Struggling with the "fog"

On a new project at work and I am struggling like never before to keep up. I can't absorb info like everyone else (or like I used to) and I get confused and can't seem to remember anything! I'm not having a flare ... at least I don't so. Seems like the fog is all the time now. my colleagues are treating me so differently. they are not helping or being supportive and sometimes make me feel like i am intentionally screwing up or not paying attention.

if i report this to my boss i’m pretty sure they won’t accommodate me. my work is really mentally (more than physically) intensive and I am just falling so far behind. even the simplest of things evade me and it’s like my mind just won’t remember anything.

i was diagnosed with CNS lupus but was ensured that the fog would come and go. but that’s not happening. i feel so dumb and am worried my entire career that i spent 15 years building is gone and i’m worthless professionally :( I cry everyday now, especially after meetings where it's obvious i'm struggling. so humilated

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  • That sounds like a total nightmare. I totally get where you're coming from. Brain fog kind of crept up on me too at work. It was a tough environment so I just thought I was feeling the pressure. Getting my thyroid levels sorted helped. A couple of coffees (not very healthy advice!) before important brainstorming sessions faked an alert brain). Rescue Remedy worked for me if I was stressing. Also, it would be worth trying meditation and yoga. Headspace is a good place to start. Hope this helps and good luck. Xx PS preparing for a good night's sleep is also so important. Good luck. Xx

  • Hi 001kat1d1d001,

    Don’t be upset! You have spent many years building your career and should not be made to feel incapable of working due to colleagues not understanding your symptom. Speaking to your colleagues about brain fog can help them understand what you are going through and allow them to make small adjustments for when you are working together. For example you can ask your colleagues to leave notes about tasks that need to be completed rather than them only informing you verbally. Also, you can set up computer reminders i.e. for upcoming meetings and important events. To find out tips on how to manage ‘brain fog’ and the importance of discussing this symptom with your employer please click here: lupusuk.org.uk/coping-with-...

    We published a factsheet that contains services and support helplines which may be of interest to you: lupusuk.org.uk/wp-content/u... We can also provide you with LUPUS UK contacts who you can speak to over the telephone. These contacts are volunteers who mostly have lupus themselves; they are not medically trained but are there to offer support and understanding. If you would like a local contact to speak to, you can email me at chanpreet@lupusuk.org.uk

    Wishing you all the best, let us know how you get on.

  • thank you for the resources. i think it's time i gave them more detailed info. somebody today compared what I have to when he sprained his ankle. took everything in my power to not snap at him. people think we "just get over it" ...

  • Hi, I am in a similar situation in that I need to be able to think clearly. I am a graduate student in physics. My fellow students, and to some extent my teachers as well, don't understand this brain fog at all. What works the best for me is trying to stick to a ketogenic diet. It takes me about a week to normalize, but when I am in ketosis, I have more energy and more importantly I can think straight. I'd say you don't know what a huge deal that is, but you do. I know everybody is different, and you may not get the same results; but it may be worth a try. Good luck.

    PS Right now I am suffering from not listening to my own advice.

  • thanks for understand the mental strain. i'm in technology and the demand to remember ridiculous (i'm now realizing this) amounts information and constantly problem solve and create is frying my brain. Unfortunately telling them about the brain fog might result in them saying "but these are all the areas you're supposed to excel at".

    i know i'll need to retire from this (I'm still under 40!) but i think the stress, the hours and the constant sleep deprivation must be making this work.

    I still laugh that when i asked for an accommodation of a 40 work week (legal full time where i am) they said that wasn't realistic. It's a brutal industry and if you're sick, disabled or less advantaged you just get bulldozed.

    BTW that keto diet, i tried that years ago and i do remember feeling so much more mentally clear and my mind worked so fast! Def need to work on my diet. I'll do it if you do it haha!!

  • Ha! I agree. The constant stress, hours of concentration and sleep deprivation are definitely contributing, but diet is the only thing I feel that I really have control over. Methods of dealing with stress might help somewhat, but when you are up against deadlines, it is very hard to meditate it away.

    I am just the other side of 40. I went back to school and would love to to get a Ph.D, but part of me is just screaming to get out as soon as I can. The fog always seems the worst at exam time; I'll go into my exam and not be able to do the equations I should know like the back of my hand.

    I understand your frustration with your job. Right now you want to be at the peak of your career but instead struggling to keep up. Any decision you make about your job/career, make sure you take a lot of time (months) before acting. I have found that on really bad days, I decide "This is it, I can't take it anymore. I'll just finish this year out..." Then the next month I have a really good day and am inspired to see how far I can go.

    I apologize for babbling, but it is so nice to talk to someone who understands. Take care of yourself and good luck! oh, I've been gluten-free for a day and a half now, and today is a good day. (Yesterday was horrid).

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