31 Days of MS: I’ve Learned to Be More Comfortable With Limitations

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by BNS Staff |

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Carolyn Hinds

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Hinds

Day 10 of 31

This is Carolyn Hinds’ (@carriecnh12) story:

Mild cognitive impairment, or CI for short, probably doesn’t sound as debilitating or challenging when compared to other symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but it is. The word “mild” can be very misleading because it has the connotation of something being easily avoided, or “not that serious.”

For me, mild cognitive impairment means that simply forming a coherent sentence can be difficult. Processing auditory and visual information either takes longer or can even be incomplete. During a “cog-fog” episode, my speech, thinking, and mood are affected, and as a film critic, journalist, and writer, taking in information and disseminating it is my job. Being a critic means that I must be able to watch a film or show, listen to and observe an interview subject, and fully understand what I’m seeing and hearing, but because of CI, as “mild” as it is, that’s challenging. And on top of that, I’m also dyslexic. Yes, truly, not only do I have MS, and disease-related CI, I have dyslexia, another condition that affects my cognition.

Living with MS and all its symptoms can at times feel like life is too much, but luckily, I’m stubborn. My stubbornness has become a gift to me because that’s what gets me up each day to do the things I love, like writing, speaking to people about the work they love, and walking my dog, Yoko.

Some days are indeed more difficult than others. As part of my journey, I’m learning and becoming more comfortable with admitting that there are limitations to what I can do. That’s also important. It’s OK to acknowledge when we’re not OK and to just let our bodies rest and do only what we’re able to do.

It takes as much courage to be honest about what this disease does, as much as it takes strength to live with it and keep moving forward.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.

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