Tip For Managing the Fog and Staying Motivated

RLG

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
65
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
07/2020
Country
US
State
MI
Brain fog. Memory problems. Fatigue. Motivation. Real fear of pain and screwing up--forgetting the school conference, missing an appointment, doing too much or not enough and paying the price. We all know what it's like. Most of us haven't ever learned to embrace pride and celebrate our little successes. We are taught to be not good enough, feel guilt, hide our pain. We run ourselves ragged, sacrifice our needs for our loved ones, boss, the comfort and demands of others. And somehow do all of that in the cloying fog of chronic fatigue.

I have a simple tool I use to help keep me on track and stay motivated. It's not a magic trick or cure all or treatment, just a way that I had to learn to manage the very real memory loss and cognitive impairment I suffered after a medical coma. And, it has taught me to embrace the gentle art of self-reward, as well.

I keep dry erase boards in my home office and on my refrigerator. The board in my office started out as me being forced to write down information after my return from a long hospital stay. I started taping notes and sticky notes on my wall, I had no choice. It got so bad my husband maybe thought I was like "Beautiful
Mind" lol But I also started writing love notes to myself. Part of my cognitive issue was not being able to read and write at my normal level and it was devastating. As I researched, healed, managed my medical care, I came across quotes and sayings and insights that literally saved me a time or two. And I wrote them down and stuck 'em on the wall. My husband bought me a dry erase board with markers and magnets to use and that became a lifesaver for injured brain and grieving soul. Sometimes it is covered in reminders and information and directions. Sometimes it is just scripted with a loving reminder to myself like 'You are loved!", "You got this!", "That was then, this is NOW", and often just "Thank You."

I purchased a second one with a blank perpetual calendar on it and stuck in the kitchen for the whole family. We use to keep track of appointments, schedules, etc. I use it to pat myself on the back for exercise, too. I made it a reward system for the days I workout (or force myself through the agonizing pain of self care in the form of self managed physical therapy, as I sometimes think of it.) Every day I exercise I make a huge red 'X" with a check mark through it over the date number to reward myself for the herculian effort it took and to remind myself that I can do it the next time it seems too daunting. I feel a sense of pride sometimes when I see it and the usefulness of the calendar has been a major organizing help. My brain hurts some days, it just doesn't fire right--not like it used to. Having a written, visual aid to rely on helps tremendously!

Hope this helps someone. Note taking, asking others to remind you, reminding them that you can do it, just DIFFERENTLY maybe than before. Rewarding yourself for even the little battles won and tiny mountains climbed--priceless.
 

JayCS

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
89
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
I use my palm/pda for all this. It used to be for organizing work and appointments and everything.
Now I keep diary of my pains, my med usage, esp. amitriptyline, blood pressure.
I go thru everything I can do against my pain every few hours, esp. when I have some waiting time.
Because I have it with me everywhere.
I can really see how I've narrowed my 30 pain-spots down now to almost zero, and it's mainly the fibro-ache which remains. Rewarding seeing that, too. I always write down everything which is still there with a pain number from 1-10. Stiffness too, altho that's not really painful, at least if I move *very slowly (still working that out if it is perhaps painful, is yours?). It's the part what other people see and wonder what's wrong with me, when it's there one minute, esp. after keeping in the same position for 10 minutes, gone next... Somedays I don't want to write things down, but try to keep at least a general feedback.
 

Affinity

Active member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
72
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2014
Country
US
State
TX
I keep both a physical appointment book and a google calendar and both help me to stay on track. I use google sheets to keep a spreadsheet of my exercise and movement based activities so that I can see if I am being active enough or too active or what. I tend to always feel like I am not doing enough but usually am doing plenty or even too much! I keep things like grocery lists in my phone as well as menus, etc. Write it all down! My husband and I share google calendar invites to keep track of things like kids games, etc but even with all that I still forget things sometimes! I do feel like this is something I have gotten better at managing over time and even my symptoms have improved. These days I have most brain fog on days where I didn't get much sleep or have high pain days.
 

Flexecif

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
14
Reason
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
CA
State
Canada
Hi there. Organization plays a key role in this. Find the balance in your life and have a regular and healthy routine.
 
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