Friday, May 12, 2006

I Don't Do Stupid Well...

I admit it. I am losing brain cells. I have lesions and holes in my brain. Yes, I have MS. But I just don't do stupid very well at all!

I don't know if it is middle-aged brain or MS brain causing my most recent "brain farts", but these blips on my cognitive screen have become most annoying. Today, I was in an important meeting at work and the brain farts began with no warning. I was trying to speak about an important issue and I experienced severe word finding difficulty. Being someone who always has a ready comment (even if it's unsolicited!), this was quite embarrassing. I struggled several times to recall and say very common words and concepts and I simply couldn't. "Stupid" had set in and I was spellbound by it.

I can adapt and change quite easily to the many curve balls MS has been throwing at me lately, but "stupid" is just not one I know how to swing at. I'm pretty sure I struck out today. My coworkers were their usual supportive selves, but I still felt waves of embarrassment and frustration.

I suppose I should qualify some of my day by saying I had to work the night before until midnight and return to work at 8:00AM today for the dreaded "staff meeting". I WAS tired. I WAS bored in the meeting. My mind was focused on what I was going to have for lunch by 10:00 o'clock. Maybe "stupid" crept in because of these things.

Whatever it's cause, it was most annoying. I think the hardest changes I deal with in my struggles with Multiple Sclerosis are shifting my thinking and my self-concept to accommodate the many "surprises" MS brings me. Cognitive changes are sort of my last area I am able to find acceptance in for myself...I loath the idea my mental clarity is failing me. I despise the notion my average intelligence brain is now performing with less and less capability. I can accept the outward physical changes such as gait problems, numbness, pain, etc., but the last area I consider "mine" is my thinking and my speech. All I can say is, thank goodness MS has not robbed me of my sense of humor! If THAT goes, I'm screwed!

I actually just got home from work again after my very long 16 hour day. I forgot I had taken the bus into town at the wee-hour-crack-of-dawn this morning and couldn't find my car in the parking garage. I panicked thinking it had been stolen only to later realize it was never there in the first place. My coworkers and I had a good laugh over this one, too, when I figured out my dilemma...I am becoming the office Brain Fart Mascot...perhaps I'll have T-shirts made with my title and picture on them to avoid confusion. I am experiencing enough of it myself anyway...confusion, that is!

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