Sometimes because of multiple sclerosis I have a hard time staying focused

I was making a shopping list the other day and forgot how to spell the word pencils. In my mind it didn’t even have the letter c anywhere in it. I struggled for nearly five minutes thinking and thinking and then thinking some more about that silly little word. The more I thought about it, the weirder the word became.

It wasn’t as if I was dealing with something complicated like the word prospicience or eudaemonic. Now don’t be too proud of me, I didn’t know those words either until I searched Google for hard to spell words, and I still don’t know what they mean. Auto correct didn’t even like the first word.

My brain has lost most of its ability to think deep and stay focused on something for an extended period of time. I rely more and more on technology, friends and good ole post-it notes with each passing day to help me stay somewhat organized.

It used to make me upset that things were changing so much. It frustrated me more than anything else going on, but I’ve learned to not rely on my feelings too much. They have a tendency to mess me up. Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments when I tear up because the reality of my life becomes a bit too overwhelming, just like the other day while making my shopping list. I sat and cried over a word. A word?! Who cries over a word?

Silly, I know…but I have found that we all need a good cry every now and then. It’s not weak to cry. It’s not a sign of giving in, giving up or letting MS take over. It’s simply a pause in life to refocus and let go of the stresses, fears and pain that have had time to build up. Besides, we all know what can happen when you don’t relieve the pressure from a building volcano or a backed up water hose, right? They explode!

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you break down sobbing in the shower, after getting in the car from a trip to the store that wiped you out, or even because of brain fog moments. Give yourself time to cry, to feel. The most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen have been after a rainstorm, so just imagine the beauty that you will see after the tears. Keep shining, keep hoping, keep going.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero


5 replies
  1. Maya
    Maya says:

    Penelope, thank you for your note. It was an eye opener for me, I don’t have MS – my partner does. He was diagnosed few months back but we have been living with MS for years now. Your text just showed me how ignorant I have been. Thank you

  2. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Thank you so so much for this!! I have been having these moments lately and it’s kinda hard to explain to somebody that’s not affected with MS. Some family members don’t get that your energized one day and the next day you only have enough strength in you to shower. And you don’t want pitty. With my MS heat wipes me out. So NO hot shower before going out try Luke warm to cool, no watching games, or walking during the day. Especially not here in Georgia where it’s 80 at 6:30am! So I have learned to plan things around my energy levels, purchase a cooling vest and walk with my husband later in the evening close to night, tumble dry my towel while I’m in my Luke warm shower, take medication for my fatigue. MS will NOT beat me!!

  3. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    Just seeing can relate to this. I used to proofread as part of my job now i struggle to even come up with the right one much less spell it!

  4. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Penelope that was WONDERFUL 🙂 I needed that speech in more ways than ever, so a BIG HUG to you… THANK YOU 🙂

  5. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thanks Penelope, a good video. I have to translate it to my condition in a wheelchair and unable to even walk, but I can (with help) stand! I guess this is what it’s about, take each moment and make it ours.


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