One of the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia is, of course, the Fibro Fog.
One second you will be holding a gallon of milk, pouring out a glass and the next you're walking away from it as if you just decided to forget it.
In the last couple of days I have ruined two gallons of milk this way. One I left on my daughter's shelf in her room for some reason and another I walked away from some time last night to discover it this morning. Brilliant Gin!
I often talk about one of my favorite magic tricks that I'm good at performing. It is called the disappearing Vacuum trick. I vacuum out my car and then get in, and BAM...the vacuum disappears...right under one of my tires as I back out over it.
Easter can get interesting too. You hide eggs for your kids or grandkids to find and...lose some. That "getting warmer" game doesn't work so well when you can't remember where you hid the eggs. In the next few weeks the smell will help me find them!
As light-hearted as this post is today, there is a serious side to Fibro Fog that is no joke. The Medication factor. Did I just take more than I should have?
Poison Control knows me well. I am not afraid to call them and it is one of THE best services that is offered for free. I can't tell you how many times I've stood in stunned silence after taking a pill and thinking...I did this already. Or did I? CRAP!
By the way, Poison Control's number is 1(800)222-1222. There are online alternatives but, in my opinion, nothing beats a human telling you that you're going to be fine.
How can we fight the Fibro Fog?
I've asked a few Fibromates at a Facebook group that question, and some of them had good ideas.
Kathy Chapin of Chigago uses a dry erase board to keep track of things she needs to do and activities for members in her home. She even has it color coded, each person having their own color to make it even easier!
Marty Tanner of Seattle has a dry erase board on her door as well that he kids can write things she needs to remember on it. And like me, she uses her phone often.
For me, everything is in my phone. All my appointments. I set alarms at intervals because if I have an alarm that tells me I have an appointment in an hour...I'll forget the alarm ever went off and STILL forget the appointment. So, 2 hours...1 hour... and when I have to leave.
Lists, lists, and more lists. Elizabeth Sparham-Brouse from Ontario, agrees with me. She also openly asks everyone to remind her of things without being ashamed. And Susan Bibbins of Boston Mass makes sure to put these lists, not just anywhere, but in places she is sure to see them.
Gin Note: It is OKAY to tell people.. I've got the memory of a concussed goldfish. Remind me again what I was saying/doing.
Anna Kehoe Murphy from Albequerque New Mexico keeps a pill organizer and has a husband who will remind her to charge her phone.
Linda Jervis uses a key station; a place where the keys to her car goes right on the door so she never loses them. (Boy do I need to do that!)
Like Anna, Linda uses a pill organizer to take medications and that is a habit we ALL need to get in to. This is VITAL because of how dangerous skipping meds can be and even more dangerous when we over take them.
I usually use my phone alarm, once a week to remind me to refill my pill organizer and I don't shut off my alarm until I have the organizer in my hand and I'm hovering over the bottles.
Gloria from Michigan talked about having multiple calendars and date books, having an hour a night to coordinate all of them, make sure that wherever she was that day and wrote down on one, it would be in all, and after she is done writing in them, she puts them in the respective places immediately. One in her car, one in her home and one in her purse.
Teresa sent me a message telling me about how she writes down questions she has for doctors so she doesn't forget to ask anything. Likewise with business she writes down questions, or points she wants to make at meetings.
Joanna talked to me about having two or three egg timers on her stove, set at different minutes so if she forgets she's cooking and walks away, she is brought right back in time to save dinner.
After burning several dinners, I think this is a method I'm going to employ.
Bobbi Jo Youngs Stephenson of New York tries to keep her mind sharp just like I do, with puzzles and reading. (In my case I do a lot of writing and vocabulary work too as Fibro Fog makes me forget words I used to type often. Sometimes I'll get a word in my brain and over use it while writing. It drives me batty!)
There are so many ways in which we can fight the fog...we just have to get cell phone alarms or routines up and running so we can remember to do the things we need to do to remember. Haha! Try to make sense out of THAT! I dare ya.
I'd like to thank the ladies who responded to me in Facebook for the great advice, and I hope some of you found something that you could implement to help yourself out.
As always, My Friends, best wishes for those 98% days and a meal that isn't burnt!