Here are a few examples:
First, the shower:
- It gets hot, which can make you dizzy and activate your temperature sensitivity (which in turn can lead to more symptoms.)
- The spray of the water, for many of us, is painful to the skin at any temperature, thanks to a symptom called allodynia (pain from typically non-painful stimuli.)
- Standing for that long and using your arms to vigorously scrub your hair and body can lead to tired, achy muscles.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this: baths. They eliminate many of the problems.
Then there’s styling your hair. Holding your arms up to brush, blow dry and flat iron is hard on the arms. For the heat sensitive, styling tools can make you feel like you’re in a microwave, especially after a hot shower.
Waistbands. Bra straps. Elastic in socks. Rough fabrics. Tags. These are all things that can cause a lot of pain because of allodynia.
For those with both hot and cold sensitivity, deciding what to wear, and enduring the ramifications of the wrong choice, can be extremely unpleasant as you either freeze or overheat, or alternate between the two.
Talking on the Phone
We don’t normally think of a conversation as a strenuous mental activity, but when you have cognitive dysfunction (brain fog or fibro fog), it can become one.
All social interaction takes energy, and when you’re not face-to-face, it takes even more.
For most people, it’s not noticeable. For us, though, it definitely can be. Our foggy brains might not be up to the task at times.
Many of us have problems multi-tasking, so your brain may essentially block out what the other person is saying while your attention is on something else. Then you find yourself confused as to where the conversation has gone, which can be frustrating and embarrassing.
Many of us have problems with language, especially when it comes to finding the right word for things. Again, it’s frustrating and embarrassing, and if you know you’re having a bad day, communication-wise, it can be easy to stress over the problem and make it worse, or at the very least make the conversation unpleasant for you.
And then there’s the physical aspect. Holding a phone for very long can tire your arm, or your neck if you’re clenching it between your jaw and shoulder.
Brain fog can be a major problem when you’re behind the wheel. Some of us periodically forget where we’re going or how to get there. Even worse, we may become disoriented and not know where we are.
It’s scary when this happens and can lead to an anxiety attack, which makes the situation even worse.
Some of us also have trouble paying attention to the myriad things that we need to while driving. We may not be able to process all the necessary information to be safe on the road.