Learning to Navigate Cog Fog

Learning to Navigate Cog Fog
4.6
(29)

The cog fog (cognitive fog) is thick and heavy. I cannot seem to extract words from the alphabet soup that fills my head. This is torturous for a self-described word nerd. And as my MS progresses, so does the fog.

Slowed cognition has become one of the most frustrating symptoms to manage. I am operating through a thin veil of haze, never quite able to sharpen my thoughts. It is harder to reach through to the other side. While it has been present for some time, only lately has it begun to interfere with daily living.

Among friends and family, my impaired cognition is the norm. When I fade mid-sentence or struggle to find a word, they patiently wait for me to regroup. It becomes painfully notable when conversing with strangers. The space between words becomes vast, and people often interject to cover the awkward silence. Frustration then throws my train of thought further off track.

Some women love their bodies, while others adore their hair or nails. Me? I love my brain. My job in college (UC Irvine) was to take notes in class. Students who missed the class then purchased my notes from the school. My brain stayed sharp. I devoured books just because, and I enjoyed getting lost among the characters and plot twists. I took for granted the ease with which I assimilated information. Reading and writing came easily.

When I was 7 or 8, I came home from school sobbing. I ran to my mother and said a classmate had called me a horrible name. My mother braced herself to hear myriad four-letter words. Through hiccups and alligator tears, I proclaimed that she had called me a poor reader. My mother held me and laughed while I cried.

I have a unique and nostalgic appreciation of what I have lost. My lust for literature remains, but my ability to comprehend is severely impaired. These sentences are formed after hours of piecing together words and ideas. The fluidity is gone; in its place is longing for what used to be.

That said, I persevere. I take baby steps and make cumulative strides. I thrive as a columnist and a research associate for a company that embraces my handicap. I do what I can with what I have.

This journey has been difficult, and each loss has brought with it a lesson. I hold appreciation in place of expectation. I value abundance in place of want. And as I continue this journey, I may pause to seek understanding. I may rest while I learn to assimilate. But I will never stop striving to be the best version of myself.

And through the fog, I have learned to see clearly.

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jennifer is a health writer and weekly columnist on multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Jennifer is also an active advocate in the MS community. Jennifer imparts her hopeful optimism into real-life challenges facing the MS community. Now with secondary-progressive MS, Jennifer hopes to elevate the patient voice to better the lives of those living with the disease. Prior to writing her column, Jennifer freelanced for several online periodicals including WebMD. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys volunteering with animal rescue, traveling, and spending time at home in Orange County, California, with her husband and golden retriever.
×
Jennifer is a health writer and weekly columnist on multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Jennifer is also an active advocate in the MS community. Jennifer imparts her hopeful optimism into real-life challenges facing the MS community. Now with secondary-progressive MS, Jennifer hopes to elevate the patient voice to better the lives of those living with the disease. Prior to writing her column, Jennifer freelanced for several online periodicals including WebMD. When not writing, Jennifer enjoys volunteering with animal rescue, traveling, and spending time at home in Orange County, California, with her husband and golden retriever.
Latest Posts
  • cog fog, positivity
  • cog fog, positivity
  • cog fog, positivity
  • cog fog, positivity

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.6 / 5. Vote count: 29

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *