You Might Have Brain Fog If…My Experiences With The Fog
Brain Fog Be Gone!
Brain fog is the bane of my existence. Trying to think clearly comes about as natural to me, as a giraffe trying to roller skate. To be honest it is rare for me to have a clear thought. Every activity I attempt is cluttered with a thick mist of forgotten thoughts and half processed information.
Lately, it has gotten much worse. I have begun to realize that a perfect storm is on the horizon. One that has the ability to make me forget some of the most important pieces of my life.
To be quite honest, it scares me. Often when I am frightened I combat my fear with humor. My doctor does not find this amusing. He takes his job very seriously.
So, when I crack a joke at my own expense he usually frowns. What’s a girl to do? Curl up and wither away or plaster on a grin and bear it. I prefer the latter of the two. Humor lightens the heart. I am a firm believer in laughter being the best medicine. Unless of course there is a bed available. Then hands down, I will take the bed every time. (Said knowingly, with tongue in cheek.)
I think the entire medical profession needs to take a refresher course on bed side manner. My doctors could use some brushing up on their sense of humor. For that matter, sometimes my own humor could use some work!
In dishonor of the brain fog that is the uninvited guest each and every day of my life, I thought I would compose a list of things that have happened to me due to the fog.
So without further ado, the list! I am certain that I have forgotten many of my experiences, but, it comes with the territory.
You Might Have Brain Fog If…
- You put the mayonnaise in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator. When your husband goes to make a ham sandwich four days later, he asks, “Where is the mayo? You innocently say, “It’s in the refrigerator where it always is!” To which he exclaims, “No, it isn’t!” Then you madly rummage through the refrigerator for ten minutes, thinking you have lost your mind. After all I know I had over half a jar left! Upon not finding the mayo, it dawns on you, it’s been put in the wrong place. It’s in the cupboard and totally rancid. Goodbye ham sandwich for lunch. Goodbye last shred of sanity.
- You use your roll on pain reliever as deodorant. True story folks! A painful lesson in paying attention. I have a little roll on bottle of Stop Pain that sits on the shelf in my bathroom. Stop Pain is similar to Bengay or any other icy hot muscle rub on the market. It is just what it claims to be both icy and hot. I use it often on my painful muscles. A few weeks ago upon getting out of the shower I felt the familiar ache in my lower back that often accompanies the end of every day. I thought to myself I need to put some Stop Pain on this, it would help! I promptly got out of the shower, opened the bottle and rolled it on my underarms. To say I was startled is an understatement. This stuff burns. My brain saw a roll on bottle and interpreted it as deodorant! My underarms burned for hours afterwards. I was so mortified, that I didn’t want to admit what had happened to my husband. You lose all dignity with brain fog. Note to self: pay attention and actually read labels.
- You turn the wrong way driving out of your neighborhood to go to church. I have been going to the same church almost every Sunday for many years. I promise I DO know how to get there. Recently, I turned the wrong way and I literally had to drive around my elbow to get to my thumb. I do this all the time. I forget to take a turn on the way to the store. I forget why I was going to the store in the first place. And, the worst case scenario, I often forget where I am actually going! It is scary. At least I live in a small town. If I got lost, I wouldn’t stay that way for long.
- You forget your phone number along with other important data. Yes, this has happened to me. I must have the most terrible memory this side of Tennessee. It never fails when someone asks my phone number, I draw a complete blank and feel like a complete fool. This happens often while filling out medical forms at the doctor’s office. I sit there and wrack my brain, finally I pull out my trusty cell phone and look it up. (That is if I remembered to bring my cell phone with me in the first place.)
- You cannot remember if you have taken your medicine. This was happening to me almost every day. I found an easy solution that works ninety percent of the time. I keep a medicine journal. Each day as I take the many supplements, tinctures and medicines that go along with my Lyme treatment, I write them down in a notebook. I have four sections for each day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. The only problem I have had with this system is, that sometimes I will brainlessly take my medicines and forget to write it down or I write down what I plan to take ahead of time and then think I have already taken it. At which point, I am stuck back at square one deliberating whether or not I have taken something already. It’s like being on a merry-go-round that never slows down.
- You put your shirt on wrong side out and wear it all day long in that manner. This happened to me recently. I put on my soft, plain, white t-shirt. The kind that has no tags on the inside. It just has washing instructions printed near the back of the neck line. Upon getting dressed I just mindlessly put on this shirt and went about my day. The whole time I was none the wiser that the shirt was on inside out! I must have folded it inside out when I put it away after the last trip through the laundry. I went to both the library and the drug store like this! I’m sure the public thought I was soft in the head. While getting dressed for bed that evening, I realized what I had done. Ah well, I made my first fashion statement! Albeit, unintentionally.
- You forget the ages of your children. Yes, folks I’m a terrible mother. Just recently someone asked me how old, my oldest daughter is. Do you know I had to sit there and calculate it up in my head? It was embarrassing! At least I remember how many children I have. Or do I?? You never know when the fog will hit. I promise it will roll in as thick as potato soup, just as soon as someone asks you a pertinent question.
- You suddenly forget how to read music, and, you have been able to read sheet music for over thirty years. This happened to me last year. My husband bought me a brand new digital piano. I sat down to play for the first time in six months and realized I couldn’t remember which note was which. It was like looking at a complete jumbled mess. This lasted for several weeks, before the fog lifted. Certainly one of my more frightening experiences with brain fog. Someone once told me, that playing the piano is like a riding a bike, once you learn it you will never forget it. (Unless of course you have brain fog, then all bets are off!)
- You lose the ability to read a book. When my brain fog is at its worst, I feel like a dyslexic must feel. I cannot focus. Making sense of words on the written page is nearly impossible for me. They march all over the place like little soldiers in a black and white army. They blur together like one big moving blob. I may as well be trying to read under water, because this is exactly what it feels like. Or better yet, a foreign language because that is the level of understanding I have when the fog is present.
- You lose track of what you were saying. I can be carrying on a conversation with someone and my train of thought will leave the station. More often than not, I have to change the subject because I cannot remember what we were talking about in the first place!
- You cannot read out loud to your five year old. Yes, I cannot even read Dr. Suess out loud when brain fog comes by for a visit. I end up saying words that are not actually on the page. Which, my children promptly correct. It is bad when your kindergartener can tell a story better than you can read it! Fox in Socks becomes a major tongue twister for this grown woman!
- You lose the ability to follow a simple recipe. I have been cooking meals for over twenty five years of marriage. I have simple recipes that I rely on every week. Yet, I can manage to botch up macaroni and cheese when brain fog is my house guest. Yes, I have substituted sugar for salt in my tried and true macaroni and cheese dish. (Unintentionally of course.) There is nothing quite as shocking as sugary pasta. Yuck! Unless of course it is a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate. Oh, I could keep going. The tales that come from my kitchen are quite scary indeed.
- If you hand the cashier at the local drug store drive through your Costco Membership card instead of your debit card. Yes, this really did happen to me. The pharmacy tech was very kind about it all and quietly asked me, “Is this a credit card?” To which I replied, “Oh, no! No, it’s not!” She couldn’t stifle the giggle that followed. I was absolutely mortified. What now? I thought. I can’t even pay for my purchases correctly. Unfortunately, I have to frequent that store often. They are going to learn, that I need supervision.