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Friday, March 28, 2014

Brain Fog Friday's certainly been foggy around here the last few days, and I don't mean the kind that hangs low across a frosty field.

Brain FOG - one of the darnedest, most frustrating symptoms of living with Multiple Sclerosis. What is brain fog you ask? It's a bit hard to explain the weirdo feeling, suffice it to say I feel like my brain has turned to scrambled eggs and I have devil of a time making sense of things. In my case it usually comes along with it's pal horrible fatigue, and you can bet your last dollar that it will happen if I get too tired or have some kind of sensory assault.

Web MD defines it this way: 

4 Brain Fog Basics

Brain fog is a catchall term for all sorts of brain changes that can come with MS. Here are four things to know.
  1. It's common. About half the people with MS have these issues at some point, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, a clinical psychologist and vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. For most, the cloudy thinking is mild and manageable. Only 5% to 10% of people with MS have issues with their thinking that seriously affect their day-to-day life or career.
  2. It can affect your short-term memory, attention, and concentration. It can muck up your ability to retain new information and plan.But it doesn't usually affect your intelligence, reading comprehension, or long-term memory.
  3. It may get worse over time, but it may not. Once you have episodes of brain fog, they usually don't go away completely. They are more likely to progress slowly.
  4. It can have many causes. Sometimes the fog is triggered by actual changes in the brain caused by MS. But it can also be brought on by other issues -- like depression, fatigue, and side effects from medication.

I define it as a pain in the ass. Especially when I have article deadlines due, customers waiting on photos, outdoor adventures to have.

Over the years I've figured out a few ways to work around it, some with good success, some only moderate. One thing I do rely on heavily is my smartphone with it's variety of calenders, reminders, bells, whistles, hey yous, maps etc. Now if some whiz kid could just develop an app  that would let me tap here, tap there, and have things suddenly make sense; well we'd be in business!

What I won't do is stay locked inside when the brain fog hits. I've said many times what I do best is wander, and hey brain fog can be really useful when wandering. I just sort of aimlessly traverse the fields, the forests, and see what turns up. That's the only way I can process things on a foggy day.

In our case, sometimes it's the human that's following dog instead of vice versa

Thankfully, Willie the Wonder Dog has a working brain, and does a great job of keeping me from getting into any real fixes. I have him mark the car, the parking area etc before we leave, just in case and thankfully when I tell him go to the car he usually leads me right back to where we started. (With of course the occasional side trip to chase a rabbit or a squirrel).

So today, instead of some thoughtful, insightful, well written post, you'll just have to be happy with some images from the recent wandering days. My foggy brain has reached it's limit for constructing intelligible sentences.  Enjoy the scenes from a recent "foggy" wander!

1 comment:

  1. i look forward to all your posts Thanks so much for sharing your journey, your beautiful dog and your photos