Oatmeal in My Brain . . . and other brain foggy problems

Brain fog. Just . . . ugh. A lot of my chronic illness friends suffer from brain fog. For me, when I’m upright too long, my brain doesn’t get enough blood flow. Do you know what brains REALLY need in order to function? Blood flow. Yeah, it’s a bit of a conflict of cranial interest. For other chronic illness friends, the reason why they have brain fog may differ (neurologic issues, pain, etc), but having a brain that sometimes feels like a bowl of overcooked oatmeal is still a very real and frustrating symptom. However, I realize that my friends who don’t deal with this symptom may have no idea what I mean, so I want to explain what brain fog is to the rest of the world.

Brain fog is . . .

– The complete inability to give accurate directions. I recently told my older brother to meet me in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. I sat in McDonald’s parking lot for twenty minutes (all the while complaining to my husband that my brother is always late) before he called, and I realized I had sent him to the opposite end of town. Apparently my brain foggy brain things Wal-Mart and McDonalds are one in the same.

Brain fog is . . .

– Becoming a babbling fool when you’re trying to remember a word. I had to fill out a form for a background check before working with children at my church (Everyone does that. My church didn’t just decide I looked extra sketchy.). When I turned the form in I completely forgot the words “paper,” “form,” and “background check.” So instead I said, “Here is my . . . and I filled it out . . . and it’s on there . . . and please just take it.” I’m pretty sure after that hot mess of an explanation, no one wanted me to work with their children. Sometimes I feel like I should wear a sign that says, “I’m not using drugs. My brain is just in desperate need of more blood.”

Brain fog is . . .

– surprise emotions. Sometimes Joe and I are having a conversation about the most boring of topics, and my brain goes into “I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just make her cry” mode. It shocks me as much as Joe. One minute he’s asking me if I checked the mail, the next I’m wiping tears and trying to communicate my completely inappropriate emotions. The thing is, I don’t even know why I’m crying; it just . . . happens. Poor Joe . . . sometimes he just buys me ice cream, and I’ll be honest, that never hurts.

Brain fog is . . .

– going to the grocery store EVERY SINGLE DAY because I can’t remember to get everything when I go. I know what you’re thinking- Why not write a list? I’ve tried that, but reading a list isn’t exactly one of my skills- when my brain isn’t getting any blood flow! I’ll look at my list and think, “Yep! I’ve got it all!” When I get home, there are clearly items that haven’t been marked off the list. Joe asked me every day for a week to buy deodorant for him. I would go to the store and just forget every time. After a week of wearing my baby powder scented women’s deodorant, he finally just bought it himself. For the record, just because it says, “Strong enough for a man . . .” does not mean the scent works well for a male.

Brain fog is . . .

– basically, a total pain in the neck. Before my days of brain fogginess, I was occasionally absent minded. Now? I’m completely mindless at times. It’s okay; it gets better when I lie down. But, you know, lying down in the grocery store or at church or wherever other people gather isn’t exactly normal either.

I’ve learned while dealing with all this, however, to just give myself a break. It’s okay to laugh about it; it’s even okay to cry about it or get mad. It’s just a part of this crazy, chronic life that I’m living. So . . . to my crazy, chronic friends that also deal with brain fog (oatmeal brain)- write lists; set phone reminders; make plans, but don’t stress. It’s okay if you’re a hot mess sometimes. Sit down. Rest. Drink some water, and get back in the game.

Peace, love, and health friends.


2 thoughts on “Oatmeal in My Brain . . . and other brain foggy problems

  1. mysmallsurrenders

    I identify with this completely. I may have to write about this 🙂
    I have have alarms set on my phone to go off for each time I need to take meds during the day, and for any other important tasks or appointments. Sometimes I turn off the alarm telling myself I’ll take my meds in a minute and that minute then turns into hours. Having chronic pain and experiencing ‘brain fogs’ when I need to take meds is not ideal.



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