A Quick Look At Fibro Fog

Of the dozens of fibromyalgia symptoms and carryover conditions, fibro fog is the most exasperating. To experience a loss of mental clarity, seemingly overnight, can be more frustrating than coping with the main fibromyalgia symptoms, chronic pain and fatigue.

The cause of fibro fog remains undetermined. Best guess by medical practitioners is that it results from non-restorative sleep. Unless we experience deep sleep, our mind can’t assimilate information and integrate it into the brain. Therefore, it’s difficult to recall information and function normally.

Fibro Fog Symptoms

Loss of short-term memory – as in really short-term, where you take your medicine and 10 minutes later, wonder whether you took your meds today.

You lose things. After a frantic search, your glasses turn-up in the washing machine or your keys are in the freezer.

Episodic Disorientation – usually short-lived, a minute or so. For instance, you’ve taken the same route to work for five years, when suddenly, nothing looks familiar. You take two wrong turns before the fog clears.

Inability to Articulate – your words get lost in the fog world. In mid-sentence, you forget a word and the more you try to capture it, the more elusive it gets. Not only…you can’t remember a substitute for it.

You can’t seem to write coherent sentences; you misspell easy words. As for creativity – forget about it – you may feel about as creative as a cucumber.

Loss of Name and Facial Recognition – you rarely call anyone by name, because you’re not sure you remember it. When you see people outside their normal space, you may forget who they are. For example, seeing your doctor at a restaurant.

Mental Confusion – Driving through a red light, with no awareness to stop, is frequently reported by those with fibro fog. Trying to decipher instructions that seem to be in a foreign language or forgetting how to make a familiar dish also are common occurrences. Being unable to make the littlest decision when the brain has lost its clarity happens repeatedly.

Fibro Fog Management

Getting Quality Sleep

Since experts believe fibro fog results from non-restorative sleep, make it a priority to get quality sleep.

Get into a routine – go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

Sleep aids – consult with your doctor about sleep medication.

Get a white noise machine – let ocean waves, waterfalls or rain fall lull you to sleep.

Daytime Aids

Make notes to Self – write down anything you’re liable to forget. The action of writing it on paper is helpful.

Keep your brain stimulated – work crossword puzzles, read, watch foreign movies with subtitles. Make that brain earn its keep!

Basket trick – if you work outside the home, keep a basket by the door with your purse, keys, glasses, work documents, etc. You’ll be good to go the next morning.

No multi-tasking – those days have gone. Do one thing at a time. It’s too hard to concentrate if you’re talking on the phone and preparing dinner.

Tasks requiring concentration and memory such as paying bills, should be handled at the time of day you feel best.   

Bottom Line

Fibro fog, is serious enough to culminate in fibromyalgia disability.

Cognitive impairment can be the most debilitating of all fibromyalgia symptoms.

You don’t have to soldier on alone. Rely on your support system. Tell them what you are experiencing and request their help.

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