One of my biggest, and probably most frustrating, symptoms of my autoimmune disease is brain fog. And it has hit me hard this week, but in a different way that I’m used to. Typically it comes in the form of the inability to concentrate. I had to push out one of my licensing exams after I realized I had been studying for a month and retained exactly zero of the information. Despite how hard I tried, I just couldn’t retain the material, and most days, I couldn’t concentrate on the words enough to get through 1 or 2 pages.
Since passing the exams, I’ve been slowly presenting the presentation during client meetings – which is super hard for my introvert self, but that is a completely different blog post. But this week it was hard in other ways. I did 4 meetings yesterday and 4 meetings today. Tuesday’s first meeting went great, in my opinion. I was comfortable, clients were asking questions that I could answer, and it just seemed to go smoothly. The second was not quite as smooth, and I found myself stumbling over a word here and there, but nothing too horrible. The last two meetings were almost disasters (at least in my mind). I was having a hard time focusing on the words on my computer, and despite words being on the screen, my brain wasn’t recognizing them and allowing me to put them into grammatically correct sentences. And during one of the meetings, I apparently sighed (my boss told me afterwards), which is 100% possible, I just don’t remember it. I left work Tuesday evening completely embarrassed and frustrated, and on the verge of tears. It was like I knew nothing. I went to bed last night 100% wanting to call into work today just to avoid the possibility of repeating the day.
I didn’t call in today, but I really didn’t want to do meetings. And I get to work and my boss wants me to do them again – and because I’m a people pleaser (and I know I need to stop), I pretended to be okay with it and said okay. Today was very similar to yesterday. The first meeting was good. I didn’t really have any of the things happen that happened Tuesday afternoon. But again by the end of the day, I was loosing my words, couldn’t put together the right words to form the sentences, and wanted the meetings to be over as quickly as possible. Like what the actual hell? This type of brain fog has never happened to me. Is it going to be like some cognitive diseases where people get worse later in the day? – thinking along the lines of Dementia and Alzheimer’s – because some of those people are literally their normal selves in the morning, and by the evening they don’t know anyone around them. And the worst it got, the more frustrated and flustered I became on the inside, which definitely didn’t help anything.
It is like I forgot how to read and that I forgot the grammar I learned in elementary school. I have my MBA, so I like to think I am fairly knowledgeable and wise. This week I have felt neither. Now I’m sitting on the couch, and reflecting on the past two days. I don’t want them to be repeated. I do have to go for labs to check my thyroid numbers tomorrow before work, so maybe something is off? Right now, I’m hoping there is an explanation for this new fog. My type-A personality likes to have answers for everything. I’m just super frustrated and I feel like I need to sleep for 48 hours.
And I probably sound crazy. It is really hard to explain this, partially because I have no freaking idea what is going on in my head. I’m just going to cuddle with a dog, lounge in my sweats, and go to bed early.