Fibromyalgia is most often associated with chronic pain and fatigue, but one of the other symptoms is Fibro-Fog. Fibro-Fog can be summarized by the word forgetfulness, but in truth it is more like a complete blank of words and numbers.
I do not always realise how bad it affects me until i get into a conversation with someone else. Then, often my mind will draw a complete blank on a particular word. It is not as if i have forgotten the word but, almost as if i have never known the word, whatever the word may be. I cannot find it in my memory because there is no memory of it to be found. Now those that know me well, will pause to allow me to gather myself enough to come up with something that at least means the same thing as the word itself, but it is particularly frustrating when i am in a conversation with a stranger, then i tend to say ‘well you know what i mean?’ Because quite frankly i have not got a clue.
Another way that Fibro-Fog effects is me is names. People i have know for many years suddenly have no name. I have not forgotten their name, because as far as my mind is concerned they never had one in the first place and no matter how long i ponder over it, the name does not come. For instance i met the daughter of a well known friend, who i have spoken to over the years many times and yet i had no idea what her name was and in the end i had to ask her, which is quite embarrassing, but thankfully she just laughed it off.
The other problems i have is numbers. Numbers not only disappear out of my head, they also move around on the page, which is very frustrating. I recently phoned the benefits office and they asked me my date of birth, but i couldn’t tell them because it wasn’t there. Not only wasn’t it there, it had never been there in the first place! I had to explain to the person on the other end of the phone that i couldn’t remember my own birth date and why and thankfully she also laughed, but explained i would have to phone back when i had it. Now i have it written down on a piece of paper by the phone, along with my name and address and telephone number.
Also i have found that things with lots of letters and numbers together are a big problem, such as on a bus or train time table, including those electronic ones that are displayed in stations. I also worry that if they change my bus stop in the station i would never find it again. I also worry if i am travelling out of town, even to the city next to the one i live in, where i use to work several days a week. In fact i am frightened to travel anywhere and it is worse if it some place i do not know.
Also, large stores and shopping centres become a blur and i often find myself pacing back and forth along aisle trying to figure out what it was i was meant to buy and then end up going home with half of what i needed. I guess one of the other things that bothers me about this condition is that i often think i have done something i had plan to do, such as write a blog post, or send a card, but it is not until later that i realise i haven’t. Thankfully so far i haven’t made too much mess…there was something else i was going to say, but now it is gone.
If someone was to tell me i had a degenerative brain disease, such as dementia, i would probably agree with them, just before i forgot what it was they were telling me or in fact who they are or what it is they want. So if you are reading this and suddenly think there is a word or two, there probably is, but i didn’t mean to miss them out, honest, i didn’t! And no one seems to know why and yet some doctors still believe Fibromyalgia is real.