On Tuesday, I decided to make my husband his favourite cheesecake. It’s a chocolate chip cookie one, with a base of cookie, and more cookie bits baked throughout.
Now, I usually bake it in a glass Pyrex dish lined with baking paper. This time, I forgot the paper. I was so tired by the end of my baking, and my brain felt so foggy, that I just didn’t think about it. I kept looking at it, thinking the whole thing looked off, but yet couldn’t figure it out.
As soon as my husband came home, he asked why I hadn’t used the paper. Oh. Duh.
This is the unfortunate reality of life with chronic disease. Fatigue, pain, medication, and even malnutrition (in my case) causes brain fog.
Brain fog is exactly how it sounds. It’s when your brain feels like it’s swimming in a sea of fog, and you can’t think clearly. You have cognitive difficulties, such as memory problems, trouble concentrating, irritability, and confusion.
When I did my MSc in Psychology, I did a course in Memory. We studied how we as humans process memories, and looked at various specific topics in Memory. During the course, we did a quiz to test our own memory. I scored quite poorly! In fact, my professor suggested that I was probably the “absent minded professor type.” 😂😂😂
We discussed it, and realised that my brain fog from my chronic pain probably added a lot of memory issues to my already “absent minded” personality (as I’m sure my family would agree lol).
When I was recently at my dietitian’s appointment, I kept forgetting words. She told me that it was understandable that I’d have brain fog, and couldn’t remember words that I wanted to say, because I am malnourished.
Additionally, some of the medications I’m on can also have these side effects too. I’ve also had issues of increased brain fog when going up and down on certain meds.
When my fatigue is worse, you can guarantee the fog creeps in very heavy. I can’t concentrate, remember anything, or think straight at all.
This is why I find it hard to be more functional some days, or follow along with complicated TV shows or films.
Instead, I do what I can, when I can. I make lists, I use apps and alarms to remind me of important things. I watch simpler shows when I need to. I use the coping strategies that I have.
I swim through the fog.