A Perimenopausal Brain Fog Week.

When I used to say to my husband. “What are you thinking?” and he would reply “Nothing” and I would exclaim, “You can`t just think nothing !!”. Well now I know you can with brain fog setting in in recent years.

It seems to be linked to a fall in progesterone and the sleep deprivation caused by insomnia. I usually describe it as my head feeling like there is a huge ball of cotton wool inside and little else.

But what does it really feel like? So many symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause we can physically see. Hot flushes, night sweats (ok it might be a bit dark for that one, but we can feel it!!), menstrual irregularities, dry skin etc. But trying to describe brain fog to someone else is like “trying to plait fog” (literally!) but I shall give it a go….

  • I can`t focus on any one task at a time. I find myself standing in the kitchen surrounded by things to do and not being able to choose where to begin. I put on a podcast or the radio and it seems to snap me out of it. Perhaps it`s listening to and focusing on something else rather than trying to work out why my mind won`t work that helps?
  • I feel floaty and light headed both sitting down and walking about.
  • I can`t concentrate on writing for long periods of time, which is why I haven’t blogged this week. I find myself flitting from one thing to another. The thoughts in my head wont fall onto the key pad like they usually do.
  • They say anxiety can cause brain fog, but for me it is the other way around. I start to feel anxious when my mind feels blank and unable to function as it once did. I am such a list maker, organised tidy person,I still make lists and then forget to look at them. So, when I am stood looking aimlessly at what to do, I feel anxiety rise in me. Because the feeling is so alien to how I used to be maybe?
  • Bit dramatic, I know but I have worried I might have ADHD. My husband has ADHD and I watch him feeling like this an awful lot so he is quite understanding .“Do you think it`s catching?” I asked once in a moment of insanity. He rolled his eyes and so he should have!
  • I also worry I have early onset dementia. Is this what it feels like I wonder as I am rooting around in the under stairs cupboard with the flashlight of my phone to see what I am doing and my husband appears behind me and says, “Why don`t you put the light on?” A classic brain fog moment.
  • I forget names.Names of people. movies, songs, places. I put the timer on for anything that I cook in case I get distracted. I am always reminded of my mum’s friend who went to the theatre and had just sat down when she turned to her husband and said “John! I`ve left the eggs on the boil”. Can you imagine the panic? The house did not burn down but the smell was there for weeks. And they missed the show!

It isn`t all bad. There will be times like after I have edited this and done all my jobs (with mini speaker in tow) that I shall make a cup of tea and sit in a wonderful fuzzy world of my own, without a care in the world. On my morning walks, all is well in the world, just me, my dog, the outdoors and that piece of cotton wool preventing any interruptions. Catching up with friends for coffee is always a giggle as we in turn forget names. places and utter “what was he called?”, “what was I saying?”, or “can you read the menu, I can`t find my glasses”. And so, it goes on with us laughing in between at how hopelessly we are. It`s quite bonding in a way.

As I can`t see it and none of us knows how another really feels inside it is difficult to know I am not going a little bit bonkers. I swing between rising panic and being blissfully unaware depending on what needs doing. And I definitely prefer the latter feeling.

Until next time

A Foggy PP xx

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32 thoughts on “A Perimenopausal Brain Fog Week.

  1. Claudette says:

    I had that and blamed hormones. My naturopath doctor suggested I cut all sugar, and white flour and lo, the fog lifted. Takes about a week for effects to show.

    Doesn’t mean the peri symptoms are gone, but I feel such a huge difference, I definitely made it a life change. I still have sugar and flour, just not regularly….

    Food for thought?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Hi Claudette. I probably could do with cutting back on sugar in particular. In my tea especially. Definitely food for thought. Take tea and red wine away away and I am pretty grumpy girl but maybe the outcome would be worth it. Removing all alcohol is a tip too. Thank you xx

    Like

  3. Cozynookbks says:

    Oh Helen, I so enjoy reading your posts. They make me feel normal again. Sometimes I tell my husband that I just feel confused. Particularly when I think about the things I need to take care of each day. I used to happily walk through the list in my head and competently complete each task so efficiently. Now I can’t even get things done from my written list without feeling utterly overwhelmed.🤦🏽‍♀️

    I forget names and lose my thought and can’t recall events that my husband and daughter speak of. I worry that I have early onset Alzheimer’s or dementia too at times. I told them to never start a sentence with “Remember when….?” 😂 I cracked up when you said your husband said “why don’t you put the light on?” 😂😂 And when he rolled his eyes when you asked if he thought his ADHD was catching.😂

    My morning walks are a pleasure too. It’s just me, the birds and my latest audiobook to give me an hour of bliss, not worrying about all of the niggling anxieties that lurk within.

    Thanks for this post that made me chuckle. I’m convinced we are kindred spirits across the pond. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    I think you are right Laurie!We are. We have struck up a wonderful connection on here 🙂
    I am having a day at home today and so am actually enjoying catching up at a leisurely foggy pace.
    It will all get busy later and my daughter has to be at school at 6am tomorrow for camp!
    Far too early but she is excited. We are packing tonight so I hope one of us is thinking clearly.
    Glad to hear I made you chuckle :). I certainly give my husband a few laughs. What are you listening to on audiobooks?
    I might give them a go.I often think they would be good when I am driving as I get fed up with the radio here in Oz. It is so bad.
    Morning walks are my saviour xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cozynookbks says:

    I LOVE listening to audiobooks, especially during my morning walks. Right now I’m listening to Off Kilter by Hannah Reed. It’s a cozy mystery and I’m enjoying it because it’s set in Scotland and I’m getting a kick out of the characters and their accents. I finished another one last week that was awful. The narrator was killing me and I almost gave up on it, but because it was a short one I finished it. I should have given up on it, even if it was only about 4 hours, because I feel like I wasted 4 years of my fragile life on it.🙄 Most of the audiobooks I listen to are enjoyable. In fact, I have almost given up on a book only to change my mind entirely after listening to it. Some of the audio narrators are incredible and I even have a list of a few of my favorites. I hope you give one a try.

    Enjoy your day at home. 6:00 a.m. is an early start. I’m wishing you all the best.😉 I had my daughter at a somewhat early age so she’s 28 now. We are empty nesters, but I speak to my daughter every day, by phone or text. She’s still my baby. ☺️

    Have a great day Helen. I hope you enjoy Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Ah well we are even more similar than you think, I also have older children. Two
    daughters of 27 and 24 from a previous relationship. Sometimes I do feel empty nesty as Milly is soooo busy and I don`t work , so there is so much time with just me. Time for exploring this new world of blogging. My eldest lives in England and my middle daughter lives here. They are always our babies 🙂
    I get what you mean about the type of narrator. I listen to so many podcasts and if I find a new one and don`t enjoy the way they deliver it, then I delete it. Life is too short 🙂
    Hope you have a lovely day xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cozynookbks says:

    Three daughters!! That’s lovely, Helen. I just have one (also from a previous relationship), and I’m an empty nester, and I don’t work, so I have plenty of time alone to obsess about my anxieties. 😂 I do my best not to though.
    I’m always so happy when my husband of 24 years (in September) comes home.

    I really have to try a few podcasts. I used to listen to them many years ago before I started getting free audiobooks. Some of my favorite narrators are on the free classics site, Librivox. Excellent narrations of Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables, and others. It’s where my love for Audio narrations began. 😊

    😂😂 at your thoughts about a bad podcast narrator.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Roxie says:

    great discussion, glad i found you! since i realized my fogginess, i’m learning to embrace it, sort of a gift to slow down again, lol.
    i did find taking more time for yoga and sitting outside, observing nature is very helpful for me, plus i can refocus some of my writing as i tend to scatter in numerous creative directions!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Hi Roxie. Thanks so much for your comment. I am always thrilled to know others are relating to what I am feeling at this crazy hormonal stage of life !! I love being outside too,something I didn’t appreciate when I was younger. I think embracing the fog is the best way and you are right…it slows us down. Maybe natures way? Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kinneret says:

    It’s good that you are raising awareness of this problem. It isn’t generally well known and people can confuse it for other things. My husband has been convinced I’m ADD and has been trying to medicate me for a few years now. Psychologist and psychiatrist both said I’m not. Life can be so entangled and complicated and stressful–and stress also makes it more difficult to concentrate. It’s difficult to disambiguate all the things that cause us to blank out.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Thank you Kinneret. Glad again that I am not alone here. I think you are right and so many of us women with this symptom attribute it to other things that can be quite frightening to think we have. I think I first heard about brain fog as a perimenopausal / menopausal /post menopausal symptom on a podcast so I did some research. I also think it is compounded by the amount of things we are bombarded with daily and amount of choices we can make in this crazy techy world we live in. Thanks again for reading my blog 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Living The Change 6 Powerful Steps says:

    Oh My I can so relate to the brain fog and ‘ball of cotton wool’. My excuse is I get too distracted, too quickly. I was shopping last week and I remembered something I had forgot to pick up in another isle so went back. By the time I walked a few steps I forgot what it was??? When I got home I remembered……bloody potatoes!! So frustrating. But i just laugh it off, when our hormones level off, this will get better…….I hope 😊

    Great post, thanks for sharing Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fiery K. says:

    I just exploded a pot of tomato soup because I forgot to turn it off before I left to go to the bus stop lol I wish we could post pics in comments! It was a glorious explosion of red!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Omg it would have been. Yes pictures would be good. I have my feet up in a relaxing brain fog moment before the mad after school rush in half an hour. I nearly dunked my hot chip in my coffee not the mayo pot in the cafe earlier😆😆

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Thank you ! I am so glad people are relating to the things I am feeling. I have to write lists for the supermarket. Used to to just be organised. Now it is essential. I didn’t make one yesterday and my shopping was mainly aimless wondering 😆. I am beginning to give into it and laugh too..at myself mainly !!

    Like

  16. howikilledbetty says:

    Ohhhh yes! Welcome to my world! I can so relate to this … I go upstairs and then forget why, I can’t remember anyone’s name including my children’s, I now understand why the older generation call people dear or darling … it saves making mistakes. Trampolines are now a thing of the past and it won’t be long before I’m talking to myself all day … oh, I do that already. 😩😩

    Liked by 1 person

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