My Brain is Lost: Brain Fog…Again
I have been a zombie since the holidays. I feel like my brain slipped out among the Christmas gift wrap, and I’m still looking for it. Thankfully today I can string a few words together, but it’s still not good. The poster above is my great accomplishment for today. I hope it makes you smile.
I’ve been asked by my doctors in the past why I don’t like to take “enough” pain medication to really get my pain under control. But, it’s exactly this glazed over, cloudy-headed feeling I’m trying to avoid.
There’s a fine line between managing pain and taking so much medication that my brain absolutely can’t function. But, it means that my pain will always be on top of me. It’s something I accepted a long time ago.
The truth is, I need my mind. I need to have conversations. I need to write. I need to connect with people I care for. I need to be creative. I may be in too much pain to move, but I need my mind to continue being me.
Because of severe Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, low blood pressure, Chronic Fatigue, and the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/RSD now attacking my brain, it feels as though my brain cells go to sleep for long periods. It’s the settling in of a brain fog cloud that curls up in your head and decides it’s not leaving.
So I fight. I take my vitamins. I do deep breathing. I struggle to have conversations even though most of the time the other person has to guess what on earth I’m talking about. Words won’t come. I fight by playing word games on my phone. I fight by trying to write articles that never make it to the blog. I fight by moving more. By moving less. By eating better. By drinking more water. Take less medication. Take more again. By doing something creative. I try to learn something new…if I could only think, think, think!
Brain Fog always causes me depression. Maybe it’s because my neurons aren’t firing. Yes, that makes sense of course. Or maybe it’s the sheer frustration of the thing.
I envision the CRPS/RSD eating away at my brain. Just like it has atrophied my leg. Just like it has bitten a large chunk out of my left arm. I should stop envisioning that image, but that’s exactly what it feels like. Parts of me are slipping away, no matter what I try to do.
With every bad pain flare that attacks my head, I feel a little less like myself. Am I fading or becoming someone new?
Are we the zombies in the zombie apocalypse? The brain-fogged following the bright quick-witted around for a great conversation? It’s not brains we’re drooling for… It’s stimulation, laughter, the kindness of another person, compassion, something interesting to wake the atrophied pieces of our pain-addled minds.
That’s not a kind depiction of myself, but it feels that way when my body and mind are playing tug of war between flight and fight. Even though the meds may not have done it, I suppose my mind has flown from the suffering on its own. Maybe my brain isn’t lost after all. Maybe she has simply run away.