Epilepsy Talk

Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget! | February 5, 2022

I have a confession to make.

I was the queen of “Post-Its”. I had 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…

WHEN…WHERE…OR WHAT…IS IT?

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 something reliable that 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.

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

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.

WHERE ARE THEY?

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 main items that you often misplace. And don’t forget to throw in a memo pad!

WHAT’S THAT WORD?

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!)

I FORGOT HER NAME!

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.

I FORGOT MY MEDICATION AGAIN!

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

I CAN’T FIND MY WAY THERE!

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.

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

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.

I CAN’T FORGET TO DO THIS WHEN I GET HOME.

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.

DID I TURN OFF THE COFFEE POT?

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.

WHERE’S MY CELL PHONE?

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.

I CAN’T FIND MY CREDIT CARD.

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 card lost or stolen. That goes for your passport too, if you have one.

WHERE DID THAT $100 GO?

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.

I CAN’T GET ONTO A WEBSITE.

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 code and put it in a safe place!) https://lastpass.com/

BONUS INFORMATION: THE SMART WATCHES

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 allows 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. 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/embrace2/

The InspyreTM By SmartMonitor — A motion detecting and alerting wristwatch that can detect seizures and alert caregivers within 7 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/

To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk, simply go to the bottom of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow”

Resources:

http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/memory/tricks-improve-memory-10000001181370/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marie-marley/memory-loss-25-tips-for-coping-with-memory-problems_b_2369059.html

http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/10memory.htm


9 Comments »

  1. My grand parents fro decades & parents in their early days of cooking & frying foods, always used ALUMINUM pots & pans to prepare their meals, when suddenly in the 1960’s early 70’s they were not sold by any kitchen items retailer, and then later it was all stainless steel you had to cook, fry & bake foods with. My mom still has an ALUMINUM cake pan that she still uses now & then but SHOULD SHE ? They were all told ALZHEIMER’s DISEASE was created from all these ALUMINUM cooking pans, pots & etc…that they were using for 50+ years, So they are never sold BUT WHY is more brain conditions especially ALZHEIMERS increasing by numbers every 5 years as is EPILEPSY that they do not know how to count over 65 MILLION since 2015 or before then ? Today there are many OTC drugs, prescribed drugs, and dental & floss items that are saturated with ALUMINUM and NO POTS & PANS are used to be the blame that ANY brain condition is diagnosed in 2022. Now BRAND NAME AED’s like Xcopri tablets has ALUMINUM in the drug tablets of 12.5 25, 100, 150, 200 & 400 MGS strengths that shows ALUMINUM in those tablets which is WHY I told my neurologist that I WANT ONLY 50MGS tablet because the word ALUMINUM is not shown to be an INACTIVE ingredient, which if they are INACTIVE,, WHY are the put in the drugs to begin with ? You know all those INACTIVE junk are more active than the ACTIVE ingredients, like what XCOPRI main ACTIVE ingredient is, Cenobamate, which would be good all to its own if NOTHING ELSE like ALUMINUM was mixed in with it. So I am taking 50MGS tablets only as I WANT TO REMEMBER when I take my drugs, & how much of them I am taking without FORGETTING & WONDERING as I did a few weeks ago taking the 100MG tablet of XCOPRI, and my neurologist understood all I was saying then as I am saying now, that I READ ABOUT WHAT I AM TAKING, as a few years back, he told my mother, & said ”HE meaning me,, has taught himself well, & has learned what my brain can tolerate & what it can not tolerate. As with MAGNESIUM STEARATE as I know it can cause MORE SEIZURES,, it also caused HIGHER blood pressure & glucose readings, which never shocked me any to believe that that can never happen, along with destroying the colon actions & memory problems just from that alone. When your digestive track has stopped, everything else seems to have stopped or slowed down by 90+% of all else you do & SHOULD HAD REMEMBERED TO HAD DONE OR DO IF IT HASN’T BEEN DONE YET. Odds are great when ALUMINUM & MAGNESIUM or AND CALCIUM STEARATE in is your BBB/ Blood Brain Barrier. So read ALL THE LABELS OF EVERYTHING & eliminate all that is making you less active & forgetting WHAT is making you feel that way, BUT to remember WHAT THOSE THINGS ARE that you have a bad memory & to keep them out of your gut, aka the 2nd brain.

    Like

    Comment by James D — February 5, 2022 @ 11:07 AM

  2. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.

