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December 29, 2008

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Carleen Ibrahim

As a student, I had a planner that I called my "life." It helped me to keep track of assignments, due dates, contacts, etc. Although I've had a cell phone since the days when they weighed as much as a brick and didn't look much better, I never really got into using them for anything but emergency situations. That is, until I got an iPhone last year. Now, my iPhone is my "life" for all the same reasons that the planner was in days gone by. But the iPhone looks much sexier than my old planner. ;)

Lisa Moon

Oh, do I understand what you mean! While I don't use any sort of electronic planner, I DO have that horrid loss of cognitive function which is more a blow than the chronic pain which I live with!

I used to be known for my unusually sharp memory, remembering everyone's birthdays, appointments and random bits of conversation... much to the chagrin of my lying, now-ex-husband and sometimes, my son!

Now, I have trouble remembering ordinary, everyday words in the midst of a sentance. "Son, would you pass me that... you know! That... thingy there!" UGH.

I'm not even talking about those '50 cent' collegiate-level vocab words, ones which I known how to use correctly since I was in elementary school (I was quite advanced with things like spelling, vocab and comprehension at an early age). But no more. Now, I'm lucky if I can manage to get out the name of something so randomly everyday, I feel like a complete idiot for not being able to say it!

Sure, everyone has those times where they say 'Oh! It's right on the tip of my tongue!' This is worse; feels like it's still pinging around in my brain, but stuck there. Or maybe it leaked out of a pain- or meds-induced hole. Hard to say.

I have an acquaintance who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident a few years ago. One of the things she has trouble with now is 'word recall' and when I told her what I was having trouble with, she said she has the same problem and was taught in rehab to try and talk around it. Like, if she can't get out the word 'lunch' to talk about the meal in the middle of the day; usually people will fill it in for you and not even notice!

Great; however, this doesn't restore the things like my excellent, slightly photographic memory (I can see things in my head to remember them), which I apparently took some pride in as it has affected my self-confidence to not have that language at my command any more.

Now, I notice my grammar as well as my vocab have taken a nose-dive. At first I thought it was a meds side-effect which might go away. Then, as I researched, I realised that part of my condition helps to create this. Lovely.

As for the old school paper planner? Yeah, I've always used one. Now, I find I must ensure it's very up-to-date or I'll likely forget something that I wouldn't have before, even if not noted in the all-important planner!

Good luck with your low-tech solution. :)

One Sick Mother

Carleen,

Hmm I once had a filofax, but once it was full of stuff it was pretty heavy. I don't think I could carry it around much these days.

an iphone would be nice, but I think I would just wipe it like I have everything else.

Lisa,

I have the word retrieval problem pretty bad. I still remember the horrified look of disbelief on Himself's face when I forgot the word for "door". But that was two years ago.

We are all so used to it now that no-one bats an eyelid when I say "where's the thing I put stuff in?"

"Your purse is here, Mom"

Frankly, I don't know if that is better than horrified disbelief. Maybe it is worse.

Felicia

Oh isn't it a shock when things you used to be so good at, become undoable and in such a short time sometimes too. (sorry for only just replying to this post but I related to it so I thought I would).

Overnight I went from being super in control, great memory, A grade student to calling a little black diary(or not so little as I have a page a day diary) my only reliable working memory.
Its funny, after 2 years people are getting used to not being able to remember conversations, appointments, eating, names etc and some of it I'm ok with, the rest annoys me.
And you still have to remember to look in the diary so now with an OT's imput, my cellphone reminds me to check my diary at varying point in the day, gees how technical is that lol!

Just wanted to say also, I like your blog!

One Sick Mother

hey Felica,

Thanks for commenting.

Actually the cellphone thing is a good idea. Of course, I often forget my cellphone, or I bring it with me, only to discover three hours later that it is switched off...

On second thought: maybe not such a good idea for me.

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