I was advised that self testing for short-term memory was counter-productive, contradicting my own instincts and behavioural patterns. Pre-TBI I'd always liked to test myself (on any subject matter), to give me the confidence that whatever I was attempting to absorb had properly sank in. Post-TBI, my self-tests nearly always ended in failure, which could lead to frustration.
I decided to simply accept that my short-term memory had been massively impaired by my TBI. I took onboard the advice to use coping strategies, three examples are bulleted below. I recognised that my memory could not be trained or repaired - for my recovery outcome this acceptance was priceless.
I very rarely needed to consult my phone to check the front door was locked, or to find my car, simply having the knowledge that I could do so if needed appeared to make my memory kick into gear and recall the necessary information.
I've observed elderly folk draw false inference that their impaired short-term memory is somehow indicative of their cognitive ability deteriorating. People can become extremely frustrated with themselves over this, despite their long-term memory often still being fantastic.
I make a long-term / short-term memory analogy to far-sightedness / short-sightedness. People with good long distance sight accept that they:
I learned that short-term and long-term memory are processed in different parts of the brain and it's useful to accept that one part can deteriorate at a different rate than another, just like with the eyesight analogy. Acceptance of short-term memory limitations has been a significant contributing factor to my recovery, as getting frustrated was entirely counter-productive.
Unwittingly, I still took lots of enjoyment from self-testing during recovery - just not for anything related to short-term memory.