The dreaded foggy day…….

Last week I woke on the Wednesday to a dreaded foggy day. Luckily I used my faithful iPad to see me through it and amazingly type the experience and here’s what I wrote…apparently……. It might help some understand the foggy days of others, although obviously this is my experience, but it might help.
It’s strange, but even when I read it through straight, I remembered little, as though my fingers were on automatic, even taking photos………fascinating even for me to read…..

The day started off fairly normally but I could sense things weren’t quite right, just couldn’t put my finger on it. I got up, had my shower first, as I always do…..but then…..I realised….the fog had descended.

I’m typing this during the fog as I want to make sure it doesn’t snatch away my ability to type – my lifeline to the outside world. I’ve been typing daily Throughout the Christmas period just to make sure.

I stare at my tablets on the kitchen side……

The added boxes at present sit beside my tablets box and I havn’t a clue what I can take when. My head full of cold as well as dementia fog, my jaw pain throbbing, my ear and eye uncomfortable to say the least, awaiting a hospital appointment, but I havn’t a clue what tablets to take for what. I decide to stick to my ubiquitous daily box and just take them. Vague recollections of not taking the others together and not quite knowing what’s what.

Luckily I have no problem making my cuppa tea. A task done thankfully on automatic. My body taking over from my brain on automatic thankfully.

My next routine is to switch on Breakfast TV, but I look at the telly and the two remote controls and am flummoxed. I press buttons and a blank screen appears. I mustn’t give up as this is part of my routine. I press buttons on each and suddenly the picture comes to life….thankfully. I sit and stare out of the window, thankful for familiar surroundings of the trees, the birds, the squirrels going about their morning routine. I need routine.

I hate this time of year, between Boxing Day and normality resuming. I had a wonderful Christmas with my daughters but now the time is empty. This limbo of non activity. No events, no meetings, no brain stimulation. I’d tried to prepare for it this year. Activities to fill the space. But the fog today is like no other year. It’s thick and heavier than past episodes. It’s frightening. I feel the need to stay indoors; stay where I know. So much confusion.

Breakfast TV ends, my signal to turn off the telly…..but how? I finally make the screen go blank. Not sure how.

I live upstairs during the day. Cosy and warm. The view from my window at the tree top activity always a comforting sight. The familiar photos on my windowsill.

Normality in this confusing day but at least I can still type………a comfort in itself. My fingers acting independently from my foggy brain…..thankfully.

Reminders appear one by one on my iPad. A comforting memory of tasks to complete, but I simply delay them, not able to cope with anymore brain activity than just sitting waiting for the fog to clear.

My phone comes to life as both daughters text me. I respond briefly and they understand and know the state of play. Must be hard knowing they can’t help. The fog is a lonely place to sit and wait and only the fog clearing can help.

5 reminders stare at me on my ipad….but I don’t trust myself to do them……I’ll leave them til later. Emails appear in my inbox. I reply to one but then start to reply again and get confused so best leave them for later.

Head pounding, a combination of a cold and dementia – not good bed fellows.

After typing all this I look round my iPad for something familiar……the game of solitaire and so I start hoping it will help the slow process of my brain coming back to life and  the fog will clear soon….please….

Black Jack needs red ten……….

At some point I must have fallen asleep, allowing my body to do battle with my brain. When I awoke, the room was dark. I felt dehydrated. My head banging from the battle. Outside, the familiar outline skeleton of the trees against the darkening sky, the clunk clicks of the radiator telling me the heating was now on and the soft sounds of the television playing next door. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep but I felt exhausted from the fight inside my head to win the battle against dementia. I was almost back…..I think…

Now for the routine……..a cuppa tea…….

Black Jack needs red ten…….

The fog lasted into the following morning. The longest episode I’d ever had. As I read back through this, it’s a strange feeling. I vaguely remember the beginning and I remember the end but the middle is a mystery and as new to me as to you lovely people reading my words. All I’m certain of, is I have to be alone during the fog in order to cope. Anymore confusion and conversation would just make it worse…..I think…..just thankful it didn’t hang around any longer.

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

45 thoughts on “The dreaded foggy day…….

