Those of you who have fibromyalgia will understand what this post is all about. I hope anyone who doesn’t have fibromyalgia will be more understanding of those who do.
We got back from a long and mostly pleasant vacation on May 25. Today is June 2 (at least so the computer tells me). It’s also the first day I feel like I’ve got my wits about me. For the past week or so, I feel like I’ve been in and out of “neutral.” I have had periods (half an hour here, an hour there) when I have been alert and organized. But for most of the time, I been in the “twilight zone” place called “fibro fog.”
Fibro fog is such a strange place to be. If you were doing it voluntarily, it would probably be called some kind of meditation and considered a good thing. But when you have no control over the inertia of your brain, it is a much more devilish place.
I think the thing that annoys me most is the inability to feel motivated. I get up in the morning thinking about something I need to do or want to do. But I can’t get my brain to focus on it. I have had several things I’ve wanted to write about over the past week, but when I’d sit down to actually write, nothing was there. I don’t mean I was thinking about other things or distracted. I mean empty space in my mind. I mean no thoughts. I have done meditation before and it’s a very similar feeling – but not as pleasant when you’re not trying to be there.
What’s worse is I couldn’t get myself to concentrate on anything. I tried to read – books, magazines, newspaper – but could not focus on the content. I tried watching TV – I couldn’t keep my mind from drifting away. I forced myself to do the few chores I can do – laundry, dishes. I think it was probably the slight guilt I feel over not pulling my weight as it is when it comes to chores that propelled me do to the ones I can.
Overall I felt restless, distracted, frustrated and, of course, fatigued. Some of the fatigue may have come from the muscle relaxant and pain meds I’ve had to take off and on this week to keep the pain manageable. But fibro fog is not the same as medicated brain fog. I think it’s worse. When I have medicated brain fog, I know what it’s from and I don’t get as frustrated as I do with fibro fog. Fibro fog makes me feel kind of agitated, with no ability to focus even if I want to. Medicated brain fog just makes me feel mellow and I don’t really care about whether or not I can do anything. I try to fight fibro fog – usually without success, of course. I just “go with the flow” when I experience medicated brain fog.
I did manage to get one thing accomplished this whole week. I downloaded and editted the photos from our vacation. I can’t explain why I was able to edit all those photos when I couldn’t think. It’s interesting – as though I was on autopilot – that I could look and change the photos without really thinking. Perhaps because it was mostly visual? Then again, so is TV — so I guess I really don’t know. I’m just grateful I got something done.
I’m also grateful that my brain is starting to kick in now. This is a busy week. I’ve got my annual physical with the doctor. I have rehearsals for the ordination of our new priest. The ordination is Saturday. I need to be aware of what’s going on.
Keep your fingers crossed that my brain stays turned on for a while.