Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIf you have a chronic illness whose symptoms include brain fog, or you have been on chemotherapy and suffer from chemo brain – even after the treatment has long passed, you’ve no doubt experienced the awful sensation of forgetting something after a conversation has ended, an errand has been run, or a doctor’s appointment is over. This “something” can be as small as a pebble or large as a huge rock that, in hindsight, you kick yourself for having forgotten. For, you see, the thing about brain fog is that you (at least I and others I know) know when you forget, and the realization can prompt huge embarrassment, especially if you’ve tried oh-so-hard to be otherwise coherent, organized, and present to the person or event in question.

In such cases, I’ve long ago learned that it does not good to administer that verbal or emotional “kick” to yourself. You’re already battling health issues and trying to get through life as grace-fully and productively as possible. You’re expecting so much of yourself already; expecting that you won’t experience those lapses now and then isn’t fair to others and, most especially, isn’t fair to yourself.

If you are gritting your teeth and struggling against those “one more things” that you’ve forgotten, today, TLC Tuesday, I invite you to relax. Breathe. Pick up whatever pieces of conversation or activity that you’ve dropped and move ahead. Try not to be hard on yourself, but rather be forgiving and invite others to do the same. Those who understand will be only too glad to cut you the needed slack. Those who do not understand, well, perhaps you might use this moment to teach them about compassion, or, if needed, move along without their judgement.

Of course, I urge you to talk with your doctor about the cognitive issues you have stemming from your health conditions. Talk about coping techniques and other possible tools that can help you.

But, above all, go easy on yourself. Reduce stress, don’t invite it.

Forget? Forgive!