Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lost Days (Cognitive Dysfunction)

Image Courtsey of [Evgeni Dinev] / 
Do you ever feel like you have lost days, because it seems like a week has gone by, but it has only been two or three days?  When the realization comes that you have to look for documentation of where you have been  when, and what you have done, it almost feels like waking up from a dream.  Maybe, that is one of the reasons I like writing things down. Even if it is just a list, I can see what I have done, whether I went into much description or not.  However, I don't always have intense brain fog.  I have found that energy levels, pain, and stress all affect my cognitive abilities from being very good to being dysfunctional.  Today, I first noticed it in this sense of having lost days.  I was trying to remember what day I was on for Flylady's 31 Beginner Babysteps.  I slacked off reading them for a couple of days, although I was still doing the routines.

Cognitive dysfunction is a problem for people with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I think forgetfulness must run the gamut from mild to intense.  After having read many accounts of forgetfulness and having dealt with my own, I know that it seems to partially involve short-term memory problems.  It affects life daily from forgetting words to forgetting how to get home.  Many people who were formally very sociable become less so, because they cannot hold a conversation without forgetting what they are going to say, while waiting their turn to speak.  Sometimes, I see faces of people I know, and I have a hard time putting  names with their faces;   or I feel like I probably know them, but I am not quite sure.
Image Courtesy of [dan] /

For those of us who start feeling confused at the store, because of the lights, the people, and having to make decisions about what to buy;  it can be very disconcerting and impair memory, even if we felt fine earlier in the day.  For some people this leads to panic attacks.  When this happens to me, I may actually have the panic attack after I get home.  I may have a physical reaction and feel like I am trembling all over.  My hands might actually be shaking.  Moreover, my head may feel cloudy:  I feel like I am slightly off and it is harder to focus.

It would be wonderful if you would respond to this, and give some feedback on how cognitive dysfunction affects you.  It helps to know you are not alone;  and for so many intelligent people to have the same symptoms could not be coincidental.  For more information on cognitive dysfunction, you may find  the following link helpful:  Cognitive Dysfunction Finding in Fibromyalgia by Adrienne Dellwo.

P. S.  I would like to finish my Flylady 31 Beginner Babysteps by Wednesday.  It has taken me longer than 31 days.  If I had done it without skipping any days, I would have been done by October 29;  however, I knew I would probably have to skip some days, because of my flare-up.  The point is I am determined to pick up and jump in.  I even find myself doing some up the steps on the Routines automatically now.  However, I have to rest often, especially lately.  So I would say the experiment has worked, because I am improving my habits.  The thing is, I know I am not done.  I will have to continue the job.  My house was an absolute mess before I started, and I still have boxes and items to put away, throw away, or give away before I am at the point of having "My Own Home - Bed and Breakfast."  I figure, although slow, it is definitely worth it.

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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah