covid · health

When Your Neurodivergent Brain Has Post-COVID Brain Fog

In my last post I wrote a big ol’ paragraph about the time change, and 24+ hours later (2 a.m. this morning -it’s 4 now), the fact that the advice (that does work) is for the March (MAKE IT STOP) time change, not the November one, slowly dawned on me. I know this, I really do…but for some reason something glitched, and I was certain enough to even tweet about it, too.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

This has been happening more than I like lately. For instance, bills: I’ve paid all the bills on the same day as rent for years. And any that are auto-pay are deducted in the check register (yes, a register – I have to see my finances) so I know where I stand for the month. But since we had COVID in July, the two bills that fall either at the end of one month or the beginning of the next are messing with my head. I just can’t get straight how to deal with them, even though I know it’s easy to do so, and that I did it for months before July.

Now I’ve always been easily distracted – I couldn’t take a purse to school because I would hang it on the chair and promptly forget it was there. Baked desert for an hour as a teen, and didn’t turn the oven on. And the more I watch Jessica’s ‘How to ADHD‘ videos, the more I see myself in many ways, especially since menopause (I also see some Autistic traits, too…neurodivergent buffet, anyone?). Cooking, oh, cooking…don’t leave the kitchen or I’ll come back to an exploded Pyrex pan that once held water and eggs, or a tea kettle without a whistle, burned right through. And the oven…if I knew how many times I’ve left it on, the number would scare all of us, I’m sure. But now, jeesh. An InstantPot, air fryer, and auto-turn-off electric tea kettle have changed everything, and without them, I’m not even certain I’d be able to cook. Even with them, I check the chart more than once to make sure I have the times and settings right, because if they can be done wrong, I’ll do it.

Laundry. I’ve done laundry on Sundays for years. Clean clothes for the week…nice. But during COVID, that schedule got screwed up, and now I completely forget to do it until I open my drawer and there’s no underwear. If I’m lucky, I’ll notice that there’s one pair left, turn around, grab a load, and wash it. Hopefully I’ll remember they’re in there (the washer and dryer are in the garage, but I remembered before, so…), put them in the dryer, set the timer, turn the dryer on, and all is well. Lately, though, I forget all of it. I’ll remember they’re in there hours later. And so many times I’ve gone out to find wet clothes in the dryer because, well…

And, almost worse than the rest, I’ve had to resort to setting alarms on my phone for appointments and sessions, because unless my planner is open and in front of me where I can see it multiple times a day, I won’t remember a thing. I remembered an upcoming birthday for two weeks because planner…and then again the day after. Completely spaced it the day of. Planner was in a pile, not open on my desk.

It’s scary. Out of sight, out of mind, easily distracted, is my norm, but double it and it starts to feel like the Earth has fallen out from under your feet, ya know? And with a new part-time job that is something I normally excel at, but that ‘at’ is being super organized and remembering things, I’m lost more times than I care to admit. The ‘glasses are on my head’ thing is just the tip of the iceberg, and I don’t know what to do about it except utilize all the tips and hacks I can find to get through this post-COVID life.

Is anyone else having problems like this – not just neurodivergent people? How are you handling it?

With love, hope, and a fuzzy brain,

Pip ✨🦩

3 thoughts on “When Your Neurodivergent Brain Has Post-COVID Brain Fog

  1. I could tell you stories. LOL I put everything on my calendar. Here’s the day to pay what, repeat monthly. Here is laundry day. Repeat weekly, etc. or I’d never remember anything. I’ve noticed, too, that since I’ve been in a lot more pain lately, I am forgetting things like rinsing the cat’s water dish under the hot water tap, doing a lot of other things, come back some time later and the water is still running into the bowl. Ice cold water by now. Melted a hole in a container I set on the stove because I forgot to turn the burner off that morning after making coffee. Fortunately, it was on low, so not too much damage, but still. I have a turn off automatically electric kettle, but before I got it, I had to buy a whistling tea kettle. I also burned out a big pot because I totally forgot to check it. Too much pain, too much stress, illness-caused brain fog. It’s a constant battle, but at least I can laugh about my screw-ups and nothing drastic has happened. So far. LOL

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    1. I just read on Twitter, I believe, that if there’s something you need to do daily, give your cat a treat when you do it. That way if you ever forget, the cat definitely won’t! lol Not completely helpful, but it made me laugh.

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      1. LOLOL I started brushing Miss G every morning and she gets a treat at the end. After about the third morning, as soon as she realizes I am awake, she comes and sits in front of me, waiting to be brushed. Or for the treat. But she really likes being brushed. Simon and First Gertrude definitely did not. Cats are creatures of habit, though, it seems.

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