In the grand scheme of sarcoidosis symptoms, there is one that on occasion, can be quite humorous. That symptom is brain fog and it really doesn’t matter where sarcoidosis effects you, your eyes, your skin, your brain, your heart, your lungs, your nose, etc…brain fog is familiar to all of us with this disease.
Sarcoidosis brain fog isn’t just the occasional misplacement of your keys or forgetting the name of an old friend you haven’t seen since elementary school. Sarcoidosis brain fog is spectacular. It’s everything from standing in a dazed stupor in the room you walked into over an hour ago and having no idea how you go there or why you went in there in the first place, to taking your dog’s medication instead of your own and not realizing it until hours later (and I managed to do this one more than once…thank you ver much), to opening a can while cooking only to throw out the contents and put the empty can in the food you are making. Yup, these are all things I have done since getting sarcoidosis and so much more…sigh! Forgetting what I am trying to say mid sentence happens several times a day. Complete thoughts vanish from my brain, as do the words I need to use to convey them.
My most fabulous star studded moment of outstanding brain fog happened one day when I hit a car in a parking lot, had no idea what I had done and drove away. Thats right…you read that correctly…I hit and ran! The problem being…I had no idea that I was “running.” It wasn’t until a few hours later when the police called to inquire if I had been in that particular parking lot earlier that day that I learned what I had done. Imagine my surprise when the officer informed me that I left the scene of an accident and that I caused it!
It turns out that it wasn’t anything serious. No real damage was done. I apparently tapped a car in the parking lot when I was parking my car. Someone witnessed it and instead of approaching me when I obliviously walked in the store, purchased my goods and left, they called the police. When I was willing to take full responsibility and apologized profusely, the police officer didn’t even ticket me. I felt like such a total moron and I beat myself for days for my foolishness. I can laugh about it now…even tell all of you about it without utter embarrassment but it took me awhile to find this particular incident humorous.
The kind of lost, empty headed, misty minded feeling those of us with sarcoidosis experience as a result of brain fog, is maddening. It’s incredibly irritating and often embarrassing. It’s a burden to be muddled and murky in the head all the time and I’m not sure what causes this with sarcoidosis. Is it the constant low level of relentless pain we are in or the fact that some of us don’t get enough air, while others actually have brain lesions….probably all of the above…but the treatment for our disease does not help either….high doses of steroids, long term use of low levels of chemo drugs have to be contributing factors for this ridiculous reality we live in.
It’s important to use more care and be more cautious in everything you do when you have sarcoidosis brain fog and the incident with my car, while funny now, was a good lesson for me that I must be particularly vigilant when getting behind the wheel. Everything takes me just a little longer now because I have to think things through with more diligence. The only real way I know how to survive this singularly annoying symptom is to laugh. Humor is sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day. The dumb stuff I do is generally harmless and I have to try to remember this (yes, it’s funny that I said “try to remember”…hahah) so I don’t get too down on myself. Brain fog is a real symptom of this disease. It doesn’t mean I have suddenly become an idiot. I might do stupid stuff sometimes but I am not stupid…I have sarcoidosis.