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Afternoon!

I was wondering, would anyone mind sharing the coping mechanisms they have in place for some of the weirder side effects caused by sah?

I get 'stuck' from time to time. Now this is nothing like it was when I left the hospital, back then I'd get stuck physically not just mentally. My hands would literally fight with each other. As an example, to explain what I'm blathering on about - the day before discharge, the OTs took me to a small kitchen and asked me to demonstrate making a cup of tea. Now I don't drink tea or coffe and never have. So, my right hand went to the tea caddy and pulled out a teabag, popping it in the mug. Then my left hand took it out the cup and put it back in the caddy. This went on for a couple of goes until I explained to the OT that I don't drink tea. Thankfully, they both found it amusing! These days this no longer happens, but when faced with a decision when I'm alone, sometimes I simply grind to a halt. I have learned that leaving the room can help. When I come back, I'll be unstuck and can continue whatever I was doing. If that doesn't work, I go for a shower. This complete change of tack is almost sure to work. If that fails, I phone my poor other half at work and he will talk me through it. This AWAYS works!

Although I have never had one in all my life, I have learned that a diary is completely essential! I have to write down if I have taken paracetamol, because when I get a headache, I have no idea if I've already taken some or not. I write down the time I've taken them. My liver will thank me later! I also have to write down my contraceptive pill. When I first got home, my partner says I would get up 3 or 4 times per night with my pill packet in my hand absolutely convinced I hadn't taken it. Not only did we start to write it down, but we made sure it was me who wrote it so that I would recognise my own writing and hopefully accept that I had indeed taken it. The only drawback is that sometimes I don't know what my own notes mean. The other day, we saw that I had started to write 'AH'. We both stood there for ages thinking AH? AH...? The next day, I came into the room, looked at the diary and said 'Oh, so I took my antihistamines last night then'!

Dawn xx

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Dawn, I used to walk round in a circles when I couldnt make a dessision I dont do it now well very rarely.

when we moved into this house I was putting pots in the cupboard or maybe it was plates I cant remember and the man came back to pick up his fish tank and said Oh we dont put them in that cupboard thats a better one!

well natuarly I thought but its mine now, but I just couldnt continue doing it or putting anything else away he'd put me on pause & I neede re-booted in a way just like a computer it sounds so daft but thats how I see it...

Diary's are a great idea write everything down, I keep a running diary on the PC what happened because I know I wont remember for instance tomorrow's naming day I'll type up whatever happened put in some pic so that when the memory dissapears then I know by looking what happened.

thats the one thing I wish I'd regained but sadly no and after all this time never will...

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Dawn that's such a good tip for others about taking tablets. I have recently started to do the same i.e write down the time and which tablet I took. I had a couple of extra doses of strong pain killers recently as I had no recollection of having already taken them, it happened a few times - oops. Luckily someone else noticed that I was very out of it and suggested I write down when I've taken them.

It always amazes me when I have done something or sometimes i'm told that I've already said something & there is NO recollection AT ALL. How weird to not even have a tiny inkling when you try to recall doing or saying something. It doesn't upset me now (I used to get very annoyed & frustrated about it) but anyone with memory problems does really need to take care when it comes to medicine.

Michelle x

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Hi Dawn,

It's been 18 months since my SAH and I struggle with my short term memory. I have note pads everywhere and use my phone a lot by setting reminders on it. I also write down all meds I take. I also am really rubbish at making decisions now.

When talking to friends and family I'll forget what I've said so just ask them if I'm repeating myself!

When I'm tired or in a stressful situation I still struggle finding the right words.

My family and friends are used to changes in me now. As for myself, most of the time I'm ok, but now and again I really, really miss the wife and mother that I used to be.

You're doing great Dawn, be proud of your achievements and keep going with writing notes about everything, you do get used to it!

Take care and keep smiling,

SarahLou Xx

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Hi Dawn,

Would advise you to get a pill box organiser with the days marked out on it .... most good chemists will stock them for a couple of pounds.

I still write a shopping list (never did before the SAH) and still have to use "post-it notes", magnets on the fridge (with back up notes), calendar etc ... it's become a way of life now and don't think too much of it, but my short term memory has improved, albeit slightly! :wink:

xx

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I find that if I stick to my routine I am OK for taking my daily meds, anything extra I have to write down when I have taken them. On saying that, if anything deviates me from routine I forget them. Not good.

The pill organiser is a good idea but unfortunately I can't use one as some of mine have to be kept with a drying agent or else they dissolve into a watery mess.

Post it notes, notebooks, diary and calender are now a way of life. The problems arise when I forget to write things down. I have to do it immediately or else it gets forgotten.

