I used to take great pride in the fact that I had a sharp memory. I was the go-to person at work because I had a knack for remembering every little detail.

Fast forward 10 years, and I have trouble remembering names of friends and family. Spelling has become a huge issue for me. How can I forget to spell common words? I can’t tell you how thankful I am for spellcheck.

I feel like all that I do is fall more and more behind because I can’t remember what I must do. I’m overdue on cleaning my house, responding to emails, writing my column, and getting a major work project done. It’s all because I keep starting something then need to stop to do something else that is more important. I have very good intentions but never seem to accomplish half of what I need to do. I also lose track of time. I don’t know where it goes, but I bet I forgot to do something during that time!

I seem to run around in circles and never really accomplish anything. I forget appointments, birthdays, events – you name it, I’ll forget it. I forget to have a lunch ready so I don’t have to run out during work. I hit snooze another time because I forgot I have an early doctor’s appointment.

Writing lists that I forget about later is a big waste of time. I’ve even tried emailing myself but forget to check my account the rest of the day.

I started complaining of memory issues over 10 years ago. I was told it was age-related…in my early 40s! I knew it wasn’t my age, but I got nowhere with my doctors.

Now it’s getting to the point of being very troubling. I try to adapt by taking copious notes at work. My boss frequently tells me I don’t have to write things down, but I DO have to. I know I have a better chance of not remembering something than I have of remembering it. I’m at a loss of what to do about this dilemma.

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I leave myself voicemail messages if I really need to remember something. I’ve given up asking others to remind me of things. When they forget, I’m the only one to blame, and it isn’t fair to bring them into my mess. If I lived alone, I’d get a blackboard or message board in every room to remind me.

I just started using a calendar app, but so far I haven’t been very consistent. My goal is to make it a habit. I need to get back on track. Maybe some structure will help.

I use a pillbox to help remind me to take my 17 various medications and supplements each day. I still forget, but not as often as before.

I found that when I don’t get enough sleep, my ability to remember is almost nonexistent. Thinking is a struggle. Add in some brain fog and I might as well just stay in bed. Getting a decent amount of sleep is nearly impossible with fibro, but it is vital for our health and well-being. I’ve started setting an alarm an hour before bedtime to remind me to quit messing around and get ready for bed.

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Having your memory fail you can be scary, frustrating, and depressing. Being told it is just your age or that you’re scatterbrained is infuriating. I have a hard time not letting it get to me, but I know that I am not the only person with fibro who is suffering from this. Getting stressed out about it only makes it worse.

But I try to look at the bright side. When I watch a movie or television show, I can’t remember if I’ve seen it before, so everything is new to me!

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How do you deal with memory issues? Do you have any tips or tricks to help you remember?

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