Between constant migraines, with aphasia, and fibro fog and medication side effects it is hard not to feel like you are losing a piece of your mind in the process. A little hard for someone like me to want to accept. But, I'll tell you this, I know what my brain feels like without a migraine... I felt it a few years ago? More? Whenever it was I still remember it. It was like this moment of crystal clarity. This sharp clarity. Where my essence came through and I could think again without that heavy fog and that sharp pain slowing it down, hindering me, making me double check myself. What is brutal about it is how much of a difference it actually makes. I mean I functioned at a certain capacity, even as I was. And I am aware at times my reasoning gets circular or hazy. Or words escape me. Or thoughts just... stop. I pause, broken, for moments before I can even continue. I am aware of all the glitches. The errors. The transposing of letters and numbers. The misuse of words. The use of the wrong tense. I am aware my memories escape me. My life is hazy. Time is warped beyond recognition. Concentration and focus are impaired... more so as pain increases, but pain is always hovering at the edges of consciousness eating at some brain power to some extent. And fatigue just takes some of that awareness away.
But it is like madness. The pain is like a madness. It takes more attention than anything. It consumes more than anything. And other thoughts... they circle like vultures. Reoccurring, like they are new... but they are Not. You just don't realize it. Your brain is stunted by the pain, the haze, the fatigue. Running on fumes.
It is amazing we function at all. But really I could not. I think I could do my job because even with the pain a good IQ got me through the tests and doing the job on a basic level, but on a detail level I always was error prone. And those detail errors due to pain and those transposing things and not even being able to see the errors was an issue, no matter how hard I tried to fix it. But no one would say I didn't function at my job, minor errors aside. Mentally and emotionally I didn't. Missing days of course was an issue. And bad pain days, well, were bad functioning days. I know on 9 pain days where I was forced to work... those were zombie days, it does not matter if you have a 140 IQ because I think you are actually functioning at 80. Or it feels like it... barely any brainpower goes it actually thinking, the rest is just pain awareness and tolerance. I don't think people are aware of how much pain consumes as it gets more intense. But consumes it does. We learn to function at 7 and even at some limited capacity level 8 but any higher and we are severely limited.
But a migraine free day? That was something to experience. It was so clear. So detailed. I remembered everything I wanted to. I could plan. Act. Think. It was profoundly different.
And you wonder... will the clouds ever part again? Will the fog ever lift? Will you ever experience that clarity again? Will you ever get a day without that pain to sharpen the edges of every thought?
And you wonder how much of the brain fog is due to fibromyalgia, medication and migraines?
I used to manage the fibrofog as hard enough as that is to think of. But I did. For one, I had no medication for it. So no extra side effect there. No bonus side effects. And I was on no medications at the time. Extra bonus. Sort of a boon for being ignored by the medical profession I suppose. And I learned that to help with university and that whole learning business to manage fibrofog I had to do certain things while studying. I had to snack. Take frequent breaks. Take a bit of a walk during my breaks. Change the subject if I started to 'zone out', sort of trick my brain to focus. Underline or highlight while I read to help me absorb the words. Take notes, not even to read later, although short notes helped to cram... but the act of taking notes itself helped me absorb what I was reading. All these helped me 'learn' with the fibrofog. Except with a new language... was screwed there, apparently that does not work with FM and migraines.
Anyway you add chronic migraines and many medications, and you get more brain fog. More pain, more brain fog to be honest. More painsomnia, more brain fog. Plus migraines and FM have cognitive dysfunctions that are neurological fun, not fog, just glitches. Can't avoid them. Like aphasia. That is part of the madness but can't avoid it. They say the FM brain is cognitively 20 years older than we are our age. It seems that way I suppose. It isn't that I cannot get thoughts composed or things done. It is that everything is slower. It is that I get caught in circular thoughts. And this mental fatigue is a constant haze I rarely escape. It annoys me that words are a constant jumble and I cannot express myself properly, ever. Although, I admit, it amuses me as well. It is that I am far too forgetful. It is that my own life is hazy. It is that time itself is hazy. I never know how long ago something happened or the order of events often. I forget names and faces. I can't organize my day because I am so damned fatigued in the beginning I barely get going and it is almost done.
I'm frustrated with this fog. With this cognitive dysfunction madness.