It seems I forget more and more each day; from doctor appointments to family birthdays, to whether I paid a bill or not. The information has simply vanished from my mind.
Thanks to fibromyalgia, I am often challenged by even the simplest of tasks and I feel like my memory is so bad that I can’t trust myself to remember everyday responsibilities.
People notice when I cannot come up with the name of my son’s teacher or remember my PIN number at the grocery store checkout. I am losing a bit of myself each day. This person I am now, well, she is what I am left with and it is impossible to hide her deficits.
I once was very organized with a sharp and precise memory. I did not need post-its, or lists, or any reminders. I worked as a newspaper editor and reporter and I forgot nothing. I could tell you the story behind the story complete with names, dates and phone numbers of the parties involved. I knew everyone in the community I served and if I randomly bumped into someone, I knew their name and why I knew them instantly.
Then I had a baby, my fibro flared, and I began to experience the effects of fibromyalgia in a whole new way.
The fog began slowly. I missed an appointment here and there and completely forgot someone’s name. I put it down to fatigue, to stress and even to getting older. But the fog progressed. I began to forget how to spell certain words. I would have people greet me like we were very well acquainted and I had no idea who they were. I began to be afraid that something more was happening then momentary lags in my memory.
My doctor explained that brain fog can occur with fibromyalgia, but it is usually mild and not progressive.
Well, I am here to say that it does not seem mild to me. The word fog seems so peaceful and harmless. But while in it, I feel lost, confused and frightened.
My life has changed because of fibro fog. I must double-check my calendar several times each day and I am always worried about what I have overlooked, because I have usually forgotten something.
Fibromyalgia has even robbed me of my ability to articulate my thoughts at times. I know what I want to say, but the words come out jumbled and awkward.
I have had frightening moments of uncertainty about how a seatbelt unlatches or how to turn on my car’s windshield wipers. I have gotten momentarily lost while driving because nothing seemed familiar.
I know I am not alone in these panicked moments when it seems like I have suffered some major form of memory loss.
The good news is, this fog is not present all the time, it lifts and the confusion passes and my memory comes flooding in like a warm breath of fresh air. I am grateful for the respite because it proves to me that my brain is still functional and it really is just the fibro fog causing my difficulties.
Living with fibromyalgia is so much more than the struggle with fatigue and pain. It brings many hidden challenges including brain fog and memory issues into our lives.
Talk to your doctor about the issue to rule out anything else, but know that this is common and you are not alone.