The frontal lobes are the seat of personality, learning, speech, some motor skills, and judgment (or lack thereof). At times, during this most recent battle, my symptoms have been physical (numb, tingling calves and feet). At times, the symptoms have been emotional. Sometimes my anger turns on and doesn't turn off quickly. Sometimes I cry at the drop of a hat. My mind doesn't want to hang onto things. Yes, you could say that some of this is because of the terrible loss this year of my daughter, but not everything can be attributed to that. Lately, I seem to be dealing better with the loss (at least most of the time), but I don't always deal so well with disappointment, upset, or additional stress.
In looking at the last 6 months, only the months of June and August did not involve us having company to our home. And in June, we moved one household and took a trip to move the other, so it doesn't really count as a relaxing month, either. Stay with me...
I've also been a little worried about my son, as he is battling his own depression over the loss of his sister, a job he hates, and his return to school. He's angry at himself for not working harder to stick to one academic program, as now it is taking him longer to get through with school and into a career he loves. He has exhibited some signs of depression, but he is going to counseling and trying to deal with it. I worry that I dumped an awful lot in his lap, as I left the state and his father started having to travel for work. Yes, he's 22, but he is also now having to live alone, take care of the house (and himself) and 5 animals. It isn't what he bargained for, exactly. I'm hoping to take on one of the cats and teach her to be an outdoor cat in the spring.
But wait, there's more...
There's a lot about my old life that isn't part of my new life. That's neither good nor bad. It just is. I've had a lot of adjustments to make and a lot of culture shock to deal with. That's also neither good nor bad. I get more exercise and fresh air now, but I kind of miss the city sometimes.
So the question that rolls around in my head at night is this: is the MS eating away at my frontal lobes and changing my personality? Has it had anything at all to do with my feelings of anger and depression? Or is all that attributable to circumstance and events? Who knows. All I do know is that I want to see this doctor and get some answers, if he has them. I want to know what to expect.
If you want to read more on what the frontal lobe does, see the snippet below. I hope that the last item isn't affected in me - "the ability to express language" - because really, who would I be without my words?
Peace - D
CEREBRAL CORTEX Frontal Lobe: Most anterior, right under the forehead.
- How we know what we are doing within our environment (Consciousness). How we initiate activity in response to our environment. Judgments we make about what occurs in our daily activities. Controls our emotional response. Controls our expressive language. Assigns meaning to the words we choose. Involves word associations.
- Memory for habits and motor activities.
- Loss of simple movement of various body parts (Paralysis). Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements needed to complete multi-stepped tasks, such as making coffee (Sequencing). Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others. Loss of flexibility in thinking. Persistence of a single thought (Perseveration). Inability to focus on task (Attending). Mood changes (Emotionally Labile). Changes in social behavior. Changes in personality. Difficulty with problem solving.
- Inablility to express language (Broca's Aphasia). [neuroskills]