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Is brain fog enough? (Disability forum)


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#1 Weavile

Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:05 AM

I've been on a pain medication for a little over 12 months and there is no denying it works. Not perfectly, but enough to keep me functioning and I am managing bad days with other meds.

I have felt like it was impacting me, making me less able to track conversations, stumbling on words, and kind of just not fully there, but I couldn't really be sure. It's kind of a hard thing to judge, but DH had also expressed similar. Now because of my own stupidity I've spent the last week off them (had an appointment cancelled then couldn't get back into see GP for script), but I feel like I have woken up. I am remembering things better, having creative thoughts, feeling interested in complex ideas etc. Downside - I am in excruciating pain and would honestly not be able to handle the basics of life like getting the kids to school.

Is the brain fuzz enough to request a review, or is it a case of sucking it up for the benefits. I went through a lot of meds before this one was settled on and had more obvious side effects to others, so this feels kind of petty in comparison.

#2 SelceLisbeth

Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:08 AM

Its a very common trade off with main management. You usually get to be in less or you get to be more awake. I havent come across a time when meds have been able reduce my pain without reducing my awareness. I dont take them anymore for that reason. The ripple effects of not being awake were becoming a big problem.

That said, it cant hurt to ask for alternatives and see if you tolerate others any better.

#3 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:41 AM

One of the biggest balancing acts in my work is helping doctors work out the right balance of pain medication without impairing cognition.

Unfortunately there's an element of trial and error. And for some the only pain meds that work also give the side effect of fogginess. However, there's a bucketload of different medications and dependent on your situation and history, there's a high likelihood that there's an alternative for you. Fogginess sounds like it's somewhat impacting your quality of life so yeah, Id say there's fair reason to get a review. If you arent already under the care of a pain management specialist perhaps you'd benefit from a referral to one? They might have access to less orthodox but nonetheless useful pain medications that GPs might not be able to prescribe/be aware of. Definitely get a review though - a side effect is a side effect. There's usually another option (not always, but usually).

Good luck and I hope you find a pain regimen that fits you.

#4 Ghost Girl

Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:05 AM

Ive had a back injury for over two years, failed surgery and battled most days with what you are talking about op. The first few months were killers of brain fog, didnt feel safe driving but my pain was kinda managed. Ive since come right down to as minimal as I can take to still move and have less of a brain fog. I find Im in pain most days but the brain fog not as bad. It could be worth talking to the dr about a review.

#5 foxbread

Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:22 AM

I'd ask for a review - even just to make sure there's nothing else you're taking (including supplementary or otc) that's adding to the fog. Sometimes it's a cumulative effect - even though one drug has that as a side effect anyway, it can be made worse by others. Good luck, chronic pain sucks.

#6 Pearson

Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:30 AM

I would ask for a review - perhaps as discussed, there is a better balance for you. Maybe a different concoction for day to night, alternative therapies to help manage? "Eastern" and "Western" medicine can work well together. You don't have to have one and not the other.

My DH has had a chronic pain issue after an accident and before surgery. This has now led to a functional neurological disorder. Ask for a review, look into other treatment options (his was physio, massage etc). He couldn't do acupuncture as he has a needle phobia!

(Have no idea why your pain exists so some of this may be irrelevant)

We review his meds every 3 months to make sure we are on the best for what is happening. We just did a review and change of meds for his FND.

Edited by Pearson, 26 April 2019 - 11:31 AM.


#7 Weavile

Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:37 PM

Thanks for the experiences.

I'm so torn, I don't want to go through the trial and error stage for meds again. I had a hospital stay last year to do that, and on one hand I am happy that I am at a functional level of pain.

But I feel slow and dopey, I want intellectual stimulation, but at the same time I can't do it. Even something simple like reading a book is sometimes too much. It goes in and straight back out.

My issue is a degenerative neuro condition, and severe kyphoscoliosis which has lead to hip and back arthritis and disc issues and I have more recently developed chronic migraines which are being investigated. I did physio weekly last year with no improvement, but will be seeing a new one once the kids are back at school.

#8 Pearson

Posted 27 April 2019 - 07:34 PM

View PostWeavile, on 26 April 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:

Thanks for the experiences.

I'm so torn, I don't want to go through the trial and error stage for meds again. I had a hospital stay last year to do that, and on one hand I am happy that I am at a functional level of pain.

But I feel slow and dopey, I want intellectual stimulation, but at the same time I can't do it. Even something simple like reading a book is sometimes too much. It goes in and straight back out.

My issue is a degenerative neuro condition, and severe kyphoscoliosis which has lead to hip and back arthritis and disc issues and I have more recently developed chronic migraines which are being investigated. I did physio weekly last year with no improvement, but will be seeing a new one once the kids are back at school.

The trial and error stage is the worst, but maybe they can reduce the dosage just a smidge to reduce the fog, but keep the pain levels down.

DH's Functional Neurological Disorder is currently in a degenerative stage. They say that the average person recovers between 2 and 15 years from onset  - mid last year, and it can degenerate. He can't even remember shows he has watched, and reading a book is just not even a consideration.




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