Epilepsy Talk

Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget! | October 24, 2018

I have a confession to make.

I’m the queen of “Post-Its”. I have Post-Its on tables, counters, walls, doors. I don’t know how I lived without them.

I guess, in the “old” days, I was the same with lists. Many lists. And way too much Scotch Tape.

Factoid: The man who invented Post-Its was an employee at 3M (also the maker of Scotch Tape) who went to his boss with a bright new idea.

I don’t know if he got a raise, but he gets no royalties. Just my undying admiration and thanks.

Anyway, short of taking stock in 3M, here are some other suggestions…


Problem: So, you tend to forget appointments, addresses, PINs, and other necessaries.

Solution: That’s what PDAs, appointment books and memo pads are for. Write reminders of annoying every day stuff on a source you use and leave your mind free for more important things. Besides, the simple act of writing it down is one step closer to remembering.


Problem: You forgot why you walked into another room.

Solution: Think of why you’re going there beforehand. Try to visualize it. And if that doesn’t work, retrace your steps on how you got there in the first place.


Problem: You can’t remember where you put your keys, wallet, cell phone, charger, glasses (that’s a hot one for me), or whatever.

Solution: Try a “Don’t-Lose-It Basket”. Chuck in all the key items that you often misplace. And don’t forget to throw in a memo pad!


Problem: A word, a place, or the name of something, is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t come up with it.

Solution: Try to think of the first letter. (I often end up going through the whole alphabet, but eventually I get it.) Try to attach a rhyme to it. Or else skip it. Eventually, you’ll remember it. (Probably at 2:00 in the morning!)


Problem: You have a hard time remembering people’s names. Who doesn’t? But if it’s your next door neighbor’s name, it’s a little embarrassing.

Solution: Take a good look at the person, repeat their name to yourself at least three times, then use it in a conversation. Or subtly fake it. Just greet them without saying their name. It’s better than calling them by the wrong name.


Problem: You skip your daily dose. And it’s even harder if you take different meds at different time.

Solution: Set reminders on your smart phone. An alarm. Or a pillbox you can program with different time alarms. There are even prescription bottle devices that use light and sound to signal when it’s time to take a pill. Technology is wonderful — when it works.http://www.epill.com/bestseller.html


Problem: You always get lost — even going home. My husband calls me “the lost girl.”

Solution: GPS, navigation systems, MapQuest, an app on your smart phone. (Forget Google directions, they’re the worst.) I actually use GPS with MapQuest beside me as a backup.


Problem: It’s hard enough to keep your own schedule straight, no less remembering where everyone else is going.

Solution: Try a centralized household calendar. Use a different colored marker to write down each family member’s appointments, invitations, and travels.


Problem: You’ve got something important on your mind or something you want to remember to do.

Solution: Send yourself a text. Call your answering machine and leave yourself a message. (If you have a land line.)  Or, carry around a tiny hand-held tape recorder and say what you want to remember.


Problem: You can’t remember whether you turned off the stove, the coffeepot, an iron, or other appliance.

Solution: Set it and forget it. Try buying things with automatic shut-offs. That will take a load of your mind. Or, leave a reminder by the front door of what needs to be on, off, open, or shut.


Problem: Your cell phone could be lurking anywhere. It’s just not where you think it should be.

Solution: Have someone call you and listen for that (loud volume) ring. Or always keep it on the same charger, so it’s charged, ready to go, and easy to find.


Problem: It’s either at home (not likely), where you last used it (which, in my case, was 250 miles away), or stolen.

Solution: You can’t just snap your fingers and make it appear. But you can make copies of the front and back of all your credit cards (and driver’s license, while you’re at it) and store them in a secure folder where you can access the numbers, security codes, etc. in case you have to report a cord lost or stolen.


Problem: Your money machine receipt is off $100. And not in your favor. That means next week, you’ll be living on fumes.

