MS makes an unsolvable puzzle of Patti’s feelings. MS damage complicates her ability to connect a response to an emotion especially symptoms related to Pseudobulbar Affect. This in turn makes it extremely difficult to relate to Patti emotionally or share an emotional experience. Short term memory problems and mental confusion only blur the whole situation.
Patti’s cat, Teazer (pictured playing ‘on’ Patti Christmas Morning) and also our eldest at 19.5 years went into kidney failure. ‘Good byes’, euthanasia and all such decisions get complicated because of the transition to a care facility. Some days a genuinely NEW aspect of caregiving and living with MS pops into the day.
Bringing Patti home for some final time with her cat Patti seemed to just jump to the future skipping all the in between thoughts, more often than not referring to her cat as if she was deceased. Talking with staff at the care facility later she simply stated 'matter of fact' that her cat had died and she wanted to go to bed. (When at the time the cat was alive.)
MS damage challenges trying to reach out or others trying to reach in. I wish I knew for sure how Patti felt? Will she feel different in a couple hours when alone? Sure this is only about a pet, would it be different it was about people??? When an emotion cannot be connected to a response does that mean it just does not exist? Or does it drift lost inside you?
Outside looking in as a caregiver, or family, (or even neurologists) we can just ‘say’ MS creates a problem. Yet we do not LIVE the challenge. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be ‘unable to connect’ that intangible emotional part of me to an expression or response to share.