Trouble with numbers...

Hi there, I just wondered if this is just me being generally hopeless or something else that MS has decided to give me. Maths has never been my strong point but in the last couple of weeks I’ve started having real trouble with numbers. We went to an exhibition up in London on Sunday, tickets booked for 11am I thought, online booking sheet printed out, it was actually booked for 1.30pm. I’ve been late for a GP appointment because I got the wrong date and turned up at school for a meeting on the wrong day. On each occasion I could have sworn blind that I had the right time or date. The last straw came today when I had made a house number for a friend of my husband, did it with an 8 rather than an 18, went bonkers at my poor husband for sending me the wrong number but when I checked the e-mail it did indeed say 18. This was the one that worried me because I sandblast glass and once it’s done it can’t be changed so I’ve always checked and double-checked details. Sorry to ramble on but has anyone else had this problem? Love Bex x

Hi Bex,

Are you sure it’s not eyesight, rather than numbers per se?

It strikes me all the scenarios you’ve mentioned could be a simple case of misreading something.

If it’s a word we can’t see very well, we’re probably better at guessing what the right word should be, because the context gives us a clue, and also the overall shape of the word. We normally know what word we’d expect to be there.

But if it’s a number, there’s less of a clue what it should say, so it’s much harder to guess. 8 and 18 are easily mistaken if you have vision problems, and so are 11s and 1s. If neither would make more sense than the other, you’ve only got a 50% chance of picking the right one.

When did you last have your sight checked?

I only knew I needed glasses when I got on the wrong bus several times in a few days. That’s numbers too, but I never thought the problem was specific to numbers. I just knew there must be something wrong with my eyes, if I kept boarding the wrong bus. :frowning:



Yup, you are not alone Bex. I can mis-copy the same number several times and have turned up to appointments a week early despite looking at the date on the form. And I’m supposed to be good at maths (ex engineer)!

Mags xx

Hi Tina Thanks for your reply. I’ve always worn glasses so do go to the opticians regularly but will make an appointment just in case. Seems to be such a recent thing and the fact that my husband has mentioned it too (before I went bonkers at him!) made me think something had changed. Love Bex x

Hi Bex

I have the very same problem. Also can’t seem to do the simplest of sums either. For instance, a few years ago I was trying to help one of my children with their maths homework, I couldn’t even take away 4 from 6 at that time. Really upset me, but I’ve got used to it now.

It’s definitely another one of MS’s nasty tricks it likes to play on us.

Take care


I’m with you Bex. I’ve turned up for appointments late because I was convinced I had the time right for them. Also I have difficulty saying a number without counting through until I get to it.

I think it’s called acalulia Susi

I’m having problems with numbers too. I’m struggling at times to do simple calculations (e.g. I said 4 x 7 = 24 the other day) and I cannot keep numbers in my head any more. I’ve always been highly numerate and have a Maths degree :frowning:

I’m not sure if your problem is with numbers or memory though? It sounds like you might be remembering the wrong number rather than you misread / misunderstood it?

I first had this as a cognitive “blip” for a week or so when I was transferring data from hard copy to a spreadsheet: I couldn’t remember more than one digit at a time despite normally being able to remember an 8 or 9 digit number from looking at it once. I’m not that bad now, but I’m nowhere near as good as I used to be :frowning:

Karen x

It’s good to know I’m not alone! @Karen I think it may well be memory rather than misreading now I come to think about it. If I need to copy something, a 'phone number, a postcode, I have to keep returning to it rather than being able to hold small amounts of data in my head even if it’s just for a short time. Long term numbers, most of which are now completely useless (old 'phone numbers, etc) are still hanging around though! Love Bex x

it’s dates that get me!

i remembered an appointment (thurs 4th) and turned up 5 minutes late.

i apologised for being a bit late but it turned out i was a day early!

luckily the nurse concerned laughed about it and managed to fit me in

carole x