Posted on August 10, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 10 of 22 in the series DJ

Tools for Short-Term Memory Problems: Part Ten

A PDA is one of the tools for short-term memory problems, as long as you don’t forget it someplace.

While the low-tech option of the teapot timer as one of the tools for short-term memory problems, helps him in the kitchen, DJ has found that his PDA is very useful to adapt to his memory deficits. DJ explains:

What works is you tell me we’re going to meet again tomorrow at 1:30, and I know we’re not, but it’s got to be on my PDA phone.  The doctor scripted one in March or August of 2007. They are coming up with these super-gadget phones now and so we went to Verizon with a speech pathologist and they wrote a script for the Verizon 700 Trio, Palm Trio 700 WX.

I use it with my grocery list and I literally take my phone in the kitchen.  I go in the refrigerator, there’s no milk, you can hit the task button, you have to build a list, so I mean you can have a hundred items.

Tell me about building a list as one of the tools for short-term memory problems.

It’s basically on what you eat.  Now with the Android system, the Grocery IQ app, you might have it on your iPhone as well, but the Grocery IQ app is high, highly recommended.  You can actually scan a bar code of a pizza box, whatever, and the bar code will pick up the information of what that item is and then from there you have it on your grocery list.

Now you can use your Publics, your Albertson’s, your Winn-Dixie, whatever store that you have in your Stop-and-Shops or whatever area.  Most of those built in, or like I go to a place called a Butcher’s Block, it’s privately owned.  You can type that in and put Del Monaco steaks, pork chops, sausage, breakfast links, and then you can type those, like when you go to the store, I walk around the store, put an item in, tap it off.  If I don’t do that I’m going to get home and say you want to make Shepherd’s pie, I’m not going to have any potatoes.  Tough to make Shepherd’s pie without potatoes and I will forget things, but with it I do very well.

Using E-mail as One of the Tools for Short-term Memory Problems

What else do you use the phone for as one of the  tools for short-term memory problems?

The calendar.  I have my Yahoo calendar on there that I can go right into actually my Yahoo mail account and use my calendar.  Your email of when you were going to be here stayed right at the top and I deleted around it for several days.  The email is very important to me.


You spend a lot of time on Facebook and we’re going to talk about that a little bit later in the interview.  But you’re doing Facebook on a computer-  you’re doing it on your phone – you’re doing it on both?

Yeah, like days like tomorrow I am not going to feel very good. I’m going to be very tired and have a very tight chest and I’ll probably do a lot from my Facebook on my cell phone, just replying to messages like I’ve done today.  You know, people like good luck with your, your time today.  Now I can post but you can’t instant message like we do sometimes in the morning.

How, how is your visual acuity?  Are you able to see your phone well enough to use it functionally as one of the tools for short-term memory problems, or is that harder for you?

It’s getting blurrier.

Other Electronics as One of the Tools for Short-term Memory Problems

Have you looked at possibly moving into a tablet versus the phone, as one of the tools for short-term memory problems like an iPad or an equivalent?

Yes.  The problem with that is the mobility of it.

Can’t stick it in your pocket?

Can’t stick it in your pocket and you’re going to have the tendency to want to put it down and that’s a disaster for me.  I mean I left my phone in a grocery store one time.  Luckily I only lived across the street, luckily I went grocery shopping around 9:00 at night, the store was open until 10:00 I think.  I raced back across the street and it was, the cell phone was on a, like a 12-pack of Pepsi or box of something.

Fortunately you remembered where you left it?

Yeah, because when I got home I wanted to do more with my phone and it wasn’t there and I mean it goes with me.  I, I carry, you know, my debit card, my I.D., everything, so I put it in my pocket or strap it, but, you know, it’s, it’s a very important package.

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


Next in Part Eleven – Attention and Concentration Problems After Severe Brain Injury

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447