Clearing the Fog

Clear­ing the Fog: Cop­ing with the Cog­ni­tive Dys­func­tion of Fibromyal­gia & Chron­ic Fatigue Syndrome

Here are some com­mon-sense point­ers that can help you clear the brain fog of CFS and FM: 

1. Repeat your­self. Repeat things to your­self over and over again. Rep­e­ti­tion will keep thoughts fresh in your mind. 

2. Write it down. Whether you write in a cal­en­dar, in a note­book, or on sticky notes, if you’re afraid you won’t remem­ber some­thing, putting pen to paper can help. 

3. Pick your best time. If there is some­thing you need to do that requires con­cen­tra­tion and mem­o­ry, such as bal­anc­ing your check­book or fol­low­ing a recipe, pick your best time to do it. Many peo­ple with fibromyal­gia say they per­form best ear­ly in the day.
Real­ly? I don’t know of any! shad­owkatt and I are at our worst in the morning.

4. Get treat­ed. Depres­sion, pain, and sleep depri­va­tion can influ­ence your abil­i­ty to con­cen­trate and remem­ber. Get­ting your med­ical prob­lems treat­ed may indi­rect­ly help your memory. 

5. Engage your­self. Read­ing a book, see­ing a play, or work­ing a com­plex cross­word or jig­saw puz­zle can stim­u­late your brain and your memory. 

6. Stay active. Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, in mod­er­a­tion, can increase your ener­gy and help lift your fibro fog. Speak to your doc­tor or phys­i­cal ther­a­pist about an exer­cise pro­gram that is right for you. 

7. Explain your­self. Explain your mem­o­ry dif­fi­cul­ties to fam­i­ly mem­bers and close friends. Mem­o­ry prob­lems often result from stress. Get­ting a lit­tle under­stand­ing from the ones you love may help. 

8. Keep it qui­et. A radio blast­ing from the next room, a TV com­pet­ing for your atten­tion, or back­ground con­ver­sa­tion can dis­tract your atten­tion from the task at hand. If pos­si­ble, move to a qui­et place and min­i­mize dis­trac­tions when you are try­ing to remember.
Back­ground noise has real­ly become an issue for me. I can’t track con­ver­sa­tions if more than one per­son is talk­ing now, although I could mul­ti­task that way just fine ear­li­er in my life. I thought I was just get­ting old.

9. Go slow­ly. Some­times mem­o­ry prob­lems can result from try­ing to do too much in too short a peri­od of time. Break up tasks, and don’t take on more than you can han­dle at once. Stress and fatigue will only make the sit­u­a­tion worse. 

(Source: The Arthri­tis Foun­da­tion at www.arthritis.org)

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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