Over the past two years, I have had to face a series of MS-related cognitive issues. The best way I can explain it is this: Imagine you have a big plate of spaghettis in a tomatoes sauce in front of you. They look delicious and you’re starving but you are surrounded by a thick fog and you have to use a teaspoon to eat!
This is how my brain regularly – but luckily not always- feels. Muddled. Untidy. Slippery. Concepts are hard to grasp. Ideas slither away before I can get hold of them. I try here and there but I feel overwhelmed. Then the pressure builds up and its gets even worse.
Working in a busy environment is really tough. People chatting, colleagues asking questions, interrupting to call a meeting are all adding up to the stress of deadlines, reminders, the need to prove yourself.
It is exhausting.
But the worse is that when I tried to explain it, people refuse to acknowledge it. “Your brain works fine”. “Everybody feels like this”. “You can’t be sure it’s MS”. “You just need to relax”. Even my GP said it was just stress.
And then I met a GP who has MS and told him how I felt. He calmly looked at me and said “I believe you!”
I felt the tears well up to my eyes. It was the first time in over two years that someone told me these simple but powerful words. I believe you. It felts as if he was hugging me in a loving embrace.
And I listened to him explain how he felt that his brain has gone really slow because of MS. How he often felt ‘behind’ in conversations. How he so often thought “oh I wish I had said that!” He went on to explain that cognitive issues were especially important for people with little physical impairment.
He agreed that running was really helpful. With running, fog is lifting. But he also reminded me to meditate for 30 minutes everyday as this is a scientifically proven way to rebuild grey matter.
I already knew what I have to do but the fact that he believes me is a huge boost.
Sometimes, one encounter just make the difference!