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Changes 
in our Cognitive and Physical Abilities

Change in our Cognitive Abilities:
We suddenly had to learn to operate our lives from under a dense fog making it difficult to navigate through our day to day lives.

Suddenly we could no longer depend upon ourselves because our spelling and the figuring out of numbers or holding them in our head seemed to have become messed up or had disappeared. What made it even more confusing was that sometimes we could access them. But, in time we learned that we could no longer depend upon these assets to be automatically there for us. 

Inside our head, we knew exactly what we were going to say, yet, suddenly we'd find ourselves unable to speak clearly, couldn't remember names, or repeat an event, or a  story correctly, and couldn't seem to remember from here to there... When we'd go to say something often some other word would jump out of our mouths and we wouldn't even realize it until someone pointed it out to us. 

No longer did we have the ability to see the whole picture, to plan or to organize quickly. Fixing the simplest of things became difficult, sometimes it completely overwhelmed us... 

In time it became difficult to visit with groups of people; couldn't concentrate on the conversations, we interrupted others in mid sentence, we'd joined in the conversation long after that topic was over... Our sense of judgment now was way off. We started making lots of errors that caused us to feel stupid and incompetent and we didn't know why. 

Suddenly we got lost in our own neighborhoods, went through red lights, went down the opposite side of one way streets... No longer could we hold instructions in our head, assemble projects, devour a book, or perform new simple tasks and sometimes we couldn't even perform the tasks we had known so well... 

At first we didn't realize that we'd lost these assets. We'd think, "This clumsy mind will pass... We are just tired, sick, feeling off or something. ...  We secretly wondered if it was the start Alzheimer Disease. In time we discovered it was brain-interruptus... Brain would be here sometimes and gone the next minute. No longer could we lean upon our natural resources and learned assets... For some of us, we soon learned the cause of all this was Lyme disease and for others we had no idea what it was as MD's told us we were healthy and for some of us we were even born with it so this was our normal.

As the years went by, we readjusted our life to accommodate our interuptus cognitive changes. 
 

How did you readjust your life because of your cognitive changes?
 
 



 
Change of Physical Abilities
Suddenly we were clumsy, dropping things, tripping on our own feet. We were very tired ... from doing nothing. We tried to lift something that we knew we could lift, but discovered we had no strength to do so. We were stiff, had tender hands and feet, had sudden tight muscles, tendons and ligaments... We had strange painful backaches that prevented us from standing in one spot for more then a few minutes. We no longer had the stamina to work for long without playing ourselves out. We now had to deal with aching feet, knees, hips, elbows, neck... all over pain anywhere and sometimes everywhere in the body. ...And the muscles... the muscles spasm in the entire back, hips, legs, arms, neck, just all over the body. We had charlie horses, sudden shocks or jolts and without thinking, we'd say out loud, "ow", mournful "Ohmms", and "Ohhhh gads" as we suddenly clutched ourselves here and there ...and people looked at us as if we'd gone quacky. 

We became slow. Sports we could no longer handle. Walking became effort. No longer could we handle stress as we had before. Daily living became a effort...

As the years went by we readjusted our life to accommodate our body changes. 

How have you readjusted your life because of your physical changes?
 
 
 



 
Changes
As the physical and cognitive changes ballyragged into our lives the loss of our natural assets may have caused us to experience shame. Sometimes the shame jumped up from long ago times when we had heard of poor spellers, poor readers, poor in math... failures... Because now we were unable to add, subtract, divide, and do the simplest number problem solving whenever we needed to. Or, because we couldn't remember how to spell a word or put a sentence right side up and made errors in the written word that made others look up at us... or call us out, or say, "What's the matter with you?" 

Sometimes we experienced shame because we no longer could perform our job, or retain employment or feed our family or pay our rent...

When friends asked, "What book you are reading these days?" They didn't know we were unable to concentrate long enough to read a full page, or even remember what we had just read, or how it just no longer sunk into our brain... and maybe we didn't even understand why. So, how do we explain something we did not even understand ourselves after having been a reader with always one or two books on the go, at all times? What did we lose from the inability to read books? 

When we were no longer able to talk straight, speak out the words we wanted, when we misspoke, when we realized what we said was absolutely the wrong thing and only realizing it much later ... As a consequence, we felt embarrassed. 

We missed meeting up with someone we'd promised to meet at a certain date and time and we had no logical explanation on how come we had forgotten ... So, we felt embarrassed, stupid, call ourselves absent minded... 

When we couldn't do things like we used to and other's would say, "What's wrong with you?" because they they expected us to perform as our former selves with our former abilities... Shame... embarrassment... A wanting to run away and hide... 

People expected us to baby-sit children, to go out celebrating 'til the wee hours, to help with the lifting of heavy stuff "like a man", to socialize in groups... but, we just couldn't handle it anymore. Maybe we didn't even understand why and couldn't even explain what had changed in us.

Loss of physical and cognitive skills cause us to feel embarrassed, ashamed, stupid, clumsy. We can't trust or depend upon ourselves anymore. (We feel inept... less then our former selves.) We make mistakes and we feel others think less of us and if nobody, but ourselves knows of the big mistakes we made, then we call our own selves down and lose trust in ourselves. These losses chisel away at our belief in ourselves ... our self esteem, the very back bone of our personalities. 

Now, add to that the not knowing why, the having been told by the experts that it is all in our head, or that there was nothing wrong with us... Shame kicks in, we want to hide... even when we suspect something is/was wrong with our health, we begin to question our belief in ourselves.

We cannot even grieve these cognitive and physical losses, because, every now and again, these skills come back again as if they never went away!  The pain migrates, the symptoms wax and wane, symptoms are all over the place from head to toe, here today, gone tomorrow and then something entirely new shows up... We question our mental health.


Take your time to answer the following  honestly:
 

Are you doing on purpose to cause your symptoms?
Were you doing on purpose to cause your symptoms?
 

Can you control when your symptoms will trip you up?
Could you control when your symptoms tripped you up?

With the symptoms you have had, and those you are presently experiencing, are you doing the very best you can with what you have left of your cognitive and physical assets? 
Were you always doing the very best you knew how with the abilities you had left?
 

How have your remaining assets helped you to manage your life through this disease?
Did you manage your life the best you could while you were in disease? 
 

Are you proud of you for having done the best you could with the skills, assets and information you possessed throughout this ordeal? 
 


Disorganization - Transformation - Reorganization



Sometimes the loss of cognitive abilities and the physical abilities prevent us from performing in the workplace and then we have to deal with the loss of employment. 



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