So, over a few emails while we discovered we have the same thing, I got this from her:
"I have hashimoto's too. My friend, it is not only aging that has you do depleted--it is a debilitating disease!
Your reaction to the day you spent in town sounded so familiar to me--it all makes sense now.
Kitty, please do not underestimate the symptoms of this disease. It also profoundly affects the brain and cognitive function, and we are not able to manage the same level of sensory input as ordinary people. Things like driving, crowded places, and seeing a lot of activity easily overload the Hashimoto brain and leave one quickly incapacitated. I have to be VERY careful at managing my time in crowded places where there is noise or activity, and driving just wipes me out, as the brain is trying to manage so much input.
I am only just now, after a year of full-time practice, able to separate the physical aspects of the disease from my mental reactions, like anger (hashi's people are very irritable as we are do dreaming tired and unwell all the time), laziness, despair, etc. BUT this is because I am in a very controlled environment where there is no pressure for me to do anything. So I can challenge myself at my own pace to push through my limits and see the defilements as they arise. Were I not in such a controlled environment, the fatigue would be overwhelming.
Kitty I hope you can find a place to rest, heal, and learn from your disease with a teacher who can support you. People don't understand that there are diseases which are not merely about pain, but that usurp all of our energy. When the body has no energy, it cannot function. End of story."
I've used her words because they are so concise -- explains so much about my 'brain fogginess' and my reaction to driving in traffic (yesterday was insane!). Still nothing to be done about it, but it helps me to know the cause -- which is simply that my symptoms are becoming worse. I suspect that stress may aggravate it, and I've had my share of that.
I gotta go -- we're in a bad situation with our internet here and I can't waste too much time on it. Back at you when I can.