Oh the brain fog. It's been running rampant in my life the last several weeks. I've tried to blog several times and get so frustrated that I just quit. When I try to research topics I can't focus. When I start to write something I'll forget mid sentence what I was trying to say. My words come out jumbled, repeated, and just confusing. The brain fog has to be one of the most frustrating symptoms of many illnesses and side effects of many medications.
Mine is mostly a medication side effect. I so find when I'm having a lot of fatigue even when I wasn't medicated the brain fog would be mild, but some of my meds have really exasperated that. When I was on Remicade and a few other meds (honestly can't remember which combo now, but they were a DMARD and prescription NSAID) I'd get "lost" on the elevator at work. Now maybe if the elevator was in a high rise it might make sense that you forget where you are going from floor 1 to floor 20, but our elevator was between floor 1 and floor 2. I would get on, push the button and no more than close my eyes and forget where I was going. I almost quit driving at that point because I would get lost on the 6 mile drive to work and my work is literally on the same street I live on.
Lately on bad days I do choose to just stay home. I avoid cooking and doing anything that requires any kind of technical skill or dangerous tools like scissors. These days require forcing myself to stay focused on even the smallest tasks. Watching the clock so I remember to eat, having a step by step system for showering so I remember to rinse my hair if I wash it, or actually use soap, get money to put next to me as soon as I order food or be sure to only get food that I am eating right that minute so I don't have food out all day. I don't do laundry because I'll forget and my clothes will be moldy by the time I remember it. I don't go places because I'm afraid I will get lost. I pretty much spend most of my day sleeping on the couch.
When you have always been a very studious person it is extremely frustrating to have the smallest things be a mental struggle. I am lucky that my bad days aren't every day, but a few days a week is too many. It is also hard for your friends and family to understand your change in ability to communicate, function and follow through. They are used to you being prompt, verbally acute, and on the ball mentally. It's just not happening anymore. Your words don't come out right, if at all, in very basic conversation.
So many chronic illnesses have the brain fog involved. If you have chronic illness (or take meds) that this wonderful frustration presents itself give yourself a break. If you love someone who is experiencing it try to remember they are just as frustrated and more with it as you are.