Seeing the Funny Side of Brain Fog
Last updated: August 2022
Brain fog is definitely one of the more annoying symptoms of AS. It’s bad enough that this condition robs us of our mobility at times but stealing our brain power as well? It’s surely taking the biscuit!
But like most things in life, I try to see the funny side. Our bodies are playing jokes on us all the time, so I think it is only right we join in on the laughs! I thought I would share a few of my brain fog stories that I look back on and laugh at.
A few years ago I was living in China. Unfortunately, my diagnosis meant I had to return to the UK. Whilst in China, my brain had programmed in the times I had to switch to speaking in Mandarin - typically whenever I was ordering in a restaurant or making a trip to a convenience store.
On my I return to England for treatment, I was unable to walk for good few months and was only able to leave the house for hospital appointments. One day when I was finally feeling a little better, I hobbled down on my crutches to the local store for a drink and some snacks.
I placed my goodies on the counter but instead of asking in English whether I could pay by card I blurted out "我可以用信用卡吗." An awkward silence accompanied by a very confused stare from the Indian shopkeeper followed. After being asked if I spoke English, I realized that my brain had forgotten what country I was in.
Luckily, he saw the funny side after I awkwardly explained. He even joked "I’m afraid that is the wrong Asian language to speak to me in!" After this I made sure that I took a look around to give myself a reality check on what country I was in before going on any shopping trips.
You shall not (bus) pass!
A visit to my rheumatologist requires two long bus journeys. An early start is usually necessary in order to get there in time. On one such occasion, I basically sleepwalked onto the bus as I tapped in with my bus pass.
When I finally returned home, I was completely exhausted and very excited to get back inside my apartment for a lie down. I arrived at my front door but instead of using my keys to let myself in, I took my bus pass and began tapping the door handle!
To my dismay the door was not opening for me so I continued to press the card harder and for longer on the keyhole in the hope that it would finally let me in. This of course was not successful so I took a deep breathe and stared at my uncooperative bus pass wondering what the problem could be.
It was at this moment I realized I had completely lost my mind from tapping away on buses all day and laughed at myself as I took out my keys to finally open the door successfully.
I was having one of those high fatigue days and dinner time was fast approaching. I didn’t have the energy to work any kind of magic in the kitchen so opted to prepare baked potatoes as it wouldn’t require much brain power.
As they take around an hour to cook, I popped them in the oven and returned to my bedroom to continue my Netflix binge. An hour later I returned to the kitchen to check on them. However somewhere along the 8 step journey from my bedroom into the kitchen, I’d forgotten what I was doing. I looked around the kitchen for something to jog my memory and saw a tin of chopped tomatoes looking back at me.
"Ooh, maybe I should make spaghetti for dinner," I thought, as I started whipping together a homemade Arrabbiata sauce.
I began to smell the now familiar scent of burning and I could tell that it certainly wasn’t coming from my sauce (which was coming along beautifully). I peered into the oven to see some very crispy (definitely an understatement) potatoes staring back at me. I suddenly remembered what I was supposed to be doing in the kitchen in the first place! I did, however, come up with a plan to rectify my mishaps; I opted to use the pasta sauce as a topping for my spuds.
I thought maybe I had turned into AS-ton Blumenthal (sorry for the awful pun) with an exciting new recipe. Unfortunately, I can confirm that this meal was far from delicious and would not recommend anybody else to recreate this.
Seeing the funny side
Brain fog may take some things away from our lives, but at least it gives us back some humorous stories! There’s a lot of hardships that come with living with AS, so I feel we should embrace the funny side of things whenever we can.
Have you got any brain fog inspired funny stories? Let me know in the comments.
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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