Of all the symptoms of fibromyalgia I have to deal with on a daily basis, FibroFog is absolutely the worst for me. I can deal with pain and stiffness, I’ve adjusted to always being exhausted, anxiety and stress are a constant undercurrent, but feeling like I’m losing my mind? THAT one bugs me.
I have to use lists constantly, or I’ll walk out of the house without my head one of these days. (Of course, a list does a lot more good if I can actually find it.) I have to laugh most of the time, because some of the things I forget are just SO ridiculous . . .
Have you ever gotten half way to work and realized you forgot to put on your bra? I have. Funny? Yes. Irritating? Even more so. I probably could have gotten away with it, considering it was in the winter and I was wearing three layers of clothes, but still . . . not appropriate. Besides, try explaining to your male boss that the reason you’re half an hour late is because you walked halfway to work before you realized you’d forgotten your bra and had to go back and put it on. NOT fun. Funny, yes, even hilarious, but definitely not fun.
Then there’s the issue of keys. I’ve locked myself out of the house, locked the keys in the car with the car running, and spent months of my life LOOKING for lost keys. (I’ve had fibro for nearly 20 years, that’s a LOT of looking for lost “stuff.”) I have dozens of “locked the keys in the car” stories, mostly funny as hell . . .
Like the time, shortly after I left my ex, when I forgot I had a scholarship application due by midnight on April 15. (Thank you, fibro fog.) At 9pm, I realize I haven’t written the required essay, and it has to be postmarked by midnight, so I throw something together and rush to the nearest post office. I arrive just as the last pickup is leaving for the main office, so I jump out, close the door, and run for the truck as it starts to back out of the parking place. When I get back to my car, it’s locked, keys in the ignition and running, and all I have in my pockets is my cell phone because I’ve forgotten the spare car key in my rush to get there (thanks again, fibro fog.)
So there I am, stuck out in the burbs at midnight, no way to look up a number for a locksmith (this was way back in the day when cell phones didn’t have the option of roadside assistance) no spare key, no open businesses for miles . . . My only option is to call the ex-husband who goes to bed at 9pm and get him to bring me his spare key. He was NOT happy to be woken up at midnight so that he could drive 30 miles to somewhere he’s never been, just to rescue the ex-wife that dumped him. (I’ll spare you all the ranting I had to listen to before he agreed, and after he finally got there after getting lost twice. LOL)
After that, I started keeping spare keys everywhere. One in my pants pocket, one in my purse, another one in one of those little metal boxes that attaches to the undercarriage, one in my bookbag . . . It worked for a while, until I totaled that car and got another one that only had one key (and I kept forgetting to get spares made.) I thought I’d solved the problem permanently when I got rid of the car entirely, until the night my roommate loaned me his car to go to work, and I locked the keys in with the engine running . . .
I’ve forgotten deodorant, forgotten to brush my teeth or hair; walked out without my wallet, my keys, my nametag, my butterfly clip, my bottle of water, my lunch, my purse, bus schedules, my phone . . . I’ve forgotten to eat so I could take medicine, or eaten so I could take meds and then forgotten to actually TAKE them . . .I’ve forgotten words I’ve used a million times in the middle of conversations and talked all around what they mean trying to come out with them; I’ve SAID the wrong word while thinking the right one; and I’ve gone totally blank, forgetting what I was saying while I was saying it.
Routine is a lifesaver when you’re foggy. It’s much less likely that you’ll forget something that has become a habit, but a routine is really hard to set up when you have a job like mine, where the schedule changes every week. I never work the same days, or the same hours, two weeks in a row, so my routine has become “checking the list.”
I have lists for everything. There’s the list of things the hubby has to have when he leaves for work, the list of things I have to have when I leave for work, the list of things I need when I’m going shopping (that one actually has to have the shopping list on it, or I’ll forget that.) I even have printable shopping lists that include all the stuff that I buy on a regular basis, so that I can check to see if I need that particular item this time. (Of course, when I LOSE the list . . .)
Believe it or not, Google is another life saver. I use Google Calender to keep track of my work schedule (if I can remember to enter it;) writing deadlines, including topics and submission deadlines; pay weeks; bill due dates; to do lists; and anything else I can think of. It’s great, because I can set it up to nag me daily, hourly, or whenever else I need it to.
I use Google Reader too help me keep up with posts on the blogs I follow, although it’s still difficult to keep up since I follow so many. The handiest thing is that I can just scroll down the list to see who’s got new posts, so I don’t have to actually go to EVERY blog to see if they’ve written something new (RSS ROCKS!)
Google Alerts is great because I can set it up to keep track of new information on my interests, without having to do a manual search on each subject. I don’t miss new articles because I didn’t have time to go search each of my terms, Google does that FOR me every day and sends me an email with all the relevant results. All I have to do is check the email and see if there’s anything interesting. Totally automatic, so if I’m foggy and forget, I still get the info.
- Blog Carnival #23 – Linky Love, the Secret Admirer Edition (chronicbabe.com)
- The Emotional And Physical A, B, C’s of Fibromyalgia (hibernationnow.wordpress.com)
- More Tools from My Chronic Pain Toolkit (ohmyachesandpains.info)