How I Cope With the Daily Frustrations of Fibro Fog
The day before yesterday I locked myself out of my house again! God knows I cannot afford to fork out the money to get another new lock. Yes, I have done it before! I mindlessly pick up the keys from where I put them every day, only this time I picked the wrong keys, walked to the store and came back to find my access fob is the wrong one! My mind has been numb for a while.
I knock on my neighbor’s door. As luck would have it, this time I left my balcony door open. My whole spine is screaming as I cannot stand for long. Every nerve had started a rendition of “Hallelujah” as sung by Katherine Jenkins. I hold onto the wall so I don’t keel over. I have had a flare for a month and as usual do not recognize it.
Brain fog is a symptom of fibromyalgia that most people don’t know how to explain. It’s like the brain has static. The words you think come out strange or you stop mid-sentence because you cannot remember the next word or the name of the person right in front of you whom you have known all your life.
The loss of short-term memory can be very frightening and soul-destroying. It is worse when you are a writer and you start editing your work and words seem to be missing even though you are confident you typed them out. I hide brain fog with an uncomfortable laugh as the little red man with a pitchfork mutters, “You will lose your memory.”
This happens to me when my pain is at level 15. Yes, really! Who measures pain on a scale of one to 10 when 120 is what you feel some days? Alternatively, when chronic fatigue kicks in, my body makes me laugh because it simply slouches and goes to sleep for at least 24 hours. It’s tired of thinking.
What to do? What to do?
Give myself a break. I say this because my inner critic is brutal. Instead of the brain acknowledging you did something silly, she yells, “You are so ridiculous! You know better. Check your pockets.” And on and on it goes.
Mark my keys so I know immediately what to pick. Bright colors work.
Talk slower. My mind rushes and in that rush when I am tired I think the neurotransmitters get cross-wired.
Read and journal. I find if I read two chapters it helps with my concentration. As a person who journals, I find that writing my frustration with fibromyalgia fog forces my brain to slow down as I reflect.
Fibromyalgia brain fog should have several unprintable names, but I will leave that to you.
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Thinkstock photo via cyano66.