I deal with memory problems, DAILY!!!!!

by Andrea
(San Diego, CA)

For starters, I know for a fact that people are worse off than myself... I was in a severe car accident on June 3rd, 2000.

memory problems story
I have to include this: 1 week before my 20th birthday!!! I was in a coma for approx. 3 months.

Anyway, I don't want to go into every tragic detail but I have tried to have a few different jobs and have been let go from them all. I must say I am WAY better off than many cases of "brain injured" individuals, but the loss of memory is very impacting with my life!!

I am now 30 years old, single, unemployed, live with my parents and am afraid to apply for any more jobs because of the fear of ONCE AGAIN, being fired :( .

Every one tells me to not have pity for myself and be strong... but it is SOOOOO hard for me to be "strong"!!

Doug's Reply: I can only imagine what you have been through. It has obviously been scary and frustrating.

I would like to point out a couple of things that might make the situation easier.

1) Although you experienced a brain injury, you can still take steps to strengthen your brain.

In particular, consider starting a daily exercise program, getting better sleep, improving your diet (including eating more brain foods), and playing brain games. I also recommend daily meditation as a way to improve your concentration.

There are also memory tricks and techniques for specific situations. Some are as simple as using a pocket notebook to write down tasks as they are assigned, so you don't forget them. Others include memory systems that can be used to remember detailed information of all types.

Explore the links on the left side of my site for more details.

2) As you mentioned, there are many people in the world who are worse off than you. A powerful way to overcome your own fears is to learn some of their stories, learn what they have been able to overcome.

Here are a couple examples to get you started:

- Beau Brady, Yankton, SD. Hit by a drunk driver on his 21st birthday (similar to your story!). He suffered severe brain trauma but has kept a positive attitude and wants to go to college.

Here are links to Beau's story:

I Had a Traumatic Brain Injury, by Beau Brady

Witness Recounts Hit and Run Collision

Beau Brady page on CaringBridge.org

- Zolamic, New York City. He had brain surgery to remove a tumor, which damaged his short-term memory:

Loss of Memory Due to Brain Surgery

No matter how bad your own memory has become, there are techniques you can use to cope. Learn those techniques, and read the stories of people who have been challenged by similar problems. This will help re-build your confidence and increase your ability to function effectively as an individual.

About getting fired, remember: no one is perfect, and everyone fails sometimes. For example, I failed out of dental school after investing three long years in the program.

But, as a wise person once said, *persistence* and *determination* are more powerful than talent, genius, education, or any other advantage.

You just have to pick yourself up and keep trying. That is all that life asks.

This is information only. It is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

> > > I deal with memory problems daily

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