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Thread: "loss of awareness" part 2

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    Default "loss of awareness" part 2

    Tell us how you are doing? “Sometimes I don’t understand what people are saying to me. Sometimes I don’t understand what I am saying to other people.” Tell us what you do during the day. “I drift mostly. I can’t get hold of anything. Sometimes I can do something, like polishing a computer table. I did that once for 6½ hours non-stop. I quit when my son came home from school. I was so happy that I’d been able to do something.”

    Taken from my intake interview. Clinical Notes.
    Brain Rehabilitation Clinic, 29 November 2007.

    When you go off the deep end of awareness, you become unaware that you are unaware for very long periods of time (one year is my longest). Once I made an urgent appointment with my doctor. I told him that I no longer had MS, and that I wanted him to stop my wife from harassing me about how bad my MS symptoms were. I wanted her to back off, and I wanted the doctor to do this for me.

    I lost my argument when I ended up in the Brain Rehabilitation Clinic, or Brain Clinic.

    My intake diagnosis, given to me ten years after my first 1996 attack in the meadow was “cognitive impairment”, a step up from “cognitive symptoms” that simply come and go. I had any number of tests and interviews in the days after I was admitted to the Brain Clinic, and I was diagnosed with 14 cognitive impairments, including loss of awareness and loss of self-awareness.

    Here is a list of what’s not affected by cognitive impairment, (National MS Society): intellect, long-term memory, and conversational skills, reading comprehension.

    In March 2008 I was struggling with how to understand this daunting list of cognitive impairments, much less communicate this to family. So I asked one of the staff at the Brain Clinic if they would write a non-technical paragraph describing my situation. The staff member had been working with brain injury for 25-years, he knew MS and my history. This is what he wrote.

    “MS has changed your thinking ability. You process information differently and much more slowly. You learn much more slowly. Your memory is variable and this impacts what you understand. Tasks involving many parts of your brain, such as reading and writing, are slowed or undermined. You have a slowed ability to focus and concentrate, particularly on new tasks. You get lost and confused during conversations, especially when more than one person participates. As a result, you can be unaware of what you are saying, and you sometimes loose awareness of self.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Frog42's Avatar
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    That last paragraph sounds a lot like my life.


    Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. -- Miguel Ruiz

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Did he happen to say what your strengths are?

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    Seems to me both your posts describe symptoms of seizures, but I would think they would have discovered those through all the testing. I've not heard of cognitive issues quite like these (especially the lapse of a whole year!) unless the person is describing severe epilepsy. The paragraph your docter wrote out does describe cognitive disabilities in people with MS...but it doesn't talk about the obsessive behavior, or long lapses of awareness you describe. Did the doctors show you MRI's and the areas of the brain where those lesions occur that could cause such serious do difficulties?

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    Distinguished Community Member BBS1951's Avatar
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    Building on what Cat said, did you get an EEG?

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Yes RC a seizure sounds right. Sorry.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    Epilepsy is treatable, controlled with medication. Left untreated it can cause memory lapses, changes in mood, all sorts of mind disturbances, frightening both to the person experiencing them, and those observing them.

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    I knew someone who had epilepsy, but never had a seizure as we think of them. He would just blank out. He was around family and close friends on several occasions when this happened. They recognized something was wrong and got him very good treatment. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on medication. This occurred while he was in college. He remained on medication until his death at age 65 and never had another episode.

    What the staff member wrote does sound like MS to me. I have many of those symptoms, and I am sometime embarrassed by them, but I am always aware.
    Virginia

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