No, the title isn’t meant to indicate an actual health issue. Not that I’m aware of. However, Fibromyalgia Brain Fog, also commonly referred to as “Fibro Fog”, has really done a number on me this month. It was slowly progressing, but now I feel dumber than a box of rocks with twelve piles of shit on top. It’s scary, freakish, and makes me feel terrible about myself. Only another sufferer can truly understand how much pain this puts me in.
I know these are common daily occurrences for a lot of people who struggle with Fibromyalgia and other auto-immune diseases, but my incidents have been sporadic and easily managed, up until now. This weekend has pretty much brought me to my knees on the memory front. 😦
If you ask me about something from when I was two or three years old, I have complete recall of the entire moment. If you ask me why I tried putting black pepper in the freezer, I’ve got nothing. If I didn’t set the timer on the stove, I’d walk away from preparing meals and never go back (I ALWAYS set the timer, even if it’s just ten minutes, it’s loud enough to bring me back in order to focus.). I have to be 100% in whatever it is I am doing, otherwise I am going to end up cutting myself, burning myself, or forgetting what the hell I’m doing to begin with. There is nothing normal or acceptable about this.
To add insult to injury, I put notes on my phone as reminders for pretty much everything. I take this phone with me wherever I go, and yet, I still forget what the hell I’m reading and end up deleting at least 50% of the note before I’ve left most stores. It’s utterly pathetic. It’s also sad, because I’m tired of searching cabinets and the refrigerator/freezer for things I forgot to buy. I then add the missing items to next week’s list, only so the cycle can continue on in an ugly manner. I have to start each list with cat food and cat litter, otherwise it’s entirely possible I will forget one, the other, or both. This past weekend, I forgot the litter. The plus side, there’s 20 pounds of it sitting near the litter box from the weekend prior, so all I have to do is change the damn thing. The fact that I can even lift 20 pounds these days is miraculous to me. 😦
I think I would be better able to cope with this lack of brain function if I were over 75 and had achieved all of the things I set out to do with my life. I’d be able to say “Hey, I’ve lived longer than my parents. I’ve accomplished all of this. I’m simply getting older and forgetting things. It’s not the end of the world.” However, I’m nowhere near 75, not even close, and yet, my brain is suddenly turning to mush. I tried refrigerating herbs when I was cooking earlier (obviously, that’s not where they belong). As soon as I realized what I was doing, I nearly dropped all of them on the floor and burst into tears.
These incidents are made worse by the criticism of others. “Do you even have a fucking brain?”, I was asked earlier this month. “You really DO live in your own world.”, I was told the other day. These are things I’d never say out loud to someone I know is sick, leave alone healthy.
If you have someone in your life with an autoimmune disease/disorder that affects their brain function, I would like you to walk a hundred thousand miles in their shoes. I want you to spend 365 days in their body before making a single derogatory remark in their direction. Our ears are fine; we can fucking hear your offensive, rude negativity. However, if you don’t understand the illness itself, shut the fuck up. You’re not making the situation better, and how you treat someone is just as important as how you speak to them. Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone wants respect, simply for existing, but they don’t realize their behavior is what garners respect. Moreover, we all express our feelings differently. I prefer to say a lot of things to people privately, eschewing public professions. Some people seem to have a deep-seated need for the public professions though, and it baffles me. Just because we live in a selfie-filled world doesn’t mean every single thing we want to say ought to be made public.
You can argue that by writing it, I’ve made it public, but here’s the thing; I didn’t name names. I rarely, if ever, do. I talk in code with my friends, we have our own private language, and I write in code a lot of the time, too. You get the gist of it, obviously, you just don’t have faces and names to attach to what I’m saying. It’s like reading a book. You get descriptions of characters, but you are left to your own devices as to what they might truly look like if you met them on the street.
So, even with my “brain problems”, I don’t have “writer problems”. Thank G-d and Goddess for that!
copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.