Brain fog, migraine
chronic illness,  Hemiplegic Migraine,  Migraine

The Truth about Brain Fog

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Everyone on Earth has those moments when you can’t grab the word for something or have times when you would forget your head if it wasn’t attached. But these are just fleeting moments…now imagine being that way a lot. This is called brain fog.

Most people with Migraine and other chronic illnesses experience brain fog at some level and it is one of the most frustrating symptoms of my migraines.

So, let’s start with a definition of brain fog:

Brain fog isn’t a medical condition itself, but rather a symptom of other medical conditions. It’s a type of cognitive dysfunction involving memory problems, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration and inability to focus. –

Although this definition is very detailed, it doesn’t fully explain it. I find myself saying,”my brain is tired” very often. Even though people that do not experience this may not understand this statement, it describes it perfectly.

For example, you have been at work all day working on a project that is due in 2 days. You have your face buried in your computer working on spreadsheets, entering data, correcting excel formulas and on top of that you have to finish this so you can prepare this information into a dynamic presentation…all in 2 days. Add to this the stress of the phone that won’t quit ringing, a boss standing over your shoulder, a stomach that is growling, and the call you just got from the school principal. When you finally leave work and sit in the sanctuary of your car…you feel numb. Like you couldn’t put together a coherent thought if you had to.

THAT FEELING IS WHAT BRAIN FOG FEELS LIKE! The difference is that people that have illness induced Brain Fog do not have to experience all of that to get there.

Brain fog, migraineFor me, Brain Fog isn’t a consistent thing. If I have a lot of migraines close together or if I have a long duration migraine the Brain Fog is worse and people around know something isn’t right. I will try to put sentences together and get stuck because I forgot how to say it right. I will say something and not be sure if it is right and I have to ask if it is. Words float away like balloons. And the more I push myself, the worse it gets. The best thing I can do is let my brain rest. I just stop trying to talk, just sit quietly for a little bit. Putting away the iPhone and iPad for a little while seems to help me most.

This is, of course, what my experience is like and each person will have a different experience.

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  • RaisieBay

    I’ve had brain fog for many years and I used to find it infuriating, now I’m over 50 and I just say, ‘oh it’s old age’ and people are more forgiving. Sad thing is, memory loss and such like shouldn’t really happen until at least 10-20 years later.

  • simplywendi

    Brain fog for me is so darn scary………it makes me feel as if I might just lose my mind. Thank you for the post, it makes me feel more “normal”………..funny, it think I just called myself normal!

  • Anita Ayres (@Anitahopenchaos)

    I find that is true of the brain fog I get with the MS as well – I must rest and be still before it gets better. Sometimes that means I take a longer time than I should to get my thoughts out. I feel like I should apologize to my listeners when that happens. I am an articulate woman and get very frustrated when it happens. I’m sorry you are going through this so much.

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