Many illnesses have cognitive issues that impact their ability to process thoughts. Some call it brain fog, others with fibromyalgia have referred to it as “fibro fog.” Imagine that you have a teeny tiny messenger in your head. “Swifty” snatches up signals that enter your eyes, ears, and hands. He carries messages throughout your brain.
Someone talks to you and Swifty dispatches the thought. In a fraction of a second, he delivers the idea. His teensy weensy feet spin faster than the fastest Intel core computer processor. Whoosh! Your mind processes the words and you answer.
A barrage of multiple signals from your spouse, the TV, a stove timer, and two children? No problem. He processes them effortlessly. Instantly.
The world inside my head is quite different. My miniature messenger, “Pokey” can’t fly about freely in my mind. Countless lesions from multiple sclerosis hinder him. Picture Pokey trying to transport thoughts through a maze of roadblocks. Pokey has to travel great distances to carry someone’s message. Endless detours zap his energy.
Here’s how it feels:
That person is talking to me too fast. a speed too fast for Pokey. Brain drain is setting in. . . . Oh no! Here it comes–an interruption. What’s that sound? What is the person saying? Pokey is loaded down with too many messages. He just shut down. Now nothing makes sense.
Pokey isn’t real, but my lesions are. When I’m tired, it takes me longer to understand a sentence.
Most people think effortlessly. Understanding is automatic. I have to concentrate most of the time. For me, thinking requires extra focus. My brain has to work harder than others to decipher complicated messages.
Have you ever driven somewhere while lost in thought? You wondered how you arrived at your destination. You can drive “without thinking.” Now, imagine you’re driving along a familiar route. You’re able to listen to music, while talking to your son.
Suddenly there’s the sound of a siren. You immediately shut off the music and ask your son to be quiet. Your thinking has switched to a deliberate act.
That’s how it is with me–much of the time. It’s exhausting. Kind of like when you’ve studied for a test many hours. Mental stamina is required.
Thankfully, God helps me throughout each day.
Christ knew what others were thinking. And He knows my mental struggles.
As I commit my works unto the Lord, my thoughts will be established (Proverbs 16:3). I rest in Him, assured of His guidance in what to say (Proverbs 16:1) and what to do (Proverbs 16:9).
Prayer: Dear Father, Your Word promises that You will keep those in perfect peace whose minds are steadfast and who trust in You (Isaiah 26:3). Thank You for providing a peace which is beyond understanding, which guards my heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7) Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
Do you have cognition problems? How would you describe your difficulties? How do they frustrate you and how do you cope with this frustration?