Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Part 3 of a 9-Part Series:  Compensation Strategies (adapted from “Your Brain After Chemo” by Dan Silverman, MD, PhD and Idelle Davidson)
Michael Sieverts is a brain cancer survivor since 2000. He is the instructor for Cancer Support Community’s qigong classes in the parks. Roxbury Park classes meet every Tuesday & Thursday from 10:30a.m. to 12 noon and at Clover Park every Monday and Friday from 9:30 to 11:00a.m. Free to all those affected by cancer. Call 310-314-2555.

● Stay present. Remind yourself to focus. Learn to meditate, and to pause before you take an action.

● Prioritize. Don’t think that you can multitask and perform. Do fewer things and do them well. What you decide not to do might be as important as what you actually decide to do.

● Develop routines. Keep the same daily schedule as much as possible. Prepare for the day the night before by reviewing your calendar. Exercise and eat at regular times, use a divided pillbox to remind you to take your medications properly.

● Rehearse. “Repeat to remember” to improve short-term memory, “remember to repeat” for longer term memory.

● Tell yourself stories about the person you just met. Say the name out loud, ask them to spell it, remark on the similarities to a celebrity’s name, or to someone else you know with the same name.

● Use word associations and rhyming. This increases the impact of a name or address on memory.

● Cue the senses.

● Break numbers into chunks.

● Don’t use scratch paper. Instead use a single notebook.

● Use a paper daily planner to write down all your activities, even movies and chores—and remember to look at it. You remember things better when you write them by hand than if you type them on a keyboard.

● Use your planner to keep track of your memory problems and other symptoms, so you can discuss changes in your condition with your doctor, who’s going to want to know what happened and when. Do not ignore symptoms, regard them as a blessing, if they lead you to solving a problem earlier than later.
● Everything in its place. Always put keys, checkbook, cell phone and wallet in exactly the same places. Start regarding your purse or backpack as a system.

● Chew gum, yawn—increases oxygen flow to the brain.

● Retain a sense of humor—it’s lighter than you think. Self-forgiveness is an important way to “get over it.”

● Sometimes something that seems terrible can be viewed from a different angle, and regarded as not only not so serious, but maybe as a benefit—and possibly as a great benefit.


No comments:

Post a Comment