Fibromyalgia not only affects the pain center in the brain and the central nervous system, it also affects cognitive function. I forget stuff all the time and sometimes it’s really hard to concentrate. In the Fibro community, it’s often referred to as “fibro fog”.
I’m a Navy wife and a homeschooling mom in addition to being a Fibromyalgia patient, and I’m used to being able to handle just about anything that comes my way. So when I first noticed that I was forgetting things and not paying attention, it seriously concerned me. I had to figure out how to “back myself up” so to speak and find ways to remember things that used to come easily to me.
I’ve been told to just keep a notebook around (which I do) and write sticky notes to remind myself (which I do), but what if you forget that you wrote something down, or forget where you wrote it down? I have paperwork filled out that I’m going to need for the next procedure on my neck around here somewhere and I can’t remember where I put it.
In spite of the cognitive difficulties I face (for example I forget what happened on my favorite shows until the following week when they do the “previously on…”), I made it through college and graduated with a 3.9 gpa, and I now have a degree in psychology. But I look back through my work, and I find papers I don’t entirely remember writing. Guess it’s a good thing I never wanted to be a counselor, huh?
It’s not always as rough as it sounds. I have weeks at a time when my cognitive function is good and I am on top of everything and remembering everything. But during the days or weeks that my cognitive function is fuzzy, I forget what I have forgotten. I don’t even know what I forgot…because I forgot, or I wasn’t paying attention.
Some of the meds my doctors put me on makes it tougher, and often my fuzziest weeks will be as I am adjusting to a new medication. So, I find ways to leave myself clues, and I ask my d.h. to back me up on things….and I’ve never forgotten to pick up my kid or any of the big things.
Like many other of the lifestyle changes that Fibro brings about, fibro fog just requires a few tweaks in my days…and for the most part, it’s a pretty manageable symptom. And even when it’s not, I won’t remember it.