Never in my life have I felt thick. I know I’m no genius, but I’ve always held my own. I have an inquiring, investigative and imaginative mind. I am capable when I want to be and academic if I try.
That was until recently. I sat in my second Rheumatology appointment, with my second Rheumatologist (long story), and he asks if I get brain fog. I had bought Paul along, because of not being good at remembering things people were saying, and this prompted the question. ‘Hmm’ I said and was about to ask what it was when Paul answered for me with a resounding ‘yes’.
Thinking about it (or not as the case may be) I had found an increasingly difficult to think straight. Quite often tired to the point of swimming through a haze just to keep upright, gasping like a fish out of water, sick with the desperate need to focus. My senses leave me and I can’t hear what people are saying or see things in front if me.
Then it started in my speech. I began to use wrong words, funny words that make everyone smile. Earlier I was cleaning the fire and said I need to take out the ‘hash’ instead of ‘ash’. Sometimes they are a combination of two words, as in my brain can’t choose which word to say and puts two together that mean the same thing. Or sometimes I simply can’t remember the word for something. Which results in me pausing, or getting frustrated trying to remember it for ten minutes.
At first it was a giggle, and people close to me would laugh. But now I’m beginning to find it embarrassing. I have begun a job as an assistant lecturer, something I am incredibly proud of. I felt daunted at first, thinking am I clever enough. I knew I was and most people have this fear at some point. I excelled at practical work, and managed to cope with most brain fog or physical difficulties. This was probably because it is in short bursts and being active helped me.
When it has come to marking, however, I am lost. It seems to have timed itself with a visit from you resulting in hours in front of the laptop trying to string sentences together. I can’t retain information. My spelling, grammar and typing ability has evaded me. and I just simply cant think of the words to say. Ashamed and annoyed with myself I went over the deadline and needed a lot of hand holding to get it done. Everyone was understanding and told me not to beat myself up.
But it is frustrating when I can’t remember the times of my workshops, which are the same every week. Or even what medication I am supposed to take when.
But I am annoyed. I can no longer express myself fully and it is like you have stolen my brain. Please can you return it so that I can resume my normal self and not feel silly in front of people who don’t know the previous me?
One thing I have leanrt is that I need to break things down into smaller pieces, and vary my activities. Then I stop before you get your pesky claws into my grey matter. Everything else gets written down or is forever forgotten.