Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reminders

Ahhhhhh, my memory has taken as bad a hit from MS, perhaps worse of a hit than my body!  I used to have a wonderful memory. I could remember nearly verbatim anything I had read and if I heard something I just needed to write it down once and I could retain it.  Now, at certain times during the day I can't even keep a thought long enough to carry on a simple conversation. It is always very frustrating and quite honestly often embarrassing as well.

Recently I decided that I would try to blog first thing in the morning because frankly it is when I am at my peak cognitively. I am well rested and my mental resources have not been taxed by anything yet. And by first thing in the morning I mean first thing! I'm still lying on bed as I write this! :) 

As I was about to start this post today on memory, in the morning (at the peak of my cognitive performance for the day, mind you), I was distracted by a muscle twitch. Not an unusual occurrence for me. Click here for post related to twitching.  So what do I do?  I promptly draft a post (see previous link)  about muscle twitch, save it, open my email and twenty minutes later remember I was supposed to be writing a post about memory this morning!!!! 

Obviously, because I am having problems with this I have had to and am continuing to develop strategies to help me cope.  Obviously, they don't always work ....... at least immediately. 

One thing I do is make lots of lists. If I think of something that I need to do, accomplish or purchase, I write it down, immediately  (for obvious reasons). I try to be consistent with this and have one particular notepad or device that I use so I'm not losing my list(s).  If I am using a hand written list I mark off anything completed immediately. If it gets too cluttered with scratch outs, I rewrite it because the clutter distracts me. 

As the day wears on and I become more fatigued both physically and mentally I have more difficulty even remembering to check a hand written list.  The afternoons are when I am thankful for technology. I am learning to use the reminder function on my smartphone more and more. It sends me a little jingle at a programmed time to remind me to check it. If I get something done with a single tap I can remove that task and the next one is moved into its place. If I don't get something taken care of on that day, it is automatically moved to the next day for me. 

Taking advantage of the technology available has been a life and sanity saver for me.....now if I can just keep up with my phone!