Lyme-Brain? 5 Tips to Help Your Flagging Memory

  1. Calendar. I use an actual calendar, not the virtual version on my computer, and keep it in the kitchen where I’m most likely to see it. The blocks for days are big enough to hold not just appointments, but my task lists. I cross items off as they are completed; with this visual record in plain sight, things are less likely to slip through the cracks.

    Post-its are the visual cues that help me keep track of everything from doctor’s appointments to sticking to 50% of what I think I can do instead of being too active and triggering a set-back.

  2. Post-its. A calendar is great, but on bad days when my mind isn’t working well, I’ve still missed things. A cheerful neon post-it placed to catch my eye – on the coffee pot, for example – serves as a reliable back-up prompt that I can literally carry with me when I leave the house if I feel the need.
  3. Smartphone apps. Our phones are always at hand, so if you’ve got a smartphone, don’t overlook reminder apps, the high-tech version of my post-its.  With many options, you can find one ideal for your needs.
  4. Daily symptom log. Remembering everything you want to tell your doctor can be a challenge. I use my daily symptom log  to make a concise list before appointments, so the doctor and I have an accurate picture of how I am doing over time.
  5. A system for organizing paperwork. Dealing with a major illness is a big job. I’ve felt overwhelmed trying to keep the deluge of information straight: notes, tests, doctor’s visits, bills, insurance claims, medications, treatment instructions. Even if lyme isn’t affecting your memory, you can’t remember all that! So you need to be able to put your hands on critical information when you need it. Create a notebook or folder system and file each item as it comes along. (Too much to handle right now? A former lyme patient and her doctor have done the work for you: My Lyme Guide.)

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