Monday, November 28, 2011

Just Some Tips.................

For my fellow aneurysm/TBI survivor friends. Memory is such an issue for us, especially short term memory.  It can be very frustrating and at times embarrassing and overwhelming.  Here are some strategies I use in my daily life to cope. Yes, I have OCD and I taught special education for a year right out of college!!!!
* write EVERYTHING down in a planner you carry with you everywhere!!
* take a list of questions you have for your doctor (I write things down as I think of them).  I then bring the list to my appointment and cross them off as they are answered.  I write down things that I want to remember when I leave or I have my doctor write it down on a prescription that I can take home and show my husband!
My daily "survival kit"
* I have a "professional looking" three ring binder that zips up and has handles.  Inside it is a folder for each day of the week to put papers I need for that day.  It is also well supplied with 'post-it' notes, pens and a magazine to look at while waiting for an appointment! I take this everywhere and keep my smaller planner in my purse, because it is smaller and keeps me from trying to do a million things in one day, it simply doesn't have the space to write a lot of  'to do's',
* I found the book "Brain on a String" by PJ Long very helpful for helping me keep things as organized as possible.  PJ Long is a TBI survivor and also wrote "Gifts from the Broken Jar" which was very good too!!!
* I have a reminder set in my cell phone(calendar) to ring every night to remind me to take my pills.  It rings until I turn it off.  I admit that this works well but sometimes I do get distracted along the way and end up forgetting anyway, but it isn't too often!!
Most importantly find a "system" that works best for you and your "new brain".  Ask someone who knows you well, and you trust, for help if you can't do it yourself!! This is not 'fool-proof' and I still have my moments but this has really helped me and some of my daily my anxiety a lot! Hope it helps you too!!!

PS- I have recently discovered that a planner broken down by hour slots really helps me to organize my day better being able to even write when to leave my house to get to an appointment! I really should have listened to the Rehab Therapist years ago but it seemed unnecessary to me at the time, as I had not fully accepted my brain injury!!! But, alas after years of floundering and fumbling my way through things I have returned to this modified version of the planners they use at the Rehab hospital! My iphone also has a format like this so I may eventually switch over to that completely!
Planner by Day Timer
Now for my last "life lesson." It began early on with a list in the order I needed to stop of the places I needed to go since I could not look at a list and decide where I needed to be. So, before I left the house (even if someone was driving me) I sat down and wrote out the order of my stops. So, it might look like 1. Target-bring list 
               2. Hewitts-seeds (plant place)
               3. Library- (returns only today.)
And that my friends, would have been more than enough for one day. Likely, back then it would have been one stop then home and dinner being madewas a 50/50 chance. Now, I usually jot down on my shopping list where I need to stop. Now, I usually post quick things that might not make a shopping list like stopping for gas along the way! My job coach says, everyone could benefit from this strategy.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try writing a note while driving. You will be very, very sorry! But when you come to a safe stop write a quick note and stick it to your radio. Since I tend to obsess over things I usually am able to remember what I wanted to write. Keep it simple, a word or two!   My post-it is a loud color so I am more likely to see/notice it (a gift from a dear friend who 'totally gets me'!) I also carry post-its in my purse and write things down that I need to stop for and stick them to my radio face when I get back to my "car". You can thank me later ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa-

Sharing this should help many others.