6 Tips to Help With Memory Loss After a Concussion or Brain Injury
Post-concussion syndrome, as well as many other chronic illnesses, give some people terrible trouble with their memory and can make it almost impossible to get things done. Even with post-it notes put up all around my house and reminders beeping on my phone, I can see the messages and it still doesn’t connect in my brain that hey, that’s something I should get done! My therapist helped me figure out ways to simplify key things I do each day and restructure my routine to make things easier on myself in those moments when brain fog slows me down. A little simplifying can go a long way toward making life more functional when you struggle with memory problems.
1.Put your bills on autopay. I once went three months without opening a single bill after my accident, because I was not capable of processing financial information. As little piles started forming on my kitchen table it made me even more stressed. Putting my bills on autopay resolved the stress, resulted in less mail, which helped lessen my neuro-fatigue, and I didn’t have to worry about late fees either.
2. Bookmark your go-to websites. I can’t tell you how many times I have opened my laptop to look something up and immediately blanked on what I had wanted to find. With a list of bookmarked websites, you can look through to jog your memory. I forget doctors’ names a lot, so bookmarking their sites helps me get there quickly for what I need.
3. Create a comprehensive doctor and medicine list. After going to so many doctor visits where I had to name what other professionals I had seen and for what treatment, I finally sat down and made a comprehensive list of all my doctors, their addresses, phone numbers and dates of major tests. Now I can pull it up on my phone at the doctor’s office or email it to whoever needs it.
4. Get a pill box or a bunch of tiny ziploc bags for your medication. A pill box may be a better choice for some, if your doses change often, but if your regimen is set, you can sit down and make 30 bags of what you take every day. Then instead of fumbling your way through a bunch of bottles each day or forgetting to take them, you can just pick up a little bag on your way out the door each morning.
5. Remind yourself. When I receive a call while I’m driving and need to remember something from the conversation, I grab a post-it and put it on the dash of my car. I don’t even write anything down on it, because just having this bright pink visual reminder that there’s something I need to remember to do is enough to jog my memory until I figure it out!
6. Tear out favorite pages from magazines. I have read a lot of magazines this year during my recovery, and for a while, when I found a recipe I wanted to try or a lipstick I liked, I’d dogear the page intending to come back to it. But of course I couldn’t remember to! So now I tear out the pages with things I like and keep them in a folder in the kitchen where I’ll see it.
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Getty image by Anson Lu.