The other evening as we were sitting down to dinner, my wife asked me some questions (I don’t remember about what.) As I was trying to answer, she said, “You aren’t well, you can’t remember the name of anything lately.” I realized that she was right, I had been struggling all day trying to remember the name of different objects or the right word for a particular sentence. I haven’t had that problem before. I’m not a very garrulous person but I don’t have to stop in the middle of every other sentence to try to remember the name of something or because I can’t find the right word. Recently I’ve had a very mild relapse where my right side has been hurting and by thinking back over it, I realized that the problems I’ve had with words have coincided with the pains in the joints of my right hand and ankle. I’m scared to death that MS is affecting my ability to think clearly. I’m a scientist and I have to do that all day long every day. I’ve had it on my mind almost non-stop since my wife made that comment.
I’ve always felt that the physical problems that come with MS were just “the way it is.” Since I’ve never been very physically active (I’m the guy who reads a book rather than playing soccer with everyone else), the idea of having physical limitations hasn’t bothered me more than the feeling that I will miss playing games with my kids and building stuff with them. When I think about being intellectually weakened, however, I’m horrified. I wish I could make a deal with it – Take anything you want but I must keep the ability to think clearly.