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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. – healthline.com
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.
For 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.