Tag Archives: brain fog

Have you already Heard the One about the One Ms’er who Drove the Other MS’er to the Neurologist?

A repeat of the wacky multiple sclerosis road trip

The last couple of weeks in July have been very busy and my already foggy brain has been too foggy to come up with something new.  The foggy weather hasn’t helped either.  Please accept this repeat blog post today instead of some creatively brilliant musing that I have yet to create…

Happy first day of August!

My sister Laurie was not feeling well.  Our neurologist was able to squeeze her into an emergency appointment. Since our neurologist does not practice in a concrete, congested, horribly difficult to navigate city, I was able to drive her there.

But before we began the one hour and 45 minute ride, I had an important errand to do.  I needed to get rid of my stinky trash, and stopping at the trash bin in my mother’s apartment complex seemed the best place to dispose of my refuse.

I pulled alongside the bin, and while simultaneously talking to Laurie and hitting the button on the floor to open the trunk where the stinky trashy was stored, I proceeded to step out of the car.

What I forgot was that the car was still in drive.  I turned to walk towards the trunk and the car moved forward, edging dangerously close to a slope with a large tree at the bottom.

My brilliant way of trying to rescue the situation was by grabbing the door frame of the car and trying to pull it backwards.  Since I’m not Superman, it didn’t work.

 

Luckily, Laurie’s brain fog wasn’t so foggy (apparently mine was worse in that second) to rescue the situation.  She managed to pull the gearshift into park and the car stopped.

Maybe my muscles pulling on the car also helped?  I would like to think so.

This was the start of our road trip.

With my sister, my car, and an innocent tree saved by Laurie’s own problematic hand, we ventured up the highway.  At the next stop, a rest area plaza, we had a little trouble with the door that said for ATM use only.  It was closer to the bathrooms- should we dare use it if we didn’t need to use the ATM?  What if we pretended to use the ATM and then say we changed our minds if we got caught?

Since I had already broken some rules with illegal trash dumping, and Laurie was tired, she decided to be a rebel and use the door.  Luckily, no alarms went off.

 

We ventured on as Laurie digested her coffee and cookie.  I was proud that I stuck to my bottled water.  It was actually pretty easy; the cookie she bought was oatmeal raisin- I mean really, what’s the point?

While driving and discussing the many various frustrations MS has brought into our lives, we got lost.  Really lost.

Even though I have been to this doctor’s office several times, I was talking so much that I forgot you need to take an exit off of the highway.  Seemed I expected the office to magically appear in front of me while I described frustration #417.

Actually, the fact that the office didn’t magically appear WAS frustration #417.

 

We were dangerously close to a city when I realized the problem.  I definitely did not want to be behind the wheel in a city.

A couple of fast, curvy exit ramps later, with Laurie clinging to what she liked to call the ‘Oh crap bar,’ and a confusing call to the doctor, we were back on track, miraculously arriving only two minutes late.

Walking in, my sister announced that she had to use the restroom, RIGHT NOW.  She would have to go before she even checked in.  Then she seriously said, “my bladder issues are really starting to piss me off.”

 

I was surprised.  I didn’t know she had bladder issues.   I was also upset.  That comment was really funny- how come I didn’t think of it?  We giggled which didn’t help her bladder problem.

She saw our doctor and I was even more annoyed that she didn’t get poked with a safety pin like I do when I visit him.  He stepped out of the examination room to look at her MRI’s and it was all I could do not to grab one of the pins and poke her myself- it only seemed fair.

She joked with the doctor about finally being able to wear stilettos once she starts the new walking pill, Ampyra.  We all laughed.   Laurie and I laughed because neither of us has ever been able to wear stilettos, MS or not.  I don’t know what our neurologist was laughing at.

 

The good news, her concerns were resolved and luckily not as severe as we feared.

Relieved, exhausted and hungry, our next stop was for lunch.  As the driver, I got to pick.  I chose a fast food place- so much for not picking up a Coolatta and a cookie at our earlier stop.

We made it through lunch despite my clumsy left hand flinging a french fry across the restaurant and her having a little trouble with the lettuce in her chicken sandwich; vegetables, the trouble always comes from vegetables.

We got on our way again and we made it safely home.

And in our own homes, we each passed out; resting from our road trip and storing up energy for the next one.

Maybe to the grocery store sometime next week…

 

 

 

 

I’ve Fallen and I Don’t WANT to Get Up

MS Wipeout

 

Fido pushed me.

