This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 through March 31, 2016. Follow along!
Growing up, I had many negative side effects as a result of my medications and seizures. In fact, I still deal with the impact of those 2 factors in my life. When I was young and today, I have to find ways to adapt to these difficulties. I must get creative to be successful in my everyday life. I’m going to share some of those adaptations in the hopes that you, too, will find them useful.
How I Creatively Helped Myself
Ever since I began medication, my memory has suffered. In middle school, I had so much trouble simply remembering daily tasks. My parents and teachers begged me to use an agenda, I was defiant. I never remembered to bring my agenda with me places and even if I did, I never thought to write things down in it. It was a tool that simply didn’t work for me. My solution was to write on my arm. Whenever I thought of a task or was given an assignment, I made sure it was somewhere I couldn’t ignore. It wasn’t the best solution, but it was what worked for me at the time.
After a few years of having ink cover my arms, I matured and appreciated the function of an agenda. Especially handy in college, I didn’t go anywhere without my planner. Everything I needed to know or remember was written in there. I had a color coding system for all of my tasks and looked it over religiously. I continue to use a planner each day; I would be lost without it! I pair it with a large wall calendar that is color coded in the same way. Using both of these tools ensures that I always have somewhere convenient to look to find out what is going on in my world. The more often I look at my plans, the better chance I have to cement them in my mind.
In the off chance I don’t remember to write something in my planner, or if I have a task/idea that isn’t planner-appropriate, I use post it notes. I have a group of sticky notes in each room and use them when a quick thought pops into my mind. I stick them wherever is most appropriate: on my desk, my laptop, on a folder, or in my car.
How Others Creatively Help Me
My parents have always been my biggest supporters. I recall my mom helping me exercise my memory when we went grocery shopping. She would verbally give me a list of 3 items to go and get in another part of the store. I had to work hard to remember each item and bring them back. It didn’t always work; I often came back with only 2 items or 3 items with one being incorrect. Still, it helped me figure out ways to remember lists: repeating them over and over again, inventing jingles and singing them to myself, and creating acronyms from the first letter of each word.
Before I discovered the joy of post it notes for things that weren’t appropriate for my agenda, I needed a way to remember daily tasks. To help, my parents left notes around the house. For example, to remember to take medication, they taped a notecard to the bathroom mirror. That way, before I went to bed, I was always reminded to do that task! Plus, my parents weren’t constantly reminding me of something, which would have been frustrating for all parties.
I always warn my friends and coworkers that I have a bad memory. At first it was hard to admit; no one likes to tell others their faults up front. But because I’m so honest, those around me are more forgiving when I forget something they told me or asked me to do. It also motivates me to prove myself wrong! Yes, I can be forgiven if I don’t recall something, but I don’t want to be in that situation and I work harder to store my memories. Even when I fail, having supportive people around me reminds me that I am so loved, regardless of my faults.
As long as I have seizures and am on medication for them, I will have side effects that change my life. Some of those effects are bad, but they don’t have to drastically change my life. As long as I find creative ways to adapt and have the support of my loved ones, I can continue to be successful.
What creative ways have you adapted to your seizures and medications? Share what has been most helpful for you in the comments!
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