Solution: (I just figured this out when the above happened — not for the first time — to me.) Write down the withdrawal amount in your checkbook BEFORE you make your transaction. Then you can stick the money machine receipt in your checkbook, after. And don’t forget to put the card back in it’s slot when you put in your money.


Problem: How is anyone supposed to remember all of those passwords? It’s impossible. Unless you assign yourself the same name and password to every website you use. And that puts you in danger of a security breach. A hacker’s heaven.

Solution: LastPass. The greatest invention since the post-it note. Set up an account and every time you go to a website for the first time, a little red box will pop up, asking if you want LastPass to remember this website.

Say “yes”), fill out your information with any kind of password you want (a combination of upper case, lower case, symbols and numbers is the most secure) and it’s all there for you. Click on the website name in your LastPass Vault and you’ll have instant access. After that, LastPass will automatically log you in. It’s a technological miracle!  (Just don’t forget to write down your LastPass access codes and put them in a safe place!) https://lastpass.com/


Although they’re not memory minders, you should know about new state-of-the-art devices for detecting seizures.

NEW! Apple Seizalarm — A user-friendly iPhone and Apple Watch app which allow those with epilepsy and other seizure disorders to alert emergency contacts automatically when seizure-like motion is detected or manually if they need immediate help or think they might need help soon. Detects seizure-like motion, requests immediate help, seizure monitoring control, GPS location tracking, and event log tracking.  http://seizalarm.com/

Embrace — Created to track your activity, stress and overall body balance, enabling people who live with Epilepsy to get an alert when an unusual event happens such as a convulsive seizure, warning them and their loved ones.   https://www.empatica.com/product-embrace

The SmartWatch — A motion detecting and alerting wristwatch that can detect seizures and alert caregivers within seven to 10 seconds. http://www.smart-monitor.com/
For details and pricing information, please call 1-888-334-5045.

Epilepsy Detector Application — An accelerometer based mobile phone application that uses advanced signal processing to detect epileptic seizures. It runs on most mobile phones that support SMS messaging, movement detection and GPS position location.  http://www.epdetect.com/

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  1. Really great post Phylis – memory – or loss of it is a massive past of my epilepsy side effects – I’ve written a very long post in reply to the first of these articles.
    Anyhow, my comment here is a tip on what to do when you forget someone’s name – also perhaps not totally appropriate for somrone as close as your next door neighbour! Anyhow, it goes like this.
    Hello etc – then say, with a slightly sheepish look on your face, “I’m sorry , but I have to confess to having forgotten your name” Normally the person will reply with something like – “don’t worry, it’s Phylis”. You reply, “don’t be silly, I KNOW your Christian name, it’s your surname I managed to forget” – or of course, vice versa, if they give you their surname!! I find that 9 times out of 10, it gets you out of a sticky situation!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Margaret Hay — October 24, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

    • Brilliant!

      I just sheepishly say “I can’t remember your name” and face the embarrassment.

      Your way sounds much better! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 11:40 AM

      • My method started when I felt I was going to hurt the feelings of people whose names I had forgotten – perhaps people from quite far in the past who remembered MY name with no problem!! Then I decided it worked for all of these situations – and I guess it does help everyone’s feelings.It has made me feel much more relaxed in social situations.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Margaret Hay — October 24, 2018 @ 12:18 PM

      • Smart Lady!


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

  2. Maybe 10% of everything I try to remember I remember 9% of it, as the other 90% of things I may forget I don’t try to remember to begin with. All to say there were days & times in years past that my memory was maybe 5% of everything that I had to remember out of the 100% I needed to remember. So I looked at how a few AED’s were affecting that & saw where all the METALS from ALUMINUM LAKE, TALC, & other metals, along with blue, red, yellow & other dyes, also named as numbers, WILL affect memory & speech patterns. So when I said NO to taking those AED’s with all those toxins in them, plus the FACT the will weaken seizure thresholds & you WILL HAVE MOORE seizure activity or seizures, start telling the neurologists that NO AED’s will be taken if metals & food coloring dyes are in the drugs. Then you WILL start seeing all memory get better, unless you forget what I typed here now. http://www.dailymed.nlm.nih.gov << There is where you'll learn what drugs has in them. MSG's & ASPARTAME's do no favors for memory & remembering things either. They & the metals to will affect common sense thinking 365 days a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by CD — October 24, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

    • Staggering. Thanks for the info CD, and the link.

