Polimicks

Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Brain Fog and Memory Issues

Yeah, I’m going to try to be here more often.  I really am.  Life just gets crazy, and November is a busy damn month.  So, here I am.

Today I want to talk about a facet of chronic migraines that no one talks about, or at least I don’t hear about it as much as the nausea, pain, losing vision, and all that fun stuff.

Oooo, let’s not forget the smell sensitivity, because my bathroom has never been so clean.    Although that was one of my canaries in the coal mine, and is again.  If I walk into my bathroom, which under normal circumstances smells fine, and want to gag at the smell? It’s migraine time.

Actually there are a few things I want to talk about regarding the migraines, but the big one is the brain fog that comes with them.

I was having 18-24 migraines a month, according to my migraine tracker.  When I wasn’t actively migraine-ing, I was stupid.

No, really.

I couldn’t focus.  I had no short term memory. My long-term memory wasn’t that great either.  I started losing words a lot more.  I’d drift off in the middle of sentences because I couldn’t follow that train of thought any further, and then just stare off into space.  I had to beg my bosses to please, just email me things, and please don’t get mad when I have to email you back to ask if I finished something or got it back to you already because I forgot to move the email out of my inbox.

I’m still finding shit I fucked up during the migraines, and probably will for the next six months, to be honest.

Just recently I discovered that a friend of mine changed their name, like a year ago.

Yup.

I don’t know if they thought I was just being insensitive, or if they knew what I was going through and cut me some slack, but they didn’t correct me last time I saw them.

Which brings me to another point:

Yes, people dead-naming you and misgendering you purposely is a form of violence.

But you know what’s also a form of violence?  Reading someone the riot act for something they legitimately forgot because illness or injury affected their memory.

I know this friend told me.  But literally until someone corrected me today, I did not remember that they had changed their name.  Like, after they corrected me, I suddenly had a light go on in my head, and could go back to the email they sent me, but I wouldn’t have thought to do that without someone gently saying, “Hey, that’s not their name anymore, they changed it to X.”

It makes me wonder what other important shit I’m missing.

I know I’ve had to ask my sister when my nephew’s birthday is like 800 times.

I’m still repeating shit to people multiple times because I don’t trust that I’ve actually said it.

I started to get super worried and stressed because dementia runs through both sides of my family.  And, well, yeah…  Which of course did not help, because stress is a trigger.

And truthfully, a large number of people who dead name and misgender you are doing it purposely to be jerks, or they just don’t care enough to pay attention.

But there is a very real percentage of people who literally cannot remember that you told them.

Sometimes it’s due to a temporary condition or something that can be fixed with medication.  Sometimes it’s permanent.  And it sucks, for everyone.

It doesn’t help that a lot of the emotional abuse I took as a child involved gaslighting, so my poor husband had to deal with me flipping out every so often when he’d correct me, because I honestly did not remember a thing happening, and being told that my reality isn’t real is a HUGE trigger for me.  This would be why Alzheimers/dementia is one of my greatest fears, and the chronic migraines were a reinforcement of that.

Imagine living in a world where you are triggered repeatedly by something that spikes your autonomic system into a panic attack, because people HAVE TO TELL YOU really important shit again and again and again.  I get why people suffering from those types of ailments sometimes get really mean as the disease progresses.  It’s not anger, it’s fear.  And partially anger, because they can’t trust their reality and they feel that their bodies are betraying them.  But a lot of it is fear.

That said, the new meds have me down to 2-4 migraines a month, which is survivable.

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This entry was posted on November 29, 2019 by in Featured Articles, Health Care, It's All About Me, Surviving.

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