I have 2-3 weeks of good (ish) memory, I know certain things/details but I'm not sure how I know or when I heard it. I can't remember when things have happened, if I've dreamt them or if they ever happened at all. Anything past the last few weeks or the bits of information that I seem to know, I have no idea of. I can write things down, take pictures and be told about things but it's not a memory. How much more of my life will I lose?
Only people with a brain injury understand the memory issues. It's upsetting when someone says 'do you remember' and you don't, you can't even pinpoint when it happened or where, you just have a blank. Sometimes I just say yes and hope that they will leave it there and not ask any questions about it, then I get away with it and they don't realise that I don't remember, doesn't always happen like that though. I can clearly remember painting my nails purple on 5th December 2013 but what apparently happened a couple of months ago, hasn't happened in my mind.
I am always told by people that their memory isn't great. They say this to try and make me feel better and they don't want to accept my real problem-it scares them, so they say that they have a problem with their memory which they don't. They feel better but I'm still left with the real problem and they still don't understand or accept it. The thing that winds me up the most is when people say 'I don't remember what I did last week'. That's supposed to make it all ok is it? I'm not a bit forgetful, my memory has gone! How would they feel if they lost 19 months of their life and knew they were going to lose more? I do remember what I did last week, so maybe they are the ones with the problem.
Although I have a couple of weeks of memory, I only retain the most important bits of information and what I feel I really need to remember. I can have a conversation with someone today but if you ask me about it in a couple of days, chances are I won't remember anything about it, I obviously didn't find it important enough to remember. I have started to realise who and what I find the most important. I'm desperate to remember the accident and stay in hospital, but I've met a lot of people with brain injury who aren't interested in remembering what happened to them, but that's not me. I've lost count of how many times I've been told that it's probably better that I don't remember or asking why I need to remember. I need to remember for my own sanity. I don't care how I would be now if I did remember, I could cross that bridge if I came to it. I just need to have the memory so I could understand why I am the way I am now and so I can put my side of the story across. If I get asked about the accident or my stay in hospital, I have to say 'I don't know' and I wish I could give another response.
It's so hard when you are told that the reason you don't remember is because your brain is protecting you. This means that it's all in my brain somewhere; I'm just not allowed to see it. It's my brain, in my head and its things that happened to only me, so why will my brain not do what I want? I think my brain hates me.
My accident was at 3.50pm, I had done so much that day but I don't remember. I have about 20 seconds of memory from 40 minutes before the accident, I know this because in part of them 20 seconds I was sending a text to my Husband and he has the text on his phone so we know the time. If I can remember those 20 seconds, why can't I remember crashing my car? Last thing I remember, I was in my car and we were both fine. Why can't I remember the rest of that day? Maybe my brain does hate me.
I have a big loss of memory since the accident and being discharged, but I can cope with that. I have forgotten birthdays, Christmas', parties and even a holiday but I've got photos, nothing significant enough has happened that really upsets me that I don't remember. Saying this, it is strange when I think I'm 28 but I'm actually 30!! I had 2 birthdays that I have no re-collection of; I better have got good presents!
My Sister recently made me a 'memory book' which contains in date order, photos, stories, old Facebook statuses, anything that I will have forgotten that was a big event. This has really helped as I can see all this in the one place and it gives me a picture of what I've been up to. I can look at it all the time and realise that I haven't 'missed' things, I just don't remember them but I was there and I obviously have had some good times.
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