Fido is the name of my portable air conditioner that lives as my personal puppy during the summer months. He provides hours of relaxation and bliss this time of year, but needs constant attention and is very high maintenance.

I was walking by him during one of the hottest, most miserable days of July when he suddenly leapt out and tripped me. I’m not sure if he did it on purpose or not.

Perhaps he senses that I will be moving soon to an apartment with a real air conditioner and thus will no longer appreciate him. So he decided to act out. Sort of like when one of my dog owner friends stays out a little too long and comes home to find doggie presents in her expensive, new shoes.

Picture 13

Whatever reason Fido had for pushing me, I was down. The heat misery had added to my MS balance (or to be more accurate, no balance) issues and lack of coordination. I fell over Fido and over the edge of my bed, and landed roughly on the floor.

Things hurt. A lot.

I could see the bruises forming on my arms from where they hit stuff as I went down. This summer had me looking like a four day old banana with all kinds of bruises covering my clumsy body.

 

Fido seemed to feel bad as he hovered over me, blasting super cool air in apology. How can I stay mad at his cute, little pathetic face?

While I was lying on my floor, I realized I just didn’t want to get up- who says I have to? As much as things hurt, they were going to hurt wherever I went, whether I got up or not. So I stayed where I was and let my mind wander, once I got past the hurt and annoyance at Fido.

I let him breathe cold air on me and thought about how, specifically, he made me wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of the TV show Wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of an MS edition of Wipeout. Wouldn’t that be fun? I started to picture how this new network hit would go.

 

The thing about multiple sclerosis is that it affects each of us differently. And for some of us, it is an invisible illness which makes people insist there is nothing wrong with us. How many people have asked me how MS affects me and then shaken their heads at all of my bruises thinking, how come this girl is such a klutz?

It is for this reason that I often don’t use my handicapped parking placard unless I really need too. But some days it is a help. Yet, I get out of my car and drag my achy legs to the store only to have people shake their heads at me and toss me dirty looks. Even if my difficult walking is obvious, people seem to look at me as if I am walking that way on purpose.

 

I have thought maybe I should get a cane just to advert the dirty looks. Perhaps using a cane would prevent a fall like the one that lead to my lying on the floor pondering all of this, except that my falls are fortunately random and rare.

In the craziness that is multiple sclerosis, I can’t imagine being wise enough to have a cane with me when I am actually about to fall. I would likely fall on my way to grabbing the cane and swear even louder.

Since I look healthy, I am not sure if I would be allowed to enter the MS edition of Wipeout.

For those of you who don’t know, Wipeout is a TV game show where athletic but crazy people try to win money on what is described as the world’s largest obstacle course. These folks must successfully bounce across the giant inflated big balls, dodge automated punches while quickly stepping across a high platform, try not to be knocked down by a sweeper arm and complete many other feats to win the money.

cookies

These obstacles have a total MS feel, even just by their names alone; Sucker Punch, Dreadmill, Dizzy Dummy, Cookie Cutter Swing (cookies, I’m totally in!), Tumble Towers, Slippery Stairs, Butt Kicker. I swear the producers must have someone with MS in their family.

If you falter on one of the above obstacles, you fall into a pool of water. Hello, Aquatic Therapy is recommended in the treatment of MS!

 

And with so many of my fellow MS’ers practice in issues similar to the above, I bet many would do well. But if I showed up to compete, I would probably be deemed physically fit enough to enter the regular Wipeout show.

But here is where my MS would be a hindrance on the course. Brain fog would set in at some point and I would totally forget what I was doing.

How did I wind up on this big bouncy thing?

I would likely make my way over to the Dizzy Dummy and try to lean against it and take a nap. If I fell on the course, I would leisurely float in the pool and just rest. And maybe rest some more….

Lying on my floor I was just about convinced that I should write to the show and ask for an entry form. Floating in a pool, whether or not I made it up the Slippery Stairs, sounds quite lovely.

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But another MS symptom kicks in, that of the obnoxious bladder. I am forced to get up and I do so gently. Where is the Wipeout pool when I need it? I take care of my bladder, empty Fido’s bladder-heaven forbid I should go to the bathroom and ignore him, and pop an Aleve for the pain the fall has caused. I am pretty sure nothing has been seriously injured.

Next I do what I do so well. I pat Fido’s cool head and collapse in front of him yet again.

