Fibro Fog. I heard about it. I was glad I didn't have it, it sounded irritating. A good friend complained that the pain was not very limiting, it was the fibro fog that bummed her out the most.
I have now experienced this. I agree with my friend-I don't like it. Not one bit. Now that my pain is under control for the most part (thank you, Cymbalta), I must say that not remembering crap sucks.
One of my control freaky quirks is being right on a regular basis. This requires a good memory. Also, I am always on time (VERY annoying, I know) and I have always valued this quality in others. My husband gets a "pass" because of all his wonderful qualities (and let's face it, if he's with me, he will be on time just to stop my bitching when we are running late....). I feel that people's perception of me is that I am a very "together" kinda gal. (Wow, am I like, 60? In the 60's?). Basically, I gots my shit together, and one of the biggest qualities that has helped me to keep up this facade has been my memory. When you have some time to kill, I can tell you all kinds of stories in amazing detail, like my husband's stint in Mall Jail (yes, babe, I went there) or his pathetic attempt at a Valentine's gift in 1995, that almost got him killed (save for the 2000 miles between us)---I will spare some of the inappropriate details, though. Needless to say, my memory rocks. Or, rocked.
I had been muddling along, thinking I still had it all together. Certainly glad I didn't have that fibro fog I had read about. Then, little things began happening. Just little ones. And SK had read up, and told me it might happen, and that I might have had some issues with it already. Whatever. Deep in the recesses of my mind, I had a little inkling that he might be a teensy bit right.
I think my moment of clarity (read: acceptance) came when the phones at my job got turned off. Yep. Wow, right? Thank goodness I am not in charge of the utilities! One of my right-hand women called (from her cell phone, of course), and very gently told me what the problem was. I came in, and found three bills in my "to be paid" file. Hmmm. Not even a courtesy call? Sheesh! So, an email went out claiming technical difficulties, and I jumped into the computer to take care of the rest. Is it "technical difficulties" when I technically forget to mail a check? I think so, too.
Two days later, my other right-hand woman called. The janitorial supply company and the parking company both had called, wondering what to do with the checks I had sent, for bills that seemed to have already been paid. After I finished blushing, I told her to give them calls back, and tell them to be thankful they weren't the phone company. She laughed, probably shook her head, and let me wallow in my forgetfulness.
Nothing like this kind of stuff to bring things into perspective, right?
A few days after that, I lost something. True to form, I have no idea what it was, but it was important at the time. Of course, I blamed Sky King-once again, true to form-his short-term memory has always been spotty, to say the least. It's one of the things that makes me almost choke him. The only reason he has survived is that I get to blame him for almost everything, because he just has no clue if he really did whatever I blame on him (shhhhh) . As we walked around the house looking for it (cause it was due, or something), he looked at me, and said:
SK: You know, you have been forgetting things just as much as I do lately.Maybe this means you don't get to keep blaming me anymore!
Me: :::sheepish::: Yes I do. ::::sigh:::: But my heart's just not in it.
SK: ::::Smiles smugly, walks away:::::
From now on, I don't get to chastise him when I find the cereal in the fridge or the fake butter in the pantry. I can't scowl at him when I am frantically trying to locate the permission slip. My favorite hat is not where I remember putting it, because it is where I set it down mindlessly. Really, the only time I can safely point the finger at him is when I find the item, and it has been stashed out of reach of me. (He's a foot taller, and puts things out of sight in desperation when people are coming over).
So, I had to devise some more systems to keep me on track.
As an avid Smartphone user (LOVE my Droid X), I use the calendar option. I have always used it to remember dates, meetings, appointments. Now, I have added in little things like, "email Mike about fish tank" and "look up yoga classes for Saturdays" and "bring in Adele CD for Becky" (isn't "21" an AMAZING CD?) and finally, "post bills and pay them". And, all day long, my reminder makes that annoying sound---because the pretty sounds I blow off. And, I then make a conscious choice. I either do the task right then, or I put it off (on the smartphone, I can't rely on memory) until a time when I might be able to take care of it. I even have a reminder to take my medication. In the mornings, I have just vitamins, it's not as critical. But in the evening, I have a mix of vitamins and my important medication, which I should take at the same time each day. So, my faithful reminder goes off, and I swear, it sometimes surprises me. I'm like, "Hey! What is THAT? I wonder why THAT is going off....." Which leads me to....
Pills. First off, I had to take the whole "pulling them all out of individual bottles" BS. I accepted the concept of pills, and lots of 'em, a while back. But, opening all those bottles (and trying to remember what and why for each one) was too much. So, insert old lady pill sorter.
Desk. I have been a notoriously sloppy desk keeper. As in, Geez, what kind of slob works in this pit. But, I cleaned it off (and even used some sort of spray stuff, and wiped it down!), bought some thingys to put stuff in and labeled them (after consultation with my two right hand women) and then...........
I used them. I even clean up the desk each day before I leave. I feel more in control of the situation. And, after I called all the vendors I had to see where I stood with my accounts (I claimed math aversion and complemented them so they would help me), I was aware of the whole situation and able to move forward, fresh.
Lastly, I put things away slowly. This has helped me to be more mindful of where things are. When I run around the house putting things away, I do it almost on autopilot, stashing things here are there. Now, I sometimes put things in places that don't make sense. So, I walk slower, and think carefully of where I am putting things, and I don't stop in the middle (usually....) until the item is put away.
Now, if I could only find the remote....