With fibromyalgia, our brains seem like swiss cheese. There are some holes in there. And it is a forcast of fog. A lot of fog. But it comes and goes. Some days it is less hazy than others. And some days, well, let’s just say words are not our friends.
I don’t know if brain fog compounds or not. I do know I have a few things that cause some of the same issues:
- Fibromyalgia and its infamous fibro fog is a major one. Like thinking through molasses. So bad word days. Bad number days… carry the one and it disappears into the void of your brain. Transposing letters and numbers. Using the wrong word. Garbling words up. Confusion when listening to people, especially in loud environments.
- Migraines- Well, migraines are a Whole lot of neurological fun. Confusion. Brain fog. Not being to comprehend language. Again using the wrong word or not understanding a word or forgetting how to spell. Or forgetting simple tasks. Or forgetting a new policy but remembering a really old one at work… so not cool. Forgetting things you KNOW really, really well.
- Vertigo- with my treated vertigo I am dizzy all the time. I make some weird typos and grammar errors I never used to. One is repeating words like my brain is stuttering. One is forgetting tense and changing it abruptly. One is using the wrong tense on one word in a sentence. Another is massive confusion and zoning out and incomprehension of what people are saying to me.
I suppose it is all made worse by fatigue. By lack of sleep. By pain.
Here are some adventures in fibro fog
- I have reached into the oven without an oven mitt and burned myself on the burner (Oven Hot).
- I have almost run out of gas and coasting into gas stations more times than I can actually count.
- I have left the house, locked the doorknob, got outside, realized I forgot my car keys… and had locked myself out of the house. So I had to call my spouse at work to come home and let me in to get them so I could get to work.
- ‘So what is your phone number and address?’ Um. Er. So… the thing is, it hasn’t changed in a decade or so. And so there is definitely a 4 in there somewhere. I know that for Sure.
- The receptionist gives me directions to the MRI room and it poofs out of my brain within seconds of hearing it. I look to my mom and ask if she got that? If she didn’t drive me around due to the vertigo… I’d still be wandering around, lost, in that hospital.
- Okay, like the previous one I did actually get lost once in an airport. So planes give me migraines. And I was all migrainey and brain foggy and stupid and tired. And then the confusion. And it was a red-eye so there was No One Around. I was on the second floor and I needed to get the taxies on the main floor. I kept looking for an Exit sign. And what I Should have been looking for was stairs or escalator signs. But I was just so confused. I wandered around there lost for hours. It was not fun. I asked for directions three times and it made no sense. So I do not travel alone now
- I parked my car for a neurologist appointment in this parking garage from hell when I had a white car. I took a mental note of the floor and row I was in. Poof mental note gone 2.5 seconds later. I roamed that parking garage for some time looking for a damn white car in a field of damn white cars.
- I went to work. Turned out it wasn’t actually a day I worked. So there was that.
- Forgot about the time change and went to work an hour early. Man, was I Pissed. That was 1 hour of sleep I could have had.
- I was a banker, once upon a time, and I forgot the word Mutual fund while trying to sell mutual funds to a customer. You try talking about mutual funds without actually using the word itself.
- Bad word days where the word you want is just gone from existence so you just say uh and um a lot while you fumble for a substitute.
You know brain fog is bad when:
- You read a sentence and fail to comprehend those are words. What is language anyway?
- When you listen to someone and fail to understand Those are words? Damn it. What is language anyway? Let’s try interpretive dance, shall we?
- When you have to check basic math three times because it is so commonplace for you to mix up the numbers.
- When you forget things you know so damn well and use every damn day of your life… but for some reason can’t pull it out of the brain ball.
- When someone says ‘Hey how’s it going. We should do lunch’ and you do not recognize their face At ALL.
- When you hear someone’s name and then store it somewhere in your brain where you will never, ever find it again. Even if you hear it 20 times.
- When you start to put the dishes away from the dishwasher and halfway through … oops they are dirty. Damn it.
- When you wash your clothes and then completely forget you did that so when you go down there again, you have to wash them Again. And then repeat.
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