In all the fog, I write…

Thunder beings and Brain Fog

The Thunder Beings have roared and a hard rain is falling.  I sure am glad to be home.  I like being home with my dogs during a storm.  I also like knowing that as I write, my family are in safe places.   Shortly, I’ll be snuggling up with my furry family to watch a movie.  I can’t tell you which movie because I forgot the name of it, which brings me to the heart of this blog post.

I basically wanted to say hello to my blogging friends and readers.

I miss my blog.  I especially miss being able to think clearly enough to express myself through writing.

Normally, I can sit down and write ten pages about something and even though it might need editing, I’m able to communicate what is on my mind.  Lately, this is not the case.  I have a lot on my mind, much of which I’d like to write about in this blog, but I am simply too tired.   I’m also in a lot of pain.

I began this post last night and wanted to publish it while the Thunder Beings were here.  I finished it, which amazed me, but I couldn’t keep enough mental energy to tag it or put it in a category.

The Thunder Beings came back tonight just as I sat down in another attempt to write something that makes sense.  Another hard rain fell.

I don’t know who came up with the term, “brain fog,” but the condition is well understood by those of us who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or fibromyalgia.

Brain fog attempts to describe a medical mental fatigue that robs us of our normal cognitive skills and abilities.  For the past six months I’ve battled this fog consistently.  Normally, the condition isn’t this persistent and instead comes and goes, giving me times when I can still think.

Writing is hard when this is happening and I usually don’t even try.  I forget my words and have to use the dictionary constantly.  I can’t spell words I’ve spelled since elementary school.  My sentences are choppy and things aren’t flowing.

Brain fog can make a person nearly incapable of verbal responses.  It can have an effect on a person’s speech.  Words might get disordered in a sentence or we use a word that sounds like the one we are intending to say.

I know the words I’m looking for when I lose them.  I can describe the meaning, sometimes the sound or the first letter.  Written words I’ve known since I was a child look unfamiliar.

Mostly I’m tired and sleepy, but I can’t stay asleep long enough for my body to restore itself.  I’m half awake and half asleep.  It isn’t a good place to act from.

My body is as tired as my brain is.  Moving around is hard.  Bending over takes tremendous energy.  I can’t keep up with my chores and that stresses me out.

I’ve missed deadlines.  Many of my obligations in life are compromised.  I don’t get to go visit my family.  I’m also getting a bit confused and my short-term memory is shot.

The fatigue alone is completely overwhelming.  Add to that widespread ongoing pain in the nerves, muscles and deep in the bones and it is one mighty difficult condition!

Life goes on though.  It doesn’t stop for me to be sick or it seems, for me to get proper rest, but then maybe I don’t know how to rest.  Maybe I forgot.

Much of the time, I feel stressed.

I have an adult son, whom I love with all my heart.  He has challenges that I haven’t learned how to accept in a way that doesn’t cause me grief and anxiety.  I believe that accepting things the way they are is the best place to start when you want to change something, but honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job at this with mine or my son’s circumstances.

Being unwell causes me to feel like I’m failing my son, the other members in my family, including my dogs and a community.  I can’t say that I have the latter, but if I did belong to a community, where would I fit in I wonder.

When I have brain fog, I don’t feel like I have anything to offer.  I do love my family and friends, so I guess love is the one thing I still have to give, no matter what.

I worry about what is happening in this country.  The cuts in our system are scary to me on a personal level.

Being a disabled American makes me feel like a misfit.  The taxpayer’s enemy.  I represent to some Americans the reason our country is in such bad shape.  Somebody, “living for free.”  A flaw in an otherwise well-functioning system.

The doctor wonders what is depressing me!

Chronic illness impacts my view of myself and the world.  It’s a view that’s been filtered through pain, mental fog and bewildering fatigue, along with a very long decade of chronic stress.

I have the dogs to keep things real.  Plus, of course, I love them and think they’re the greatest little creatures to have ever lived on the planet!

One of my dogs had to go out a little while ago.  I was lying on the sofa.  He came over and sat there beside me, patiently waiting.

I felt like a million pounds of sand was lying on top of my body and it hurt.  After about eight minutes, which seemed like forever, I got up.

