to think about that one!

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Hello Alison. Thank you for your reply and great advice. It has certainly made me think that I do need a discussion at work. You’re right it isn’t my fault. I like to think of myself as hardworking and it hurts when I hear others comment about me. Think it’s time I asked for some help.