The Wild Bore

PeachI loved it.  I was busier than a — well, you fill in the blank — before MS took me out of the work environment.  I had no problem keeping busy and was certainly busier than I needed.

Multi-tasking?  Heck, yes, bring it on!  I thrived on juggling as many tasks at the same time as I could.  An “A” personality?  Who knows?  I always thought of myself as lazy, but I fit all the classic “A” personality type definitions except being rigidly organized.  I was/am definitely sensitive, truthful, impatient, and still take on more than I can actually handle.

Early in my MS life, I would go to work every day all week and even put in too much overtime.  But on the weekends I would be so exhausted, I slept a LOT.  In summer I was nonexistent on the weekends.  MS took its toll.

But that was then. The cognitive challenge has negatively and frustratingly impacted me.  It remains a symptom that has never improved.  In fact, it seems to get worse. Now, I find this MS restriction (along with the many others) so impactful that it can and usually does take me a day or more to write a cohesive and accurate email longer than a sentence or two.  Of course, some people will say I have always been too wordy!   Regardless, now I am forced to miserly budget my time and take shifts on the computer which drags out the process. Incredibly hard on an impatient person.

But bored?  What is that?  I always thought I would have no problem retiring. There were so many things that interested me, I would never be able to get to them all.  A good thing, too.  MS took away the ability to do some of those things from playing the piano to building a shed suitable for use as a guest house.  You know: the CORE things to me.

Since my MS diagnosis, my goal has been to keep my mind active and engaged, yet that is a theater where MS wreaked havoc and caused a lot of trouble.

Although I never enjoyed reading, I also never figured out why.  Even worse, now I struggle to read because MS makes focusing my eyes aggravating, if not a herculean feat, and I mentally fatigue easily.  Even without heat!  Perhaps ironically, I have always valued reading and am an insufferable grammar snob juxtaposed with a sometimes-hypocrite.

It fascinates me that well known male public figures from Montel Williams to Neil Cavuto (anchor on Fox News Channel) to David Osmond to Jack Osbourne (the son of Ozzie), all have MS and so far are able to keep active.  They do not often if ever use visibly obvious assistive devices such as a wheelchair or cane.  But what cognitive issues do these men have?

I propose that as a group, men internalize things more readily than women.  We do not want to discuss our MS and certainly do not want to talk about our feelings!  What?!.  Help me?!  Get away from me.

So what does a man with multiple sclerosis do?  I know what I do, but how do YOU deal with staving off boredom?

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