Putting his collar on him, I just happened to look at the sofa where I had tried to rest.  I saw the pain.  I saw the fatigue.

I didn’t want to ever lie on that sofa again.  I hurt when I lie down.  For a moment, the difference between the way I felt standing and the way I had felt lying down was somewhat mentally shocking.

I feel some better when I get up, but it isn’t long before I’m completely exhausted and must lie down again.

My dogs continue to be good for my health.  They keep me from never getting off that sofa.  They need me and I need them.

They took me outside after the rain stopped tonight.  I needed a short little walk and some fresh air.  They always know this.

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.

Image via drburtoni’s photostream, Flickr.

20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Spirit Walker on May 22, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Awesome and very truthful blog. I’m right there with you. Fibro fog is lousy… however it happens. Being male… the underrepresented group with CFS and Fibro… I nevertheless feel similarly about being disabled. Thanks for writing and thanks for being brave enough to share your experience.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Hello Spirit Walker,

      I’m so glad you visited my blog! Thank you and also glad you enjoyed reading what I wrote. I enjoyed reading your writing a great deal.

      In the spirit of being honest, I must say I don’t recall reading that you had fibro. Perhaps you don’t write about that or I didn’t stay on your blog long enough to see if you had. Of course, my memory isn’t all that great either, but I do recall clearly what I read. I loved it.

      Peace and many well wishes to you,



  2. Posted by MyFoggyBrain on April 21, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    You write the words that I am feeling. You, as always, express things so beautifully and PERFECT! Thank you for writing this, I needed this. It hit home and your words are my words. This is my pain. Thank you, as always!

    Liked by 1 person


    • MyFoggyBrain, Hello!

      What a perfect post for your blog’s name :). Thanks for stopping by and I hope even as I my words are yours that you are doing alright. Many well wishes to you my friend!

      doggie kisses and hugs…



  3. I love your post! My dogs keep me real & focused-ish too. Ya know what–I bet the person who invented brain FOG is the same one who came up with brain FART….

    Liked by 1 person


    • autoimmune maven– Hi! Yes, I bet you are right :).

      On a diff note, I wonder did you get the NO icon? Sorry I didn’t know the code but I’m going to ask Leslie about it again very soon.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.



  4. Before I became aware of the cyberverse, blogging, and fibromyalgia, I called my fatigue; mental dyslexia (such as reversing words or not finding the right word); losing the thread of a conversation, a television program, a book; and my forgetfullness, the “foggy-groggies.” Dementia/Alzheimer’s runs in my family, and in a sense I was relieved to discover that perhaps I had fibromyalgia and that could explain some of my conceptual, verbal, and “mental” problems.
    The wonderful thing about the cyberverse is the serendipity of meeting people in the virtual world who you would never get to know in the real world. Having “access” to communities of support, encouragement, and understanding through the internet has made a big difference for me during the year and half I’ve been part of the “wired world.”
    Remember, you don’t have to be/feel alone: you have your the unconditional love that animals, such as dogs, can give and the support from the friends the cyberverse has brought you.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Hi phylor!

      I tried to reply yesterday, but wow what a day of cognitive difficulty it was! Thank you for this comment.

      It is wonderful to finally communicate with people (other bloggers) who not only understand chronic illness, but who aren’t afraid to talk about it. It seems like most people in my life want to avoid the subject of pain or illness in general, as if talking about it makes it worse. Everyone ignores the conversation. It’s like having only one leg and everyone around you saying, no, they are both there. You are imagining that other leg isn’t there.

      I feel like starting this blog saved my life and continues to do so. It has taken me a while to really get this. I used to think people who only made friends online just didn’t get out enough. Boy doesn’t life have a way of slapping us in the face with our own ignorance or conclusions. Now, I am very proud of my online friends and feel they give me so much support and love too.

      Thank you for your words here. Thank you for reminding me of the blessings I have in this community of intelligent AND kind people.

      I also understand about being scared of Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Brain fog sure makes you feel like you have a dementia doesn’t it?

      My dogs are indeed a blessing, but I very much need humans too. I just can’t tolerate the ignorance and/or criticism from most people I know or meet in the world. I’d rather come home and talk to you guys.

