If you cannot remember what you had for dinner last night and your neighbor’s name is on the tip of your tongue but has not yet come to mind, you’re definitely not alone. Studies are now conclusive that cognitive impairment in fibromyalgia [and CFS] patients, specifically memory and vocabulary deficiencies, is quite real.
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Here are ten tips to cope:
1. Keep a pad and pen nearby to jot down key information.
2. Focus on what people are saying when you are communicating with others.
3. Use word association.
4. Turn phone numbers into words, if they are hard to recall. For example, 438-263-6679 could become GET-A-MEMORY.
5. Organize grocery lists into meaningful categories.
6. Use visualization – try to create a mental image of the thing you need to remember.
7. Eliminate distractions as much as possible – turn off the TV or radio.
8. Try to keep your home or office organized in a logical way.
9. Use a kitchen timer to jolt your memory.
10. Put it to music. Some patients find that singing helps them to remember certain things more easily.
(Source: The Fibromyalgia Handbook: A 7-Step Program To Halt and Even Reverse Fibromyalgia. By Harris H. McIlwain, M.D., and Debra Fulghum Bruce, M.S. Owl Books/Henry Holt.)