That’s the big MS question; how much to reveal or if to mention the MS at all.
I wear my thumb braces almost all the time. I even sleep in them some nights when they are particularly sore. Wearing them doesn’t really impair my ability to type or anything, and I cannot grasp very wide items one handed. The braces add strength to my hand. Not that it’s a huge issue, but there are plenty of files I’ve worked on that were more than 4″ thick. I think that I should have no real trouble with the thumbs, should someone bring up the braces. Most people assume I have arthritis or carpal tunnel. If no one asks about them, that’s great. I suppose I wouldn’t wear them to an interview and then just show up wearing them when I start work. What could they say, right?
I’ve also just ordered a new cane with a different style grip. I’m hoping it will be more comfortable in my hand than the cane I usually use. I’m excited to try it out and hope it’s everything I want as I would like to use my cane more often than I do, but don’t because of my grip problems. But I’ve fallen two more times and nearly fallen a third time and I guess it’s time I started using a cane regularly, especially on uneven surfaces. People understand canes. I don’t think anyone will ask about that.
As most of you already know, I have serious memory problems. I wish there was a cane for it. I honestly do not know how to answer the inevitable interview question: what is your greatest weakness? I usually go with my memory (it’s always been poor), and then go into how I compensate for it. Unfortunately I feel like I’m going to be lying to people if I tell them it is manageable, because I’m not certain that it is. Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering to write something down. If I don’t make a note of something I need to do, it will be completely forgotten. I may even remember (wrongly) that I accomplished the task. I’ve decided I will need a system of keeping track of all the various and sundry duties that are bound to come my way. I received the suggestion once of keeping two different notebooks, one for doing one type of task and the other for other, less immediate tasks. I suppose I could find another fault, but can’t think of any.
I decided the only way I can hope to achieve near success is to carry a tape recorder with me at all times. Maybe I should hang one on my hip and flip it on all the time. I know they have some really good recorders now that automatically start to record as soon as a voice is heard. Unfortunately, I run the risk of recording something accidentally. Not a good thing. Though if I admit to having a disability and that this is my aid to help me do my job to the best of my ability, would they be ok with it? How weird would I look, always recording conversations and discussions. I know I will already use a recorder for meeting minutes, and dictation. But I wonder about carrying the recorder all the time, as I do my notepad. But bosses often bump into you in the hallway and ask something of you while you are off on another errand. Those are the things that get forgotten. I’d like to think I’ll manage somehow.
It’s a scary thing not knowing if I can trust my mind.