Walking Through the Fog
You know those mornings where you wake up, look out the window, and the world is covered in a thick layer of fog? You drive your car and you can't see past your headlights?
Imagine that feeling inside your brain.
Your eyes are open but there is a thick glaze covering them. You are trying to speak but can't find the right words within the mist in your brain. Sometimes it is as if someone has written your vocabulary down on a bunch of marbles and then thrown them across the room for you to sort through and find the right words while you're speaking.
What brain fog feels like
Brain fog is something that people with all kinds of illnesses and disorders can experience, not just those of us with narcolepsy. It is generally described as the feeling of lacking clarity and focus and can affect someone's ability to take part in everyday tasks.
When I am experiencing brain fog I feel as though my brain is running slower than my lips, like I am constantly trying to catch up to the conversation at hand. Generally, this results in me forgetting words that I would normally use every day, and me blankly staring into space for long periods while I try to find that word in my brain. This can be incredibly frustrating and has affected me at some terrible times.
What was that word again?
Working as a music teacher there are certain terms that really should just flow off my tongue without much thought. The name of the instrument I am teaching is a pretty good example of a word that should come pretty easily to me. When I am experiencing brain fog even that can be an issue.
I remember one time I was teaching a group of year 7 students and felt myself getting that all too familiar blank stare where my brain is working overtime to catch up to my mouth. I couldn't find the word 'Clarinet' in my brain, and so explained it to the students as the long black stick. Major facepalm moment. I then had to deal with a group of kids uncontrollably laughing at my description and mocking me for the rest of the class. Thanks for the bad timing, brain fog.
How do I deal with brain fog?
Honestly, I think with something like this laughter can be the best medicine. Some of the words that slip through the cracks of my brain, and how I attempt to explain the word I am looking for can be downright hilarious!
Don't get me wrong it is incredibly frustrating, but getting more and more frustrated makes my brain fog worse. I try to just relax and let my brain do its thing, and eventually, I will get my message across one way or another.
What is the hardest part of coping with narcolepsy?