Over the last few months Brain Fogs seem to come more often. It is very frustrating that I am not as sharp as I used to be and I am sure it is challenging for ones close to me. So, for those of you are lucky enough to communicate with me while I am experiencing a Brain Fog let me explain to you what is happening.
What is a Lyme Disease Brain Fog?
The easiest way to explain a Brain Fog is when someone experiences confusion, forgetfulness and lack of focus and mental clarity. The mind does not function as a normal person’s processes. It can be referred to as a cognitive dysfunction and many things can influence a brain fog and the intensity.
Short term memory loss with Lyme patients is very common and frustrating. Short term memory loss usually plays out in the Lymie thinking of something to say, waiting for the person speaking to finish their statement, knowing in a few minutes you will be unable to recall the idea or what you wanted to share. This is extremely embarrassing. This cognitive dysfunction can include finding the right word for the expression or sentence. At times, I have to shake my head at what I am trying to say or feel at a loss when I am nicely reminded that I mentioned that “I was taking Thursday off” four times
Memory Loss in a Lyme patient can be as a far as forgetting where they live, who they are and even how to perform basic functions that doesn’t take normal effort to remember such a task, for example, brushing your teeth. This should be second nature, but for a person undergoing severe brain fogs, brushing their teeth may seem foreign and they need to think of the steps carefully.
The less serious stages of Lyme induce memory loss, forgetting names, forgetting what someone to you, forgetting important dates, and even forgetting the basic things such as placing a fork on the dinner table. It is also interesting to note that memories before Lyme happen to be much easier to recall than memories mad after a person has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. My memory is quite sharp for many things in the past, however, when it comes to recent things it is difficult for me to recall them or remember if I have shared with them with a love one.
Incapable of retaining information
In addition to struggling to recall recent memories at times, Lymie’s also are not able to retain the simplest information (meeting a person, remembering a name etc.). Even after going through extensive lengths to help retain simple information the brain is incapable of holding this information. At this moment, this is not a challenge for me, but I know the day this comes it will be frightening. To help me retain info to the best of my ability, I keep a notebook handy to take notes. I thankfully am still able to work and it is very important I meet deadlines, am able to communicate efficiently during a meeting and communicate with my team. The notebook allows me recall thoughts, jot down notes. I also keep a well-managed calendar to remember all events.
Concentration is the brain’s ability to focus on a specific task, and of course the need to need to retain information takes a large amount of concentration. Being unable to concentrate can have a great impact of reading (re-reading things over and over), communicating with others and the ability to work at times. Because we have trouble retaining information, concentration is crucial so we can retain the information, but of course, if we have having troubles with our memory how can we concentrate when we forget something from five minutes ago?
The Brain Fogs have probably been the scariest for me as I can see the decline in my sharpness, memory and ability to focus. To help ease the brain fogs, I keep a notebook handy to jot down notes to share with friends/family, or to discuss during a meeting so I can intellectually share my thoughts without making my Brain Fog visible to others.
Advice to Loved Ones
Be patient, and supportive to your Lymie. Yes, the conversation may never have a clear understanding or you may hear the same things over and over, but remember to have some understanding and compassion to how we are feeling. If we repeat things, just let it go. If we are struggling with communicating, give us chance to express ourselves and maybe help a bit. If you implement these tools with your Lymie is creates a peaceful relationship and allows them to feel secure.