How do you handle driving with brain fog?

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Date Joined May 2012
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   Posted 8/31/2014 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
So between 1800 mg/day of gabapentin, having Crohn's in addition to Fibro, and taking two 10-325 pills of Norco twice a day (no effect on pain, but trying to wean because cold-turkey gives me the worst withdrawals), my brain is super foggy. I lose track of words all the time, can't finish sentences, and feel like I can't even think. I haven't driven in a long time, and until I am off the Norco I don't feel comfortable.

But I think the brain fog is not related to the Norco at all. It's just a part of Remicade, Gabapentin, and these dumb conditions I have. I am terrified to have to drive. I feel like I am so sluggish and that my reaction times are really slow. What do you do when you have to drive and you have bad brain fog?
CD, gastroparesis, fibro, arthritis, GERD


"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice that it depart from me. He said, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities; I take pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses, for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Cor 12

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5994
   Posted 8/31/2014 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Scifigal.

I take Hydrocodone (Norco) and Gabapentin too, but at lower doses. I'm actually in the process of weaning off of Hydrocodone and onto Tramadol. AbsoLUTEly know what you mean about the brain fog!

Driving hasn't been a problem for me, though. It actually relaxes me, gives me a release....where I run into trouble is having to focus in on day-to-day household things - papers, bills, decisions - help! Give me the open road! ;)

But if driving makes you nervous, better do it as little as possible, and go slow. I hope once your Norco is decreased, you won't feel so foggy.

Moderator, Fibromyalgia Forum

Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, discectomy L4-L5 - (w/lots of Sciatic Nerve damage), frozen shoulder, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, IBS, migraine, dizziness (mostly from visual stimuli), elevated liver enzymes, tachycardia, hearing loss (probably Menieres).

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/31/2014 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't drive on foggy days. I've had too many mistakes when I did drive foggy that I refuse to drive if in doubt of myself.
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, OA, Depression, Allergies, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 189
   Posted 8/31/2014 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi scifigal. I try to avoid driving if I'm having a really bad day. If that's not possible I'll go a little slower and maybe have a caffeinated drink before hand or some cherry juice to wake myself up a bit .I really hope the others have some good advice for you I know how scary it can be. I'll often forget directions and end up taking much longer to get places than needed. You should discuss this with your doctor if you can and remember if you can't do something because of your fibro there's nothing more important than your safety so things can wait until you feel a little better :-)

Myself 09
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 6226
   Posted 9/1/2014 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I drive often, and for long distances. No music. No eating. Nothing distracting. If you are nervous, don't go quickly.

I, too, like to drive, and really only notice more stiffness and pain in my arms, hands, hips, back, and right leg after long trips. Other than that, it's not really a problem.

ak angel
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3197
   Posted 9/1/2014 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I had to stop driving too. I was getting lost and I could see I was losing focus driving. I would be day dreaming and forget my turn then didn't realize it until I am way down the road. Then I would lose my car in the parking lot after shopping. I could remember crying and realizing something wasn't right in my mind. It became very scary for me.

I was telling my Dr. about it and he ordered a neuro test. It really showed how bad my memory, reaction and thought process was plus so much more. I decided it was best I didn't drive. I know this is not all caused by fibro. I have a history of small stroke and seizures and etc. My brain has taken a hit too many times.

In my city we have a disability bus. I got signed up through my Dr. permission. I have to pay $7 round trip. Others can get a discount through the amt. of income you make. It's a great service. I am not sure if your city or town provides that. If they have regular bus service then they have to have disability service I heard.

In our city they are really cracking down on people driving with narcotics in their system. They are making commercials too. So it's important we are clear headed before we drive. I can relate to the withdrawls your having from stoping your narcotics. They have great meds now so you don't go into withdrawls. It's a easy and comfortable way to stop.

Philippians 4:6-7
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 9/2/2014 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I've mostly stopped driving too. Largely due to the fog, but also due to pain and tremor impacting my reaction times and ability to respond. It's really scary when you're driving down the road and suddenly realize you have no idea where you are or how you got there. Also frustrating when you are going somewhere you've been hundreds of times but can't make your brain process how to get there.

I limit myself to 30 mins max and only if I absolutely must go. Anything further I wait until my husband can take me. When I do have to drive, I use my car's navigation system every time I get behind the wheel so I don't get lost.

Have a blessed day!
Conditions: Fibro, IBS, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Fatigue, TMJ, Essential Tremor, Eczema, shoulder & knee surgeries, Endometriosis, Pre-diabetic

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 9/13/2014 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
coffee and autopilot. Ha. :)
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