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A CHRONICLYsILLy (Lupie) Survival Guide to: Brain Fog!

Posted Aug 16 2010 3:56am
Good morning! And wow am I up early today... And in need of some Java (what's new?)
I am off to babysit my little friend Robby this morning for a few hours a bit earlier than usual because his mother has some appointments and things she must tend to. I am looking forward to spending time with him, because as many of you know (because you have your own children) kids really do have a way of putting a smile on your face and making your day that much brighter simply because they are kids... they are innocent, full of life and always find a way to get you to crack smile when it seems impossible. So I am blogging to you early so that we can all get our day started with some Chronic silliness! And what better way to begin our Monday, than with the second of our "A CHRONICLYsILLy (Lupie) Survival Guide to: Brain Fog." An all to common and usually overlooked symptom of Lupus and many other chronic illnesses, brain fog is a broad category that is categorized as a type of Cognitive dysfunction associated with autoimmune diseases/chronic illnesses. Sometimes this term is also used to describe the foggy headed feeling some of the medications (such as the dreaded Prednisone) may cause as well. Unfortunately, Cognitive Dysfunction (brain fog) is usually overlooked or brushed off as if it is nothing major of of any importance, when, in actuality, it can hinder one's ability to function as a productive member of society, and leave the patient feeling helpless, confused, lost and alone.

So, today, in order to shed some light on Brain Fog, I am Proud to present you with "A CHRONICLYsILLy (Lupie) Survival Guide to: Brain Fog!" A survival guide full of tips, tricks and helpful hints when it comes to coping and dealing with brain fog. So without further adieu... here are a select few of the many tips and tricks that can help when dealing with brain fog:

A CHRONICLYsILLy (lupie) Guide to: Brain Fog (Don't leave home without it!...No seriously--- because if you have this guide you probably have brain fog and won't remember!)

Tip 1: POST IT NOTES! - Write it down! I cannot emphasize this enough! and if your brain fog is really at it's worst, make a post it note that reminds you to write things down so that you will not forget. It may sound tedious at times but it can be a real life savor especially when it comes to little chores and tasks you wish to accomplish during the day, from a simple phone call you wish to place, to switching the laundry. A bonus: They come in all sorts of shapes, colors, sizes etc. So find some fun ones... Maybe show some support and awareness for your chronic illness, if your a Lupie, rock some purple and orange awareness post its ( or if you are like me, and are obsessed with neon colors- they make hot pink ones!) !

Tip 2: GET A PLANNER/AGENDA BOOK! - Again- WRITE IT DOWN! This is so crucial in remembering little tasks and a planner has been my savior when it comes to managing and trying to remember all of my various doctor appointments, tests, scans, blood work, etc. I keep my planner in my purse at all times and whenever I am making an appointment I not only take the appointment card for my wallet and put it on the fridge when I return home, but I also write it directly in my planner before I even leave the office. Also, you mind find it helpful to put a reminder in your cellular phone- Many phones now have calendars in them that allow you to schedule for an alarm to go off how ever many minutes/hours/days prior to your event that you have entered. Technology is most certainly our friend these days!

Tip 3: Put things in the same place habitually! - This is a simple tried and true strategy that has been going on almost subconciously in many households for decades...Simply said: Keep your things in the same place. Hang your keys on the same hook, put your slippers on the same side of your bed in the same location, etc. and you get the picture... In order to make life easier for you don't work against yourself and hide things by placing them down somewhere you usually wouldn't- it will save you a lot of frustration and strife down the road when you cannot find that particular item. In my home, I keep my keys on the same hook everyday and never have to worry where they are, however if for some reason I do not place them there (Prednisone ADD or what have you! ) I usually cannot find them for on average about 15 minutes (and what a long and frustrating/full of profane language not suitable for our PG 13 blog it is!)

Tip 4: PILL CASE!- Now if any of you CHRONICLYsILLy folks out there are like me, you take on average 22 pills daily. Yes 22. That's right. Everyone who is chronically ill is thinking thats about right, while anyone who is not is thinking "MY GOD!" -- welcome to the life of a chronically ill individual. Well, in order to remember when to take all of these pills and to ensure I do not forget any, I use a pill case of epic proportions. Let's just say it's the Bentley of Pill cases and serves all of my daily drug taking needs. While I still have to remember to take each set of pills around the same time each day, I usually do not forget a pill when it is organized in my pill case ( The only down side, Sunday nights are "refill the pill case" nights which has now turned into a 30 minute production at a minimum, and it is a very stressful and frustrating 30 minutes trying to figured out what I take when...) You would think I would have it down, but it seems every time I am getting into a routine, this pill's dose is cut, while this one's being increased and now, before you know it you have 3 new medications, that need to be taken twice daily, cannot be taking simultaneously with any other medications and need to be taken 2 hours after eating and at least an hour before... You get the picture!

Now, I am sure you all have some wonderful Ideas you use to help manage your brain fog, and if you would like to leave them as comments here, or on the facebook fan page, perhaps in a discussion I'd love to hear them! And now I must be heading off to my little friend Robby So Iwill leave you with all of our usual departing and post-concluding blurbs: The Nothing is Kim Possible Page of Hope (all funds to the LFA!) - The Butterfly Gala Ticket and Table information- The Cast your vote - for The 2010 Blogger's Choice Awards- and of course- Our daily Jolt of Java!

Jolt-of-Java: "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more importance than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past, we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."- Charles Swindoll

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