    Like

    Comment by Kenneth — February 5, 2022 @ 11:08 AM

  3. Phylis, I needed to learn a memory trick after my 2nd brain surgery. When I put something down (e.g. my purse) in order to answer the phone, I will stop & take a “picture” of it by bringing both of my hands up (to hold the unseen camera), and really focus on the item & what is surrounding it… and “Click” the picture with both of my index fingers. I am actually using my R & L temporal lobes and occipital lobe to visually focus. Using my B index fingers together really has helped. Sometimes I need to include surrounding items (in the picture) to remember. I told my Neuro about this, and he actually started telling other patients about it. It works!! Thanks for all the info that you included in your article. Shalom. Maire’

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Maire Archbold — February 5, 2022 @ 3:14 PM

    • I used to do this as well until people connected their phones or devices with mine after they broke in a lot!
      Even though I let the police know and they saw even an album of my Epileptic head traumas become even more intense, they continued to make my Epileptic seizures worse even when I shouted through the apartment wall “why are you doing this to me? I live with Epilepsy!! You’re hurting my fur baby as well!!”
      Whoever was behind the wall never cared to listen, hurt!

      Just please, if you’re honest be careful of the photos that you are taking. Because of Covid-19, now Omicron there are still a lot of home invasions that are building in numbers because places keep opening and closing as do libraries and recreation centers.
      To many destruction because there isn’t much to do when people are still told to “stay inside! Stay 2ft distance apart! Wear masks or you can’t enter!!”

      Off topic yes I am aware. Yet with crimes on the rise because of the past saying that people were crucified for which was, “I’m bored! I used to have a computer device before others trashed it! Police stations are closed after 5pm(if emergency call 911 other wise wait until the next day or if you have internet type up your complaint online!)

      Yet for my Forgetting in the past my fur baby let me know that the kettle was about to boil and that would set off the whistle which we both hated!
      He’d do his thing to let me know, just like he did being a feline wake me for my AEDs in the morning, and let me know that I was going to have a Epileptic seizure even washing dishes or cleaning my bathing room.
      Unfornutely identity thefts playing femme cops were stupid.
      The first said too many things to me where I found out that she was a cop following me for reasons I didn’t know. I still talked about her… Recently..
      The other two after I was in my then apartment(????? Rumors that my Epilepsy was only Illicit drug use/abuse and alcohol abuse that I still hear now!!!) they were claiming to be looking for my fur baby in between the bed mattress and bed frame and dropping the mattress as if it would scare him out of the bed!
      Then trying when I was trying to take out the garbage after cleaning his litter box and needing to throw out the garbage, the two tackled me and put me in handcuffs!!!
      I just paid rent for that month too!!

      My AEDs were still in my apartment as were other needed items!!
      My fur baby’s veterinary and tags were stolen as were court laywer papers addressed to me,
      Then I was Sexually Assaulted because I lived with and had an Epileptic Seizure!!!

      Trauma was a severely big reason that I forgot a lot.
      In my first apartment I never should have left there! I still would have been living, maybe, I’ve seen the area 6 months ago.

      I know that I wouldn’t have as many Epileptic seizures as I have since I relocated out of the first apartment reluctantly as I did to now!
      I’d still be in contact with my family and my friends as I could’ve been after the first trauma!!

      Trauma is the biggest reason to be as cruel as some people call others a “Scatter brain”!
      Consider that!

      James has good points.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Taima — February 6, 2022 @ 2:02 AM

      • Taima, I do not take a literal picture. I use the invisible “camera” in my hands. My brain stores the pictures!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Maire Archbold — February 8, 2022 @ 4:52 PM

  4. Wow Maire, that’s what we had to do the first semester of photography!

    Go out and “take” a roll of pictures, then come back and tell the class what they were of.

    Of course, you could have faked it. But since I didn’t have a camera (yet), it was an ideal exercise for me.

    But I never thought of the brain/memory connection. That’s brilliant! How resourceful of you!

    Like

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 5, 2022 @ 7:40 PM

  5. WOW Phylis, Thank you for the brilliant article, sharing great ideas on how to keep track of lost memories & set reminders to navigate through memory hardships.
    All this time, I thought I was alone wondering WHY am I losing my mind forgetting the basic simple things I use to take for grant & remember everything & anything without much efforts?
    At first, I tried to blame “aging” for my memory hardships.
    But aging did NOT answer all the questions I had with my memory lose.
    Therefore, digging deeper I started realizing that I started having problems with my memory when I started having seizures & ended up taking anti-epilepsy medications.
    Therefore, while reducing the side effects of my anti-epilepsy drugs have helped to slow-down my memory hardships, setting alarms & reminders over my Iphone has certainly made my life a whole lot more bearable to function than otherwise could had been.
    Therefore, keep up the good job for you’re making our lives a whole lot easier to bear.
    Gerrie

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gerrie — February 6, 2022 @ 1:49 PM


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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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