      Since it’s here, I won’t forget it!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 12:24 PM

    • Thanks CD – I must investigate this as memory loss is worse in my opinion than the seizures themselves. By that, I mean the actual loss of the chunks of my past more than the daily loss as such – although that is horrible enough to deal with nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Margaret Hay — October 24, 2018 @ 12:29 PM

      • I agree.

        Memory loss is almost as bad as the seizures themselves.

        But, unfortunately, one seems to go with the other, as CD so aptly points out.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 4:44 PM

  3. Password safes are amazing at remembering and generating secure passwords so you don’t have to have them saved in your browser, or write them down. https://www.lastpass.com/ They’ll even log you in automatically if you wish. Otherwise the 12:00 am and pm alarm reminds me it’s pill time.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Donna Jones — October 24, 2018 @ 2:11 PM

    • I LIVE by LastPass. It’s the best. Just have it pick up a site (which it will ask you when you first visit and log in), then it will remember the account name and your log-in, taking you there automatically.

      I highly recommend it. Especially with my moth-eaten brain.

      Plus, it’s very secure. And, to my knowledge, has never been hacked.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2018 @ 4:40 PM

  4. I’ve reached the point now where I’m just telling almost everyone that my memory is completely shot, and sorry, I just can’t remember your name/the event/whatever it is!

    If it’s people who know about my epilepsy then I’ll tell them it’s because of that and the meds, but anyone else I just treat it as a bit of a laugh. Said in the right way it can mean not having to elaborate further and saves a lot of grief.

    A few good suggestions there I haven’t tried yet Phylis- now I have to remember to write them down lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Katie — October 24, 2018 @ 4:17 PM

  5. Phylis,
    Thank you for sharing with us another excellent article & brilliant tips in dealing with memory difficulties.
    I hope the 3M employee who came up with the POST-IT idea knows that he made our lives a lot better, enabling many of us to he

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — October 25, 2018 @ 6:38 AM

    • enabling many of us to resolve some frustrating memory conditions.


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — October 25, 2018 @ 6:47 AM

    • I hope the 3M idea man got his just desserts, in knowing he made our lives a little easier.

      I don’t know what I’d do (or be), without those beloved Post-Its! 🙂


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 25, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

  6. As an example of what I mentioned before,, VIMPAT & their 100mg tablet has the LEAST of all the toxic metals & other chemicals in that tablet than what the 50, 150 & 200 mg tablets have that they make. Now I hope nobody from FDA & BIG PHARMA will read this now, but when the homework is done, you’ll know what is safer to take, than thinking that any AED will work like others & that is never true with GENERIC names being as good as BRAND names, which VIMPAT has no generic name or drug maker yet. Maybe they won’t with their 50, 150 & 200 mgs tablets being like they are. learn what’s in the drugs before taking them as MAGNESIUM STEARATE is 1 of the worst things one can take, if people are not taking any good magnesium supplement. An herbalist is better to ask about that than most doctors or neurologist can tell you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C D — July 20, 2019 @ 6:27 PM

  7. Generic drugs have 80% of the original formulary in them then 20% of unknown “filler”.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 20, 2019 @ 6:30 PM

  8. These are wonderful things to share with others as ways to handle many everyday things. It did make me feel good to realize that almost every thing that was listed I already do. These things do work. Much success for me.😊👍

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Alicia Reynolds — July 22, 2019 @ 10:49 PM

  9. Kudos to you. You’re really ahead of the game!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 23, 2019 @ 10:50 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

    View Full Profile →

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