Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z...Zany in the Brainy: The Effects of Fibro Fog

Have you ever misplaced your keys and searched for them for 20 minutes, only to find they were in your hand all along? Have you ever received a bill with a late fee and you swear up and down up paid it on time, but then discover that you never actually did make that payment? Do you forget names, numbers, or addresses for people that you’ve known for most of you life? Or have you had cooking disasters simply because you lost track of which or how much of ingredients you’ve already added?

This is my life thanks to fibromyalgia. My memory issues, aka fibro fog, varies from day to day. Some days it’s just a minor inconvenience, and I’ve developed strategies to push me through. I use Google Calendar to schedule everything from meals to appointments to bills. I have it send me reminders to my cell, so I’m much less likely to forget one of my obligations. I use step-by-step to-do lists when I am rushed and have to complete a complicated task. I utilize alarms on my cell to remind me of exact times I have to be doing something. And I leave little Post-its around to keep myself on track. I create reminders for my reminders and notes for my notes. I try to make my schedule system so multifaceted and overlapping that I can get the information I need, regardless of how much I forget.

Occasionally, though, my fibro fog gets so bad that it goes beyond basic forgetfulness. Sometimes during a conversation, I’ll just stop because I can’t remember what I was saying. I forget meanings of words when I’m reading. In fact, I will stare at familiar words and not be able to even tell you what they are. I’ve had moments when I actually forgot my name. And once, I even got lost walking in my own neighborhood because I couldn’t remember how to get back home for a while.

Thankfully, these major memory lapses are temporary and the terrifying ones are an exception to the rule. But still, fibro fog is a very unnerving symptom, and sometimes it leave me feeling incredible vulnerable. I feel like I am losing my mind or losing touch with reality when my fibro fog gets too out of control.

I like to joke that fibromyalgia has left me zany in the brainy. That’s one of the way I cope. I’m a firm believer that to remain sane in this chaotic world, we need to find some humor in it all. On the other hand, though, I think I use humor as a way to hide how much fibro fog scares me. My biggest fear in life is losing my mind, and fibro fog gives me plenty of glimpses into my own darkest nightmare. To be quite frank, it scares the hell out of me! But I chose to laugh and I chose to find ways to work around my forgetfulness. That way I can feel like I‘m retaking some control of my mind!

1 comment:

  1. My first word was zany too! :) Congrats on finishing the challenge!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com