When the fog rolls in how do you deal with it?

@TessWhite (3147)
United States
February 15, 2009 12:29am CST
I'm sure all of us who suffer from Fibromyalgia know what the term "brain fog" means. We get confused, forgetfull, sometimes down right dizzy. Lately I'm having even more of a problem with this than usual. I sit here to type and I can't remember how to spell even the simple words. Or, I know how to spell them but my fingers can't find the keys. My "brain fog" seems to be worse than usual. I'm about ready to stick a light to my head and buy a fog horn. LOL Another recent problem is the increased fatigue. Now I'm always tired - thats a given. But lately I feel almost weighed down. So tired its like its an effort to sit in a chair and breathe. The slightest activity seems to take so much energy. I even went to my Doc this week, expecting he would suggest routine blood work as usual. But, he kinda patted my hand and said get used to it. How does he know my hypothyroidism isn't messed up more than usual? How does he know my vitamin deficiency isn't back with a vengence? Heck, just typing this (and using spell check since I can't think clearly) is an effort! Do any of you who suffer from this have time periods where symptoms are worse than normal? How do you cope when its this bad?
1 person likes this
3 responses
@patgalca (14410)
• Orangeville, Ontario
15 Feb 09
Well, I think it is safe to say that the weather is playing a major role here. We are all tired and in pain from the cold, or up and down weather. For the brain it helps to do puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku. I wrote an article on that here: http://www.healthmad.com/Aging/Short-term-Memory-Loss.71150 I am tired all the time too. I don't make dinners very often. I find that if I don't sit at the computer then I will fall asleep. I do try and get on the treadmill every day. Yeah, it's exhausting walking 3.5 miles in an hour but it sure feels good (though I'm in pain at night and in the morning but the way I figure it, I'm going to be in pain anyway). I love to be able to watch my TV shows and work out and build up a sweat. It is good for the mind as well as the body. The only way I can think of helping with fatigue, besides getting as much rest as possible, is watching the foods you eat. A lot of sugar will make you tired. Eat healthily and drink lots of water. Are you on an anti-depressant (usually prescribed to fibromites)? Fatigue is a symptom of depression. Anti-depressants are not necessarily prescribed for DEPRESSION! They are prescribed for fatigue and brain fog and pain in fibromyalgia patients. I spent the first five years of my illness lying around feeling sorry for myself. I didn't get any better that way. Once I started being proactive I started to feel better. You could also be lacking in Magnesium and B Vitamins. I take Mag-Citrate (Magnesium/Malic Acid), B-Complex and Cal/Mag/D. When I first started taking the Mag-Citrate I noticed an amazing difference in my pain levels. When I went without it not too long ago because it was sold out in the stores in my town that sell it, my pain levels increased. Once I got back on it they decreased. I'm not saying I'm not in pain but I'd rather be on Mag-Citrate and have less pain than when I'm not on it. Also check out this article I wrote on coping with fibromyalgia. http://www.healthmad.com/Conditions-and-Diseases/Fibromyalgia-Helping-You-Cope.48638 I ran a support group for several years and have heard from plenty of professionals. I have my illness managed as best it will be. We can't get rid of our stressors completely, but they are the number one cause of this stupid illness! Good luck!
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
15 Feb 09
Thank you! I'm quite often low on several things - Vit B, D and Iron. I had hoped the doctor would do blood work to check my levels on those. But, I can often tell how I feel by that and right now its awful. So, I'm going to start taking those supplements again and check into the mag-citrate you mentioned too. I'll also check out the article you wrote as well. Appreciate the information.:)
@patgalca (14410)
• Orangeville, Ontario
16 Feb 09
If anything, at the very least take extra magnesium. It is proven that fibromites are low on magnesium. Hopefully you can find the magnesium/malic acid combo. Every fibromite I know who has tried it has had success. You are very welcome and again, good luck.
@bam001 (941)
• United States
17 Feb 09
I hate to respond this way, but as I was reading your post, the thought "at least it's not just me" ran through my mind. I hate that you are dealing with all of this. Fibromyalgia is one of those things that no one can really understand unless they also have it. I do have it and things have been really rough the last few weeks. Your doctor's response really just sets me off. If it were him feeling the way you do, he definitely wouldn't want someone to just pat his hand and say get used to it. Being a medical professional, I can almost guarantee he would demand that his symptoms at least be treated so he would have a quality of life. I teach and when the fog comes in, it takes all of my energy and will power just to go to work and make it through a day presenting lessons that are usually second nature to me. Thankfully, I built a really good database of notes for all of my classes before the Fibro-Monster go ahold of me, so I can go in on a bad day and more or less read the notes from the page. But---I hate doing that. I want to be the dynamic teacher that made learning interesting again. Now, I am just a run of the mill teacher. I know what you mean about the feeling heavy too. Lately my arms have felt like weights hanging from my shoulders. Another thing that is bothering me is my head/neck. This will sound crazy to most...but here goes. You know how your head sits atop your neck and most days you just don't give it a second thought. It is connected and that is where it is supposed to be? You don't go around having to think to keep your head up or realize how heavy your head is? Well, the last several days, my head feels so heavy...it is like it is weighting my neck down. I can't wait to take a break every couple of hours to just lay down and rest to relieve the pressure my head exerts on my neck. How weird is that? Anyone else feel that way? I wish I had some good ways to cope. Tonight I decided to fill the bathtub up with hot water and just lay there. When I told my sister that I was taking a bath, she ridiculed me saying I had already had one bath and one shower today --did I really need to take another. She has also been on me for not feeling like getting out of bed last weekend. I know I shouldn't lay in bed from noon Friday until 3:00 PM Sunday, but I just couldn't muster up the energy to get up. Hope you feel better soon! I need warm weather to get here!
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
17 Feb 09
Thank you for sharing. I know just how you feel with the heavy feeling with your head. Many of us with Fibro get that, and the pain in the neck and shoulders. I don't do baths - too hard to get in and out of. But I do use my hottub. My only problem right now is its not here! LOL I'm moving, and I shipped it out of state to my new home. So, I've had to do without the wonderful thing for 3 months now and several more to go. I admire your ability to still work. I went part time, then on short term disability and finally full disability. I haven't worked a full time job in ten years now. I did do several months of parttime last year, and even lost that job thanks to my inability to stick to my work schedule. Hope the warm weather gets there soon for you, and your fatigue lets up.
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
16 Feb 09
I really don't think that a p[at on the hand is going to solve your problem! How condescending of the doctor. I would be outraged. I am sure that you have sourced all info you can on the Internet but perhaps there is a specialist somewhere that can assist you? do you belong to a group of people who suffer from this? I am just trying to think of ways that yo9u can cope with day to day living. I am so sorry that you are going through this but do not take this lying down and try to be pro active about your treatment. I really feel for you and pray that you will be able somehow to get the fatigue and pain lessened. God Bless.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
16 Feb 09
Thank you for your reply. I've pretty much tried all specialists there are. Unfortunately with this illness there is a limited number of things that help. I do belong to an online support group which does give me the chance to talk to others who suffer from it.