This time I manage to land on my super soft bed…..

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Did you Hear the One about the One MS’er who Drove the Other MS’er to the Neurologist?

A multiple sclerosis road trip

ID-10039257

My sister Laurie was not feeling well.  Our neurologist was able to squeeze her into an emergency appointment. Since our neurologist does not practice in a concrete, congested, horribly difficult to navigate city, I was able to drive her there.

But before we began the one hour and 45 minute ride, I had an important errand to do.  I needed to get rid of my stinky trash, and stopping at the trash bin in my mother’s apartment complex seemed the best place to dispose of my refuse.

ID-100128397

I pulled alongside the bin, and while simultaneously talking to Laurie and hitting the button on the floor to open the trunk where the stinky trashy was stored, I proceeded to step out of the car. What I forgot was that the car was still in drive.  I turned to walk towards the trunk and the car moved forward, edging dangerously close to a slope with a large tree at the bottom.

My brilliant way of trying to rescue the situation was by grabbing the doorframe of the car and trying to pull it backwards.  Since I am not Superman, it didn’t work.

ID-10046214

Luckily, Laurie’s brain fog wasn’t so foggy (apparently mine was worse in that second) to rescue the situation.  She managed to pull the gearshift into park and the car stopped.  Maybe my muscles pulling on the car also helped?  I would like to think so.

This was the start of our road trip.

With my sister, my car, and an innocent tree saved by Laurie’s own problematic hand, we ventured up the highway.  At the next stop, a rest area plaza, we had a little trouble with the door that said for ATM use only.  It was closer to the bathrooms- should we dare use it if we didn’t need to use the ATM?  What if we pretended to use the ATM and then say we changed our minds if we got caught?

Since I had already broken some rules with illegal trash dumping, and Laurie was tired, she decided to be a rebel and use the door.  Luckily, no alarms went off.

We ventured on as Laurie digested her coffee and cookie.  I was proud that I stuck to my bottled water.  It was actually pretty easy; the cookie she bought was oatmeal raisin- I mean really, what’s the point?

ID-1002549While driving and discussing the many various frustrations MS has brought into our lives, we got lost.  Really lost.

Even though I have been to this doctor’s office several times, I was talking so much that I forgot you need to take an exit off of the highway.  Seemed I expected the office to magically appear in front of me while I described frustration #417.   Actually, the fact that the office didn’t magically appear WAS frustration #417.

We were dangerously close to a city when I realized the problem.  I definitely did not want to be behind the wheel in a city.

A couple of fast, curvy exit ramps later, with Laurie clinging to what she liked to call the ‘Oh crap bar,’ and a confusing call to the doctor, we were back on track, miraculously arriving only two minutes late.

ID-100165158

Walking in, my sister announced that she had to use the restroom, RIGHT NOW.  She would have to go before she even checked in.  Then she seriously said, “my bladder issues are really starting to piss me off.”

I was surprised.  I didn’t know she had bladder issues.   I was also upset.  That comment was really funny- how come I didn’t think of it?  We giggled which didn’t help her bladder problem.

She saw our doctor and I was even more annoyed that she didn’t get poked with a safety pin like I do when I visit him.  He stepped out of the examination room to look at her MRI’s and it was all I could do not to grab one of the pins and poke her myself- it only seemed fair.

She joked with the doctor about finally being able to wear stilettos once she starts the new walking pill, Ampyra.  We all laughed.   Laurie and I laughed because neither of us has ever been able to wear stilettos, MS or not.  I don’t know what our neurologist was laughing at.

ID-10018192

The good news, her concerns were resolved and luckily not as severe as we feared.

Relieved, exhausted and hungry, our next stop was for lunch.  As the driver, I got to pick.  I chose a fast food place- so much for not picking up a Coolatta and a cookie at our earlier stop.

We made it through lunch despite my clumsy left hand flinging a french fry across the restaurant and her having a little trouble the lettuce in her chicken sandwich; vegetables, the trouble always comes from vegetables.

We got on our way again and we made it safely home.  And in our own homes, we each passed out; resting from our road trip and storing up energy for the next one.    Maybe to the grocery store sometime next week…

ID-10084713

Friends- don’t forget to enter your title ideas to help me out and win a prize.  You have only until 5/24/13 to enter!  Please see last week’s blog post, What’s in a Name? for contest details.

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