One of the many issue I struggle with now is, short term memory loss. It’s not a matter of being forgetful or something just slipping your mind. It’s completely not knowing you did something but you have photos, videos or the ones closest to you retelling you that you, in fact, did something or said something.
It’s hard to explain in text but I’ll try. It’s knowing you were at an event or activity but a day or two later, have no recollection whatsoever of it taking place.
I have great family and friends who continue to support me and get me out and about, to do activities I loved prior to my TBI. Things such as fishing, hunting or exercising. The pictures are there, the videos are there, I’m in them but don’t remember.
Constantly repeating things I’ve already discussed with my wife or my kids, to only hear back from them, “we’ve already talked about this!” It becomes a burden but it’s the only way I know to try to remember.
Since my injury, it feels like my life was frozen in time for that day. I still try to write the year 2017 when I’m dating things. Numerous times throughout the day glancing at my phone to see what day of the week it is. Constantly glancing at the clock to see what time of day it is. Time to me now is fast. What I mean by this is, it could already be 2 or 3 p.m. and I still think it’s 9 or 10 a.m. Now that wouldn’t be a bad thing if you’re having a long day and it flies by like that.
I want to share some things that I’ve become accustomed to, that are like second nature to me now. I share this for the reasoning of helping new victims of TBI and caretakers of a TBI victim.
Write down everything- write down future events or things you have coming up in the week to ensure you don’t forget to attend/accomplish. “Post it” notes are great for this. Be sure to place them in a specific spot where you’ll be able to see it everyday until that event takes place. Once that event has happened, throw away the post it note to not get confused.
Reminder on cell phone- my cell phone is my go to for reminders of events, appointments or activities I have for the week. I set them to go off the day before, and the morning of, for different times. This way,I’ll be ready for the event the following or present day.
Notepad on Cell Phone- this is another favorite tool I like to use. If someone tells me something to do at a certain time or a future activity, I’ll jot it down on the notes section of my phone. Then later on I will go back and look at these notes and set them as “reminders” to alert me through my cell phone.
It’s no fun not being able to remember things. I know there have been times when people get frustrated with me repeating myself to them or asking them repetative questions. It’s the only way I can remember things clearly. Don’t get aggravated or frustrated with a new TBI victim if they’re displaying these same symptoms.
We’re really doing the best we can with what we have to work with to make our new life a little easier!
Never lose HOPE, Never lose FAITH. You’re not alone!