What Brain Fog Looks Like for Me
Last updated: November 2021
Do you ever struggle with remembering where you put things, forming complete thoughts, or even remembering what you were thinking about doing 2 minutes ago and now you’re standing in your kitchen dumbfounded? If so, you probably suffer from one of the most annoying symptoms of AS: brain fog.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is a term used in the medical community to describe a feeling of increased confusion, forgetfulness, and sometimes even the inability to concentrate. It is thought that increased levels of inflammation are the cause of this pesky symptom in those of us living with chronic illness. Unfortunately for me, this is one symptom I have been grappling with for years, and somedays it feels like there's no end in sight.
My first brain fog symptoms
At the very beginning of my AS journey (even before the back pain started), I struggled severely with chronic fatigue. This wasn’t just tiredness. This was sleep all night, sleep all day, and still have zero energy to do anything. When I was experiencing this level of fatigue, I started noticing my memory slipping more than usual (I also have ADHD). I figured my extreme exhaustion was getting to me, but things only intensified.
I am notorious for losing things as it is, so when I started losing more things than usual, I didn't think much of it. While this didn’t raise any red flags, my inability to put words and/or thoughts together did.
Fumbling my words
At the time when these symptoms first began, I was gaining confidence in my hair and makeup abilities and had been asked to do a few tutorials on Instagram. There was a problem, though. Every time I recorded a tutorial, I found myself forgetting where I was going with my thoughts and constantly tripping over my words. It was not long before I realized this was happening all the time, even in everyday conversation. I cannot tell you how many times I called my mother, only for her to answer and for me to forget why I even called.
Why am I here?
The second red flag was when I would be doing chores around the house and forget why I had entered a specific room. I knew I was there to do something but could never remember what that something was.
Feelings of fogginess
What really made me aware of my brain fog was the constant haze I found myself in. The most obvious time this happened to me was while I was driving. I almost felt drunk and like I was there, but not “all there”. It was an odd, almost out-of-body feeling, and I knew at that point it was more than exhaustion.
Brain fog can feel different for everyone
Brain fog symptoms can look different for everybody, but the one thing that I think we can all agree on is that it makes living with this disease even more unbearable than it already is.
If you suffer from brain fog please feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.
Has changing your diet helped manage your pain and flares?