Memory and forgetting Birthdays: My track record for... - Headway

Headway

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Memory and forgetting Birthdays

My track record for remembering birthdays is shocking even to the point I forget my families birthdays unless I'm reminded before hand. I missed so many over the years and still do it to this day. It's my lads 25th birthday today n I'd forgotten about it until yesterday when my mum reminded me. This memory problem has been with me since after my accident back in 1983.

Does anyone else forget important dates and stuff. It will be interesting to know👍👍

13 Replies

I have a big calendar hanging in my hallway where I go past several times a day. And here I write all the birthdays, which means I do it every year when I get the new calendar. This works quite well for me .... although I must admit that I recently forgot to congratulate my cousin on his birthday, and did it a couple of days later. I have no brain injury, but am getting 'old' with 83 years. So maybe this could help you, also to have a calendar .... or have a hanging birthday calendar. Just an idea for you. You are doing very well and I hope that your book is coming along well. Best wishes to you.

in reply to Lola2003

Thankyou for yor comment it's much appreciated I've suffered with memory problems since after that car hit me back in 1983. I've used calendars but I forget they are there and it will end up on a wall for years 🤣me and my lads are used to me forgetting birthdays n such and we laugh about it but on a serious note it's a real problem for me nowadays. I can remember everything under 10 years old and then my accident at 10 and memory has been a problem ever since. My longterm memory is hazy and my shorterm memory doesnt work. I'm only 48 so my memory should be spot on but sadly it isnt..

It is why I have an outlook mail account, you can set up reocurring meetings with advance reminders. A meeting can be a birthday, a service reminder for a car, etc etc. You can even make them recurring so you don't forget to enter them.I also like a paper calendar to look at.

If I get too many things in one piece of paper it gets too busy for me go manage.

CanPlan has one where you can load your own photos as self made step by step instructions. That is more task specific.

There are also aps that you can read into to do letters or journalling, ans apps that will read things for you.

I like Remember the Milk for lists

There is also a day planner thing written by a brain injured person, I will add the name in later.

Oh, I also send myself reminder emails. For example 'plumber' in the subject and his name and phone in the email. I have themon my phone too but they can disappear there. Or , just with a certain tag word in the subjwct so I can fond them laterr. Best not to clutter thiz account with ton 'o stuff from email list subscrptions.

Leaf

Hi Stam, I don't want to trivialise this but I have never kept track of birthdays, even my own, until the advent of modern electronic recording. This has been something I have had from year dot, just now, people accept it is due to brain injury. In reality it is just me, nothing has changed in respect to this. Date's is just something I have never been able to retain.

in reply to Pairofboots

Thanks for yor comment Pairofboots forgetting Birthdays is just 1 of the many things I forget the people closest to me accept it for what it is. It can be very embarrassing but its who I am and I'm o.k with it after all these years lol a major problem for me is learning new information and forgetting it all shortly after I too cant retain anything 👍

Pairofboots profile image
Pairofboots in reply to

I can relate to that pre BI and post. Practical skills I have always retained. Theoretical retention has always been a struggle unless I can relate it back to a physical situation. How the heck I got through uni twice is still a mystery to me.

School was always a mystery to me, I didn't understand how I was meant to retain anything beyond the end of the lesson, assuming I understood what was being taught.

Woodwork, technical drawing, art, just was absorbed, and stuck. Maths, no hope, statistics, an apple plus a banana equals an apple and a banana. Maths, apple plus banana equals an orange, mind blown. Reading, why, history, it's the past, language, I speak English.......

This was my life until I discovered practical use to hang knowledge on.

Was I dyslexic, dyspraxic, autistic? No. Was I thick, no, I was just different. I was lucky, eventually finding (and I do mean finding) a practical career that I could hang knowledge on. BI, did unfortunately cut that off.

in reply to Pairofboots

This sounds so much like me I was good at everything pre Bi but afterwards I soon realised I'd forgotten how to do school work I went from top set in maths and english to bottom set in my first term at high school and stayed there throughout high school I dont know how I managed to get through it. I was heavily into Karate pre Bi and I'd forgotten most of it. I spent 2 years solid training to fix myself and achieved my Blackbelt in 1987 but that's as far as it went I couldnt remember what i was learning or teaching and my no balance on my left leg was clearly visible to all so my karate career ended before I'd even got going with it. All sports stopped for me by time I was 15 and I've not done any since. I had practical skills if I had visual cues but my thinking skills were not there. I never got tested for owt regarding my poor learning and attention. I dont know how I've got through all these years to be honest I just have jobs were repetitive so could manage to a point but anything on the theory side just didnt happen it took me 10 years to pass my theory test and I didnt get my driving licence til I was 39 it took me so long but once I'd passed and got a car I drove everywhere driving is what I'm good at and miss it so much. Hopefully I can get back out there with the right support in place 👍

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Pairofboots in reply to

I had these "problems" pre injury, unless something happened before I was aware, which I guess was possible, I did headbutt a doorframe while riding a motorbike (don't ask, but it involved the bike, the doorframe,, a builders ladder, and a washing machine 😂) when I was 10, but my "problems" were apparent before this. My brain broke when I was 46. But my brain had regularly been rattled from childhood (bike/ doorframe), to adulthood (wrong place, wrong time. Occupational hazard. Full contact kempo jitsu) so I guess any one or all could have had an effect?

Oh totally yes S. Though I've found my workaround to handle this is much more efficient than my memory was before.

I just put birthday and anniversary dates on my smartphone ( Google) calendar with a yearly repeat - I also set up as many reminders on the entry as possible ( e.g. two weeks, one week, three days, one day) to make sure I have time to buy or paint a card or present - and remember to post it. .. ) Pre lockdown I was at family weddings already tapping in their anniversary date ...

This is so effective I actually now remind other people in the family of dates - unheard of pre BI when I was s great fan of Interflora same day deliveries 🤣

in reply to Painting-girl

I'm guna try the Calendar again hopefully I'll not leave it up on the wall for years 🤣and the retaining information or not recalling it is a real hidden problem for BI survivors that the outside world dont see and it will play havoc for the survivor. Keeping up with Conversation is another big one for me as its forever changing and I soon get lost and forget what's been said pritty much instantly. Visual cues are a must for me or it's just chaos with my thinking and it can go anywhere at anytime 😅I know one thing it is hardwork and tiring trying to remember present situations/conversations and fatigue will kick in when it suits. I tend to sit in silence until someone will start talking as I cant start one or hold on to it for more than a few words.

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Painting-girl in reply to

Yup, certainly know what you mean about conversations.I find I can't think what to say and keep repeating myself when I get tired too..

The Google calendar has been the best thing for me because the reminders pop up every year on their own . Leaf had some good ideas to try too.

I had these "problems" pre injury, unless something happened before I was aware, which I guess was possible, I did headbutt a doorframe while riding a motorbike (don't ask, but it involved the bike, the doorframe,, a builders ladder, and a washing machine 😂) when I was 10, but my "problems" were apparent before this. My brain broke when I was 46. But my brain had regularly been rattled from childhood (bike/ doorframe), to adulthood (wrong place, wrong time. Occupational hazard. Full contact kempo jitsu) so I guess any one or all could have had an effect?

in reply to Pairofboots

Life were brutal back then no health and safety around at all bumps to the head were normally passed off as minor the phrase "you'll be reet" with the hair rub they did. the thing was I wasnt reet. I remember post Bi back at Karate I became a real angry fighter where as before i was composed i just wanted to hurt someone my Sensai was forever pulling me about my anger it were semi contact in karate and I bust a few noses n stuff I wasnt an angry kid pre BI

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