If you’ve read anything about chronic illness, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the term “brain fog.” This term is used to describe feelings of confusion, forgetfulness and lack of mental clarity. People I’ve read about regard this phenomenon as a side effect of their medications, a consequence of not taking their medications, or something that can come from feeling exhausted or frazzled.
There’s a whole host of reasons someone can experience brain fog. The more I read about it the more surprised I was that I had never dealt with it myself — until a few nights ago. Right now I’m on a cocktail of medications I just restarted for a sinus infection I can’t seem to get shake. I was writing and editing posts for my column when I could feel myself slipping. My words on the screen began to get blurry and blend together, and my mind just began to wonder and feel fuzzy. It was a very strange sensation, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. My head felt as if there were a thousand ants crawling around inside, or that there were bees buzzing inside my brain.
I tried to focus harder on the task at hand, but I couldn’t. So, I saved all of my work, made a note about how I would write about my experience later, closed my laptop and went to bed, feeling defeated. I know this was because of the medicine I had started that day, but now that a few days have passed I wish to reflect on my experience.
Wow! My heart goes out to anyone who experiences these feelings regularly. They are scary. Before I experienced it myself I believed people who said they were going through it, but it was hard to truly understand and relate until I had been there.
I always fear hurting someone by saying I understand when I don’t. I never want to make someone feel like they’re not validated, so I don’t ever say I understand unless I do. Now that I’ve been on the other side of brain fog — even though it likely will be a short experience for me — I have a whole new respect for the people who deal with brain fog.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone going through this trying to convince a doctor, or anyone, for that matter, to believe them. If that is your situation, please keep trying. Your experience is valid and you know yourself and your body, what’s “normal” for you and what isn’t.
If something is wrong, fight. You are the biggest, baddest and best advocate for yourself. Never forget that. Someone will believe you and listen to you sooner or later. No matter how hard it may be for you right now, I hope you find peace in the fact that I believe you.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.