Immediate Recall Improvement?

My father had a BA roughly one year ago. He still has his long term memory intact, but he has little to no immediate recall still (ex: eating dinner and will not know what he ate 5 minutes later). Is there anything anybody has done that has helped improve this? Does this improve?

Thanks you
Brianna

Hey Bri,
It’s been a bit of a running joke here. I look at my wife and tell her ‘There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my memory… (long pause) … but, who are you again?’ ha ha and it is said as a joke, but the reality is actually quite shocking. My memory was one of my better assets, but now if I don’t write it down, POOF, it’s gone. Has my recall improved over time? In some ways, yes, but sometimes, it’s chronic bad. It’s been 9yrs since my last neurosurgery and still today I have times when I’m crystal clear and have very little issue remembering and times when my recall just doesn’t work

For me, fatigue and tiredness play a big role and not just a physical tiredness either. Some days my wife likes to take the mutt to the park (She drags me along too, minus the leash), some days the bright light drains me. After a wander in the park my eyes feel like I’ve been through a sandstorm and my thought processes drop. If I have a headache, my thought processes drop. If I haven’t slept well, my thought processes drop. If I haven’t eaten, my thought processes drop. If I’m having a bad day, add all of these ‘drops’ together and my recall ability can be next to nil.

There are programs such as Luminosity available online which have ‘Brain Games’. They can assist in utilising/exercising the brain and triggering differing neuro processes. They have some recall games too.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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Yes Brianna, it can improve, at least from my personal experience. My Speech Therapist was a huge help with this. I started with recalling what I did for the last 10-15 minutes, if I didn’t remember I wrote the next set down. I also used a lot, and I mean a lot of sticky notes. Eventually I moved to every 30 minutes and then every hour. A friend gave me some white boards to write down what I was to do that day but when I did my Speech Therapy, she had me put things in my smart phone with reminders. I still have to look at my calendar every day to see what I’m supposed to do, though most days I remember. For a long time, I could not visualize and it effected my short term memory I believe as I couldn’t recall it in my brain. Family and friends would provide prompts, especially with meals saying wasn’t that meal good and then name what we ate. That was more helpful than someone asking me about a meal or even an activity I just did. To this day, I have difficulty sometimes recalling what I ate for the day. I cheat and take a picture then send it to BH as I often forget to eat. Since meals are more important now to my brain health, I need reminders as I’ve always forgotten to eat once I get busy doing something.

Besides the abundance of games available as Merl mentioned, make sure he is getting some type of exercise, even if it’s a walk about the yard, around the block or at a park. (I shared an article about the importance of exercise with our members I received in an email) Make sure he is eating enough protein and hydrating. Even to this date, if I haven’t had enough protein or water, my brain gets wonky.

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Dear Brianna,

Thank you for sharing your concern.

Immediate recall improves along the journey to recovery.
The duration amongst other factors depends upon the location of the injury and severity.

Please consider activities to enhance attention span.

Precautions:
Care to be taken to operate from a psychologically and physically safe zone and prevent cognitive/sensory overload/fatigue. Away from sharp objects, fire, slippery floors etc.Stress is counter productive. There is no hurry. each person is unique.

An example of simple activity:

Filling a mug of water, first with open eyes, counting from 1 to 10 slowly. Once this is achieved without stress,; repeat with closed eyes. Care to be taken that water is not hot and there is no opportunity of getting hurt due to fall or obstructions.

Once this is outcome is achieved; another simple exercise such as switching on/off a washing machine.

Please give about three weeks for and two-three weeks between
each activity and another about two weeks before taking on another activity.

Adequate sleep, hydration and mindful walks.

Wishing you resilience and your father healing whole and complete.

Kind regards,
Sharad

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I think it must be hilarious for the neighbors to watch me get in my car, then back in the house for my glasses, then back again for my hearing aids, then I drive around the block and shut my garage.

I have learned to expect this run around and I allow enough time to do it in an unstressed manner.

My advice is not to hurry.

CJ

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It will take time for some, maybe longer for others and worst never get it back.

