There is something so gratifying when you find someone else that can relate to your situation, really relate, not just think they can relate because their husband’s uncle who is 94 also has arthritis in his knee.
It probably shouldn’t be surprising that I had someone get me yesterday at my Yoga for Arthritis and Chronic Pain class. Really we should all be getting each other in that room but this was the first time I connected. The woman to my left, just a bit older than I am, maybe in her early 50s, shared that she had Lupus and Fibromyalgia. We joked a little bit about why these things have to come in pairs and then class began. It was the end of class where the “got me” happened or I should say “got her” happened. She started apologizing to Gretchen, the instructor, because she was having trouble following directions. I chimed in that she shouldn’t feel bad because the day before I was completely out of it mentally and at the same moment we both said BRAIN FOG
then we started comparing experiences with the brain fog and how it comes and goes and how that is more inconvenient than just being out of it all the time because people come to expect a certain level of lucidity and somedays it’s all a big fog.
We compared getting confused about medications and when it hits us while driving. She told me a bit about how she has been avoiding the neurologist because in the back of her mind she is afraid of MS and I shares that I have similar fears but about Lupus. We went back to the whole thing of autoimmune diseases traveling in groups and how now we feel vulnerable to everything else that is out there.
We even talked a bit about the responses of our spouses and how it is impacting our family. Understand, this was all in about 15 minutes of conversation as we put away our yoga mats and got our shoes on, but it was enough. It was as beneficial to me as the yoga class itself.
I get validation and some sense of community online but it’s at a distance. The online community is also filled with a lot of other stuff that annoys me like people constantly trying to claim marijuana based products are the only solution and other people claiming they cured themselves with seaweed.
I am very open to internet communities, some of my very best friends were found online 15 years ago before meeting people from the internet was normal.
It is just nice to talk to someone face to face that has a shared understanding and doesn’t make me feel as if I’m whining or justifying. She just got it.
Of course, I promptly forgot her name and I can’t even blame that on brain fog because I’ve always been bad with names. I’ll have to ask next week.