      I hope you get my reply and thanks again for visiting my blog :)!
      hugs and doggie kisses2U!



  5. I cannot add much more than your friends have already added here Michelle, except that I know how it is, And for a long while I too felt exactly as you do..No one understands the misery of FM unless they feel the pain and fatigue and the drain on ones soul as we battle to get through a normal day..
    When I was at my lowest ebb, I was lucky enough to be put forward here in the UK for what was called ‘The Experts Patients Programme’ In which patients who suffered Chronic Illness of all kinds would come together in workshop sessions to discuss and go through a programme of sessions which helped us to manage our conditions better.. It was run by volunteers all who had Chronic Illnesses themselves..
    It taught me that there were many more like us out there, and it taught me to pace myself, and to set myself small achievable targets each day. So that I wouldn’t feel I had failed .. But rather to look at what I achieved today.. So I couldn’t clean the windows.. So what.. they got left.. but Id managed to iron a few things.. So I didn’t have the energy to go shopping couldn’t and couldn’t carry the Grocery shopping, so hubby did that, But I did put them away in the cupboards..
    No one understands when just turning over in bed can be hell, and getting up in the morning seems like a mammoth effort that when you do it feels like each tendon is about to snap in your calves and you feet feel like you are walking on broken glass… But once you are Up its an achievement..
    My turning point Michelle came when I started {Spring Forest Qi-Gong. With Chunyi Lin}.Look this up on YouTube or on the net– This breathing and gentle exercise technique which changed my energy, allowed oxygen to flow better throughout my muscles and brain, and that Fog you speak of cleared and the depression lifted…. It wasnt over night it took several months of self work, looking deep within at ME.. Counselling sessions helped too, and I had Homeopathic treatments too to begin with.. I still can get the pain levels that flare up and drag me down, but that too is when I neglect me and forget to ‘Breathe’.. The painkillers from the Dr’s didn’t work, and only ended up giving me an ulcer .. So I stopped taking everything.( I am not suggesting for one minute that you should as I said each of us are Different)… I still get pains and aches and yes tired from time to time.. And yes some days I ache so bad if I over do things and don’t pace myself….. But for me for the last 3 years now nearly I have had acupuncture and this has put the zest back.. I now feel back to being ME..Today I went for a walk in the countryside and was walking for 3 hours.. something several years ago was impossible as I it took me all the time just to crawl up the stairs..
    Im so glad you have got your pets to help you too.. They are a great source of healing too…
    My Love and heart and Healing are being sent your way Michelle.. Truly they are.. Dreamwalker xx

    Liked by 1 person


    • Dear Dreamwalker,

      Hello my friend. Thank you for reading this post and very much for taking the time to share about your experience and journey. What you’ve shared is very hopeful and inspiring.

      I must find an acupuncturist. I used to use that as my only source of medical care, althou that was before CFS hit me. I dislike having to ask for help and I’ll have to ask for financial reduction to be able to get it.

      Now, my foot isn’t well. It never healed all the way and the doctor wants to do surgery, so I am going to try acupuncture to see if we can get my foot to clear up. I sure hope so and in this process, just maybe I’ll be able to work out an ongoing treatment plan.

      You know, I think the way my life is has a lot to do with my symptoms getting so much worse over the past two years and esp., the past six months. The relationship I was in a couple of years ago wreaked havoc on me and my life. It has taken so long to fully recover and there are still times when I ask myself how or why could a human being enjoy causing so much pain to another. I will never fully understand this, even if I do understand what a narcissist is.

      I don’t know how to change the stresses. I really don’t. The only thing I can think of is to move to an Ashram where I used to go all the time when my son was very young. It’s been on my mind a lot. It is rather radical, I guess. Everyone there is very happy! I’m concerned they could not accept my son’s or my symptoms, but am going to talk to the director.

      I don’t have help in this physical world. Nobody to take up my slack and I take care of all my son’s business right now too and nobody to help there either. It is way stressful.

      For the first time in my life I feel like I have to have other people. I don’t like it. Not at my age. I figured I had about twenty or so more years before having to think like this.

