I Just Can’t Remember

I Just Can’t Remember

Through the Fog

I’m in pain all day every day to varying degrees, depending on the weather and my activity level. The pain has become background noise for me. Fibro fog — now that’s another matter entirely. I hate that I can’t remember names, words, or what I was even saying. I think of something I want to look up and by the time I have Google open, I completely forgot what I sought. Frustration is too mild a word for this. I’d probably go with vexation.

Fibro fog is especially challenging for me when writing or trying to remember my neighbor’s name or what that thingamabob is called. I was shocked to learn that the cognitive abilities of those of us suffering from fibromyalgia are that of someone 20 years older! So, if you figure that our cognitive abilities lessen with each decade, that is a serious disability. It’s sad and scary all rolled into one fibromyalgia problem.

Is there anything we can do to slow the fog down or improve on the brain power we currently have?

Following are some of the cognitive issues that I’ve experienced with fibro:

1. Difficulty recalling facts, as well as short-term memory issues.

2. A frustratingly difficult time focusing on work or conversations, remembering where I put my cellphone, or even what someone just said to me.

3. Increasing frustration at being unable to find the word that I want to say.

4. Forgetfulness, the inability to concentrate, or just mental slowness, especially if I’m overtired or not feeling well.

5. When confronted with multiple tasks at once, it’s hard to focus and stay on task. It’s hard to multitask when I can’t even remember what I was just about to do. Having too many things to think about just exacerbates the anxiety and inability to think clearly. It can be so overwhelming.

6. Hormone issues related to menopause that fibro seems to exacerbate.

7. Depression has been an issue for me since my late teens. Fibro fog seems to instigate depression, or maybe it’s the other way around.

The pain and fatigue of fibro is no walk in the park, but the inability to stay focused and on task is especially disquieting for me as a writer.

What issues do you struggle with?


Note: Fibromyalgia 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 Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


    • Amanda Sadler says:

      I can relate to every little thing that I’ve just read. It could have been written about me. Does anyone with Fibro feel that they aren’t the same person anymore. I live in hope that one day I will go back to who I once was. I take remedies (all natural) to keep me on a level mood, so I don’t slip into the abyss of my depression that lies in wait to engulf me yet again. That keeps me in a permanent state of detachment from my emotions. At least I think it’s the tablets or is it the Fibro or both. I wish I really knew for sure. Can anyone shed any light? Oh how I wish my life and feelings would just come back to me.

  1. Marla D Chaffin says:

    You hit the nail on the head! I am in the process of retiring from my employment due to the fact that I just can’t remember things and I feel it is a real detriment to my employer. What really irritates me is when I mention this to someone who doesn’t have FM, they say “I have that problem all the time”. I just makes me want to scream … “you don’t have this problem!”

  2. Heidi Ombler says:

    Thanks Robin, the fibro fog can be such a blow to the self esteem as you struggle to find a word or name, and my short term memory seems like that of someone with Alzheimer’s sometimes. people raise their eyebrows and theres no time to explain – um i have this condition…. thank you so much for writing this as it makes me feel normal. normal in a time of fibro flare and extra pain when my brain seems to abandon me! wishing you ease along the way.

  3. J. Pedersen says:

    I’ve found taking phosphatidyl serine significantly helps with the fiber fog. It doesn’t make it disappear; but makes a huge difference in my ability to function.

    • Robin Dix says:

      According to the Mayo Clinic, the results of taking Phosphatidylserine may only last four a few months. I would encourage people to do their research and run it by their doctor before taking any supplements

  4. sharon woody says:

    Thank you Robin for validating all of us who have memory issues along with all the other “stuff” fibro throws at us.

    I especially get fogged when my busy gkids come over after school,they have a lot of freedom at my house to cook, sew, do lego’s, work with clay or other things. I have lost the ability to multitask and it takes a lot of patience and humor to answer all the questions they have. (Their patience and humor, hahaa).

    Again thanks for all your articles.


  5. Jennifer Stonier says:

    I am glad to learn that I am not alone in this struggle. Fibro fog was annoying in my 30s, irritating in my 40s, and now at 50 it is maddening and, more often than I like, it has become embarrassing. It is now the rule rather than the exception that I forget names, dates, what things are called, or if I did a particular task or not. Two weeks ago feels like two years to me and vice versa, so it’s hard to keep track of time. Stress and multitasking make it worse so I am learning to take my time and not do more than one thing at once. Difficult for me being an accountant who values efficiency! But being slow is less embarrassing than forgetting an important task at work. I think the most important rule for living with fibromyalgia is learning to give ourselves a break and modify our expectations to fit our reality.

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