FibroFog - Cognitive Problems Tips

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Am I getting Alzheimer´s disease?

It's not Alzheimer's!

Many people who realize that their memory seems to be failing them become desperately afraid that they are getting Alzheimer's disease. The bright spot is that if you know your memory is failing then it's not Alzheimer's. That very awareness is a hopeful sign that is is "just" common fibrofog - something you can learn to cope with.

How can I deal with embarrassment over my fibrofog?

Use humor to cope

There is humor in fibrofog, so learn to enjoy it. Example: "Fibrofog is great. You can buy one book and read it repeatedly and still keep being surprised." Being able to laugh at yourself will help others to deal with your lapses as well. Brushing your teeth with a tube of polysporin will seem funny in a few days. Honest.

How can I stop misplacing everything?


Declutter your life. Get rid of things that are lying around merely taking up space. Make sure that you have a place for everything and then put it there. Make it a rule – if you take it out, put it right back when you get done. If you don't, you may lose it. The less clutter you have around, the easier it is for everything to have its own special place – and for you to be able to see and find it easily.

How can I remember things I need to do?

Remembering things that need to go out with you

Put things where they'll remind you to deal with them. If you need to do something in the morning put it - or a note about it - on the coffeepot, or any other place you routinely visit each morning - perhaps the bathroom mirror, so that you will see it when brushing your teeth. If it needs to go with you, leave it at the front door, where you'll have to trip over it before you can leave.

Am I getting Alzheimer´s disease?

What is my memory problem all about?

Fibrofog is the familiar term referring to a loss or malfunctioning of short-term memory, caused by lack of proper sleep and other factors such as chronic pain and fatigue. You may forget what you were saying mid-sentence, or get up to walk to another room and forget why you went there. Some people fear that this is early Alzheimer's disease, but it is not related. The fibro patient is quite aware of the memory loss; an Alzheimer's patient is not. Restorative sleep tends to reduce the amount of fog you suffer.

How can I stop misplacing everything?

How to Declutter your house

Take a look at the things taking up space on your tabletops, on shelves and in closets. If it's not giving you pleasure and is not useful, get rid of it. Either throw it away or give it away. Now that you have gained some empty spaces, put away those things for which you previously had no place. Tidying up and cleaning up are much easier when you have ample storage and fairly clear surfaces to clean.

How can I remember things I need to do?

Write it down

Write things down. Use a calendar to record appointments. Put post-it notes around your monitor, and keep a list of groceries and things needed on the refrigerator. Write it down when you think of it on a notepad that you keep with you. (Then try not to forget to read your lists. ;-)

How can I stop feeling like I´ve become an idiot when I forget things?

Brain Food - Fish and Fibrofog

Certain fish - mackerel, salmon, tuna (not canned) and herring, contain an oil with Omega-3 in them - an important element of diet that not only helps with mental confusion but has also been shown to relieve joint problems and more. At least two fish meals a week can help improve many of the symptoms of fibro. There are also Omega-3 supplements available - or you can take good old-fashioned cod liver oil.

How can I stop misplacing everything?

Get into a routine

Work out routines. With small things that are easily mislaid like keys or glasses, make it a point to put them in the same place every time. Don't open your car door until you have put your keys safely in your purse. When you get to the house, make certain to walk to the place where your purse goes immediately - always the same place. Put it there before doing anything else.

How can I remember things I need to do?

Keep track of your medications

Get yourself one of those plastic pill keepers that are divided into compartments, one for each day of the week. This will help you to keep track of whether you have taken your medications each day. Far better to rely on this little inexpensive aid than to take double medications.

How can I remember things I´m going to need ?

Remember where you parked

In public parking lots, try always to park in the same row, or in approximately the same place, if at all possible. If not, jot down a reminder of where you are before heading toward your destination. Sometimes sticking something bright on your antenna can help you to relocate the car if you simply can't remember where you left it.

If you carry a notepad, or an electronic PDA, make a note of where you are parked before you leave the car.

Can my computer work as a memory aid?

Computers help us remember

Use a computer reminder service to record important dates and appointments. One useful program is "Say the Time". People with fibrofog never seem to know what day it is, but this program will tell you hourly, on the hour. But better still, you can set an unlimited number of alarms to warn you of upcoming events that you need to remember – even to the point of an alarm to remind you to check the pot roast in 15 minutes – and 15 minutes later remind you to go do it.

How can I stop constantly losing things?

Quit losing those keys

Try attaching your keys to a bangle bracelet that slips over your wrist easily, and wear them while away from home. Carrying them makes it all too easy to lay them down somewhere in the store, which can lead to literally hours of backtracking. When you return home, immediately put the keys in their proper place, even before you take off your coat. Make this a strict habit and you will never lose your keys again.

How can I remember things I´m going to need ?

PDAs for better memory

A Palm Pilot allows you to record shopping lists, to do lists and appointments all in one place, and easy to access. Jot notes on easily located lists, and then every night, take those lists and transfer them to the Palm. Take the Palm with you when you go out, so that you will have all your shopping lists and to-do lists handy. You can delete each item as it is accomplished. No need to keep wading through a long list.

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Mary White