Migraine and Headache Awareness Month #26 Men in Black
Coping with Migraine related memory loss is really hard. It’s also an aspect of living with Migraine that we don’t always acknowledge.
Let’s face it – it’s demoralizing and depressing to forget the things everyone around you expects you to remember. There are plenty of times we might feel like somebody used a Neuralizer on us and just wiped our memories clean.
Names, faces, what day it is today, and what I did yesterday are some of my personal weak points. It goes further than that though. Sometimes I forget the things I used to spend years teaching the kids in my equine youth group – these are things I’ve known, used and done my entire life.
I’ll bet you have difficult days with your memory too. Do you find yourself wondering if something more sinister than Migraine might be at work? How do you cope?
If my memory issues are not related to my meds, I’m pretty good at faking my way through things.
Some of the things I do to fake my way through involves:
- Changing the subject to something happening right now works well and requires no memory.
- Not *quite* hearing what was asked gives me more time to try to figure out how to answer.
- Excusing myself works in a pinch, but always makes me feel badly.
- Answering a question with a question. By putting the question back in the other person’s court, the pressure comes off me and gives me time to figure out how to get myself out of the situation.
- If its medicine that is making me fuzzy, I just admit it. The medicine is making me fuzzy.
If none of those work, I apologize and say “My brain is just really not working well today.”
Faking my way through really isn’t fair to anybody though, and I’m trying to be better at talking about this problem when I’m having it.
Sometimes I flat out admit that my brain just couldn’t latch onto what was said, could we wait until I’m feeling better to talk about this?
As I get older, I do worry that my memory issues aren’t entirely related to my Migraines, so I try to remember that there are things I can do to help keep my memory as sharp as possible. I try to use those techniques to stay as on top of things as I can. This involves:
- Using my brain. Thankfully, working as a health educator and advocate means I am constantly studying and learning new things. Every day I make it a point to learn something brand new.
- Getting myself organized was really helpful… when I actually WAS organized. I have let the ball drop here, and hopefully in the next months will get my life re-organized in a way that will be helpful for me once again.
- Keeping focused. I was never a person that was easily distracted from something important, but it’s really hard for me to hold my attention for long now. I consciously practice keeping my attention focused on very specific things all throughout the day.
- Activity is important. My brain isn’t going to work well if I don’t exercise my body and keep it healthy. I have so many health issues that conventional exercise isn’t usually an option, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be active in my daily activities anyway. Just about anything I do in the house can be made into an *exercise*.
- Keeping well nourished. I have malabsorption thanks in part to Migraines, which means my body doesn’t absorb what I eat particularly well. I am now on IV therapy that keeps my body refreshed with the needed vitamins and minerals that are helpful to a good memory. It’s a drastic step, but my overall health is important to keep all my conditions in check, including Migraine.
Do you have other things you do to keep your memory intact when you’re Migraining? Please post a comment, and share with us!
June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.
Live your best life,
© Ellen Schnakenberg, 2013.
Last updated June 26, 2013.