I usually forget what I have planned to do next so it doesn't get done. I leave reminders out, like if I have planned to do the ironing later I put the pile on the worktop so I can't miss it.

To think that before my SAH I used to carry everything in my head, home and work and be able to recollect it immediately. So frustrating now.

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I have alarms set on my phone for the school run (I did turn up late one day) & for star box day, I am fine in routines but changes in that really throw me. I have a problem with dates & time, have turned up to a Dr's appt an hour early twice. I turned up a day late for a hair appointment & the next time I was a day early!! I find repeating info to myself about dates & times help but I am not so good at remembering names or faces which is more difficult.

Headway told us to visualise something to do with the persons name or rhyming with the name, if there is lots of info to remember to try & group the info into similar info so colours, or furniture or types of dogs for example. I have also gone through the alphabet to remember someones name, takes a while but I did get there.

As for fatigue I try & avoid situations that tire me out & spot the warning signs early on (I can feel myself withdrawing) & try & get home before it becomes a major issue. I do still avoid certain situations & there are places I dont go on my own any more simply because I am not so confident now, I find busy places tiring &because my right eye is patched still I feel less confident in busy places cos I can't judge distances & bump into people, my balance is also not so great soI am less confident on uneven ground.

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I'll add my comments to this one.

I was always good at time keeping, appointments etc, but after my Stroke like many drastic things changed.

Massive ammount of frustration came in, wondering why the every day things I used to be able to do, is now becoming harder to do!!

But with time it got easier.

Penny has already stated about getting into a routine.

That I do all the time now, even as far as doing my medication, on a set day, at a set time.

Lost count how many "Post-it-Notes" I've used. But if I done those to early, once I've read them back-they mean nothing, until after the event!!!

Most of us has daily access to a computer/IPAD/Mobile Phone-theres and excellant Calendar programme, which you can set up, to give you as much pre-warning as you need--1 day before,2 days--or even on the day e-mails.--Yes I use this a lot.

Once my appointments arrive, there logged in my computer, then added to diary and calender on wall.

Honest Dawn & others, it does get easier, but a routine helps.

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The number of reminders I have to do things is ridiculous but necessary. I have a calendar on my desk at work, one on my computer at work that syncs up to my work Blackberry calendar. I have a calendar on my iPad, one hanging on the wall in the kitchen, and post it notes on the counter. All have reminders written on them. I also a list of reminders on my desk at work. My husband and my team have also become very good at reminding me of stuff. Believe it or not I still forget!

I've also taken double doses of my anti-migraine medication. To prevent that from happening I have a routine. I put a full glass of water beside the tablet bottle. When I've taken the tablet the glass and it's remaining contents moves over to my bedside table. Because its at my bedside and some water is gone I know I've taken the pill.

I do all my meal planning ahead of time. All my shopping lists match the meal planning. The shopping happens on days when I'm not working. I plan to cook on non-work days and simple meals on work days.

SK

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I am the same with my tablets, I put them in a certain order and when I have taken the morning ones put them into my evening pile to take in the evening. If they haven't been moved I know I have forgotten the lot. On saying that I have double dosed in the past because I had forgotten to move them about and so thought I hadn't taken them. Result, I take them again and only realise when I begin to feel ill as some of mine are powerful drugs.

I had forgotten about cooking until Sandi mentioned it.

I use timers when cooking but if I don't act as soon as they go off or something distracts me I forget they have gone off.

Result, burnt offerings.

I must admit hubby is very good at eating charred remains or what can be salvaged, he never complains.

Must be getting a taste for them. :lol:

Edited by penny
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It's great to read everyone's tips. Except I am now a techno phobe (even though my previous job was all computer related).

I sit in the kitchen while cooking to avoid the burnt stuff (mostly this works) if I leave the kitchen to do something else (put washing away, shouted for by kids etc) or the phone rings this does not work so well :frown: so I may use the alarm clock on my mobile as suggested above.

I have a question - sorry to highjack your thread Dawn - the strong pain medication I take is not daily, I take it as and when I need to and often don't take it even when I do need to as it does have quite a major effect on my thought processes and makes me sleepy & confused). So I don't think the pill boxes from the chemist would help for this? Other than my stone age way of writing down what I took and the time I took it, does anyone have any better tips or devices for keeping track on this? The written down method works well unless I have to go out as the post it note stays on the fridge!

Thanks

Michelle x

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Another techno phobe here too! :biggrin: I really don't embrace new technology very well and have no interest in it at all, which is perhaps the main reason why I'm such a dinosaur... (can barely work the DVD Player) .... not sure how BTG survives! :lol: ... Well, I do :oops: I get a lot of help when I need it!