  1. Thank you for your blog, Wendy. I wish that my mother (age 91 with dementia but in denial) had embraced her ailment the way that you do. You give me courage to support her. I wish I knew you – you are dynamic and positive no matter what the challenges!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a fascinating read! I love how you approach even your foggier days with curiosity and self kindness. I knew nothing about dementia until I read your book, and I’ll bet a lot of others have gained much more understanding through your words. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing the last “Fog” episode, it helps me understand how my Mum may have felt. Mum always had a crisis when her routine changed in any way. The busy life you lead as normal must be doing you good and spreading the word of living well with dementia is helping so many. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a really helpful blog for me to understand what when the fog decends. It explains why sometimes my husband is able to cope well with life, and appears to be functioning within the norm, and others he appears so very confused. I hadn’t realised that it comes and goes quite to the extent that it appears to. Thank you for telling it as it is for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wendy, I so look forward to your daily posts ever since I read your book. You inspire me with your spirit and positivity. I wish I could be more like you, but alas, even though I consider myself a “realist” I have been accused of being too pessimistic about my future. I was diagnosed with MCI 2 years ago at age 64. For the previous 2 years I had been suspecting something was very wrong, but husband, who thankfully is one of most optimistic people in the world kept telling me it was just old age, or menopause. A week after my diagnosis I had a heart attack. Needless to say I didn’t take my diagnosis quite well. I am a retired RN so I know what the future can look like. Every day you inspire me to try harder, but anxiety is a recurring problem since I also have other health issues. Keep up your daily posts, I am very thankful that I read your book and found you!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Similarities here Wendy with my own experiences. My only way out of the dreaded fogs are a mixture of sleep and playing different computer games, trying to kickstart the grey cells to fire up again. Thank you for writing this xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for sharing this Wendy. It is invaluable to read an insight into how it actually feels to live with the foggy days which dementia brings. I shall share it on Facebook, as I have several friends who work for the Alzheimer’s Society and will be interested to read it. Thank you so much – again. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I actually thought I was sending you a post about this blog but it ended up on my Facebook. Me and technology 😱😩. Thank you for writing about this disease.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Wendy, my Mum had alzheimers but never spoke about it, in fact she didn’t even want me & my sister to know, so I never really understood how she was feeling. You have given me a lot of insight into what you go through & I’m really grateful to you for that. Just interested to know, have you ever tried eating coconut oil daily? Its meant to be helpful for some people with alzheimers. Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is what ended up on Facebook rather on this spot.
    Reading this blog brought tears to my eyes as I thought back two years ago before my sweet mother died. She developed dementia sometime during her mid-80s. I would visit her daily and would see the ‘fog’ to which you refer. I cannot imagine the frustration, the fear, the loneliness that one must feel realizing what was starting. I felt helpless knowing that I could do nothing but be there for her when she ‘snapped’ back into reality. It was a ‘God’thing that your blog popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. I thank you for the work you do to help people, especially those in the medical field, become more knowledgeable about the disease of dementia. I would love to have attended some of your talks, but East Texas is a long way from you. I read each blog carefully as I realize that I could develop this dreaded disease as now my mother‘s sister has it. It must be in the family. My prayers for you as you continue on this journey, asking that those ‘foggy’ moments won’t accelerate in reoccurrences nor length anytime soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Aye, the foggy days are worst. I can empathise with wanting to be alone: when my wife asks what’s wrong I feel like wanting to ….. But, overall I couldn’t cope without her! In many ways, I am a “typical” helpless man with cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you so much for writing about your foggy day Wendy. It is the first time I have read one of your blogs and it has given me amazing insight into how my father must feel. He is now sadly in a care home as he has additional health issues as well as as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. It is so so interesting to read and to realise that this is how my dad must feel. Thank you again 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you so much for this clear description of the confusion you get in your mind due to the illness. “Fog in the mind” is an useful way to understand how and what a person feels when the crisis of the mind gets up. I live in Italy my mum fell ill 10 years ago I want to help her as much as I can … I really appreciate your efforts in writing and exposing how do you feel. Please keep on until you can… Do not be scared not to be clear enough
    .. just write sentences as better you can … we can easily understand what you write…Take care Mrs Wendy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for sharing your experience of the fog, Wendy. I call mine, my white-out days (as opposed to blackout), as like you I don’t remember what happens, but often lose hours, usually find myself just sitting and looking (unseeing) out the window. At this stage mine don’t seem to last longer than 5 or 6 hours aprox. Am thankful that so far they have only happened whilst I am at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. when you stamina for it, Wendy might you think about how it might be for carers (family and professionals) if we had vignetted form friends about how and who we were at different stages of our lives? Other might like to comment too. So often i feel, in care homes of all kinds, staff have very limited knowledge of the individual and their history, and so how they have in a continuum changed over the years.
    I have tried discussing this with people who are dear to me, and whom I trust, but although interested, no-one has yet managed to respond with anything, open or sealed. I changed on becoming a mother, when living abroad, when I changed career and was differently influenced, and now challenged in retirement as to who I am, and thats without dementia! If we had some third eye chronicle then carers would have a better idea of why we are who we are now, even when we have forgotten who we are at all, where we are or were and who everyone else is.
    Same with twiddle muffs, (have you met them?) they could contain meaningful things to help ground people or to spark memories, so that whether one is imagining you are 10 yrs od again or just recalling when you were 10, the artefacts would help share that meaning with others.

    You piece in the book about the photo wall does it for you, but may not mean so much to those supporting you later on?

    Its a big question that might take time to think through and formulate a response, but other tow might want to chip in with their view about for them or their relatives facing these situations might view the ideas.

    thanks for the platform, (M)E

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point Elizabeth. Yes, we all change through life as challengers are thrown at us. It always depends which path we choose to follow. The idea of a ‘third eye’ is a wonderful thought.

      Like

  16. Thank you, Wendy, for this post. The fog is a lonely place to sit and wait and only the fog clearing can help. This sentence, in particular, rang a bell with me even though at t 80 I don’t have dementia. Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones.
    BTW how do I subscribe to your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy, a friend shared your blog on Facebook and here I am. I am so happy to have found you through Darlene and Judith and am following you now. My mom is 89 and has dementia and I am trying to read everything that I can and educate myself on this debilitating disease and your blog is such a wonderful glimpse into what life is like for someone with dementia. If you are agreeable sometime I would like to highlight you and your blog on my own blog. I know it can be of help to many others. Thank you so much for what you are doing –you are so brave and courageous and I truly admire you. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for sharing your foggy days Wendy, it helps me so much to understand how my mum, who has Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia, must be feeling in her foggy days. You are such an amazing person and I really admire how you cope living with dementia, you’re such an inspiration! X

    Liked by 1 person

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