A few years ago, my Daughter and I began using a few cue words to describe how I was feeling without having to go into details. On days when I am in a lot of pain, exhaustion, etc. I will use the word “peachy” and on days when my brain is not clear I will say that the weather is foggy.I mentioned in a previous blog entry that if I were to list all of the symptoms & “evil sidekicks” that come along with Fibro that for me the loss of being able to plan ahead would be what I miss the most and the “fog” would be the symptom that I hate the most even over the pain and exhaustion. A lot of our Family, Friends, and Co-workers don’t understand how we can forget things so easily, miss appointments, screw up our words, etc. I think that it is so important that we explain to them that Fibromyalgia isn’t just pain and exhaustion. They need to know the long list of symptoms & syndromes that go hand in hand with having Fibro. One of the most difficult to deal with is Fibro Fog. Celeste Cooper states;
Problems with thinking and memory when you have fibromyalgia is called “fibro fog.”The cognitive disturbance, inability to remember or stay focused is a common characteristic of fibromyalgia and is sometimes called brain fog. This condition can be an obstacle to coping.It can cause:
- short-term memory problems
- loss in sense of direction
- difficult finding or forming words
- transposition of letters when writing
- lose a train of though mid sentence
It can be exacerbated by:
- hormonal fluctuations
- sleep disruption
- non-restorative sleep
- anxiety, stress or depression
- mental or physical fatigue
- diet high in carbohydrates
Fibro fog can also cause episodic disorientation – 30-90 seconds of suddenly not knowing where you are or where you’re going, says Dr. Teitelbaum I have missed doctor appointments, Girl Scout Leader meetings, forgotten to take medication, use antiperspirants, return phone calls, emails, and text messages, missed paying a bill, lost contact with Friends, and cancelled a lot of get togethers.
All due to the awful double F word.. Fibro Fog.
I wrote a few of the incidents that have occurred in the last 4 months – well, at least the ones I could remember. LOL!
This past June I had purchased the cards a couple of weeks ahead for Father’s Day. I had them addressed and stamped. I carried them around with me to drop off the next time I drove by the Post Office. I totally forgot that I had them. Father’s Day arrived and I realized when making our calls that I still had the cards in my possession. I mailed them on Monday. Better late than never!
We had an inventory day at work scheduled. I have a long list of things that have to be done before that day. I was putting in extra time and stressing big time about not being ready only to realize that it wasn’t that week. I had been thinking that we were a week later.My husband has noticed that the last few times that I have been in a fog that my words have been slurred. I sound like I have been drinking. I had not even noticed. I often mix up my words or completely forget what I was going to say. I was shopping with our Daughter. She was walking ahead of me and I meant to call her name but I said Mark. She said “No, Ravyn”, I did it a second time. Again she said “No, Ravyn”. I found myself scared and embarrassed and lied to my Daughter. I said no, I meant to say that Mark would like this – I know she knew better. I would never call him Mark when speaking to her it would be Dad. I go swimming on Monday’s before I go to work. It is easier to put my swim suit on at home so I wear the suit under my clothes. I bring my underclothes in my swim bag for afterwards. Once in the locker room after swimming I began to get dressed and found that I had forgotten to pack my panties. So ~ off to work I went ~ Commando style. A fellow Fibromite from across the pond calls them “knickers”. I like that phrase. I have forgotten my knickers more times than I want to admit. I have been having more trouble remembering where I parked my vehicle when at shopping centers. I know a lot of people who have this problem. I try to type in my phone where I parked the car. I didn’t one day. I forgot. I had no idea where my car was parked. I pulled out my keys and used the lock button. Everytime I clicked on the button my car horn would sound and the lights would flash. The sound of the horn led me to my vehicle. I recently had a rough day. I called the wrong number two different times, aanswered the wrong lines on the phone. I was freaking out trying to figure out how I was going to do both my doctor’s appointment and pick up our Daughter from Volleyball practice. Only to be reminded that their was no volleyball practice. I had planned a surprise party for 2 of our co-workers. I had the room decorated, gifts laid out and announced we were ready to go. Once I got everyone to the door, I looked in the room. The cakes that were to be stacked to look like a wedding cake were still in their containers and still in the grocery bags. My MGR said, you didn’t do the cakes? I thought you said we were ready? My reply; Nope, I forgot. So what can be done about it? Are we destined to a life of forgetfulness.
- Use memory aids. Make lists and put post it notes everywhere. Keep a notebook with your important passwords, phone numbers, dates and addresses.
- Keep your daily routine the same. Know your limits. Don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle. Pick the best time to accomplish complicated tasks. When you do start a task, avoid distractions that can keep you from concentrating.
- Try and keep your daily routine the same. We know that stress and sleep are big factors in how well our memory will work. Try to control stress, slow down, rest when needed. Relaxing activities such as yoga, tai chi and meditation can improve problems with sleep, fatigue and anxiety all linked to brain fog.
- Supplements you can try such as 5 HTP, Omega 3 Samee, St. Johns wart, and Vitamin B.
It is also very important that we exercise our body and our mind. I find that swimming not only helps my pain and exhaustion but helps to clear my mind. It has been proven that using your mind such as doing puzzles, Sudoku, word finds, and reading will improve your memory. There are many free online sites that offer memory games.On my Facebook page I asked others to tell me the funniest or oddest thing they had forgotten due to Fibro Fog the response was incredible. There were so many stories of what they had forgotten. It is scary seeing all of the things that should be so easy to remember be impossible to recall. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone. Let’ hope I can remember it. LOL!!!!
I am a Fibro~Warrior Living Life!