Sunday, February 12, 2012

Memory Games

With 50% of MSers living with cognitive issues, it is normal for us to forget things. This can be quite challenging and frustrating. For me, I tend to forget to take my meds. Funny thing is I’d like to forget to take my daily injections but for some reason, I never forget these. Nope. I always remember the shots. What I tend to forget, however, is taking my nerve pain medication, especially on the weekends or when I’m traveling or when I fall out my normal routine.

When this happens, it is not infrequent that I work myself up into a frenzy playing memory game. Let’s call it the running-around-in-circles-retracing-my-steps-asking-myself-over-and-over-and-over-again-if-I-took-my-meds game. You know this routine, right? It happens to me all the time. I’ll be in the middle of doing something really fun and suddenly I’ll panic. “Did I take my medicine this morning?” I’ll back track my steps, visualize myself standing by the kitchen window, opening the medicine bottle, pouring out my dosage, taking a sip of water and swallowing my pills. Trying to remember, I’ll press my palms into my face in anguish, “Did I take my medicine? I swear I did. But, I can’t remember! What will happen if I actually took the meds earlier, forgot that I did and then took a dose right now? Will my body convulse with the extra dosage? Is there such a thing of overdosing on Gabapentin? Will I become an addict? Is it even possible to get addicted to this stuff? Good grief!”

I am not sure what’s worse: forgetting to take my meds or the crazy routine I go through trying to remember if I took my meds. Seriously. I need to find a better way to remember and reduce my anxiety. I must stop the madness.

Here are some ideas to stop playing these silly games and help me remember stuff:
  • Remind Siri to remind me. After all, the new iPhone 4s is seriously amazing.
  • Post Its are oldies and goodies. Simply said. They work.
  • Tie a string around my finger. But, I don't see how this will solve anything. I can see it now, "What is the string for? What was I supposed to remember?" Let the games begin.
  • Wear a task bracelet! I found these "List-It" bracelets at a Japanese market and think they're pretty cool. Simply write your task and wear it! Must try.
On Feb 12 at 12pm remind
me to take my meds!

Write down your task and wear it!
Tie a string around your finger!
And, for good measure, if I try all four of these tips at the same time, I will be sure not to forget to take my meds. Right? At least I think so.

So, what are your tips? I would love to hear from you. What are some of the tricks you use to help you remember things? What are some of your favorite stories?

Hope all is well.

Best always,

P.S. here is an excerpt from the National MS Society describing cognition:

"Cognition refers to a range of high-level brain functions, including the ability to learn and remember information: organize, plan, and problem-solve; focus, maintain, and shift attention as necessary; understand and use language; accurately perceive the environment, and perform calculations. Cognitive changes are common in people with MS—approximately 50% of people with MS will develop problems with cognition".


  1. I make lists and more lists. I memorize acronyms, each letter representing the first letter of a task. I leave post-its on my bathroom mirror since, given urinary issues, I am there a lot. I do memory exercises. These together mostly work for me.

  2. If i didn't have alarms going off at all times during the day and a little "Monday/Tuesday/etc, am/pm slot" pill box, i'd be completely screwed!

  3. I love post its on the bathroom mirror; I often do this myself! Thanks for stopping by Judy! And, Stax, I hear 'ya. Without these "gentle" reminders, we'd all be in a lot of trouble! Best always, Christie

  4. You were right same wave length!

  5. Hey Nicole! I know, funny right? Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well. Best, Christie

  6. I set calendar alarms on my phone for. Absolutely. Everything. It's to the point where my phone is constantly beeping, and if I don't change the alert tone every few days I just tune it out, therefore forgetting my to take my injection out of the fridge, forgetting to inject it, forgetting to go to the bank/grocery store/work/etc. Makes me wonder what I would have done if I'd become symptomatic in the 90s before I had an iPhone...glad to be here--thanks for writing.

  7. Hey Jenny! Thanks for stopping by! I, too, often wonder what life would be like without our phones. Hope you're well. Best, Christie

  8. This is how I remember to take my meds:

    I have 3 seven day plastic pill holders, I keept each one in a place where I'm sure to see it.

    The one for noon is red, so I can keep it separate/

    One has "AM" written on it.

    One has "PM" written on it.

    Thsi way I don't get mixed up or take wrong ones.

    I don't have to try to remember if I took them, I just have to go back to the day that it is, look in my pill congtainer for that day and can tell if I've taken them or not by whether they are there or not.

  9. Looks like you've got a great system! Thanks for stopping by and I hope all is well. Best, Christie


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