Multitasking

Struggling today as tremors and numbness in right hand giving me problems. Even typing this is a struggle. Keep going to pick up things but have to really focus otherwise will end up dropping the knife on my foot(cooking a stir fry) looks like multitasking will be a thing of the past. Is this Ataxia normal or will this fade? Feels like I have the shivers but with tingling especially in hands. Very tired but that's because a 15min stir fry took the entire afternoon. Grrrrrr did taste great though 😌

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  • Hi i can no longer cook althoufg i try to do bits it is learning when to sk for help i do a lot of supervising, i have to drink out of a sippy cup or i end up waering it cold drinks through a straw.

  • When I have days like that my husband cooks or I pull something out of the freezer. Stir fry is prob one of the most difficult as so much peeling and chopping of veg. Glad it tasted good tho😊.

    That tingling feeling I find is also very tiring and I wish I knew what does that exactly.

    When I do things I often have breaks.

    Multi tasking is def something of the past for most of us ataxians. I went into a re-education centre to try to multi task. I couldn't do it and it was exhausting trying 😣. The doctors advice afterwards was not to bother; to do things one at a time so I have energy left to enjoy life! 😉

  • Thanks I think that will be the case from now on. Physiotherapy today a lot less challenging. Then lunch with my friend whom has Cancer. Always someone worse off than yourself. Enjoy the rain😥

  • Enjoy lunch with your friend Vion, I'm sure she's looking forward to seeing you😊xB

  • Morning all. Hubby hasn't cooked since he knock a pan of curry on the floor! I had to clean up and order the takeaway. Lol. No he no longer multi-tasks. Lol

    His intention tremors are a lot worse but he says he doesn't have the tingling sensation tho.

    Today is another day, hope there are little pockets of joy for you. 💞💞💓💓

  • Yesterday I was given an iPhone. It was a lovely present but new technology always fills me with dread.

    Instruction books/manuals are something I avoid, even recipe books can be challenging. Often I look at a recipe and gather what I think are the ingredients, then in the end miss something out.

    I hardly ever cook a proper meal now. But, I can manage to make cheese scones. Good exercise for fingers😋xB

  • I love my iPhone and my iPad. I 'facetime' my new grandson, on his mother's iPhone, at 6 weeks he's a bit young yet for his own!

    What ever you want to do there's an app for it!

    I play pool, snooker, cribbage, solitaire and cricket on mine as well as doing brain training and answering emails!

    Have fun.

    Nigel

    P.S. Cheese scones are my favourite, off to Newcastle now!

  • Ataxians eh! Which planet do we come from?

    Ataxians! Which planet have we come from?

    Dear Vion, sorry to hear about your difficulties.

    I feel a bit of a fraud here as I'm now stronger and fitter than I was 3 years ago. My speech is mostly okay now, I slur and wobble at the end of the day when tired and can't join in the cut and thrust of animated conversation in groups, even family groups. Our kids are such comedians (all in their 30s so not really kids) that I'm usually helpless with laughter anyway so speaking is not an issue, more of a tissue!

    As for multi tasking, I'm a man. Whoever heard of men multi-tasking!! That's a sure recipe for dropping something. Though I must admit I used to be able to walk along and look around. These are now 2 separate activities. I either walk or I look. Both is not an option. Much to my wife's annoyance I find the same for walking and talking as my focus and attention has to be on walking.

    Tingling suggests to me a loss of circulation. This can be caused by tension in the muscles, which can be unconscious. Given the sneaky nature of ataxia this may well be one of the side effects of losing brain cells in the cerebellum.

    I know if I clench my hand tight, do join in, after a short while the knuckles go white. Soon after that my hand begins to shake. This is lack of circulation caused by me cutting it off with the clenching.

    Through our life before we became ataxians, most movements and bodily functions were carried out automatically. This is the most efficient way for a body to work when the unconscious takes over everday mundane things and leaves the smart arse conscious mind to plan and plot. The unconscious mind is elegant and precise, the conscious mind clumsy and often opinionated. (I know best!). As an example of this remember back to a time when you learnt a new manual skill. Needlework, chopping veg, carpentry, musical instrument, whatever. At first to get something right requires super concentration, a lot of sweat and effort, and even then the end result is not quite what we hoped for. I remember my early days of cutting wood with a hand saw. The tongue would come out and I'd grip the saw hard enough to make my knuckles go white, (what again?) and I'd keep to the line I had drawn on top of the piece of wood. To discover, after cutting, that the line on the other side was nowhere near straight. Nowadays I relax, hold the saw lightly and allow it to do the work. Unless I think the cut is a bit tricky, when I engage my conscious mind, grip the saw and force it through. Guess what, I need another piece of timber!

    So back to tingling.

    The unconscious elegance we remember pre-ataxia is being interfered with by the pesky cerebellum and loss of brain cells. So although the message starts off all right it gets bits removed and the end result is wobbly or worse. So we engage our conscious mind, the clumsy one. This means we are applying more tension, pressure or force than we really need. We are back to a new learning curve for something we learnt so long ago, we probably don't remember when we couldn't do it. Chopping veg for a stir fry, consciously, requires great care and must be very tiring.

    And the answer is.....

    We have to go back to the drawing board and begin to learn again those basic skills we have for so long taken for granted. Walking, talking, chopping veg. This time educating a different part of our brain. This works for stroke victims, where a part of their brain is killed by a bleed. It is working for me, and it can work for you. It requires some hard work and some persistence in the face of the unfairness of having to learn stuff we thought we knew and have for so long taken for granted. Learning is tiring. So is worrying that we can't do things right.

    By the time we notice something is wrong with us and go to see the doctor, the condition has been happening for some time in the background and has gathered sufficient momentum for us to be unable to ignore it anymore. So we are starting from behind. Brain cells have already gone in enough numbers to cause an issue. Then when we get the helpful diagnosis (see other posts on this or go to ataxiafightback.wordpress.com) and we go into shock and numbness. Look up 'bereavement curve' on your favourite search engine. Dr Kubler-Ross has produced a model of the emotional states we go through when losing someone close. These states also happen in divorce and separation and in recieving news of a life threatening or life limiting illness. Yes that's us. Although the model shows a movement through from initial shock, denial, anger etc to acceptance, experience shows that people often cycle round through the negative emotions more than once before climbing up out of the depression. What this model shows is that it is normal to feel how you do. Identify where you are on the curve and acknowledge your absolute right to have been experiencing those emotions. Whether you move through or remain stuck is of course your choice, and yes it is a choice.

    My sister, who was 2 years older than me, was diagnosed in her early 50s with SCA6. She chose to continue drinking and smoking. To take to a wheelchair and have carers. To live alone and refuse to have anything to do with her family, including her children and grandchildren, to make no effort to speak more clearly. Even so she lived to 67 and died in January. The family all went to the funeral, because we all cared even though she wouldn't let us.

    Sometimes choices are hard and we would rather someone else made the difficult ones for us. Look back over your life and re-examine the hard choices and decisions you have had to make, when faced with no alternative. Our choices then define us as people, our choices now confirm that character. Only you can influence how your ataxia grows or recedes. We are all here for you and hope you are there for us in turn.

    Nigel

  • Dear Vion, Kudos to you for keeping on with your stir-fry in spite of it taking forever because of tremors/numbness! When I cook, it takes me a long time too! But, we must try because if we don't use it, we'll lose it...,ha! I'm glad the end product tasted good! My best to you...,;o)

  • I echo the above.With most things the knowledge is there but tremors and physical limitations have put paid to most activities.I can understand the frustration. Multi-tasking used to be so easy. Trouble is I think I can and end up in a mess.

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