Dear Diary: Fibro Fog Fun Part I

Fibro Fog. It’s been one of the toughest symptoms of Fibromyalgia I’ve had to come to terms with.

Dr. Ananya Mandal states in this article that: Studies have shown that over 50% of patients with fibromyalgia suffer from mental confusion and decline of memory and mental faculties. Mental confusion along with difficulty in concentration and loss of memory is often termed “fibro fog”. These features are termed cognitive dysfunction and include common manifestations such as:

  • forgetfulness and memory problems – tests reveal that the memory components affected include impaired working memory, episodic memory and semantic memory – they have a poorer free recall
  • concentration difficulties and attention problems
  • poorer verbal fluency and verbal knowledge
  • difficulty in focussing
  • impaired judgement
  • impaired ability to perform simple cognitive tasks
  • slowed or altered speech and other speech problems

No Shit!

As a writer and strategist, words, ideas, strategies, quick wit, sharpness etc., has always been my thang. Kind of what sets me apart, you know. My talent. Fibro Fog has left me feeling like a crucial part of what makes me….me….has been ripped away. This has contributed immensely to my depression and anxiety. I have shied away from a lot of friends, colleagues, events etc. because I haven’t wanted people to see the new me, which often feels like a shadow of who I was. Embarrassed, shame, feeling like a failure…it’s all part of it.

This fall when I started seeing my shrink, we decided I needed to start clawing back this piece of who I am. Testing my limits. Pushing harder. Learning to accept my new state of being with no anger or judgement. Working with what I’ve got. Writing and getting back to blogging is playing a big part in this. The other thing I’ve started doing is verbalizing my cognitive struggle so that A) I don’t cower in shame over my cognitive disfunction (I think this is playing a big role in acceptance) and B) people around me have a better appreciation for what’s going on inside my head.

And come on, let’s be honest, I’d rather find a way to laugh at myself with love and compassion rather than getting angry or depressed about it. It is what is…let’s find a way to embrace it and….laugh at it! And that’s just what hubby and I’ve been doing…laughing!

Last week hubby and I were watching TV and a commercial came on for Little Caesars Loaded Crazy Bread Bites.

Yummy right! Here’s how the conversations went.

Me: OMG I want to try those. I wonder if they taste like those….things…you know…the things I like so much from….that place!

Hubby (giggling): Ummmm…nope…no idea!

Me: Fawk…you know…the things….from….St. Mary’s???

Hubby (giggling harder): St. Mary’s…like the street????

Me: No, no, no…you know…the….jumba jumbas from…Smitty’s???

Hubby (nearly rolling on the floor): jumba jumbas???? Not ringing a bell. And we don’t have a Smitty’s any more…

Me (starting to giggle at the insanity of our convo): I know….shit…it sounds like Smitty’s I think…jumba jumbas…fawk…

Hubby (near tears): Babe I’m trying to figure it out but jumba jumbas are not sounding familiar.

Me: Fawk, fawk, fawk…it’s like right there…but I can’t seem to grab it…St. Mary’s, Smitty’s….fawk!

About two or three minutes go by as hubby turns his attention back to the TV, clearly giving up on this mystery while I continued to ponder and mumble. Out of the blue it comes to me!

Me: AHA!!! East Side Mario’s…..Bada Boomers bread sticks….

Hubby: You honestly thought I would be able to get that from Smitty’s, St. Mary’s and jumba jumbas….

Me: Well, I think the link was there. Phonetically???? Makes perfect sense to me….

We both roared laughing. I told hubby it gave him another good one to share with his colleagues at work. A glimpse into the world of living with someone with Fibro Fog. The fun never ends around here! 🙂

Happy day!

Natalie

Dear Diary: I Found The Secret…Again

Thank You Picture

First, I’d like to start out by giving a big shout out to my new subscribers! Welcome. Hope y’all enjoy! And thanks everyone for the comments over the last couple of posts. You guys rock!!!!!

I woke up this morning at 7 am super groggy. I’m fighting a cold so last night, along with my regular medication routine, I added a flexerol (you know…the little yellow houses) and two Buckley’s nighttime. Shabam!

After feeding the pups, all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed and sleep the day away. But my OT was pretty adamant last Friday that I try very hard this week to stick to my schedule. So at 8:30 I drug my sorry body outside for my 13-minute walk up and down the driveway. It’s such a crisp and bright morning, the walk certainly helped wake things up. When I came inside, instead of letting the call of the bed snag me, I went into my office to meditate.

I am happy to report that I feel much more energized and so far, morning routine is on track. #rockstar

This morning’s meditation was a new one for me, and it turns out it was a great reminder that I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the meditation because it’s not available on YouTube. It’s by Dr. Joe Dispenza, who I got turned onto when Mom started teaching me how to meditate. She and a group she meditates with are following many of his programs. I’d take a crack at explaining his approach but you’d be better off reading his About page since it’s a wee bit complicated.

I am doing his morning and nighttime meditations for the next little while. They are about defining a vision of the future instead of a memory from the past. And although Dr. Dispenza talks about frontal lobe and activating different parts of our brain etc., I realized that the essence of his ideas aren’t unfamiliar to me.

Most of us have watched the documentary or read the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Or the more academic version, The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer. When a friend of mine, Kelly, first started reading my blog posts earlier this fall about what I was going through, she messaged me asking if I had read the Secret, and she told me how it had completely changed her life.

