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Our then elementary-school-age daughter discovered the first clue: Her mom laughed hysterically at the word “brick.” Then came the day I opened our monthly credit card bill to find $2,000 in charges from a home shopping network.
Homecare agencies cancelled our aides due to incidents involving my wife, Patti’s, verbal and physical outbursts. Finally, I returned home one afternoon to discover our stove top on fire while Patti sat unconcerned or unaware at the kitchen table.
Looking back, were there earlier clues that my wife’s MS symptoms might not stop with the physical? Yes, but who knew to look? We were still reeling from the physical symptoms of Patti’s diagnosis and trying to learn to live with MS as a family. In a few short years, my wife had become wheelchair-bound. We were swamped in physical adaptations, and in the early and mid-1990s, cognitive problems associated with MS were simply not mentioned very often.
Now researchers tell us that MS can, in some cases, cause permanent cognitive problems. In Patti’s case, those problems are profound. (click to continue …)