As the saying goes, “some have a photographic memory, some just don’t have the film”. Not a great quote for me to reference if you were born from 1990 onwards so apologies to those people.
In my case I do have the film in my brain its just that I cannot always develop the photos (recall the memories). I can usually get photos if I am prepared to wait a long period however if I want instant photos (memories) then I just have to wait because the instant service desk is extremely unreliable (me). In many circumstances, even if I wait a longer period there is no guarantee that the photos (memories) will be developed for they may come out either blurry or just blank.
Through rehabilitation sessions from various Specialists, I am learning to compensate my shortfalls in many ways. In relation to remembering things that are important to me, a calendar entry in my computer, iPad or phone are not guaranteed solutions or a substitution for my memory for such technology has to be with me at all times. Yes I have tried keeping my phone with me all the time and adding a safeguard such as a reminder alarm however I still need to remember to take my phone with me. I know what your thinking, it’s a comedy of errors…welcome to my world ha ha. Since my incident in 2013, it was evident that I was becoming a very visual person in relation to communicating to people. What I was unaware at the time was that my brain was also helping me to compensate for some functions that were lost such short term memory. Such assistance was in the form of writing down task lists that I had to complete. It was my brains way of providing me with some relief that I didn’t have to try and remember everything and by having visual tools and resources I was able to refer back to information in order to recall or recover.
So applying similar methods as I did when I was still working, I use Post-It-Notes to write down the important things I need to remember. I still use all the electronic tools and resources however I use Post-It-Notes as a main visual resource in order for me to remember key information. As anything in life though, these are only effective providing I stick to some rules…pardon the pun;
- Be specific, not open to misinterpretation (broad instructions causes confusion)
- Stick Post-It-Notes in a specific area (they must be visually accessible – central high traffic area within house)
- Take Post-It-Notes with me if it involves instructions or lists
- Throw out expired Post-It-Notes (review with Donna/wife before throwing out)
- Have fun with reminders (see photos below)
I always laugh at my wife’s Post-It-Notes for if I have errands to do or need to attend an appointment that she cannot attend with me she will make it very clear to “stick to the list, nothing else” ha ha. You see in Donnas words, I tend to deviate from lists or instructions if I see “bright shiny things”. As an example, I may go to the supermarket to get just 3 things being bread, milk and butter which should take me 20 minutes’ maximum. Well I tend to take 2 – 3 hours for I go wondering off into my own world looking at anything and everything that catches my eye. It sounds like Alzheimer’s doesn’t it but it isn’t it is just my mind likes to go for a wonder and becomes curious with things. Bugger it, lets just call me a “nutter” and be done with it ha ha.
I have attached some photos below showing some examples of the many hundreds of post-it-notes I go through every month. The main thing is it works for me and that’s all that matters…unless I forget of course ha ha.
Oh and finally if you feel you really want to know some history on how the idea of a Post-It-Note came about you can click on this link Today I Found Out. I actually found it quite interesting.
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- Treatment & Rehabilitation