So, let’s face it… cognitive issues/memory issues play a big part in living with MS. Then the fatigue that we deal with along with all of the other symptoms, play a big part in our daily lives.
With all that we have to live with, how are we supposed to “remember” things… like paying bills, appointments (and what we are going to need for the appointment), symptoms, medications, medication refills, the list is endless.
I, for one, have had a very hard time when it comes to remembering things that I’m supposed to… and having two little kids adds on to the list of remembering things. You know that “fog” you feel when it comes to anything you have to “think” about… it’s a struggle, right? Sometimes in my “fog” state, I have accidentally put the milk into the pantry, instead of the fridge… and I know I’m not the only one.
Since my diagnosis in late 2010, I’ve found little tricks along the way to help me remember things, though things do still slip, at least it’s not everything…
So, for any kind of bills, appointments, or anything I have a “deadline” for, I set up an alarm and not just one. I set up multiple alarms on my phone, computer and in some cases, it might help to have a family member or friend remind you, or even set an alarm on their phone. With bills, if I can, I set them up on “auto-pay”, this way I won’t have to worry about not having electricity because of my memory issues.
For remembering medications, I have a document I saved on my computer and I keep a printed copy in my wallet. I also have it written down in my “notes” application on my phone. There is also a lot of “apps” out there to help remind you to take your meds, or you can set an alarm on your phone. The MSAA even has a free app if you have an iDevice called “My MS Manager”, it’s a very helpful resource I use that has a lot of tools, check it out when you have time.
Please note: My MS Manager will be available on Android in the upcoming weeks. Please check back for the official announcement.
For my medication refills, I set them up on the “auto-refill” with my pharmacy, so that I don’t have to worry about making a refill in time and I’m e-mailed when my prescription is ready for pick-up.
With my symptoms, well I deal with a lot of the same symptoms everyday, but I do take note of any changes in my symptoms. I try to put this on paper and in my phone. I’ve also found it “better” to have multiple places throughout the house for me to write down things on, so that I can put it all together before my next neuro visit. I have found that a dry-erase board is something you can’t misplace when you have it stuck on your wall in a “general” area of your house.
All of these things have helped me a lot when it comes to remembering everyday things and making sure that I can update my neuro on how I’m doing with my MS. I have a certain journal that I got, it’s labeled My Story, and that’s basically where I keep all of my MS information and I have it near me at all times, either in my purse (it’s a small booklet) or in my car, or in the kitchen. I have also set up a “reminder” on my phone to not let me forget my journal when going to an appointment.
MS is already a difficult illness to live with, so I’ve tried to find ways to make it just a little bit easier with day-to-day tasks.