Try not to get too anxious about cognitive issues, it can actually make it worse no matter what the cause is, and there are a lot of things besides MS that can cause cognitive issues, see your GP first it really could be lots of things eg anemia, b12, viral, infection, sleep related, medication side effect etc etc
I first realized something was cognitively off long long before MS ever came up, but i could always explain away why i had odd periods of time where i couldn't recall names lol isn't it normal to not remember names? Didn't matter that i'd known all the people for years, everyone forgets their son's teacher's name, best friends name, the kids your teaching's names, your neighbors name etc etc
I was sure it was totally normal to forget familiar peoples names too, i just needed to eat more meat-fish-fruit, sleep more, cool down enough, do less running around, i'm just coming down with something etc etc great excuses, i had great cover ups during blank brain hiccups too "hey blank-blank-blank sweet pea-buster-babe-love the dress etc", that was until my big bang of 09 and i forgot the name of my daughter...Huston we have a problem :D
Now it wasn't just names it was specifically nouns, i'd noticed every now and then i'd forget the name of something non human, but didn't pick up it was actually nouns until i literally couldn't name anything, and resorted to describing things when the nouns went missing. Seriously odd trying to talk and playing guess which word i'm missing in every sentence, i don't think you realise how many nouns we use until you've actually lost them..
I was already dealing with the balance, tremor, and slurr stutter speech that i couldn't hide, but the cognitive hid behind the speech issues i was dealing with for the first time, so it wasn't as obvious to my family that i'd actually lost my nouns back then. I'd drive my car and name objects along the way eg traffic light, church, station etc i had 2 objectives, 1 was to improve my actual speech quality and the other was to get nouns back. It was a double edged sword, didn't matter if i could name it, if i still couldn't say it - didn't matter if i could say it, if i still couldn't name it.
The first time took around 8 months to get back nouns, i don't count the set back when summer hit, it just took that long before i knew knew the nouns were there and i could say most sentences clearly without sounding drunk, it happen's each episode and i'd go back to working on it again, i have speech and cognitive issues as an everyday now.
The next cognitive issue was around 3 years later and was as unexpected as the others, i'm a read-a-holic and one of my annoying things was that i could never read a book twice, i'd recall the entire book 1-2 pages in and when you read mysteries it kind of really spoils it. I was half way through a book, picked it up and started reading and zip, i couldn't recall anything i'd read the day's before, just no memory of reading any of it, i kept reading thinking it would come and still zip, i couldn't even retain the paragraphs i'd just read, for me that was an absolute first.
Me being me i thought about what i should do about it, lol so i picked up a book, 'twilight' a book i never in a million years would dream i'd ever read, but again i had an objective, it would be an easy read, easy to remember, easy to follow, simple plot etc. I kid you not but i read it and couldn't tell you a dam thing about it, so i picked it up and read it again, by the 4th re-read i could recall some of it, so i picked it up and read it again.
After 5 reads i had enough recall but nothing like 'i' was use to, i thought it wouldn't hurt to read it again so i bought the next book and read twilight again and then read the second, i actually read the 4 book series 3 times, doing the same thing each time i added the next book lol the things you do.....i can now actually read books with out remembering the entire book, small blessing for sure but i'll take what ever good i can get :D
I've was known for being a talk-a-holic too, public speaking was just naturally me, i'd pull out legal, medical, statistical etc exerts off the top of my head, always remembered where i'd seem x or y or z and everyone who knows me relied on me for information......i am still me but i am definitely not the same!
btw my common word is 'dishwasher' i seem to replace any object with the word dishwasher without missing a beat, and it's so common for me to do, that family either burst out laughing cause i've said something really odd, which sets me off laughing or they just insert the right word for me eg helping son use the 'washing machine' the other day- If your clothes are only a little dirty, the dishwasher only needs to be set on 30 and then you'll need to put them in the dishwasher to dry......grin from ear to ear errrr okay i think i can work out how to use the (air quotes) dishwasher now :D
Hope that helps....JJ
ps i did get cognitive testing and yes i have lost a lot of IQ points, thankfully i had more than average to begin with or i'd really be in a pickle
I feel I have been really struggling with certain aspects of my cognitive abilities as well. Is it related to MS? Stress? Age? Hormones? Who knows...I just know I don't like it & feel "less than" for being noticeably slower than I used to be.
I just read an article on multiplesclerosis.net about using apps for brain training. I've been trying them, but it is new so I can't say it's helping or not. I figure it can't hurt! Some are free, some have free trials, some cost. I feel like at least I'm taking steps to try to improve some of my brain skills that used to be quite normal for me.
There is 1 game that frustrates the life out of me - you are given a picture of a person & 3 sentences about them. Then 1 or 2 more pictures of people with sentences about them. Then a series of questions asking you to recall some of the information. The first time I couldn't do any of it. I was so frustrated I almost started to cry. The second day, it got better. The third day was about the same as day 2, but at least it wasn't as bad as day 1!
I realize this does not help one iota with your questions of "why" and "what is this", but it has helped me to feel like I'm doing something to fight it so I thought I would share.
