I haven't had problems with brain fog when driving, but then again, I don't drive very far anymore because I can't trust my numb feet and shaky knees when driving.
However, I do get so frustrated at the way I forget things - like going to the commissary to get five things and then forgetting to get the one thing that I needed for a recipe that day. I used to have a super memory and a high IQ. I feel like I have lost so much!
For every dark cloud there is a silver lining!
Diagnosed: Lupus; mesenteric panniculitis; fat nacrosis;
I think the loss of mental sharpness is the hardest thing for most of us to deal with. I have never been stupid and logically I know that I am not now, but it sure feels like it sometimes!
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
You and I have spoken about this before. It was my score on a couple of early IQ tests that set my life into motion in a direction that affected every aspect of my life in a positive way. My memory gave me such a head start and advantage in life, and now, I can't remember my own phone number most days. I cringe to think about how much cognitive ability I've lost.
I can deal with the physical stuff. I can deal with the neuropathy and joint pain and get through each day. It's the rapid and profound decline of my mental faculties that has really caused me the most distress. It's like a huge portion of your identity has been taken away. I guess I don't talk about it much, as it's just depressing as hell.
Hang in there, and a big hug to you,
We have a few things in common. I was (am?) a mechanical engineer as well, and I am also a Star Trek fan. I know what you mean about the Spock thing. I was the kid who was considered the walking encyclopedia/thesaurus. These days I don't feel like a Tribble though. I'm more like a Borg walking around mindlessly on autopilot. I haven't tried to assimilate anyone lately though. (insert smiley face)
I've had a lifelong love of aviation, and I started flying with my father at a fairly early age. He's a pilot/instructor. I remember when I was 10 years old, he had some business to take care of up on the island Province of Newfoundland, Canada. He was flying up there from the airstrip in Maine where we live, and he asked me if I wanted to go with him and take over after takeoff and navigate us through all the waypoints to the airstrip in St. John's on the island. There's a whole lot of ocean between here and there! Even though I made up charts and whatnot for reference (this was long before the advent of GPS), I ended up doing the whole thing from memory and managed to hit all the waypoints and other navigational requirements accurately. I even got us there 17 minutes early!
Fast forward to just about one year ago. I got lost on my way home from the grocery store in a town that I've known like the back of my hand since childhood. It was like somebody threw a switch, and suddenly my sense of direction was gone, and street signs might as well have been in Chinese, because they made no sense. It really rattled me. I backtracked to the grocery store and called for help. It was such a strange thing, not to mention embarassing.
I've learned to live with it, and I've become pretty good at judging what times I'm most likely to have this happen. And, my family understands if they get an odd phone call from me asking for someone to lead me back to my house. There are so many other instances of brainfog causing problems, it's more than I want to think about. I try to laugh it off, and joke about it. Sometimes brainfog moments can be really funny, other times not.
Wow Rob, I'm excited. And I find it both strange and sad that I'm excited that someone understands exactly how I feel cause I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
I have become the queen of jokes about my condition. I tried the whole crying thing and Mr. Spock says that crying makes your muscles tense up, which in turn increases your pain, so therefore no crying allowed, lol. I have also become really good at the "brush off" answer: "oh, I feel fine" or "I'm getting along OK" because I figured out several years back that when "normal" people ask how I'm doing, they don't REALLY want the answer. The truth of my illness, and what a normal day is like for me, makes them uncomfortable. So I just smile and change the subject.
But the mind thing isolates me more than anything, I think, and I do it to myself. Over the years I've made some really great friends in the engineering world and now I avoid them because I don't want them to know how badly/poorly my brain works now. I don't want to see the pity in their eyes. I could never understand why other people couldn't "get" math - to me if was just simple and obvious. But the good Lord has taught me a lesson in humility: the other day my nephew called and wanted me to help him with his calculas class (first semester at that!) and it was almost like Greek. I knew that I knew it but oh my gosh was it a struggle. I dread when he moves on to higher order stuff cause his Aunt Bobbi is going to have to "fess up" that she can't help anymore.
My father died two years ago - he was truly the smartest man I've ever known and set me down my engineering path. He developed Alzheimer's about 4 years before he died. If I had the chance to say anything to him, it would be: Daddy I understand, and I'm so sorry. I understand now why he was so frustrated on his "good" days; it was because he knew that his mind had failed him and he hated it. But Mr. Spock says that whining is not allowed because my situation is no where as bad as his, and I should be grateful for what I do have.
So thanks for letting me vent - I think I needed it today! Have a great week Rob, and thanks for reaching out. I really appreciated it, more than you know.
When I'm driving and get brain fog, I just turn on the fog lamps and slow down... sorry, bad joke. I went and picked the boys up after school the other day. After we're driving for a bit, the oldest goes: "Where are we going dod?" "Home, of course." "Oh, I thought we might be going to McDonald's." "Why's that?" "'Cause you passed the house a few minutes ago."... Screeech!!! "Seriously?"... "Yeah..." then the youngest "But we're almost to McDonald's..." - I'm glad they know where we live!... tic
Last edited by jmail; 11-15-2011 at 10:05 PM. Reason: foggy bottom blues...
"There but for the grace of God, go I."
"... His mercy endureth for ever."