I just use the stone age method of writing everything down .... I have pens and pads and post it-s everywhere (copies on the worktops, fridge, bedroom and car) and I've learnt to get into a routine with it. I do have the odd lapse.

Michelle, infrequent medication is a problem, but perhaps you can have something prepared in the written/printed form to tick off, when you've taken your meds and at what time. Okay, I know that's perhaps a pretty naff suggestion, but the only one that I can think of! :wink:

Cooking timers are an absolute Godsend! ... I have three of them ...

but, it does all get better and you will become more confident with time that your brain won't always let you down and the more that you use it, the better that you will exercise it .... okay... with the help of the odd post-it note and a timer etc.....:wink: xx

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I use cooking timers too.

Michelle, I laughed out loud at your post. I say that to people all the time!! I used to be intelligent, honest, I was!

My rehab therapist says its not about lack of intelligence, it's just a new way of doing things so we have to learn it. : )

I still say it anyway.

Sandi K. Xoxoox

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Thank you Karen - naff suggestions from fellow 'dinosaurs' work best for me. I understand them & printing off something I can tick is easy to understand. These IPAD/Computer calendars??? I had to stop reading because it confused me :roll: I had to ring my son at his Dads' one weekend to ask him how to work the dvd player as I was on the verge of launching it out of the window in frustration. I think I know how to do it now but haven't tried again whilst home alone just in case......

Sandi my neuro psychologist repeatedly insists that I am still an intelligent woman, imagine how impressed she would've been if she met me pre SAH. I'm thinking female Einstein :lol:

Seriously though, there are some great tips on here that I will try to work with. I hope you have found some that will work for you too Dawn.

Michelle xx

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Hi Lil Miss Goldfish Girlie,

My hub has to take many different medications everyday, at different times of the day and certain meds everyother day. Ever since he was diagnosed he has printed off a month by month calendar and it's blu-tacked to the kitchen cupboard, he will cross off the days as he takes the meds, also keeps track on there of the meds he has everyother day using a different colour pen.

Don't know if this is an idea you could try, thought I'd mention it.

Take care and keep smiling,

SarahLou ( not the naughty one!!!!) Xx

Ps... Derrrr this is what Karen suggested! Guess my rearranged brain didnt read what she wrote properly!Oooh I think I need some sleep. That or some small geezers to help wake up my brain!!

Edited by SarahLou
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I have post it notes everywhere but I must write a good note with much information or it means nothing to me. I use to be organized was able to prioriztise (SP) adn on time for everything. I have my normal daily medication in a daily container. Extra meds I should put a post it on it when I took it but I normally do not take but one dose anymore as it tears up my tummy. I no longer allow my self to look at a dozen pair of socks for 15 minutes before i pick a pair out NOW i make myself just grab a pair. The time thing is better but I think my complusiveness about being on time is less after SAH.

I have a stack of notes every week I go through and rewrite on a TO DO list of yellw legal paper size,. I never get everything done. I tend to do the mending rather than the mental stuff. I seem to be ocd about cleaning out drawers and containers and sorting the stupid rubber bands & screws, etc.

It all is so much better than it was a month ago and a month b4 that.

One thing I have going for me was I was allowed to drive rather early on so I wasnt going as stir crazy. I felt like a 16 year old girl grounded with the keys taken from her. I am 5 months post but have not driven to big City like Indianapolis or Chicago yet. Just medium size places of 100,000 people.

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What a brilliant load of responses! Thanks everyone!

Oh, I'd forgotten to mention timers, I'd be lost without my oven timer. I rarely cook as I find it so confusing...different things taking different lengths of time to cook?? Nah, I'll stick to a microwave ready meal thanks. I'm going to be sooooo healthy by the time my real brain comes back from it's jollies (I get the impression that by now, I should be nearer to accepting this new brain that someone left behind when they hijacked my old one...) Sometimes I'll get adventurous and make myself a flavoured rice. But I'm dreadful for sticking it on the hob and wandering off until later I think to myself..'what's that smell?'

I now use the timer for everything. It's so loud it cannot be ignored. Even if I'm doing a task like cleaning the windows, I'll set the timer for 15 minutes so that I don't get carried away and start cleaning every window in the flat.

Dawn x

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I agree Dawn, timers are great. I will easily forget I've put things on and as you say won't remember unless it's a 'what's that smell?' question, or 'why's the smoke detector going off?'

In the earlier days of recovery it was much much worse. Wouldnt use the cooker when I was home alone.

