"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Brain Fog Versus Blogging

One of these days I'm going to write a kick arse post.
Blogging has become so much more of an effort as of late. I used to be able to work a short shift each week AND smash out a decent blog post within a reasonable amount of time considering my circumstances. These days, it's a different story.
Brain fog has become a constant, daily and often crippling battle. It usually wins over blogging. Mostly because I'm too tired to be bothered trying to work through it. I can quite easily go without blogging for weeks now. I have the brain functioning of a goldfish, which means producing a decent post is the last thing I feel like doing.
Oh how I long for the days when blogging were not akin to climbing Mount Freaking Everest. I love blogging, it's what keeps me plodding along, but I hate how brain fog, accompanied by post exertional malaise, punishes me for every little thing, stealing some of the joy I receive from writing.
It isn't writers block. Heck, I have heaps to write. I have pages upon pages of blog post ideas, but it's sitting down and somehow getting my brain to string a sensible sentence together that people can relate to, that is the problem. I try and I try to work through it, and I do, even if a post ends up taking weeks on end but this brain fog nonsense is becoming more and more difficult by the day. It's redonkulous.
I would like to study sometime soon, and I plan on returning to work just for a few hours a week too, but I wonder how I'm going to cope. I don't feel confident that I can work successfully under these conditions. Serving customers when I feel dazed and distant is just downright difficult. How am I to study if a short simple post like this has taken hours?
It's hard to craft under these conditions too.
I've been trying to work out why brain fog has become such an issue for me. Around home I forget what I'm doing frequently, I'll do something without realising what I'm actually doing, and any poor soul who converses with me has to repeat themselves a thousand times because my foggy brain doesn't fully register what was said. The only logical explanation that I have for my increased impairment is that I'm a lot more active. I've been socialising, I holidayed like a healthy person last week... and the list goes on.
I am constantly pushing myself because I want a better life. I want my health back. I also feel pressure from doctors. There is so much conflict. One doctor tells me I'm biting off more than I can chew, another tells me that what I'm doing isn't good enough, to increase my activity, get back to work and get on with it. I have difficulty explaining how brain fog and fatigue can really cripple me at times, when I don't even understand it myself. Words can't describe it.
I fear I am failing as a blogger. I don't even work, the least I can do is sit and write something, but lately I struggle to even do that. So what good does that make me? I fear this post doesn't even make sense in the slightest.
I'm determined to not let this bout of brain fog stop me. It may slow me down, but I'm not giving in. Although, that is mighty tempting right now! It's just going to take me a little longer to accomplish things. It's freaking frustrating though.
Do you fight brain fog too? Share your frustration with me. x

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Michelle Jadaa said...

Your not failing ,your fighting against impossible odds to behave like a healthy person and we are not healthy.After over 10 years diagnosed im still fighting this thing.Im now on disability,i walk with a cane when i can walk at all .My house is not clean and forget the craft/sewing room.I plan things to do in my head but physically things dont get done.The brain fog is even harder to deal with ,i feel like a fool.Even following written instructions is ridiculously hard.

Abigail Cashelle said...

Wow, this is SO true!! I feel the same way a lot of the time.

As far as doctor's appointments go, two things have really helped me: (1) bringing a friend with me who can explain & confirm my situation and (2) writing down things beforehand when my brain is less foggy & giving it to the doctor when I see him. (I feel really blessed that I have very, very patient doctors right now who are willing to sit and wait for 5-10 minutes for me to sort out the details in my mind.)

Remember that you're the one that has to live with the consequences of your disease. You know your body really well by this point, and you are the best person to read your symptoms. Don't let opinionated people bully you around even if they are educated and informed. They haven't been in your place, and it's really hard to relate.

Standing with you in the crazy life that comes with chronic disease,

Kelly Dawn said...

I totally understand, and first off let me say that this blog post read beautifully! It is hard to struggle with brain fog, but you have just proved that you can still blog. Over the years I have found ways to cope with my difficulty thinking straight. First of all, I avoid the phone like the plague. I can email and text because that allows me time to think and edit my words. But a phone call requires me to instantly understand what I am hearing and then come up with a response just as fast... I think not! I also have gone to school for things that work with my brain. I have my logic, math, and 3D visualization skills still working well, so I went to school for engineering where I could logic my way through a test and draw a picture instead of writing an essay.
It is hard sometimes, but I am going to keep fighting this fog and hope you will as well!

Miss Chronically Creative said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. It means so much to know I'm not alone.

@Michelle- I plan things in my head too! It's just a long time until they get done, and some things don't even get done anymore. I've just set up my craft studio and I'm discovering how hard it is to keep it neat and still feel like crafting too.

@Abigail- that is such good advice. Sometimes I take my mum with me to appointments to make things a little easier. I agree, it is really hard to relate- I get upset with doctors who expect too much from me and don't understand how I feel every single day, but I'm learning to be my own advocate and say hey that's not really achieveable right now and that's OK. I have to remind myself that they do not have to feel how I feel every day so that I don't feel discouraged.

Thanks Kelly! You're so sweet, I'm so glad it made sense, I had know idea if it did at the time... brain fog has been so cruel lately. Yep, I'm not much of a phone person anyway, but keeping up a conversation is really hard with brain fog so email and text msg is definitely the way to go! Some of my friends like to use chat on facebook, but I never sign in... it's not very brain fog friendly. ooh, Engineering, awesome! Go you! That's so great! I wish I could draw, but it's just not my thing... I really like writing but the fog has really robbed my confidence. I'm going to keep working through it and hopefully I'll be able to manage all those essays which my course requires. I turned on the radio this morning and a song came on which said 'things can only get better'. It seems never ending but it has to get better at some point!

Gnomes Chainey said...

I totally understand what you are feeling. Especially the part about working brain fog. I often feel that having CFS (or any other fatiguing illness) is particularly harsh because it prevents you from doing either physical or mental work. With many other disabilities you can work around it, or get assistance aids, but fatigue effects your body and your mind, making it very hard to work around.

Miss Chronically Creative said...

Exactly. Well said!


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