I Forgot: Memory Loss With MS
How many times in the last week have you forgotten something? If you’re like me, you’re constantly forgetting and sometimes it is small things that don’t matter but I forget big things like appointments or work due dates. I’m not kidding, I forgot how old I was at one point. Memory loss can be a huge issue for those of us living with MS due to the fact that our disease is located in and on the brain and can cause major damage to the nerve connections.
So what do we do?
In the last few years I’ve noticed my memory starting to tank, and I’m only 28. Sometimes people will say “oh you’re just getting older”, which feels like they are patronizing me. I understand that memory fades as we get older but I dont really consider myself “older”. So in order to remember things, I have become an obsessive list maker. I have post its everywhere. Notebooks full of lists. Apps on my phone that sync with my computer to make lists. Some of my favorite list making apps include Evernote and Wunderlist, which are both apps you can put on your phone, but you can also sync them will other devices like your laptop. They make for seamless list making and are great for things like grocery shopping. Evernote lets you take pictures and store them as well and allows you to give items tags so they become easily search able.
With the amazing technology that is available to us today, being forgetful just got a little bit easier. I still prefer a good ‘ole pen and paper but I am mobile. My life is active and sometimes lugging around paper and pen isn’t convenient.
I have also started making an active step towards memory retention. Many of you might have heard of Luminosity which is a website that had brain exercises. I think this is a great idea for those of us who feel our brains need a good work out. I have recently downloaded the app Duolino, which is an app for learning languages. I used to be fluent in German but have since lost much of that. Duolingo helps me start back at the beginning, and lets my brain stretch its tired legs in the German department. Once I finish that, I might just try a new language all together.
I know that memory loss is frustrating and depressing, but there are some fun ways out there to get your brain working again, which, studies have shown can help to increase brain functionality like the use of your memory. So far the only way I have found to combat this is with lots of lists and exercising my brain. Don’t get me wrong, I still forget things, but I feel like I’m trying to make things as best as I can. And frankly, I am getting older. I feel like I need to be proactive now in order to ensure I have done as much as I can to preserve brain function for the future. Besides, there are so many fun apps now that make exercising your brain really fun.
How is your memory? What do you to remember important things and preserve your memories?