Sensory Overload Leading To shut down

I have had this happen at home and at my kids houses but never alone driving in the car until today . I was driving in a lot of traffic trying to get to various places I had to go . I got a major headache , I was fogged when I left the house , and from there I got dazed and couldn't concentrate . I literally got lost twice due to wrong turns . When I went to see my mom I was out of it and tired and left fairly quick . I picked my husband up at his moms and by that point 4 plus hours later I was not doing good . Light , sounds were making me worse . On the way home ( husband driving ) I was trying to fall asleep and was having to fight it . He was trying to talk to me to see if I was understanding things , I couldn't remember the details of the 4 hours I was out . I got home and went to sleep . It was as if I had no choice my brain was going to shut my body down no matter what . This was very scary being out driving and alone , i know I had two near misses on car accidents .

Normally if this happens it is after I have done to much and hit a point where I am beyond tired . Then the sensory stuff and being out of it happens and then sleep is the only choice . Has any one had this happen ?

Yes, but not while driving. I am sorry you’ve experienced while driving. It only happened to me when I seriously pushed myself a few times and overdid it. Apparently, that is three hours maximum of doing errands! It’s like you hit a wall and you can’t take in or put out anymore and you need to go to sleep asap. It’s awful.

I wouldn't wish this on any one but I am so thankful to read i'm not alone . The next question is how to avoid it , between fibro and arthritis I have been so messed up for weeks and I can't get this to all calm down . I have an appointment with a rheumatologist ( spelled wrong ) but not til the end of August . The last time I tried to explain this to a doctor I was sent to a neurologist and tests came back fine except for being off balance . I discovered during that, I can't put one foot in front of the other heal to toe , I fall to the right . In short i am a mess lol

OMG what is this? Suzanne I'm so glad you brought this up but please be careful when driving. I've had this problem for sometime and I thought it was a medication side effect. When I over exert myself I feel so tired and dizzy and foggy that I have to lie down no matter where I am. If I don't, I feel I will faint. The last time this happened I was at Wal-Mart and I had to go to the front to lie down on the bench. I think I fell asleep because the next thing I remember was an employee asking if I was ok. It's like Baltimore baby said, you hit a wall and there's that overwhelming need to sleep. Scary stuff.

The feeling of exhaustion is very different in Fibro,from a healthy persons sense of tiredness-so I've experienced from 2 years as an FM patient now.I've had a similar experience walking in town one day when I all but shut down-nearly fainted.Luckily I was walking with a nurse.I've noted on the net, that within the Medical profession a number of "institutions" have given FM disease the more correct name:Myalgic encephalopathy-pain from disease in the brain-which I find reassuring, as it acknowledges the seriousness of the disease(the name "fibro" I find allmost dismissive-insulting-as if it were to do with the muscle fibers-every soccer mom*s heard of muscle sprains!) What do you think?


Hey Suzanne

I was headed to work one time and wound up in the next county,don't even know how i did that.

The worst was when i came to a traffic light and couldn't decided to go on green or red,so i pulled off the side of the road and shut the engine off and waited it out,then went straight home,,i still get confused often when i'm fogged in,,lol

Yes, I've had a fog come on before while driving and it is scary had to pull over in a parking lot in fear of being in an accident. This can be just as dangerous as having a seizure on the road and is why I no longer drive. I too have had those symptoms and then some. My whole right side goes weak or I loose complete feeling in it. Neurological testing show very little abnormality on the left side of my brain . They say it is not quite enough to consider it anything so the closest thing to link it to is fibro fog.

I have had things like this happen I would see your doctor to make sure it is not something else going on. I do not drive any more and plan my outtings on days I feel good. I am very fortunate to have a daughter and my sons girlfriend who go with me to the store and doctors appointments.

Drowsy driving crashes can result in high personal and economic costs.

  • Several drowsy driving incidents have resulted in jail sentences for the driver.
  • Multi-million dollar settlements have been awarded to families of crash victims as a result of lawsuits filed against individuals as well as businesses whose employees were involved in drowsy driving crashes.
  • I no their is a difference between fibro fog and drowsydriving but i thought this might give us some thing to think about.

While it seems this is a common thing for Fibro Folks to experience...I agree talking to your Dr. about it would be in order. Make sure you write these things in your journal and make sure your DR. puts this in your file. My Dr. makes copies of pages from my journal and puts it in my file. I myself need to document this in my journal. If you are filing for disability and you can not drive to your job because it is not safe for you... I would think it should be in your Drs. file.

that plus more is why i will never drive. i am not even a good passenger anymore as i get panic attacks because of the sensory over load. the lights of the cars glare and replicate. so does the sun. before you know it am am almost blinded by all these replications. my peripheral vision is off as it my perception to the proximity of the other vehicles. they look far or near so i feel like we are going to crash. on the highways it is worse so when we go somewhere i take ativan. my husband tries to avoid what ever highways and roads as is possible to get us to our destination. it is a rough road indeed.( pun intended!) I tired wearing sunglasses but it was just the same thing.. sheesh.



Yea i scare myself,i use to be good behind the wheel,not now....

I was seen by a neurologist several years ago and nothing showed up . As a side note I used to have seizures and the pre symptoms were very similar . No cause was ever found but i fully believed it was overload back then . So when this happened yesterday I was worried a seizure was coming on due to the headache , I never get them and that was my first symptom before having one .

After yesterday i won't be driving anymore and I will not go any where unless my husband can go . I won't go through that again . And I was putting others in danger . Most of the details of yesterday are a blur today .

I scare myself too , now lol