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Life Happens: Text reminders are no cure for chronic forgetfulness

The other day, I received a text on my phone. This is not an odd occurrence, since even I have entered the 21st century and text all the time, on my antique flip phone.

But, the strange thing about the text was that it was from a health care provider. They were texting me to remind me of an upcoming appointment. This is probably a good thing, because I forget appointments all the time. I suppose that they have given up trying to give me phone call reminders, because calling me on the phone and verbally reminding me has proven to be ineffective, due to my frequent no-show history.

A victim of chronic selective memory, I can receive a phone call the day before an appointment and still forget to go. I also forget why Iíve walked into a room, or why Iím standing in front of the refrigerator, but thatís another column for another day.

So, I can understand that the office staff might be trying something new with repeat offenders, those of us who routinely forget our appointments.

But it still felt a little weird to be getting a text from them, so I observed the reminder and deleted the text. Which means, I promptly forgot about the appointment.

Luckily, they texted me again, a few days later. They must really be on to me and my bad memory. So, I observed the text and said aloud, ďOh, I canít forget this appointment.Ē Then I deleted it, and went on my merry way, wandering into my kitchen and forgetting why I was there.

During the course of the next few days, my work schedule changed and I could no longer make that appointment time. I made a mental note to call their office and let them know that I would need to reschedule my appointment. So much for good intentions, because like all my mental notes, this one evaporated into the ether.

So, the morning of the alleged appointment, there I was, trying to find my shoes, which were exactly where I left them. As I was flying down the highway to work, coffee in one hand and my brain going a hundred miles an hour, there was the unmistakable ďbuzzĒ of a text message coming from my purse.

I didnít even have to pull over and look at the text. I knew who it was from. I sighed and felt badly about myself, again.

So, even with all the text reminders, which felt a little like an overprotective mother constantly telling me not to forget my appointment, I still forgot.

Iím not sure what it will take. My mother used to say that I would forget my head if it wasnít attached to my body. I heartily believe that.

Perhaps if I had a personal secretary to follow me around and coordinate my schedule, I could end this willy-nilly forgetfulness. Perhaps he or she would even help me when Iím standing in front of my open refrigerator, wondering why I am there, by prompting me, ďYouíre there to get the ketchup.Ē

I donít suppose my insurance provides someone to do that for me. Iím just going to have to stick post-it notes on my forehead, becausemy head is attached to the rest of my body, and Iím not going to lose that.


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