      I have one very good friend who lives nearby, but he is traveling the world a lot and is busy doing research when he is home so he does what he can, but it is certainly not enough. I need people.

      I wish there was a group like you spoke of here. I live near two teaching hospitals and no treatment for CFS. I think it embarrassed my doctor when I told him this recently and he became defensive. It is true though. Two of the most respected medical schools in our country are right here at my fingertips but NOTHING in the way of treatment! I should write a letter to the newspaper about it. Not even a support group. Is that not totally insane?

      It is most inspiring to hear you were able to get your symptoms under control and to the point of being able to walk and feel good. That is something you should tell everyone I think, just as you have shared with me.

      I know a person who lives a very spiritual life and has accepted her illness. I respect and admire her very much like I do you. It is a peace of mind I would like to have. I’d like to stop grieving so much, stop crying so much and work on acceptance of where I am. I think this would lead to inner happiness and maybe that would have healing effects on my body.

      I use to be simply amazed at what my acupuncturist could do. She could make a virus go away. She could take severe major depression and toss it out the window! Absolutely amazing! She is four hours away now and finding someone as good as she was hasn’t happened where I live now. I do know a man who is good though and I am going to make it a goal to contact him.

      You said: “Today I went for a walk in the countryside and was walking for 3 hours.. something several years ago was impossible as — it took me all the time just to crawl up the stairs..”

      Most inspiring!!!

      Thank you Dreamwalker. Thank you for the healing being sent my way.

      Take good care of yourself and keep shining your light!

      With love and gratitude,
      your friend, Michelle.



  6. Sweet Michelle, you did say it just right. The struggle to get up, day after day, month after month, year after year, when you’re so tired, but no amount of rest helps, so much pain… it wears on your soul.
    I truly don’t think that those without CFS or FMS can understand, no matter how hard you try to explain it. Families fracture, as they feel you’re not trying hard enough, or because you are “unreliable” when it comes to making it to family gatherings, etc.
    Try not to be too hard on yourself. You know you are giving it all you’ve got… you just don’t have a lot to give in a physical sense. It’s easy to feel like you are failing those around you… my 16 year old has no memory of a time when I was well, and is my nurse and “mother” more than I am able to care for her. It breaks my heart, but she does understand, sees the toll it takes from every minute of my life, and I am thankful every minute for the great gift of care she gives me.
    You are not alone in this fight to go on living, there are so many of us out here. The internet may be the only way we can ever connect, but sometimes I think that is the perfect way – we respond when we can, and we all understand when there is a delay.
    I do think there is hope on the horizon. Finally, some doctors are really looking for the cause & for, if not a cure, at least better treatment options. I started on Valcyte, knowing that it carries many risks, “black box warnings,” and is the “medicine of last resort,” because there is nothing left for me to lose. It’s only been two months, but already it is helping with the cognitive issues, and I hope that as time goes on it will help ease the post-exertional malaise & energy issues, as it did for many in the Stanford trial.
    And of course there is much interest in XMRV now, and maybe that will be the answer for some, if not all, of us.
    So keep going, try to focus on the moments of pure love with the dogs, with how much your son needs your support and understanding.
    If you haven’t discovered yet, give it a look through – there are several bloggers going through the book & discussing the wonderful lessons from the book, and I think those might help. I can’t copy & paste on my phone but will try to find the links the next time I make it to the computer. I’ve just recently bought the book & haven’t gotten far yet, but I think it will prove very valuable to me in my own struggle to keep going.
    The Thunder Beings are approaching, a big storm front, a cold front to chase today’s warmth away. Kasha-dog will want to be on the bed – she will need me – so I will go, passing to you wishes for peace, acceptance, and relief from the pain.
    Big hugs –

    Liked by 1 person


    • Hi Ash,

      Thank you for this awesome comment! So much of what you’ve said touches my heart.
      “Families fracture, as they feel you’re not trying hard enough, or because you are “unreliable” when it comes to making it to family gatherings, etc.” –So true.

      I feel cut off from my family. As the years go by, it becomes more and more of a separation that I wonder if it is possible anymore to ever feel close again. I heard someone say the other day that they had been separated from family, sort of one person at a time and with each new distance, a piece of her was taken. She said she had been so close to her family, so feeling cut off after once having been that close makes feeling or being alienated even harder.

