Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to help a fuzzy brain

I posted this on the Chronic Bitches forum, and my blog,  a while back, and I figured it would be appropriate for here.  
I was curious what other people use to overcome “fibro fog”, the cognitive/memory problems that come along with fibromyalgia.  I also shared my list of helpful items and software. No, I don’t get paid by any of these people, these are genuine endorsements of stuff I use every day.
It’s been really hard for me when I can’t remember anything on my grocery list, or forget to pay bills. I spend a lot of time on my computer, and I’ve found a few tools that really help.
  1. A smartphone: I have an Android phone (HTC Eris), but an iPhone will work for these tools as well. Cost: Depends on your carrier, but I pay $30 extra a month for the data service. Worth. Every. Penny.
  2. Evernote: I have this on my computer, AND on my phone. I can keep notes, grocery lists, take pictures of things I need to remember or describe, and then I can access them from anywhere I have access to a computer. Must have. Free, unless you need more storage. I don’t need more yet.
  3. PageOne Personal Productivity Assistant: This is a website that you can go to, as well as an app for your phone. Set up all your billing sites on one site, and it tracks bills, due dates, payments and spending. It will send you alerts when bills are due. I only have 3 accounts it doesn’t have, and two of those are my local small town water and trash (the other is Newegg). Free for the website. The app is free unless you want to track more than 10 accounts on your phone, then it’s only $7. I bought it just for the ability to quickly check my bank account without going through all the hassle to log in to my bank site from my phone.
  4. Patients Like Me: Website. Track your symptoms, side effects, and medications. Lovely graphs and charting, and they’ll send you an email once a week to remind you to check in. You can also print out a nice chart to bring to your doc. Free.
  5. LastPass: Password keeper. I like this one better than any one I’ve ever tried. It stores your passwords on it’s server, so you can access them from anywhere, but they’re encrypted, so they’re secure. They decrypt them on your computer, so they never have access to your passwords. Free. If you want the app for your phone, Premium is $1 a month. I use the free version at this time.

These are the things I currently use on a daily basis. Does anyone else have suggestions?


  1. I second LastPass, even for normies- having all your passwords available any time you have internet available allows anyone to form stronger passwords.

    I use OneNote, the MS equivalent of EverNote, mostly because I got a free copy with my laptop. :-) If you have a phone with internet, EverNote is preferable.

    I am trying out PatientsLikeMe, and so far, am incredibly impressed with it. For people who have been sick for a long while, I have this advice: Take your time trying to get everything entered. Trying to think of all your symptoms, treatments, etc. at once can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are used to having to choose just the top one or two in order to get people to listen. :-)

  2. I have huge problems remembering to take my pills or to go to sleep at a certain time which for me is a must, or I'm pretty useless the whole day long.

    So I managed to find a pill box with an alarm!!!
    Plus it has 4 compartments for each day and you can detach one day from the 7 day pack to take it with you + the alarm. It's made by Medminder. Here is where I got it from:
    You can find it on amazon as well but it was far more expensive.

    For the times I need to go to bed/eat I either set up alarms on my phone or on a really basic alarm clock (currently looking for one now)

  3. useful tips--thanks! i need to check out patientslikeme.

  4. For those of us lacking technology widgets on a regular basis, I have a good ole' standby of a small notebook. It especially helps when writing down notes while at appointments.