Brain Fog and Jackie Blue

I was singing in the car the other day. I still can't believe it. It's been a pattern lately. A lighter heart and a much lighter brain.

It's hard to describe "brain fog." When I was in our home, at the height of our exposure, I found myself struggling with simple tasks. I would look at a pile of papers and simply stare at them. I would attempt to organize the pantry and stand motionless. Multi-tasking became impossible. Not to mention my high level of irritability and depression. My 10-year-old daughter sobbed one night, "I want my old Mommy back."

I didn't associate any of this with my environment. I dismissed all of it. Much like someone with decreased lung capacity simply lives with it. I know because that was me as well. I had a tough time walking up hills that I used to easily conquer.

The fog didn't lift after we left the house. I continued to struggle. Laundry would pile up. I couldn't clean. I missed more appointments. I was exhausted. My speech would slur and I would easily lose my train of thought.

We relocated to Arizona and began the long arduous journey of recovery. I learned about neurotoxins, brain inflammation, and mold exposure. I no longer denied my disability, simply wondered how, or when, or if, I would function as I once did.

I'm not where I'd like to be. I find myself taking a handful of supplements, moving to a different task, and wondering if I took them. I put hamburgers on the grill and forget.

Still, I see improvements. I don't get as overwhelmed. I can organize again. I put my clothes away in piles. I unpack groceries with less anxiety. The fog is lifting. And I find myself singing in the car.

The same daughter who wanted her Mommy back wrote this about one of our recent car rides:

We all sat in silence listening to song after song. You could tell that my mom liked some of the songs because she sang along. I watched the mountains slip away from my sight, the birds chirping happily, and the saguaros disappear.

I kept sitting in silence as we entered the city until a song came on called Jackie Blue.

"I loved this when I was 15!" my mom said in shock. She started flicking her wrist along to the beat, bobbing her head, and sang along. "Ooh-hoo Jackie Blue," she sang.

We all started to sing along with our mother happily. "Ooh-hoo Jackie Blue," we all said in unison. The song ended and my mom said, "We are listening to that on our way home."

As we listened to the song on our way home I thought about moments like this. It is moments like these that are the greatest. You don't need something fancy, all you need is your family.

Oh the gift of a child's heart. I think she's forgiven me for my absence.

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