I Should Write This Down…..

Brain fog, it’s one of the many amazing symptoms of MS, and it affects nearly all of those with this neurological disorder.

While there are great apps and strategies out there to help you with your memory, when the fog rolls in, it’s no picnic, pun intended. For those of you not familiar with Brain Fog, it can be described as an episode of mental confusion that comes without warning. It can be hard to focus, to recall memories and can cause a decrease in accuracy. [1]

I remember being at work and trying to explain a new procedure to a colleague. In the middle of explaining this new concept (that I came up with, mind you) I completely blanked out. It was as if I had the entire plan written on a white board and someone came and erased it right before I got to tell it! After about 5 15 minutes of trying to calm down and recollect my thoughts, I was able to tell them most of the plan,  but ultimately had to reschedule time with them to go over it again.

That fifteen minutes consisted of me breathing deeply and trying my hardest not to focus on what I was just talking about, or the lack thereof. Thankfully, the person I was meeting with was super understanding.

When MS is involved the cause of Brain Fog is said to be due to the loss of myelin sheath around the nerves. Without this protective layer the brain has difficulty with transporting memories to storage areas of the brain, or retrieving form storage areas. [2]

When MS is not a factor the following can be blamed

Stress

Menopause

Lack of Sleep

Poor Nutrition

Diabetes

Nutritional Deficiencies

Medications

MS or not, either way I think that we can all agree that it sucks! So what can we do? I’ll tell you!

These are my top five tips for dealing with the fog…

  1. Take a break– most times if it comes on strong and fast you might be overwhelmed and get a little out of sorts- step away, stare at a wall, take a walk, whatever just stop trying to make yourself remember. Because news flash- you probably wont.
  2. Tell your Dr. – I admit it I’m not the best at telling my doctor like, anything. I’m the absolute worst. But when I do remember to tell him what’s going on he gives me a solution. Go figure!
  3. Exercise – Get physical. I don’t know what it is (probably Science) but whenever I work out, even if it’s for 20-30 min I feel better and the fog doesn’t come as much.
  4. Talk it Out- I remember when I was going through a lot of changes, the fog being one of them. I mean- I can be a little ditzy some times, we all can. But, when the fog came the first few times around I was like, um…so this is horrible. This needs to stop. I have shit to do! Mostly, I was just embarrassed. Finally, I talked to someone I trusted, who doesn’t even have MS, and just talking about it made me feel better. Like it somehow made it not such a big deal. So… talk it out!
  5. Mind games – Its like exercise for you brain. Seriously guys, keeping your mind sharp is the biggest way to help with this. So whether it is reading, using the an app like Luminosity, or doing crosswords, the more you can use your brain the better.

For more information on Brain Fog, check out the links below:

WebMD

Livinglikeyou

Health line

[1] http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/common-brain-fogfatigue-causes

[2] https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/blog/2016/09/06/feeling-your-way-through-ms-brain-fog/

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