Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Trick To Trigger Your Memory

I know at times it can be difficult to remember things. I know for the longest time I had difficulty remembering things. But, in time, things do get better and you won’t need things to trigger your memory. This post is going to be about a trick I used to do to help trigger my memory.

I still use this technique, just to make sure that I don’t forget. I have the ability to remember without using this little trick, but why not use it? If it will insure that I will remember to do something then why not do it?

The tricks is:

Now a days everyone has a Cell phone. If you don’t have one and you have a brain injury I suggest that you get one just f0r this sole purpose. Every phone has a banner. Some where, where you can write something about you. For example a lot of people have “I love” and there significant others name.

Instead of writing something about yourself, use the banner to write something that will trigger your memory. I use key words that will trigger my memory. An example of this is when I’ll remember that I need to do something, like call someone but not until later.

I will type their name as my banner, so when I see this as my banner later I will remember to call them. Their name is the keyword that will trigger my memory and then I will remember the task I am supposed to do.

This works for me because I see the name as my background and I wonder why it is there. Now it is automatic I see the name and I know what I am supposed to do. It also helps me work my memory.

It helps me work my memory because I am not just writing the task down, but instead I am writing a word down then I have to remember the significance of this word and the meaning behind it.

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Remembering People’s Names

I know how hard it was for me to remember peoples names. Especially, when I first went to school. I was barely recovered, my memory wasn’t up to par. Right when I got to school I was meeting all these new people and it was tough for me to remember their names.

All these people would know who I was and I had know idea who they were. I felt like the biggest jerk because they would say “hi, Zach!” and I would answer back “hey, you…” I felt terrible, because they knew my name and I had no idea who they were.

This wasn’t all due to my memory not being great. A lot of it was, but the main reason was that I would meet someone and I wouldn’t see them again for a couple weeks. With a brain injury I learned the best way to improve your memory is repetition. What I mean by this is that I would remember people’s names if I saw them everyday because I would refresh my memory every day or so.

Then my mother had given me a gift one day. It was this CD, that had tips on ways to increase my memory. I would often listen to this after my workouts my freshman year, when I would walk on the treadmill.  There was a section on how to remember names.

It listed a couple of tips, but the on that resonated with me was one that incorporated repetition. It said that people use other nouns rather than the person’s name when they greet them. For example, if the man’s name is actually Jon, “what up man.” The person is replacing Jon with man. I found this interesting and kept listening.

The CD told me to, every time you greet someone, use their name in the greeting. So now instead of, “what up man” you would say “what up Jon” by doing this you every time you see that person you remember this is Jon. Now, your brain will associate this man’s face with the name Jon.

It works for me, I was even getting brothers names correct and other people who looked similar. This is a great trick and if you have problems remembering someone’s name, try this!

If You feel Overwhelmed Try:

Often, I feel overwhelmed. I feel so overwhelmed that I want to pull out my hair and I become stressed out. This happens when I have a lot of things to get done in a day or I have to do over a certain time span. This happens to me a lot at school.

When this happens I write down all the things that I have to get done. Often times I find out that it is not a lot like I had thought. Often times, I will think that I have two times the things I have to actually do.

I recommend this because if your like me, your mind thinks of everything that you have to get done, randomly. My mind does not organize my thoughts in any order at times. Instead of just thinking of everything I have to get done in order. My mind thinks of everything, but in no order. So, instead of seeing what I have to do once. The objectives keep replaying in my mind over and over again.

By writing everything down in a list, numbered form. I can visually see what I have to do and successfully plan out my day. After, you stop seeing your thoughts float around your head in a random, unorganized manner. You will be stress free and able to think clearly about your objectives and actually accomplishing them.

Had a Conversation About Frustration with Dave, My Tips to Him:

Things that help me with frustration are taking naps whenever I can and be as organized as possible. You will see a difference, I promise you. This is because you already have everything in order and if you have a good schedule to stick to your day will be much more fluid. I get frustrated when things go wrong and they stress me out. But if you have everything in order, less will go wrong and you will have less to stress you out.

The Wonders of Speech-Language Pathologists

I had to learn how to swallow and chew all over again and still have trouble drinking water. My brain injury caused me to have weakness to the left side of my tongue and the left side of my throat. The accident had left me with a broken jaw. I had to first strength these muscles then I could worry about swallowing and chewing correctly correctly.

The speech- language pathologist had me singing or told me to let out a loud humming sound that came from deep within my throat. She also had me practice movements with my tongue at an attempt to strengthen it as well.

She also would have me practice opening my mouth as wide as I could. This was to strengthen my jaw which I had broken during the accident. She told me to open as wide as I could while my mouth was wired shut to strengthen it so that I could chew food once I got my jaw unwired.

The trick to swallowing is you must angle your head down in order not to choke (especially with clear liquids), but this problem with liquid is probably due to my tracheotomy rather than my brain injury.

But, the speech-language pathologist taught to make sure I chewed my food very good before I swallowed it, taught me to take small sips of water to wash down the food and made sure I wasn’t trying to guzzle my beverage.

I still have problems drinking but I am getting better at it. When I was in rehab they only let me drink out of a straw, in order to keep my head angled down. Now, every time I drink out of a can or bottle I practically French kiss the bottle. I do this, subconsciously, to slow the flow of liquids. My friends make fun of me all the time.

I, now, make a conscious effort to curl my tongue before I put the beverage to my lips. I make sure my heads angled down and I take a sip. If my head is angled up, I choke but I give a mild cough. Unlike before where I would cough repeatedly.

Sometimes as I am eating my food the left side of my jaw pops or gives a loud crack. It is one hundred times better than it was when I was in rehab. It’s all good, I’ll take it!