      Two relatives came visiting me the other day and the closeness is there, but so many years of me not being around while they all keep up and see each other regularly has an effect on me.

      I need more help helping my son too. I often feel like if he could just meet the right people, get involved in the right kind of healing community and have access to something that will give him a sense of place and belonging that our lives would change for the better. Being a caregiver is tough. People, most people anyway, don’t see what I do. Not even my son. An old friend called me recently. He asked what I had been doing that day. I had had a day filled with obligations, several of which included assisting my son. I told him I had done some care-giving. He’s known me since my son was a baby. He asked to whom was I care-giving. Some people blame my son and think he is too old to need my help. They do not understand when a loved one has special needs if they can’t see or understand whatever is going on. So, all these things are wearing on me. I can’t “outsource” obligations until I find a place/people who can help with that.

      I realize I got off our topic of fatigue, but then I do think of the things I do, need to do and want to do in the context of the condition.

      We must keep on having hope. Like you are doing by trying the new treatment. I sure hope it helps. Nice to have the cognitive symptoms improving! I’m glad you have your daughter and your animals.

      I’ll check out the site you mentioned. Sounds interesting.

      Nice you know the Thunder Beings. You and your Kasha-dog :)! Thank you for taking the time to share here with me. You are thoughtful and I love hearing from you. Thanks for the healing wishes and I wish you all the same!
      Hugs2u2 and doggie kisses too.

      PS I also love what you said here: “You are not alone in this fight to go on living, there are so many of us out here. The internet may be the only way we can ever connect, but sometimes I think that is the perfect way – we respond when we can, and we all understand when there is a delay.” Thank You Ash.



      • Hi Michelle!
        I’ve been thinking about your situation, and have a few suggestions.
        1. I, also, hate asking for help, but have learned the lesson finally, after tearing the rotator cuff in my shoulder by trying to get the dogfood bag in the car. So my advice to you on this subject is to try to comes to terms with the changes in your body, and do ask for help in stores, use the motarized carts in stores if the shopping wears you out like it does me, and push your doctors on getting that handicapped tag for your vehicle. You can probably find the form online & print it out, check the appropriate blocks, and then present it to your doctor with the simple statement “Having this would really help me with the pain & fatigue.” My doctor gave me the form without mmy requesting it and filled it in for permanant, not temporary.

        2. I don’t know your family, and don’t know if this would work, but have some ideas for helping them understand your illness better. One would be to write them a letter or email where you tell it like it is – that you feel you are losing the closeness you once had, and you are asking them to help restore the bonds between you. By writing this out, you can avoid what could be an emotional exchange. Tell them you are very sick, and could really use their help. Then, I’d see if you can get them on Facebook, and use the ease of messaging to communicate every day. My mom & I do this, and she’s 84. I can’t talk on the phone a lot because of the migraines, but we exchange messages back & forth, several times a day. I tell it like it is – how much pain, how tired I am, what I need to get done but have no energy for, etc. I think that really helps her understand the constant, day to day issues I fight.
        I also post articles to my Facebook status that pertain to CFS/FMS – the ones that are the most clear & easy to read about symptoms, theories about it’s cause, etc. These help to get across the fact that CFS is a real illness, annd not something in my head.
        Another idea for getting closer to your family would be to tell them you need help, and ask one or more family members to come stay with you for at least a week, or, go stay with them. When people only see you for a short period, I think they only see the “well exterior” and don’t get any idea of how you feel. However you get together, I’d make no effort at cleaning up the house for them, and I’d instead ask them to help you. I’d also make clear statements very often regarding how you feel: too tired to move, this part hurts a lot, I need to lay down for a nap, etc. Explain why you need help with grocery shopping, exactly what “post exertional malaise” feels like, etc. And let them read some of what you’ve written – “In the fog…” is a good start! You can print it out if you don’t want them reading your blog, and can also offer them some of the things the rest of us have written.

