People with CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia can have trouble concentrating, poor memory, and difficulty processing information. These cognitive difficulties can be some of the most debilitating symptoms we struggle with. They are often referred to as “brain fog."
I hate my brain fog. It makes me feel so stupid sometimes.
At times I feel like I just can't make any sense of what is going on around me. I can't make sense of what I'm reading or watching on tv. I read the same newspaper paragraph over and over and can't understand what it's saying. I can't follow a conversation sometimes. I can't concentrate on anything, and I feel like a dope.
Sometimes I walk out my front door and am confused by the neighborhood I've lived in for over 20 years. I feel like I'm suddenly in a world without any gravity and I'm free-floating in some alien landscape.
Sometimes I feel like there are several sheets of glass between me and the real world. I feel like I've been put in a coccoon, or like I've been wrapped in insulation.
Those are the days I stay home, turn off the phone and withdraw from the world, until it feels like my 6 remaining functioning brain cells have shaken off their stupor. (Although D., bless his heart, says if that 7th brain cell could just get on-line I could rule the world. If only that were true!)
People tell me, "Well, you look just fine!", as if that's going to make it all better. Oh, please --- as if looking okay is all that really matters, and what's really going on physiologically inside isn't important. This is part of the curse of having an invisible disability.
Please don't reassure me about my superficial physical appearance. If you really mean well, please understand instead that most of the time there will be little you can do beyond accepting that you cannot "fix" me. Understand that I have good days and bad days. Offer me a hug and some positive vibes. And be patient with me until the fog lifts.