Vicki from the MS community: How can I best manage my MS related brain fog at work?
Heidi Bowcher, Specialist Neuro Occupational Therapist: Yeah, I mean brain fog is, at least it’s a well-known issue now, that people can understand it. It can obviously affect your cognition, which is all to do with concentration, learning and thinking. I think it’s important to recognise the impact of stress, just trying your best, sometimes I teach people the ‘five Ps’, which is planning, prioritisation, preparation and pacing. Means you have a good performance. Within occupational therapy you would look at how the, all the whole aspects of the job can affect how well you can manage your job, but a lot of it can be to do with pacing and getting enough breaks and sufficient rest, which are very, very important.
Vicki: So in order to pace appropriately, is that something I can begin a conversation about to seek reasonable adjustments and potentially pacing pauses at work?
Heidi Bowcher: Yeah, I think so. I mean I have actually helped to negotiate someone to actually have an actual lie down rest, proper rest. Because I think in order to give your brain a complete break you need to actually switch off completely. But it could be for a very short, like ten to 20 minutes, like your power nap, type thing. And can make someone really effective, I think, in their job, can help to really actually boost their performance and probably the work colleagues will be jealous, because they’re getting the afternoon lag and you’re coming back all refreshed.