The thing about chronic illness is that you are always sick, so when you contract an acute illness like a cold, your body goes into full lockdown mode because it is trying to battle two illnesses at once. There is no such thing as "just a cold."
It’s like being really sick with the worst flu you’ve ever had so you can’t concentrate and you’re exhausted mentally, combined with being really drunk so you can’t string your thoughts and words together, combined with being massively distracted and overwhelmed by tons of noise and movement around you so you can’t focus, while also trying to do a really really hard math problem. Except it’s not a math problem, in reality it’s trying to remember your phone number, or what you did that morning, or how to do something you’ve done a dozen times before.
When you look outside at trees and people and buildings, it’s like you barely slept at all and you’re hugely hungover so you’re exhausted to the point where everything is out of focus. It’s all blurry mentally and you can’t see anything clearly, as though someone’s got the photo editing ‘Soften’ tool and put it over your brain. Like when it comes to how you see and process information nothing is ‘Sharp’.
And this is just your average day, you did nothing special the day before to cause your cognition to be this way, and no matter what you do it never lessens. It’s relentless, and it’s debilitating. Sometimes even more than the pain and fatigue. Though it’s an under-recognised cluster of symptoms, cognitive dysfunction really can be a serious and disabling problem for chronic illness sufferers.
”—How I would describe everyday, constant brain fog. (via chrysalis-)