To be honest hub always has and probably always will do most of the cooking in our house.

As I've said before.. The only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house!!

Take care and keep smiling,

SarahLou Xx

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Remember Dawn that's it's 'not over till the fat lady sings'!

Your 'new' brain is still working through it all. I was told that the most improvement will be within the 1st year, that improvement can still happen up to 2 years later & that even after that, improvement can still happen but probably at a much slower rate. You have already come so far and you still have AGES to go.......

Keep timing & post it noting for now. All of BTG will be round for a 5 course gourmet meal in about 6 months OK??? :wink:

Michelle xx

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I never used to use a day planner but now I do. It started out as a defense mechanism for work. Getting into too much hot water I figured I better cover my but.

I dont have a problem with my meds since it has always been my pleasure to remind my wife of her meds. I just take mine at the same time.

On the day planner I write all the tasks I did at work each day. I write in reminders for my Drs appointments. I write if I have a headache, what kind it is and if the day has made me fatigued.

I also write down any time my bosses talk to me and what comments they make. Fortunately since Jan 3 my foreman and superintendent have only talked to me 10 times. 4 of which I initiated the conversation. so I don't have a lot to write in that regard .

I do lose track of time, if that is inappropriate for the task I am doing..... like having coffee.... I would use a timer.

I do tend to repeat myself lots when talking so I ask forgiveness when I realize :D That usually isnt an issue.

I also slip away to a quiet place when things are overwhelming. Perhaps TV or music is a bit loud or too stimulating.

Napping is a great coping tool too. If it was appropriate at work I would use an MP3 player and listen to classical music. But since there are only two of us in the truck it would be deemed rude.

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Keys are the bain of my life. If I don't put them in the door or where they live for my other keys immediately I can't remember where I have put them. Neither can I remember what I have done so I can't retrace my steps. I spent hours looking for them until I got one of those sensor fobs where I clap my hands or make a loud noise and the fob bleeps back at me.

When I put my scooter on charge I have to pull the lead over the seat so I can see it which means I don't try to set off pullling the lead and charger with me. Believe you me I have done that because I have forgotten I have put it on charge.

If I go out on the bus I have to write the times for each journey down and put it in my purse or else I would never get home.

The most frightening thing is when I am shopping. I put things on my walking frame and then forget I have got them so often go to the door without paying. I have now got into the habit of looking at my frame before leaving the shop if I don't have to go through the tills to get out. One of these days I expect a hand on my shoulder and being asked to go to the manager's office.

How embarrassing would that be.

I have actually been through the tills at the supermarket several times and forgotten to put all I have collected in my scooter basket, because I can't remember what I have picked up, on the conveyer, paid the bill and gone elsewhere then discovered these extra things. I have gone back, all apologies and paid much to the assistants amazement. One of these days I will be caught leaving the shop with unpaid items. Shoplifter in the making.

Joking apart it is rather frightening.

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KEYS! I never can find my keys! I need to & I think I have found a plan on knowing where they are. RIght now they are to stay in my coat pocket that I last wore. I spend a great deal of time looking for my keys.

Another thing I cannot be doign a home project that involves say important paper work or such, or stack my mail etc... things I need to take care of and walk away and do it another day. I look as if I have a 1/2 cup of good energy a day and I can only use 1/4 at work and I MUST NOW use the other 1/4 at home. I think it is improving but I dotn use up all my energy at work like I use to. Remind you I have fibro so I have dealt with enegery issues b4.

I now am not going to give 100% atwork adn be the hardest worker there. Maybe 2 hardest worker there as someone does more than me ! But I now am training myself to work as slow as the rest of the crew. Which includes their lack of multi tasking which even with SAh I can run circles around them. I have never had patience for the SLOW ones to begin with but I say things now like " she just walked in to the room and told you that! What do you think she said?" " You have asked that same question 5 times already and the answer is still the same" " You better not ask her that because she already told you and she will yell at you" "Do you not listen at all to the intercom?" " what DO you think about all day when you are working?". I find it funny that I beat myself up for being less than 100% and I still can kick butt on most days. I have always worked alone on weekends. I am less educated than 3 of them but of 2 of them they can't do 1/2 of the stuff by themselevs like I can . They lack trouble shooting ablity,. I know we are all built different but geeez............. I don't feel like I am the weak link in the chain anymore.

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Ps I stack my all my paperwork, mail, notes, post its, everything in my pocekts in one giant pile that I tend to go through weekly on my days off. I do always have a ONE pile for everything so I not longer have 16 piles and have to collect things all over the house. Maybe I said those already but I forgot! hahahhaahhahahahahahaha

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