Another funny word...Fibrofog is difficult to explain. It takes on some characteristics of ADHD, but has many MO's of its own.
Those with Fibro have less serotonin and norepinephrine in our brains. Serotonin controls pain in our central nervous system. Norepinephrine helps us focus and concentrate. Therefore, we have confusion, disorientation, finding the right word and then saying it. We mix up words When I was working for an attorney, I started typing the word could in place of the word court. In a legal document, that's not good! Spell checker does not pick up on the error. We have difficulty concentrating, therefore have trouble understanding what we've just read. I read something at least 3 times and hope I finally have it. When a conversation, especially a group conversation, I must concentrate hard on the moment because my mind starts to wonder. That's where my comment on ADHD comes into my mind, as we are easily distracted. I quite often need my family to explain things to me multiple times. For instance, I may ask how to do something and they respond. I turn around to do the project and my mind is blank. I try to wait a bit, hoping the information will return. Usually I need to ask for the directions again. I am very fortunate in that my family understands, but it makes me feel stupid.
One thing to consider is that our brains are so overwhelmed with pain signals that it is difficult to sort out everything entering our brains. Dr. Pellegrino uses the analogy of "Cable Access vs. Dial-Up." Cable access is soooo slow and dial-up is quick.
There are several ways I cope with fibrofog. I try to keep a regiment on things I do every day. Such as taking my meds. They are placed in my cabinet with the back row being vitamins and the front row prescriptions. I put my medication in a small cup starting left to right on the back row, coming down to the front row then going right to left. Sounds like I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I don't! If I get distracted while gathering the pills, and sometimes I do, it is easier for me to return to the task and remember where I am. Although sometimes I need to look at the pills already in the cup to figure it out.
If I'm going to town for errands, I map out my route to use the least amount of steps. If I don't do this, I find I get home and didn't complete my tasks.
I make LISTS. Lists are huge for me. I have a list on my kitchen table, the stove hood and on my computer. Each list is used for different things. When I can cross off an item, it makes me feel accomplished. This is a "positive" and it is GREAT to have positives.
My husband is tolerant most of the time. He does get frustrated periodically as it is hard for me to finish a sentence. Sometimes he tries to complete the sentence for me. If he is not getting it completed, anxiety shows up. Anxiety is another one of my friends and another blog topic.
When I am thinking of a word, but it won't come out of my mouth, I can usually see the written word, a picture of what the word is, and I can tell you what letter the word starts with. For example, if I am thinking of a horse. I can see the word written and a picture of the animal. I know it starts with "h" but that little five letter word can't come out verbally. Very frustrating. We are in NE Oregon in the small town of Wallowa. The City of LaGrande is about an hour away. When I talk about "going to LaGrande" I often say "going to Longview. Now, Longview, Washington was a city near where I used to live. I mixed the names of the two cities almost daily.
Fibro is not physically seen unless you know the person and can recognize their body language. Who knew this "stuff" was going on? Certainly only another Fibroite.