        I really think it’s impossible for someone who doesn’t have this to fully understand, but you can help them to understand better than they do now. The best way for them to learn is by watching you and seeing what you go through. I think that my eldest daughter doesn’t get it because she left home before I got super sick, so she’s never really seen it. But my youngest has watched for years, and has mild CFS herself, so she really does understand. She’s been with me in the store when I crash, seen me struggling cognitively, even had to take my wallet from me and give the appropriate debit card to the cashier when I become so fog-bound that I’ve stood there frozen, struggling to understand what I was supposed to do.

        Finally, I’d offer this: I believe that family is not just who you are born to, but rather, is also those who chose to be with you in both good times and bad times. You’ve found a new family here on the web, and we help and support each other as we walk through this “fire” together. I don’t believe in coincidence – you found my blog and me for a reason; the same applies to your other blogger friends. Sometimes, people share more through wriiting than they ever would through physical contact. We are all here for each other.
        Hopes for peace and happiness,

        Liked by 1 person


        • Dear Ash,

          Thank you for this comment. I can’t give a response my full attention yet, but wanted you to know I read this and it leaves me with much food for thought. I might try to write a blog post in response about my experience with family, friends and talking about illness.

          I’ll come back to this or let you know if I am able to write soon.

          I agree that we do have a family here on the web. More and more I’m understanding the value in our online relationships. It is amazing how much support we receive and when we are able to give it, that is just as rewarding.

          Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and generosity in sharing. You are a wonderful friend to have by the way.

          hugs and doggie kisses,



  7. hi, i am a friend of mo’s and saw your blog listed on hers. i’m a fellow fibro sufferer and dog lover. my dog is a great comfort to me too. i really admire the way you write, love the description. right now i’m too wound up and too awake (fibro interrupted sleep) so I will just say i am glad to have found you and also glad that i know mo!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for your comment and for the sweet compliment. Nice to meet another dog lover, but I sure am sorry you suffer too. I understand being too wound up from not sleeping enough. I’m glad you found me too. Hope to see you again. BTW, Mo is a good friend to have isn’t she!

      I hope you have a nice day and give your doggies a pat on the head for me.

      hugs and doggie kisses 🙂



  8. I would love to post something that would express how I feel more articulately. But I am not sure how to do that at the moment. So I will just say this:

    I understand.
    All of it.
    From the bottom of my heart, I understand.
    You do have a community.
    You are not alone.
    There are others who know exactly what you mean.

    Hang in there! I think your blog is great. Don’t sell yourself short. I know how much it hurts to feel like the unwanted part of society. I struggle with that everyday too. But that is only some, and they don’t matter anyway, not really. Try to remember that. If God didn’t have some purpose in you being here, you wouldn’t be. You are loved and valued.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Dear Deb,

      Thank you for this comment. Your message is clear my friend. And like I told Mo, I didn’t wake up so sad today as I have been. Knowing there are people who understand and care is a blessing and I am grateful. Also, you are right, I do have a community here!

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂



  9. “Putting his collar on him, I just happened to look at the sofa where I had tried to rest. I saw the pain. I saw the fatigue.”

    This is when I started to cry. I have been weeping on and off all day for the same reasons you wrote about.

    When I feel like this, fatigued and all brain-fogged, I can’t think straight enough to write a blog and be satisfied with it. That’s why some of us just “disappear” for a while…but we always come back…eventually. We are in the same place at the same time my Friend. Let’s fight this together.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Dear Mo,

      I am so sorry you are in the same place. It is awful! I’ve shed my share and then some of tears lately. In fact, I generally wake up crying, but not today. First time in weeks I haven’t woken up crying. Being sick is depressing.

      I have two relatives coming for a visit today. My home is a real mess, but so be it. I am starting to speak up Mo. I’m going to come out of the closet about what fatigue is doing to my body, my life and me.

      I’m gonna say it like it is from now on, or as long as I feel like saying it. I said it to the doctor and he became so frustrated he decided to try and find reasons for fatigue. Any reason other than CFS or fibromyalgia! I’ll be sending him a piece of mail with a list of symptoms.

      Your comment sure helped me. I couldn’t believe it. Thank you. I think it is why I didn’t wake up crying. Knowing I am not alone and that you and others here care is huge. So yes, let’s fight together!

      xoxoxo hugs and doggie kisses 2U.



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