So I keep trashing and restarting this post and I’d venture a guess that it’s partially because I of course want to find the absolute perfect balance of humor and wit and all that crap, but also largely because this topic kind of freaks me the fuck out because it’s real and scary but that’s why I want and need to write about it. I recognize that is a hideously structured run on sentence. Don’t report me to the grammar police I just have a lot of feelings ok?
So back in my youth my brother used to tell people I was “freaky smart,” to explain why his little sister in 7th grade was taking the same high school math class he was. I was an overachieving nerd, he was normal, the “freaky smart” label stuck. Me and my freaky smart brain got along swimmingly, we skipped the 6th grade, won awards, came in 2nd in my class after spending my entire junior and senior years of high school on tramadol. (That experience is a whole other post in itself, not to mention wtf doc thought that was a good idea). Even narcotics couldn’t keep us down. All through high school and most of college even when my body failed me I still had my brain, my intelligence.
But alas, I think you all know where this story is headed, ha get it, head-ed. A little pun for ya there. Anyway toward the end of college which is like almost 6 years ago now, things started to get scary. It was around that time I really started to have neurological symptoms, and frankly I was terrified, because thanks to a few crappy doctors with terrible bedside manner I thought I was looking down the barrel of MS or another aggressive neurodegenerative disease. I had a slew of symptoms that pointed in that direction, tremor, vision issues, temporary paralysis, brain fog out the ass. So here I was a lone 21 year old sitting in waiting rooms of what felt like every freakin department of the Cleveland Clinic terrified.
Thankfully after about two years of diagnostics we ruled out MS, my issues were due to a craft cocktail of a few brain lesions, an essential tremor, small fiber neuropathy, and quite a few issues in my C-Spine. A cocktail I am grateful for, because at the moment it is not creating any more irreparable damage. Fingers crossed.
So where does that leave me and my freaky smart brain? Between the specifically neurological shit and the fibromyalgia, and the mast cell activation syndrome, and the hashimotos, let’s just say it’s a lot. If you look up the symptoms of all these fun diseases there’s a sneaky one called “brain fog” and at first it’s like what the fuck is that? Like how can my joints being inflamed or my thyroid being broken affect my ability to think? Well there’s all kinds of sciencey nonsense but in short: it definitely fucking does. I often refer to brain fog as having a “case of the stupids,” because quite honestly that’s how it feels.
Lately it’s been real foggy around here, which is what pushed me to write this post. It’s hard when you get to a point when you don’t feel like yourself, especially in your own head. I’ve come to terms with my physical limitations and low energy years ago, but this is a hell of a lot harder, especially for that “freaky smart” little sister. My brain doesn’t feel like my brain. I don’t feel intelligent or quick witted. I stare at work I used to be able to do and am just overwhelmed by it. I worry that this is just how things are now, but hope it’s just a rough patch and the fog will clear eventually. Either way I definitely have a chronic case of the stupids lately so sorry not sorry for my terrible sentence structure/tense agreement. I should be ashamed as an English teacher but YOLO.