Brain Fog and Escalators

Many folks don’t understand that even the simplest activities can be too much when struggling with chronic pain, even going out to the movies. But I really wanted to see Atomic Blonde in the theater, so I put on my big girl panties and we went to the mall. My husband parked the car and we walked towards the escalators. I followed a young boy up the escalator. I kept walking but I wasn’t making progress. The young boy had made it to the top but I was still stuck at the bottom, continuing to walk wondering why I wasn’t also at the top. “Allegra,” my husband interrupted my struggling thoughts. “You’re on the down escalator.” Awoken from my fog, Jeff led me up the up escalator. We made it to the theater but I didn’t even remember the film and when it came out on HBO I thought I hadn’t seen it yet.

My working memory, short term memory, and general cognitive processing are frequently effected but never in a patterned, predicable manner. So I must figure out how to compensate on the fly. It’s often difficult to articulate thoughts or even find simple words at times, (“that thing, with the pages… that you… you know… read.” “You mean a book?” “Yes. That’s it. A book.”)
They call it Lyme brain fog (or cancer brain fog, etc.) and it feels like swimming through thick mud. If you’ve never experienced it, I’m sure it looks strange to a healthy person. But please, be gentle and compassionate with us. We’re doing the best we can.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joleen White
    Jun 30, 2018 @ 15:22:34

    Completely agree. It is very hard to explain because people will think it is just being forgetful with old age. As you explained, it’s not always obvious to you that something is even happening. At its worst, I have no idea what is happening around me. Someone will finally break through the shell of incomprehension and be relieved that after trying to get my attention for 10 min, I have actually looked at them. Verbal response? Not a chance.


  2. Read Between the Lyme
    Jul 04, 2018 @ 09:44:03

    This is me too! I’m often in a haze in my brain. I see words and ideas floating around in my head but it’s all jumbly. Trying to make a coherent sentence sometimes takes a massive amount of energy!


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