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post #413
bio: stu

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Favorite Things
· The Flaming R. Kelly
· Malfatti
· Johnny Cash
· Chuck Klosterman
· Deadwood, Seasons 1 & 2

Previous Posts
Notes on a Pandemic
Notes on Sobriety
Republicans Are Tough Guys
Brain Fog
Clown Posse
Uber, but For Wrong Numbers

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February Smackdown
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Brain Fog
One of the more annoying things about lupus--as opposed to the agonizing and painful things of the disease--is something known as the lupus brain fog. It makes up for in evocative language what it lacks in enjoyability. You can probably guess what it is--it's the feeing that I get that my thoughts are heavy and fuzzy--iron weights swaddled in velvet rather than easily accessible.

Thought isn't something that should be noticeably difficult. You shouldn't notice the effort in thinking; at least, I don't normally. I'm not bragging here: I'm not taking about doing calculus questions or a particularly difficult sudoku here--that kind of satisfying effort of conquering something with your brain or working your way around a complex problem from start to finish.

This is the entirely unsatisfying feeling of just not being able to manage thoughts you know you should be capable of managing. It's a living where every thought is like being unable to remember someone's name when you've KNOW you've known them for years, or not being able to think of the right word at all. Except not just for words, but for concepts and what you should do with your life.

I'm struggling with it right now. That last paragraph didn't say what I wanted to say. It was close, but I worked on it a lot. I'm frustrated most with "what you should do with your life." I can't quite get to what I was trying to say there about how the lupus brain fog keeps you from even being able to do the basics of what you need to do.

But that's the brain fog. Things that should be easy take noticeable effort, things that are hard are so much harder. And things that shouldn't be beyond me are.

This is just another reminder that there's no special virtue in getting sick. Getting tested this way doesn't make you a better person. It just makes you a sick person. In my case it also makes me angry, which is not so good when it comes to dealing with other people. There's no virtue in denying people health care so they have to go through this; you're not going to forge the new Van Gogh painting or David Bowie album out of an illness. This is just what happens; I'm not an artist, but if I were, I wouldn't be able to work through this. I can barely work my 9-5 job through this.

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