Oops, sorry…I forgot

My ability to forget things is a skill. It takes great talent to forget birthday’s, lunch plans, appointments, shopping lists, things people said only a few minutes earlier, and words that I know I know but can’t seem to find even on the tip of my tongue. And that all happens in one day. Each day is different, yet the same. I’ve become a pro at forgetfulness.

And just so you know, it’s different than old age forgetfulness or the casual “sorry, I forgot” kind of thing. My memory issues live in a universe and dimension all their own. A place where my thoughts and words float about just out of reach. I try to reach for them, but those darn letters move about too much. Sometimes they hide from me and other times they simply slip through my fingers.

I try. Really, I do. If I didn’t have Post-it notes, a calendar, pen and paper, and my handy-dandy mobile phone with alarms and reminders, people wouldn’t see me for days. I’d be lost somewhere between space and time, wondering where I was and how to get back home…or even where home is.

So what causes it? Take a look at my brain and it would be obvious. The damage in there looks a bit like swiss cheese. Those holes and lesions in my brain are the reason for my forgetfulness. Black holes don’t just exist in outer space you know. Some live right here…inside my brain. Talk about things getting lost in the dark. I live there.

I’m grateful for the people who patiently wait for me to get my words out into complete sentences, who remind me of the plans I’ve made, and who help me, without judgment, when I can’t remember the directions to a store I’ve been to a million-trillion times. I appreciate today’s technology for helping me keep my day in order. I’m thankful, that because of my MS cognitive problems, I get to watch a movie or show on TV that I’ve already seen as if it’s my first time viewing it and get to be surprised all over again that the butler did it.

My brain may not be able to function properly every minute of the day, but at least I know I have one. I even have documented proof. Just check out my MRI’s if there’s ever any doubts. As for some people, I think they lost their’s entirely a long time ago.

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About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

37 replies
  1. Cathy leydon
    Cathy leydon says:

    No Josephine you are not alone..I have more notebooks for this and for that…gets to the point I forget which one I use for daily activity, doctor’s apt. and even the grocery list. I have even color coded them.. I have a good laugh and that seems to help. Hang on…our brains may surprise us and make sense one day….no rhat deserves a chuckle…hang in there Josephine ♡♡

  2. josephine regan
    josephine regan says:

    I am so glad it is not just me sometimes I think I am going mad and my memory is getting worse .The Consultants dont take it very serously I have been saying it for the last 2years .I just had a MRI two weeks ago and I have alot more lessions and some of them are in the part of my brain were the memory is .I am so angry nobody was listening to me just because I could walk into the nueroligist they kept telling me my ms was mild they never tell you it could affect your brain like this .I think there isnt much point been able to walk if you dont know where you are going having your mind is so important .I have been fighting for the last 7years to go on treatment to keep me as good as I was.Thank you for posting this blog it is good to know I am not the only one .

  3. Ray
    Ray says:

    I know where you’re coming from. Some years ago I said to my Neuro that I felt I was going stupid, she thought nothing of it. Without my phone I’m lost. Recently committed to bag packing with my local MS branch. Of course I forgot because I didn’t take a note of the date. Now too embarrassed to call & apologise after letting them down. Using brain training apps to try keep the grey matter ticking over. (Not sure if they help though).

  4. Angela Kirby
    Angela Kirby says:

    Thank you, Penelope, this was such a necessary piece for all of us. When you are older it s hard to realise that it is the drafted MS and not early ‘oldtimers’ 🙂

  5. Val Hanna says:

    I’m glad you posted this em what was it about…oh yeah was this something about remembering things you’ve forgotten or was it the other way around?
    No seriously thank you because you begin to feel isolated in a world of brain freezes when your looking at a dog and can’t think what it’s called etc etc etc. Thanks so much for taking the time to share xx

