Hi guys – happy weekend! Hope everyone is having a good one so far (even if you’re in the rainy UK, like me). I’ve been dying to write this post – can brain fog hurt? This question has been burning a hole in my brain and I wanted to see what everyone else thought. If you’re not sure what brain fog is, Wiki desribes it here as:
“A clouding of consciousness. It is a term used in medicine denoting an abnormality in the regulation of the overall level of consciousness that is mild, and less severe than a delirium. The sufferer experiences a subjective sensation of mental clouding described as feeling ‘foggy’.”
If you’re not a regular reader, I have chronic illnesses – M.E (/CFS) and fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed in 2013 and the symptoms began long before that, as a less intense level. So I’m definitely not new to brain fog! It is something I’ve done battle with for several years now! When I was unwell but still able to work, I had terrible brain fog.
What Causes Brain Fog?
The ME Clinic explained that it was because my body was putting all its energy into my basic everyday ‘survival’. Getting up early, getting ready and doing a full day’s work was taking all my energy, leaving nothing to spare for laying down short-term memory. That left me struggling to remember directions to places I had been going for most of my life; forgetting names; losing what I was saying half way through sentences. I would struggle with cognitive function – concentrating on tasks, figuring out sums and solutions to problems at work.
It was a huge problem at the time, and only really improved a bit when I became too unwell to work (a tiny silver lining I guess?!) Once my body was getting the rest it craved, the fog cleared a bit. I could finally speak for more than a few minutes without completely forgetting what I was talking about! I no longer tried to cook without switching on the hob (yep, that really happened…). Whilst I still had brain fog and it was still pretty annoying, it had improved to the point where I became used to it and didn’t give it a lot of thought. My attention was focused on my fatigue and pain, which were much worse.
My Brain Fog Episode!
I had a bit of an ‘episode’ recently, which is where this whole burning question thing came from! I was lying in bed with my laptop (much like now!) trying to do a meal plan for the week, whilst adding the food we needed to my online shopping basket. My husband does most of the cooking, but I like to do the food shopping when I can (thank god for online shopping!)
I was starting to get a bit muddled going back and forth between the plan and the shopping. My thinking had gone a bit foggy and unclear, and my head was hurting a little bit. In reality, I was way too tired and unwell to actually be doing it. But we hardly had any food in and I was determined it needed doing. I should have stopped when the warning signs kicked in, but I didn’t want to lose my allocated delivery slot.
All of a sudden, my headache got much more intense, to the point where I had to abandon what I was doing. My husband came up to see if I was ok, and I could barely string a few words together. I’m not exaggerating that by that point, I probably couldn’t have answered my own birth date! I was frantically searching for words and information in my head, feeling like I was swimming through a thick fog. My vision even felt worse at that point! It’s so difficult to explain, but I get why they call it brain fog – it really does feel like the inside of your head is filled with mist in place of a brain!!
The Point of No Return…
I could tell I’d gone past the point of no return and desperately needed to ‘reset’ by having a nap. My headache had got almost to the point of a migraine and I felt nauseous. I also felt a mild sense of panic, as I’d never experienced it quite that severely before. If I’d been alone, somewhere out of the house, I dread to think what would have happened! I lay down in the dark and eventually managed to have a short nap.
By the time I woke up, the brain fog had cleared quite a bit, although I felt absolutely exhausted. It was the first time I’d really realised that brain fog can actually hurt! Like, physically. It is so strange to me that something cognitive, to do with brain function, can actually cause outward pain or discomfort! But I suppose when I used to have anxiety, that could manifest in chest pain so maybe it’s not that surprising after all.
What I want to know is – have you experienced brain fog that physically hurt? Do you have any methods of coping with this? Let’s share as much information as we can with each other in the comments, or on social media. I really want to find some helpful coping tips in case it happens to me again!Never miss another post from me! Click below to follow me on Bloglovin. If RSS or social media are more your style, check out my sidebar! Follow