My husband will occasionally mention to me that I have repeated something several times or that I have forgotten something he just said, indicating that my cognitive abilities are a little more impaired that day. He has also come to my rescue in shopping mall situations where I must have looked as perplexed as if I had just landed on another planet. On a summer night, a friend mentioned that I looked "sad" and asked if we should move inside. I perked up right away in the air conditioner, indicating that I was unknowingly experiencing some MS-related heat intolerance.
Others May See Things We Don’t Notice
My point with all of this is that it is often our friends and loved ones who notice increased MS symptoms, while those of us with MS may be unaware of them. It is important that we know what is happening with our symptoms, so that we can keep track and mention them to our neurologists.
Encourage your friends and family to point out any symptoms they notice to you. Sure, it is not always pleasant to be interrupted when you are enjoying yourself with a statement of "Wow! You really seem confused today!" or "I never noticed how you slurred your speech when you get hot." It also may be uncomfortable for them to mention these things. Reassure them that it is important for you to know when your symptoms are acting up. You may need to mention them to your doctor, as there is a small chance that they could indicate that you are having a relapse (especially if you have never had these symptoms before). It is more likely that you may simply need to alter your activities (slow down) or environment (cool off) at that moment.
On the other hand, there may be some people who will gleefully point out little oddities or eccentricities that they notice in your behavior or mannerisms. You may have to tell some of your friends that while you welcome any insight they might have into your MS symptoms, this does not extend to critique of hairstyles, shoes or boyfriends.