Is Epilepsy Making Me to Forget?
Last updated: March 2023
Living a life with epilepsy can be difficult. There are many downsides of epilepsy. And it takes a really strong heart and mind to live with this condition.
One of the major difficulties is forgetfulness. People with epilepsy are more prone to having poor memory. Yep, let me share my story about memory problems with epilepsy.
Memory problems with epilepsy
I was a bright student until I got diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 10 years old. My grades were always high and it was not hard for me to remember my lessons. But after my diagnosis, I became slower and my grades were dropping.
I had to really push myself when it came to learning. It was not easy to remember the lessons I learned during school, and I had to put in extra work to manage this.
Struggling in school
When I was 16 years old, there was one day that I went to school without having taken my medication first thing in the morning. (Remembering to take seizure meds is also a struggle with epilepsy!) It was the week of the exams. It was stressful. And I forgot.
As I was writing my exam paper, I had a seizure attack. I lost consciousness after collapsing on the ground, and when I came to, my parents were standing next to me. When you forget your medication, this is what can happen.
High school was a big challenge for me, as I had to memorize all the important points and facts for exams. And I often failed to do so. My high school grades weren't great, as most of the lessons required memorization. That's when I started to realize my epilepsy was the factor that was impacting my learning.
My learning and memory strategies
But, I worked hard and am happy to say I didn't fail any subjects and got all "B"s. I remember my studying tactic: writing what I needed to remember on the whiteboard repeatedly so I wouldn't forget it!
My poor memory also didn't stop me from pursuing my master's degree. I pushed all my limits to earn it. I was lucky to have a friend to remind me about current assignments throughout my university journey. My friend knows about my memory problems and was so helpful to me.
It is very important to have someone who cares and knows about your epilepsy and how it affects you.
Memory problems at work and with friends
Transitioning from school to work, when I joined a marketing agency as a content writer, my memory issues became a hindrance once again. There were many instances where I forgot the tasks given by my boss, and I received harsh treatment in return. It was one of the lowest points in my life.
But with all the bad experiences, I've learned how to cope with different tools and strategies. I make sure to bring a small notebook with me to write down any task I'm given. I also set reminders in my phone to remind me about the task given on that day. It's a constant struggle that I have to deal with, but proper preparation does help me improve my work performance.
I have problems remembering dates as well, which has affected my social life. I struggle with remembering birthdays, even of my best friends, and that has caused some friction in the early stages. With time, understanding, and reminders, I managed to overcome that aspect in life.
Doing our best to manage our epilepsy symptoms
It took time for me to accept that forgetfulness is something I have to live with as it's beyond my control.
But as the world keeps technologically advancing – phone reminders, Google calendar, and memory training apps – I find it's easier to keep track of things despite having poor memory. In the end, it's up to our own efforts to manage memory symptoms to keep up with the quick pace of our everyday life.
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