Is the (Brain) Fog Lifting?

A couple of months ago, I blogged about my Long COVID symptoms of brain fog. At the time, I had been referred to the Cleveland Clinic’s ReCOVery program; they assessed me and I was re-assured that I did not have the beginnings of dementia, but rather a fairly typical after-effect of having COVID. The next steps were to meet with a speech therapist and an integrative medicine doctor.

I met with the speech therapist in mid-December for the first time and was evaluated in a number of different tests; the good news again was that there were no signs of dementia, but there was some cognitive deficit as a result of my COVID experience. She recommended I get the book Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Dr. Sanjay Gupta; this book is available on-line, in your locally-owned bookstore, and most libraries, and shares strategies for keeping the brain at its best throughout our lives. The therapist and I talked about my symptoms and what the path forward would be–including getting approval from the program at the Cleveland Clinic and my insurance company to move forward with treatment. I met with her again in January and will begin regular appointments every two weeks.

The most significant recommendation was that I go to a website:, get a membership, and do the exercises on the website. (This is not a paid endorsement.) 5-6 days per week I spend about 20 minutes doing the exercises. They have gotten progressively more challenging and over time the program will add more areas of brain function. Currently I am working on brain speed, attention to detail, and auditory attention. Although they look like brain games, I do not really find them to be enjoyable. In fact, it is pretty humbling to get so many wrong responses, but the program–which uses artificial intellegence to sense when I am getting tired/sloppy–adjusts so that I am slowly improving my brain function. I hope to share more details as I continue on the program.

I also had a virtual meeting with a physician in the Integrative Medicine department at the Cleveland Clinic. She went over a slew of test results from previous blood draws and made recommendations about dietary changes and mineral supplements that could help. I have adopted those and am making an effort to eat more berries, whole/multigrain foods, as well as cruciferous vegetables. I am beginning to see some progress but I understand the process will be a “long-haul.”

As I noted in my blog post in December, if you are experiencing brain fog, take the time to discuss it with your physician. It turns out that there are ways to improve brain healthy aside from just exercising more. There may even be a program near you to address what you are experiencing.

More updates are forthcoming.

Losing My Mind or Just Long COVID?

Some weird stuff has been happening lately; the kind of stuff that makes me think I might be losing my mind. I am already a regular player of my favorite game: “What did I come into this room for?” but this has gone a little further. I will leave out the details, but it was enough to warrant my discussing it with my primary care physician at my annual physical; he said that I should see if the symptoms clear up in the next three months because it could be an affer-effect of COVID and would probably dissipate by then. If not, I was to be in touch.

The weirdness continued and some fogginess and spaciness (more than usual!) persisted so I sent a message to my PCP. Within a few days I had a video call with the Nurse Practitioner who agreed that this was probably some form of Long COVID. Long COVID is when symptoms persist even after testing negative, or new/different symptoms arise; the issues can go from mildly annoying to disabling. I had a relatively mild case, so this was surprising to me; she assured me that they have been hearing from lots of patients with similar complaints. I was refered to the Cleveland Clinic’s ReCOVery Program–it is great to have a world-class medical center nearby! Today I met with a practitioner there and was reassured that it was not Alzheimer’s but fairly classic symptoms of one kind of Long COVID.

The next steps are some lab tests, meeting with someone at the Integrative Medicine program, and meeting with a Speech Therapist. Speech Therapist?!? That is what I thought too! It turns out they do a lot more than work with speech disorders; they also have training in memory, organization, and task-completion issues. I am eager to see what help they can provide me.

Why do I share something so personal? I think that there are probably others who are experiencing what I am, and are just as worried that it might be something much more serious. Rather than fretting alone, it is worthwhile to reach out to a medical professional to see if there is help out there. I am glad that I will be getting help for my brain fog, but even more grateful that the evaluation done leading up to today’s appointment confirmed that I do not have early onset dementia. It was worth just to have that sense of relief.

Are you worried about brain fog, spaciness, confusion, forgetfulness? Did you have COVID? Talk to your doctor!