Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Brain Fog On Vacation

I find that during my flares, I sometimes have trouble with memory and speaking.  A 2010 study by NCBI, in The Clinical Journal of Pain found that people with RA who were in a lot of pain scored poorly on tests of planning, decision-making, and working memory. In a 2012 study by Arthritis Care & Research,  nearly one third of people with RA scored low on a series of mental tasks. Thinking issues may also affect physical function, making it harder for people with RA to go about their daily activities. Brain fog feeds off of fatigue so I try to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. During flares, it is not uncommon for me to sleep 12-14 hours. It used to frustrate me sleeping that long but I learned it's what my body needs. 

The reason I brought this up is this week while riding my motorcycle, I was having a flare hit me about 230 miles into my ride. While my RA was not liking me being on the bike I was still 70 miles from the motel. I was running 70 mph entering a turn before I realized it. I grabbed both brakes hard and saw there was no oncoming traffic so I let myself drift up into the other lane through the turn. Needless to say I slowed down to the speed limit for the rest of the ride back to the motel. This was my fault, I know my reaction time isn't as good during a flare up ... it just slipped up on me and I got away with it. I just didn't realize that my flare was serious enough to impact my thinking already.

Cut our 3 day ride a day short due to t-storms moving into where we staying at. Had a great time and the fall colors were everywhere from just starting to full on to a little past peak color. We camped out at the Marion Countryside Inn and rode 305 miles the first day which is double what I try to hold my mileage to. All was good until ... I tried to get out of bed the next morning. No need in trying to identify the culprit ... it was my entire right side from the hip down. My hurting places had hurting places on them. It was ugly but after working for about 5 minutes, I was just about to get myself out of bed when ... I get a cramp in my right calf. Are you kidding me? I quickly slid what refused to bend out of bed and did the frankenstein stand up and walk until the cramp eased up. Whew, that was fun, now I just have to shower, gas the bike up, eat breakfast and ride 200 miles back home. Haha, I made it, and it was worth it, but I'm paying for it today!


Anonymous said...

Yeah the brain fog seems to be getting worse all time.
Nice Pictures and the bike looks good. I got a deer and we went out the last few days and got a bunch of perch at our local lake so the fall has been good here so far.
Barring a really good day I think the bike will get the tank drained and go into the basement soon.
So glad you survived the ride.

Wren said...

Wow, Terry! Thank goodness there was no oncoming traffic in the left lane! Makes me shudder to think what might have happened if there had been. I'm so glad you lived to tell the tale.

Brain fog can be a real and serious problem. I've been lucky, but it nearly cost me over $400 recently. I parked in a handicapped space and forgot to put my placard on the rear-view mirror. Went into the drugstore, got what I needed (it was a very short stop) and when I came out, I had a ticket on my windshield. Uh-oh. Fortunately, the city accepted my explanation (and of course, they do have record of my placard number, etc.), so they dropped the ticket. It ended up costing me $25 in administrative charges, though.
I hope that mean flare has eased now, and that you're feeling better. And glad that the trip was such a fine one, otherwise. You got some great photos!
Be well, friend. Sending calm and comfort your way.

Terry said...

I agree Phil and congrats on the deer. We have seen a lot of deer all through the year until now. We rode 200 miles through a national forest and didn't see a single one for the 500 miles we rode last weekend. You can't tell me they don't know it's hunting season! I live where it's warm enough to get some rides in through the winter so I just start put a little Seafom in the tank during winter.

Terry said...

Thanks Wren, yeas I got away with it this time even though it was my own fault.

Forgetting the placard sounds like something I would do. Glad the city worked with you on the matter, $25 sure beats $400! I'm not so sure where I live would do that.

Hoping the Humira is working for you.

Anonymous said...

I don't have RA or brain fog but I know from experience, after putting a lot of miles in you tend to zone out sometimes and I have found myself in similar circumstances before. Be careful out there, I think it's great that you're still riding with RA.


Terry said...

Thanks Jim, riding gives me something to live for and keep pushing onward despite having RA.

Terry said...

^^^ Riding is NOT the only thing I live for ... after reading that I realized that I didn't word that comment very well. Brain fog again. lol