Brain Fog is a common symptom of ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it can strike with deadly effect out of the blue. It did. Today. To me.
I knew as soon as I came round this morning that I was in trouble. I sat up in bed and my head felt like a ball of cotton wool. Every time I moved my head, even slightly, I felt dizzy and disoriented. I couldn’t think what day it was.
It slowly dawned on me that today is Monday, a work day, and I needed to get ready. Driving through thick fog is hazardous and slow work. It can confuse a person very quickly and is claustrophobic. As I slowly drank a very welcome cup of tea I gathered my thoughts and calmed down.
Brain Fog causes me panic at first as it throws my routine into confusion and leaves me having to remember what Plan B is. It can also make you think that you are developing a degenerative disease such as dementia. I hope not, but I did come across a quote from a Doctor today which is mildly comforting; ” Brain Fog can cause you to forget where you left your keys. Dementia renders you unable to remember what the keys are for”.
So far, so good.
On days like this my Plan B looks something like this;
- Stay calm and accept that today is going to be more difficult than usual.
- Try not to put extra pressure on myself by trying to perform at normal levels.
- Don’t make any important decisions or provide technical advice without getting a second opinion.
- Stay close to home and as quiet and undisturbed as possible.
- Continue with the day but slowly and surely. Just keep swimming even if it’s against the tide.
- Be patient and kind to myself.
- Ask for help if needed.
Brain Fog is exacerbated by noise, crowds, activity, stress, bright lights and stress. I couldn’t face taking 4 trains to work and back so I worked locally instead. This was a good move and after a relatively peaceful morning my head started to clear at around 3pm. I feel much better this evening and hopefully I will have a better nights sleep-something which is critical if Brain Fog is to be contained.
Brain Fog is debilitating and distressing but there is a lot I can do to help myself recover as quickly as I can so normal service can be resumed.
Tomorrow is another day.