I have a lot of cognitive issues ... as of my last report, the ms neurologist is linking it to ms.
I no longer enjoy *or am able to* read long books, my executive function is awful, and although word finding isn't too bad right now, for the life of me I can't figure out homynyms anymore I'll type two for too, or interchange other similar words like fine and find.. I had a relapse where I couldn't tell right from left and was getting lost on roads I'd travelled for decades. I've had the noun issue in the past, (again not too bad now), and it really slows a conversation down when , instead of the noun, you insert the entire description for that noun and what it does ... ;). (Just had to edit first use of noun because I typed known).
I'm using the phone app Elevate and oh my goodness, the game where they introduce four people and facts about them and you have to keep them straight? Ugh. This app is free; I think you can pay for more games but I'm challenged enough with the free option :P.
Sorry you are struggling. one idea -- if you haven't had a sleep study done, please get your gp to refer you for one. My issues are WAY worse when sleep deprived, and were terrible the first year before my severe sleep apnea was discovered.
I've got pretty awful cognitive issues too. Forever inserting the wrong word in a sentence and processing information is very, very hard. Also went through a phase of having to physically describe things, ie that rectangular thing in the dining room when I couldn't for the life of me think of the word 'table'. As for remembering names, forget it.
I'm trying to find a job at the moment but am at a loss as to what I'd be any good at any more. I almost think I'd be better just doing some kind of menial, physical job instead of what I have a degree in, but know that I'd be asleep in the corner after a very short time. So hard when you have teenagers, who cost lots of money. :-(
Like the others have said my cognitive problems are linked to my MS and one of the main reason I went on disability. If you are trying to write programs for a computer and you can't remember what you wrote three lines above the current line of code how can you use any logic. And it seemed like it was getting worse every day.
Like JJ I have noticed that I lose the ability to use nouns and use the wrong word for things, though my usual is fridge instead of dishwasher. Maybe that is because I love cooking so much. LOL
But it gets worse. This problem also effects my reading in addition to speaking. There was a crafting store I drove by almost every day. In the window it had a sign that said "We have all kinds of beads", but most of the time when I would read the sign I would read "we have all kinds of beds". I would have to read that sign 3 -4 times before I would actually read it correctly.
The most frustrating thing for me though is that even when I know a noun I want to say at times I just can't figure out how to pronounce it. the words are that hard to normally pronounce, It is at these times I resort to describing what the object is instead of saying the noun. Of instance if I want to say apple and can't figure out how to pronounce it I will say red round fruit that goes in a pie.
Thanks, all. I'm sorry everyone is having such a hard time with this. I recognize what you are describing in things I've done - eg, "go get the thingy that you use to do the thingy" knowing that the real word is there somewhere but not. I also recognize saying something and not noticing it's wrong until someone says something or several minutes later.
Today I had a total epic fail at math - very embarrassing. I could not calculate 10% of a simple total, and then double it for a tip. I could see the number for 10% of the total in my head and I knew I just had to double it, but my brain just froze like a horse refusing to jump. I felt very dumb.
Let's hope tomorrow is better. It scares me that some of you have had extended periods of cognitive problems, and some continuing.Take care everyone.
Dennis - I do that ALL THE TIME with reading!! Wow -- so weird to read that someone else does it, too. It is frustrating. You know what you are reading isn't right, but it can take me 2-3 times through before my brain processes it right. Ugh.
Dennis when you say you can't figure out how to say Apple - are you seeing the word? This seems like something different from just mixing up words. How do you know you don't know how to pronounce it and that you have the word? As opposed to someone who says red round thing because they blank on the word. It's very interesting.
"Thingy" is my favourite word. Just sayin' :).
I feel like I'm at the fairground and hitting every duck on the shooting gallery!
Whilst it is exceptionally frustrating, and I'm sure we'd all like it to bog off, it is reassuring (I wish that wasn't the word!) to hear I'm not the only uber forgetful, word losing bod on the forum!
You feel like you're losing your marbles. Mine was definitely worse during my 'last', not really sure how many I've had, relapse. Not by any stretch normal again for me, but certainly improved ... or is that me finding ways round it, coping techniques etc. Not sure which.
What I have noticed is if I stress about it, it gets worse.
Embrace your "thingy" and feel relieved your substitute word is "dishwasher", can you imagine if was something else less innocuous!
Just found this community and your post on Cognitive Issues struck a chord with me. I find it very hard to carry on an intelligent conversation with anyone now. Before I used to be able to stand in front of people and sound like I knew what I was talking about. I try to keep my brain active by helping students out with e-learning on line. I find it is easier to get the message out from my brain to my finger tips. But if those same students phoned me up and asked me to explain I would not be able to articulate anything but mumble jumble. It must go through a different pathway in my brain. I also can't think of words like "lampshade" or 'oil change" and I am an engineer by training. Frustrating to say the least. As you all know to well.
Thingy, thingy, thingamagig, whatsitsname.
Sorry - couldn't resist : )