Firstly, let me just say sorry for not posting in a while. As the topic of this post suggests, I’ve been struggling recently with several thing. Today though, I’m going to be talking about brain fog.
Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you did so? Or maybe you forgot what you were about to say mid-conversation? That’s relatively normal if it only happens occasionally, as it’s easy to get distracted. However, if this happens a lot, like on a daily or even hourly basis, then you’re probably suffering from brain fog.
There are many different reasons that someone may have brain fog, but for me, it’s just yet another side-effect of living with IBD. Because of my IBD, my diet is a little complicated. This can lead to deficiencies (like anaemia, for example), which can lead to fatigue which in turn, can cause brain fog.
Brain fog is like walking into a room and forgetting why. Only, it happens all. the. time. You forget what you’re doing, why and even if you were talking to somebody. I’ve found myself stopping mid-sentence and realising that I can’t remember what I was just saying seconds before. I’ve also found myself forgetting what I’m doing (often at work) which can lead to me not completing tasks or making mistakes.
Because this happens so often, I’ve had to develop ways of dealing with it. And by that, I mean I write down everything. If my manager at work, for example, tells me to do something or change a bit of written work (which we are required to do to show we understand how to use the equipment), I make sure to write them down. I also try to do tasks in order so I’m less likely to forget something. I will then check with my manager that there is nothing I have missed. This usually works when my fog isn’t too bad but when it becomes worse, I struggle to remember simple things like my symptoms (if I’m speaking to a doctor) or what happened early that day. This is when writing things down does very little and I have to really think hard to recall things. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution for this so it can look like I’m just really forgetful. Which is why it’s so important to talk about these issues. One of the things that I’ve found can help is to explain to the person you are talking to that you are experiencing a bit of brain fog and that you may need to be told things more than once. This lets them know what to expect from you and, hopefully, not get frustrated with you if you forget something or need things repeated to you. Never be scared to ask someone to repeat or rephrase something they’ve said.
Also, side note; having a chronic illness doesn’t automatically mean you’ll suffer with brain fog, and you don’t need to have a chronic condition to experience brain fog either. Just because someone else’s fog is denser, doesn’t make yours irrelevant.