Chronic Grace

Finding the Grace in a Life With Chronic Illness

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes i...

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes in chronic pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So now I’ve reblogged two times in a row. Bad girl, I am. But talk about writer’s block…I’ve got it. So much that it’s painful, almost, to look at my blank computer screen, with the cursor blinking at me anxiously. Why did I ever think I could be a writer? Writers play with words, and at the moment I’m completely out of words. Interesting words, that is.

Which brings me to fibro fog. If anyone reading this has fibromyalgia, you’ll grasp what I’m talking about immediately. I think someone has stolen my brain, or flicked an “off” switch that has shut everything down. Whoever you are, I’d like my brain back, please.

I sit here in a stupor trying to figure out what letter on the keyboard to punch next. I keep remembering that foggy day when my mom decided it would be good idea to introduce me to modern poetry. I’m about, maybe, ten or thereabouts. We go out on the front stoop and stand, blanketed by fog, while my mom recites Carl Sandburg’s poem Fog to me.

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

And of course, I can’t figure out how to get the darn text to single-space the poem, so it will just have to stay there. Sometimes, learning to accept a little imperfection is a good thing, I guess. But anyway, when this foggy haze envelops me, I remember my mother and my introduction to modern poetry. Sandburg captures, in his spare modern verse, exactly how fibro fog feels inside.

The funniest medical advice I’ve ever seen about fibro fog was on a medical site, a good one, like the Mayo Clinic or Web MD, and it said that the best way to cure fibro fog was to lower one’s pain levels and decrease fatigue. In other words, stop having your fibromyalgia flare and the fogginess will go away. Um, yes, thanks, not terribly helpful.

Actually I suspect that the cause this time is the result of really bad hay fever (my throat is so sore I’ve lost my voice), a fibromyalgia flare brought on by not being able to do my walking routine thanks to sky-high levels of ragweed pollen, and a muscle relaxer I’m taking because the flare is aggravating my neck pain from of  last summer’s car accident.Especially the muscle relaxer. I see my pain specialist tomorrow, and we will have lots to discuss! (Actually, he has recommended a course of acupuncture, but I can’t start until late October.)

So at least I know what’s causing it. But I can’t help feeling that the fog came in on little cat feet, stole my summer, and then moved on. Evidence is accumulating that fibro is a disease related to the central nervous system, so it makes sense that it would cause my fuzziness. But really, enough is enough. If I could just go for my walks, I’d be able to fight the fog. The first frost, a nice, ragweed-killing one, is all I need. That and a spell of decent weather afterward, although that has been quite rare this year. Or maybe a membership at Snap Fitness or Amazing Fitness, one of those places that have the treadmills, the bikes, and the elliptical machine. I refuse to let my fibromyalgia define my life.

English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromya...

English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. (See Wikipedia:Fibromyalgia#Signs and symptoms). To discuss image, please see Template talk:Adult female diagrams References Retrieved on April 19, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


12 thoughts on “fibro fog, etc.

  1. Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

    Another thing that could help out with the fibro fog is meditation and yoga. I try to engage in these things everyday and it tends to help out with clearing out the fog, helping me focus better. 🙂


    1. Jenny, that’s so good to know! I have started practicing mindfulness meditation but it’s not going very well yet. My doctor thinks it’s a great idea though. And I want to do some yoga, so I will add that to my list. Stretching feels sooo good, and I really think there is a lot to be said for coping techniques that pay attention to the mind-body connection. Love your blog, incidentally–glad I discovered it!


      1. Jumping_Jenny_444 says:

        Meditation and yoga take practice, but with time and patience you’ll get good at it. 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoy my blog. I like reading yours as well! 🙂


  2. Lisa Richard says:

    Oh, Barbara, writer’s block and fibro fog are a horrid combination. Have you worked with the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron? This book crashed through all my walls. I also worked through Finding Water last fall. She is a lifesaver!!!


    1. Lisa, that’s a great idea, and I actually have a copy of her book. First though, I think I’m going to try using a book by Christine Valter’s Painter called “the Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom” which is also a twelve week program. Thanks for reading my blog, btw!


  3. dawnhosking says:

    The best thing that I have discovered for clearing the fog a little is high strength sublingual B12 in the methyl form. At present I’m taking Jarrows but I have had Country Life and they were good quality too.


    1. I’ll have to ask my docs about this. Thanks for the recommendation!


  4. I have to agree, with Jenny, yoga is a great help, in more ways than one. I feel energized afterwards, regardless of my energy level beforehand. I do have a friend using sublingual B12 with good results and I’m considering trying it myself.


    1. Thanks, I tried doing some yoga this weekend and it felt wonderful!


  5. I came on this old post by chance, I hope the fibre fog is a thing of the past. I loved the sandberg poem which I hadn’t heard for years. You probably know it, but if not take a moment to go and read T S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. He has mesmerising descriptions of fog including the verse that starts:
    The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes… [and ends]
    …And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.


    1. Love this! I must check it out. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond–I’ve been plagued with nasty headaches the last few months, and I’ve neglected my blog dreadfully!


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