I had read the book a number of years ago when the popularity of the theory seemed to be every where a person looked. And frankly, I thought I was still living the ideology. But I had never seen the documentary and thought I’d give it a whirl. Turns out I haven’t really been living the power of intention at all.

I have been living in the present and the past. Like most of us, yes, I think about the future and what I’d like or hope for but other than fleeting thoughts and ideas, my main concern has been rooted very much in the present and even the past. Pain, depression, anxiety and fatigue have a way of doing that to a person. Without even realizing it, you become entrenched in it.

The meditation was a huge reminder that in order to manifest the future I want, I need to:

  1. Ask the universe for what I really want, specifically and in the present tense.
  2. Believe it is already mine with unwavering faith.
  3. Receive it…feel, as deeply as I can, as if it’s the here and now.

Fantasy to Fact!

In my meditation this morning, Dr. Dispenza led me through an exercise of visualizing future moments that are representative of where I want to go. I pictured hubby and I on stage addressing a huge crowd of folks with laughter, tears and inspiration. I saw us together taking selfies with people and signing books. I saw myself writing…words flowing easily and freely from my mind to the pages of my next book. I played the scenes over and over in my mind.

Then, with Dr. Dispenza’s prompting, I conjured deeply how those moments would feel. Experiencing the emotions, feelings and senses as if I was there. Living and breathing it. For real. The sense of awe that comes from touching the hearts of so many people. The feel of the stage lights, warm and intense, and the echo of our voices through the microphones. The joy that comes from sharing laughter with everyone in the room. The humbled feeling of privilege, honour and respect from sharing our story. A deep hope and desire that we helped even one person.

We finished off the meditation manifesting feelings of deep gratitude and appreciation for this visional life. I gotta say, it was intense, wonderful, empowering and uplifting. I can’t wait to try the nighttime meditation tonight. Stay tuned.

My struggle with the power of intention or the law of attraction is living it every day. Like most of us, I fall into old thought patterns focused on the here and now; the struggles and even the wins. The future feels like some distant thing that I likely have no real control over. I get wrapped up in the day-to-day and forget to consciously work on manifesting the future I desire.

I am reminded of the sayings from last week ‘what you focus on, grows‘ and ‘ what you resist, persists‘. Applied realistically, that means when I live focused solely on what’s going on right now, I put it out to the universe to send me more of that. Well today that would be grogginess and pain. Ohhh sounds fun…not!

I do believe the theory that my thoughts and emotions have an energy in and of themselves. What I think and feel emits out of me sort of like a scene in a movie when a superhero flies and hits the ground and you see the ripple effect of energy being displaced.

Gratitude exercises are rooted in this idea. By taking stock every day of the things I am grateful for, and embracing that feeling of gratitude and deep appreciation, I intentionally put it out to the universe to bring me more of that good stuff. But what if I can take that a step further and actually manifest my best future? My wildest dreams? My deepest desires? Well now…that’s pretty interesting!

Heck…I mean it’s worth a shot right! #youbetcha

Yesterday’s Meditation:

Today’s Tunes (really digging the Fifty Shade soundtracks for writing inspiration):

Happy Day!

Natalie

 

Dear Diary: Pain Is My Friend

What we resist, persists. What we focus on, grows. Now that I’ve been seeing a shrink, I have started thinking a lot about my relationship with pain. I have to admit, it felt strange at first. A relationship with pain? Isn’t it just what is? Do I honestly have any control over pain? The answer surprisingly came […]

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Dear Diary: I Got a Booby Do

So the other night, hubby and I are hanging around the kitchen trying to pull something together for supper when he looks at me kind of strange. Eyebrows raised and with a playful flirt I ask him, “what’s up…you checking me out???” He stands there with a huge grin on his face and says “baby…you […]

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Dear Diary: Making Changes

Well y’all might notice a few changes around here, yet again. New header and new focus. But trust me, same flavour of fun. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately where people share their experience with fibromyalgia, and it got me to thinking about how I could use my love of writing through this […]

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Chronicles of an Ice Pack Queen

So the battle continues. It’s been about a week and a half since my last post and not much has changed. The rib pain and I continue to do our dance. It’s driving me bonkers and making what little gains in sleep I had been getting (amen to four hours in a row) regress back […]

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Chronicles of a Gravity Chair Addict

Bad week. What can I say, the pity party has continued in full force. The left side rib pain has been excruciating. Nothing seems to help. Medication, bath, ice, heat, massage…doesn’t matter, the pain just continues. It’s like a dark shadow hanging over me, weighing me down, tearing at my hope… Sleep has proved equally […]

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Chronicles of the Dark & Desperate…Part 2

First I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who is following the blog, leaving comments here and on Facebook, the messages and texts I’ve received with love, support and encouragement. I am so blessed to have you all in my corner! Highlights: Weight: 201 Pain:  Left Ribs: 10 Lower Back: 6 Feet […]

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Today I live in the dark…

Dang. I swear I’ve been meaning to start writing every day. My friends and family have been encouraging me to share more often because my journey might help others. But honestly it feels weird to be posting less then super happy posts, just not my style but then again, not much is my style these […]

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I confess damn it…I’ve been avoiding WordPress

It’s 3:30 in the morning. My dog woke me up because she felt she was being squeezed out from her comfy spot. I made room, she came back but now sleep is elusive. So I figure fawk it, it’s time to write a post. Yes, I promised you the ever enthralling “When a shit isn’t […]

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