For me it was quite help for me to use the Luminosity app it really helped my short-term memory I’m still not 100% and it’s been almost 9 months for me. But games are fantastic board games with family it can be painful for family to do them because of the slowness and lack of memory but in the end it’s really really good.

I think it’s important to make sure that family don’t enter eight that you forgotten something cuz it frustrates you and then you just stop interacting instead just act like it didn’t happen. Reiterate is you need to and hopefully it will return.

I can tell you it was more frustrating for me that I knew my short-term memory didn’t work and it really stressed me out when people didn’t take me seriously and we’re not willing to help. Due to this I just stopped meeting with people and now I’m slowly getting back out there

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I will also chime in, as many others have already. I had my Aneurysm on 2/28/2021. The sad thing about having it on that date, is the fact it is my wife’s birthday. I constantly tell her sorry, and of course she looks at me in the eyes and tells me it’s not a problem. She’s just happy that I am here, alive and well. So I too, like many others suffered some memory loss. My long term memory appears to be in tact, but it’s my short term memory that took a dive. She works with me every single day, and what has helped is me recalling things about the previous day. For example, while helping her cook dinner in the kitchen, she’ll ask me “babe, tell me about your day yesterday”. I will then tell her about my day, for example, "I got up at 6am, took a shower, brushed my teeth and then took Mario (one of our two boys) to school. Logged in for work, (I telework for the State of California) and for lunch I ate a sandwich. I continued working until 5pm. I then helped you cook dinner (stating what we had for dinner), ate dinner with the family and then winded down watching a movie on Netflix (stating what movie it was). I then grabbed my iPad and did some of my brain exercises (with help from her when I get stuck on a level).

I have noticed doing this does not frustrate me, as she doesn’t ask me in a way that feels condescending. Most day’s I am solid, and others I have to think a little harder. But not to a point where I get flustered or a headache. It’s a calming conversation, and there are times when my brain is a bit overloaded, and I tell her that and she completely understands and tells me not to worry, let’s just do it again tomorrow. This has HELPED me tremendously, in an environment where I feel safe and loved. In a nutshell that’s how I have regained a lot of my short term memory improvements. Still lot’s of work to do (probably for the remainder of my life), but like she says, I’m alive, I have all my faculties and I have my loving family still here with me by my side. Man, someone is cutting onions in my office…

Hope this was helpful. In the end, keep on trying to improve yourself each day. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. This community is here to help in any way. You aren’t alone. Please feel free to send me a message. I am always willing to chat, anytime!

Be well, be positive, and keep striving for improvements!!

Thanks,
David

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David, what a powerful example of how important our caregivers can be and in what way. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Glad to share. This site has been wonderful in my progression. I can just read others’ stories, and I know I am not alone. We all have something in common, and it’s wonderful and refreshing. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU, for sharing your experiences! You have no idea how much you have helped me!

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@dsalas410
I agree with what you said.

Hi David,

Thank you so much for your response. I really appreciate it. My dad still unfortunately just struggles with even having normal conversation and being able to hold a thought. The fact that you are able to work is amazing, I was just wondering if anybody has experienced their loved one (or themselves) after a year still struggling to have conversation? My dad still struggles with even trying to use a phone.

Thanks
Bree

@Bree I had great difficulty with everything for about four years, I think. One of the things that helped immensely was going to Speech Therapy. I went three times in those four years. I can remember words, etc when I type but verbal ability wasn’t so good. I still lose words and have difficulty with conversations when I’m tired. Seems the first several years I was exhausted. Sometime in year 2 or 3, my Neurosurgeon told me not to take naps during the day and it was really hard.

If he is willing, see if he can get into a Speech Therapist. STs that specialize in strokes are fairly easy to find. Speech Therapists have numerous tools they can share to help with memory.

I agree with the Speech Therapy. If you can find one, I too would highly recommend it. The rehab facility I was in put me through Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy. If possible, I would recommend them all. It’s good for your brain to learn how to do all of the things you were once able to do, effortlessly.

I wish I had all the answers for you, but keep checking in and utilize all the tools this site has to offer. Remember, although it may feel like it, you are never alone. We are here to help and support you. Please feel free to message me anytime. I will get your message, and will reply rather quickly!

All the best,
David

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