  6. Aileen Brown says:

    I can always see the thing whatever in my mind I just can’t put a word to it but getting worse forgetting names events oast and present normally laugh it off but woke one morning and couldn’t remember the name of one of my granddaughters I could see her beautiful face hear her voice in my mind but she was nameless that was upsetting but every cloud has a silver lining if you want to get out of something conveniently forget all about it lol

  7. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I have had that problem too. You feel that you’re in a different world that no-one knows. It can bae more than frustrating and wears you down.
    After taking the MIS416 I had that terrible problem. Now I am flooded with memories I haven’t had for years. My dreams are getting better but weirder like last night. Why should I need to know the dimensions of a cricket pitch? I haven’t been am umpire for thirty years . I am still interested in the game but why this now? Sometimes memories are a mystery.
    But getting back to your problem. Keeping notes can help but where did you put them? Phones can be misplaced too. One way I found useful is set out a pattern to follow, even have an open dairy to make notes in. Various devices are available for keeping records abd can be used in this area. I don’t know what is current overt here so I wont suggest anything that may not be used. Just make a note to find one. (lol) Just something can to me, sorry.

  8. Eddie Sanchez says:

    Thanks for posting this. My wife’s memory (or her thought process, for hat matter) is not what it was and I get a bit impatient at times. You wouldn’t know she has MS just by looking at her, so I struggle to think that her brain may be affected more than her body. But I have to be patient and understanding and this is an excellent reminder.

    • Cmd2007
      Cmd2007 says:

      It’s very difficult for my husband to understand.. it is an invisible disease. Patience and at least have some understanding is key.. we don’t understand as person with ms majority of the time.

  9. Anne-Marie Dunks says:

    Totally agree with this & it’s so frustrating when others want to tell you what you’re trying to say ……. Aaahhh why can’t those words come out when you want them too??

    • Rosa Santos
      Rosa Santos says:

      I see the minion with writing on a pad. I can’t most of the time start writing something and then I get exhausted and the letters are scribbled and go up the paper.. very frustrating when in the hospital they tell me to fill out a document and Im afraid to tell her that I can’t after I start writing and they answer me. Do what you can! . Dahhhh didn’t I just told her of my illness? Also, I forget alot where I had left my stuff unless I type them in my cell…thank you cell…also once I put to boil or heat up something I will put the alarm in my cell when it is done. One last thing.. I didn’t put my GPS this week and in different occasions and twice my mind went blank I didn’t know for a second where I was heading… It was very scary.

  10. Jonathan Plummwe
    Jonathan Plummwe says:

    Thank you for the story. And I thought I was the only one. I now have the ability to let others know.
    What is really annoying is that my long term memory is still really good. So anything that happened 20 years ago or more I can recall without a problem.
    I have been filling notebooks but I have to make good notes and be disciplined enough go back and read them.

  11. Melinda Horn Robinson says:

    I am so thankful that my neuro finnally heard thatthis was a big concern of mine…. he actually gave me an Rx med for Alzheimers(Arocept Sp ? ) I has helped so much !!! I still have my moments that I have to “think” but that “fog” or “blanket” over my brain has been lifted….. for how long … don’t know , but for now , I an thankful !!!

  12. Rhona
    Rhona says:

    This says it all so perfectly! I’d had the MS for years before I found that my ‘foggy brain’ was a part of the condition and not just me going mad!

  13. Claire Cowburn says:

    i just had on tuesday the cognitive tests,never felt so stupid 🙂 i laugh when nervous then the neuro just looked at me and went hhmm.i was so tired after it lasted over 2 hours 🙂 xx

  14. Dawn Kraft-Wetter says:

    Boy, does this hit the nail on the head. It usually takes me 3 trips, pulling out of the driveway, before I actually make it to the grocery store for my weekly shopping….and then I’ve still forgotten a half dozen things once I get there.

    • Kris Tymchyshyn says:

      Likely there was no before ms, I’ve had it my whole life, you may have too.. Just because you didn’t have a flare up doesn’t mean you didn’t have it.. Its part of our DNA.

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