To say that what I’ve been through was tough after my accident when I was 16 is a huge understatement. I got into a hit-and-run motorbike collision that left me in a coma for three weeks. I’ve also been clinically dead three times. Because my brain injury was so severe, the predictions of my survival meant living in a vegetative state for the rest of my life or death.
Imagine being an active, easygoing teenager and suddenly learning you'll either die or live in a permanent vegetative state. It's easy to lose hope and just give up when you receive such a prognosis from medical professionals. The negativity can also be overwhelming, making anyone stop trying since you see no point in doing so. But I was determined to lead a successful and productive life where I can pursue my goals.
Sure, there were times when I also felt down and discouraged, but those feelings did not stop me from moving forward and finding ways to recover and achieve healing. I accepted my reality at that time but didn’t let those crippling setbacks overcome me. I used different tools to help retrain my brain to manage various injury barriers.
Targeted Strategies to Live a Successful Life
They say that obstacles exist to serve as a reminder of how powerful and resilient you can be. I think there’s so much truth in this. Looking back and seeing where I am now from where I have been, I don’t think I would’ve made it this far without my mental determination (a.k.a, my stubbornness).
I didn’t listen to their medical opinions or agree with the unfavorable prognosis. I looked for solutions and worked hard to overcome and manage those barriers. Of course, I did not succeed unaided. Thirty-three years post severe traumatic brain injury, and I still have to use targeted strategies to lead a successful life.
Memory management strategies
People who survive with a traumatic brain injury may end up with a chronic disability. It impacts a person’s life in terms of physical and psychosocial factors, behavioral and cognitive. However, cognitive disabilities are often the most distressing and disabling among them, not only for the sufferer but also for family members and society. It was, indeed, a difficult time for me and those around me.
It is common to have problems remembering and learning new information after brain injury, making it challenging to carry out daily tasks and routines and ensuring I am on top of everything. There are times when I don’t remember details from conversations or stories or have trouble remembering tasks I need to plan for or appointments the next day.
But thanks to various memory management strategies, I was able to cope with my condition. The memory management strategies I use provide training for cognitive rehabilitation so I can remember important things and manage my daily life independently.
Even today, I need to use those strategies most frequently to function each day effectively because even after the recovery phase, I can still be forgetful. The memory management tools and techniques that play a crucial role in my life include:
· Retiink Memory management app
My calendar and memory management app rule my life, from the most mundane tasks, from paying bills on time to managing my appointments and other to-do’s. These tools have been such a great help, so I am on top of things and not miss out on an important activity. I also use my memory app to manage a big occupational rehab workload for all tasks/actions required after each meeting.
Due to my experiences as someone who had a severe traumatic brain injury, I know how essential it is to have tools I can rely on to accomplish a range of tasks and fulfill my roles. This leads to me launching an app specifically designed for those with brain injury.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a traumatic brain injury or an acquired brain injury; since the core symptoms are generally the same, the app will help them overcome the roadblocks that hinder their progression. Memory and concentration issues are the common barriers for those dealing with brain injury, and the app was developed to help them overcome these hurdles.
More than that, this memory management app serves as a communication liaison tool. It features a linking facility, which allows you to invite your support person to the appointment. It also comes with memory brain training games, daily reminders, and other essential features that will help anyone with brain injury do things they want independently.
Other memory strategies I’ve used that helped me in my journey are mnemonics. They are a memory aid or brain tricks that play a big role in helping me remember large amounts of information or specific facts, especially when the order of things is essential. Sometimes, I turn a list into an acronym or story that allows my brain to remember details.
· External memory tools
In addition to those strategies, I also use diaries to take notes and keep my life in control. I am also incredibly organized, which is the complete opposite before my accident. I constantly plan my days and write them down because I know I cannot rely on my memory. To manage neuro fatigue, I prioritize tasks that require the most cognitive attention in the morning.
I make a checklist of important things and use planners to track my future events and retain records of past activities. Monitoring my workload is also essential to ensure that I am not overdoing it because when I am, those strategies are compromised
Retraining the brain after a traumatic brain injury is not an easy feat, but it is possible. Since I focused on solutions and did not dwell on the issues and injury barriers, I was able to gain the strength and power to overcome them. I set goals and, with great determination, worked hard to achieve them. If you would like to try the Retiink Memory Management app to gain better management of your memory, it is free and available via the following links:
Apple App Store: