Sunday, May 13, 2012

Getting Out of the House

So as we all know, getting out of the house now living with MS, is a bigger task then what it used to be. Because for one, we forget things that we need while being gone. The grocery store is no longer that annoying that you don't like to do. It's that annoying, yet tiring thing you have to do. And if you experience weakness, you have had to change your whole shopping experience.

For one, you have to try and find a time that you can get to the store when it isn't very busy. And when their is a close parking spot available and/or a handicapped parking spot available. With me, being 24 and having a handicap parking pass, I get those "looks" and people have even said, "You should be ashamed, abusing your grandparents parking pass like that". Once I get my cane out, they turn the other direction and walk away very fast.

So depending how you're feeling that day, you also have to see if there are any shopping scooters available as well. And if you don't have anyone with you, you have to see if there is a store employee that can help you reach the higher things on the shelves. Sometimes I just think to myself, "Man, trying to plan out my trip to the grocery store, is like trying to plan a vacation."

Now when it comes to getting out of the house to go see your neuro... My thoughts are... "Okay... what kind of news am I going to get this time around." So then you try and prep for your appointment so you don't forget anything. You sit down and have your list of medications... and then you are getting all your questions you have written down, and you get mad at yourself cause you try and remember something you wanted to ask.... but can't seem to remember anything.

Then you have to take in to account, okay what time do I need to leave, who is going to take me or did I remember to have enough gas in the car? Then you have to check the traffic reports... the weather... etc. In my case, I have to make sure my appointments are scheduled when I have someone to watch the kids, if they aren't at school.

Now when it comes to getting out of the house for pleasure... like going to a friends house or something like that. You have to think about, okay... what can I wear that looks nice, but is easy to get on and off by myself. ( if you have spasticity in your hands, you know what I'm talking about ) Then you need to see if there is going to be food where your going, or if you need to eat before you go or bring a snack. Then you need to bring medications, just in case. It also depends on the time of day the social gathering is. If it's later in the evening, I need to make sure someone can drive me because I have issues driving at night. It also depends on if the gathering is inside or out. Living in Texas, I can only take so much heat.

So, instead of the days where you could just grab your keys and go... it is now a hourly process of preparation to do anything. Because now, if I'm going on long car rides... I have to make sure I don't drink a lot of liquids and I make sure I use the restroom right as we're about to walk out the door.

In some ways, I get jealous of those who can just not think about all of these things when going somewhere, they can just pick up and go. It's like, I really took things for granted before I was diagnosed with MS, even the littlest, simplest things!

Okay, that's all from me today. Happy Mother's Day!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm sorry, I forgot...

Okay, so all of us who have MS that are impacted with our cognitive issues, have all said something along the lines, "I forgot"... and it's like an every day saying for me. I try to keep a "to-do" list of things that need to get done, then I forget to look at the to-do list all together. What good does that do, right?

I've been trying to do so many things to help me remember things that I'm supposed to do... but nothing seems to be working. The best things I've found to do is set up alarms on my computer calendar and my phone... but I need to get it set in my head to make those notifications right when I think about it, instead of trying to remember later on, which won't happen.

Like, my Urology follow-up... I was supposed to re-schedule it, forgot to do that. I forgot to contact my lawyer for Social Security to update them on a medication change. I forget to pay bills (big oops there). I forget to do things my husband asks me to do, then I feel bad, because he is the one out there working and I am asked to do something simple, and can't even get that done. I know he understands why I "forget" to do these things, but I can tell that it does frustrate him sometimes. Not so much that I personally forgot, but the fact that my MS causes the things it does.

There needs to be like an MS Reminder App or something, that way it will be like "Ashley, is there anything you need to remind yourself of?" and it does that on a timer, or something.... that way I don't have to depend on my family or friends to ask me this, I could be like oh... "there's an app for that" lol I should totally see if I could make that app, if I can remember to...

The thing I'm learning with my cognitive issues, is to stop saying SORRY... it's literally NOT my fault that I forget to do these things.... even though I feel bad that I personally forget to do these things, it's not my fault that my MS causes it.

I mean I could be talking to someone about something or getting on the internet to do something and I forget right then and there, so it's not something that with a little bit of time passing that I forget things, it can happen within a minute or two.

Am I on medications to help with my cog-fog... yes, do meds ALWAYS make everything 100% better, that's a big fat NO! Just like any other medication that I'm on, it just "helps out" it doesn't make the symptom disappear, even though that's what some people like to assume.

So what do you do to help yourself remember? and I'm not just talking about a thought and/or idea, I'm talking about... like EVERYTHING... like where you put things (I'm the WORST at that). I lost my house keys a while back, still can't find them. I always lose my car keys too... not the best thing to "forget" where I put them either.

Ha, as I'm doing this blog, an alarm reminder just went off on my computer about my neuro appointment tomorrow! Sorry, I had a laugh about that one.

What really gets on my nerves, is I can't remember if the dishes in the dish washer are clean or dirty... so I just run the wash again, to be on the safe side. Oh, sometimes I can't remember if I took a certain medication... that's a big OOPS, because it's like I just can't take it assuming that I didn't... but then if I really didn't remember to take some of my meds, I'll find out soon enough.

I swear, if it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't remember ANYONE's birthday! So thank you Facebook for making my life a little bit easier. I forget what day in the week it is... how can I remember when someone's birthday is! I feel bad on that one... people tell me they understand but it doesn't make me feel any better if I forget to tell someone happy birthday.

Mailing stuff off that needs to be mailed off in a timely manner, ya no good at that either. It's like... sometimes, it's not just the painful symptoms that get to us the most, it's the mental ones as well. I'm sitting here trying to think of things I need to bring up at my neuro appointment tomorrow... which I will probably forget some of the things that I thought about a while ago, then remember right after the appointment and do a palm to the head kind of thing.

Alright, now that I remembered some things I needed to do, as I was doing this blog, I'm gonna write it down NOW.