Dealing with Fibro-Fog

By Karen Lee Richards

My best friend from Florida came to visit me here in Tennessee so she could take fall leaves back for the children in her Montessori pre-school.  In our quest to find the most beautiful leaves, we headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway, well known for its stunning scenery.  No sooner had we gotten on the parkway than we found ourselves in the midst of one of the worst fogs I ever experienced.  We could literally only see about three feet in front of the car.  I was struck by was how similar it felt to being in the midst of a severe bout of fibro-fog!

The cognitive dysfunction so many of us with fibromyalgia deal with daily is aptly described by the term “brain fog,” or by my favorite pet name “fibro-fog.”  Our minds feel clouded by a thick fog.  We are unable to see (or think) more than a few feet (or minutes) ahead. 

See if any of these fibro-fog experiences sound familiar.  Do you ever…

…get ready to walk out the door and realize you have no idea where the car keys are?

…put the milk in the cabinet and the cereal in the refrigerator?

…run into an old friend and forget her name?

…find yourself driving down a road unable to remember where you are going? 

…buy something, not remembering that you bought the exact same think a week ago?

…try to describe or explain something but you cannot think of the word you want to use?

…stop in the middle of a conversation because you cannot remember what you are talking about?

…forget when you last took your meds?

…bounce a check because you added instead of subtracted?

…show up for your doctor appointment on the wrong day?


The forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and confusion characteristic of fibro-fog is occasionally amusing and often frustrating.  But sometimes it can be downright dangerous –– like forgetting that you have chicken frying on the stove or not noticing that a traffic light has turned red.  While it is good to be able to laugh at yourself over the little incidents of forgetfulness, it is important to take steps to improve your cognitive functioning so that you do not jeopardize the safety and well-being of yourself or your loved ones. 

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