Last reply 1 year ago
Cognitive issues and work

Hi everyone
I’m new to this group. I’m looking for some insights into work and ms. I worked at a company for 15 years as a bookkeeper half day. I was at that job when I was diagnosed with ms and my then boss was honestly amazing. He was so encouraging and his relentless concern helped me through one of the toughest stage of my life.

Due to circumstances, he sold the company and I have subsequently been made redundant. I started a new job about 6 weeks ago. I asked my doctor to put me on Concerta to help me concentrate in the beginning. However I kept making careless errors. The work involved a lot of detail and the bosses were exceptionally demanding to the point that I was being called and whatsapped until 8:30 at night. I didn’t tell them about my ms as I never wanted to use it was an excuse and I’m not looking for anyone’s pity. I am a strongly independent person and hate asking for anything. I just wanted to put my head down and get the work done. With all the pressure I would sit there and feel like I was swimming. My brain just couldn’t remember everything I needed to remember but when I was away from the office, working from home my work was perfect. What I want to understand if stupid mistakes (concentrating) and memory problems are directly related to my ms. I managed fine at past job. I have left this second job and am now feeling so unbelievably scared to start looking again. I need to work financially. But what if i just can’t manage to think clearly anymore. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I don’t know if the pressure was causing me to kind of flip out and my brain would just switch off.

Thank you

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1 year ago

I say,sit,relax,breathe stop trying to think and give yourself a day off.
Then try lists,as far as your feelings, I think you have realised help,support and kindness can directly affect your working ability.
Knowing this is very powerful in helping your future workplace decision.
I will not say anymore, less is more,for now.
Only you know your circumstances and needs, but write it down, see it in print as a starting point.
Good Luck

1 year ago

Hi, I believe I’m starting to get cognitive issues too which make it quite tricky when working but I’ve been able to start working from home more to help concentrate and manage stress and fatigue. My office is open plan so was difficult.
I always feel like these problems are worse when I’m tired or stressed, even the slightest bit stressed!
Starting a new job is always stressful and I have definitely found it quite scary not feeling very with it when I’ve always been driven and focused in the past.
I can’t really advise, I kind of just feel like I was in the same boat before my work changed a bit but the change I’ve made recently is to write everything down in a diary- to do lists, deadlines, literally everything! Make sure you rest and de-stress otherwise it’ll just get worse.
With regards to a new job just go for it! Yes, scary but if an employer isn’t supportive then they’re not the one for you. I always remind myself that employment is a two way relationship! They have to look after you too. Otherwise sack them off, you can do better!

1 year ago

Hi @littlesister and welcome.

It sounds like you may be on a conveyor belt of work and tiredness. You’re having to work hard and long hours because you’re tired and the hard work and long hours are making you tired!

It’s a spiralling situation and you need to stop the spiral!

You know you can do the job. You just don’t need the additional stress that is being caused.

The term “less haste and more speed” comes to mind.

Just take care of yourself. Employers don’t care if you wreck yourself, you’re replaceable. But, you’re not irreplaceable to your family.

1 year ago

as for your question, yes MS does affect cognitive abilities and will slowly worsen but you can stop getting stressed over it and just take your time. If you manage to work for the usual preliminary status mostly 6 months then your company has an obligation to assist you in any way possible and spend a reasonable amount to make your work easier. Its not true that employers dont care and they know they have a legal obligation to take care of you. I was a Facilities Manager and my company spent thousands of pounds on making my work area more accessable and even bought a mobility scooter for me to get around on.
The important thing is to ensure you look after yourself
Good luck

Hi! Maybe it would be a good idea to look for a remote/telecommute position. I also find it a bit hard to concentrate, and I see that “get to work” routine of getting dressed, rushing to the train stop, chasing the bus, waiting for that takeaway coffee – is absolutely NOT helping. I am exhausted and nervous by the time I get to my desk (and who wouldn’t!). Working from home works fine for me – less stress, less rush, extra hour of sleep (or yoga), good food, comfy chair, less cognitive issues. 10/10 would recommend! 🙂

1 year ago

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. There is a lot of good ideas I can certainly us.

1 year ago

I have a lot of cognitive issues that are making my job more difficult than it used to be. I’m a paralegal. We have always been busy, but it has gotten crazier than usual over the last few years with no end in sight. I have memory and focus issues, and can’t multi-task. All of these make for a very exhausting, stressful day — every single day. But, like you, I need my job. I also know I can do my job & do it well (I’ve worked here for 12 years and didn’t have these problems a couple years ago), but I find it increasingly difficult and have wondered lately how much longer I can do this (or, rather, how much longer I can do my employer a disservice by staying). I’m tired ALL the time. I know I could be more disciplined with making lists of things to do but we get so busy that the list often gets neglected by noon and then I’m back to square 1.

I have no solutions for you, but understand where you are coming from!

1 year ago

I’m a book keeper too and there is definitely a link between my boss hovering around and me making stupid errors!! It has taken a while But we have managed to agree boundaries which work for both of us. One definite no-no is constantly brain dumping on me when I’m doing data entry. I hope the situation improves for you.

1 year ago

Not sure if this is what you want to hear… My IQ was tested when I was younger – one point below MENSA; this did not surprise me yet it was genetic – Mom was much more intelligent than I…

Diagnosed with MS recently – my memory challenges over the past few years make sense. When my wife sends me a text asking if I ate today, I have to stand in front of the sink to look at the dirty dishes before I answer – LOL

The solution that I found out today is – hope it works!

1 year ago

Like you I’ve worried about my memory for some time and after my diagnosis I have had this checked. Had lots of tests and it soon became clear that my memory is fine (superior in fact in some areas) so they are now looking at whether fatigue is playing a part. I personally think I’ve just been running on empty for years and I’m just burned out.

Have you asked about getting your memory checked? Just the knowledge that there is no issue has increased my confidence in myself.

I’m a paralegal too and the work is very demanding and seems to get worse year on year. Maybe like me a change in direction would help. Do something you love. Could you retrain?

I hope you manage to find a work life balance that works for you.

1 year ago

Hi. I am new to the group. Just diagnosed 2 weeks ago. Have been on strong meds this week and have had tons of time to read. I read that Brain Games are helpful for Ms and that stress may be linked to the increase in lesions. Yoga and Reiki were recommended by many. Maybe this will help you with your memory and anxiety. I also work mostly from home and will continue to do so, it sounds like you are moving forward in a positive light to take care of you! Keep going until you find what works best for you financially and in your daily health.

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