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
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! 🙂