fibrofog · fibromyalgia · flare-up · Uncategorized

The Return of Focus-Killing Fog

I wish the fog was outside, like in this photo. But it’s not. It’s in my brain.


Yesterday afternoon, I drove Daniel over to Sports Authority to get him some new shoes. Half way there:

Daniel: Mom, your driving is kind of off today.

Me: I know. I’m a little off today. I feel weird, like I’m not really here, like everything is just a dream.

Daniel, as he braces his feet against the floorboards: That’s kind of scary.

Me: Yes. It is.

If I had known just how off I really was, I wouldn’t have driven. But, sometimes, you don’t know until you’re out in the world, trying to navigate it. And, the brain fog from my fibromyalgia hasn’t been this bad in a long time. In September of 2014, my naturopath started me on Ceriva (a supplement that modulates the metabolism of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine) and a blend of adaptogenic herbs. Together, these supplements banished the worst of my brain fog and mental fatigue. I had such a long stretch of mental clarity that I felt like the old name of my blog – Notes From the Fog – no longer fit. I felt like a somewhat normal person! Until now. Now I’m back to feeling foggy, slow-witted and disconnected, from the world, from other people, from myself. I’m back to not being able to process things in my peripheral vision. To having super-slow reflexes that make me feel like I’m trying to move -and think- underwater. Back to not being able to process what anyone is saying if the TV is on in the background. To feeling absolutely worthless.

It’s very disappointing to get better and think you’ve got things figured out and then have a major relapse like this. I really thought I was done with being this out of it. And when I think of the word I chose for this year – focus – I am overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. With brain fog there can be no focus. One minute I can be at the sink doing the dishes and the next I’m at my computer with no memory of what thought prompted me to quit what I was doing and walk to another room. Fog is a focus killer.

While my little word for the year is probably completely out of reach right now, the phrase I chose for my planner for the week is not.


I will never give up my quest for focus and mental clarity. I will get it back. Somehow, some way, focus will be mine.


13 thoughts on “The Return of Focus-Killing Fog

  1. Many natural supplements (especially herbal medicine) need to be changed often as your health symptoms change and I wonder if you need some more adaptogenic foods, herbs & supplements i.e. the have several effects depending on your symptoms. Calming herbs taken in excess can be stimulating. So can essential oils.

    My FM brain fog is affected by food, exercise and taking on too many activities and trying to remember too much. Mostly food. My vitamin/calcium supplement regime remains the same most of the time. Lately I’ve added another 2000mg of salmon oil capsules and 2000mg of vitamin C (split between am & pm). I normally only take Vit C in winter. And since my skin was starting to dry out on my arms & legs I chose to increase the salmon oil. I just can’t afford the best diet these days.

    Did you feel the Ceriva improved your symptoms back in 2014? Does it still improve your symptoms now. Perhaps you need reassessing and a new range of supplements? I’m only guessing.

    1. I do take breaks from the Ceriva and my adaptogen blend but I’m probably due for another break from the herbs. I just hate going off them because the fatigue and brain fog always get worse. Same with the Ceriva; after a few days off mental clarity starts slipping away.

      I’m sure my current foggy state is partly due to all the things you mentioned: the wrong foods, taking on too many activities and trying to remember too much. Also, after talking to my mom who is feeling the same way only ten times worse, I’m sure it has to do with the weather too. Looking back, I always feel terrible this time of year. I’d just forgotten because I felt fine last year when we didn’t have a winter.

      1. I should probably use that some time on my new music feature since it’s apparently a lost classic even though it was a Top 10 hit when it was released in the early 70’s. It’s probably the only rock song to ever incorporate yodeling!

    1. I hope it gets better as you get used to the new drugs. The fear of fog has kept me from trying certain drugs, like Neurontin. I’m just not up for weeks of foggy-thinking. The fog and the mental fatigue are the things that bother me the most, although pain isn’t far behind right now. I hope you feel better!

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