Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Where Am I and How Did I Get Here?

           I've always told my writing students to avoid using dream sequences, evil  twins, and amnesia. These devices are, well, cheap. Plus, virtually nobody gets real amnesia, not the kind you see on soap operas. 

         And then I got one of the kinds. It’s temporary, resolves in 24 hours, and about 5 out of 100,000 people experience it. It’s called Transient Global Amnesia—and of course I had to get something with TRANSIENT in the name. And something you can only get if you’re over 40, so thanks for that.

          We had just picked Nicole up at the airport; she came in to be here for Bob’s ordination as 1st Counselor in the bishopric of our church. Richie was also in the car.

          But on the way home I noticed my head was swimming. I was super dizzy, my mouth was dry, and I couldn’t seem to process anything. By the time we were home, I was asking, “Am I having a stroke?” and the family was considering taking me to the Emergency Room. I kept asking the same things and couldn’t remember the answers. My brain kept flashing to other scenes, just like a movie. And no way could I stand or walk by myself. I knew my family and I knew me, but I couldn't stay in the here and now.

          Richie started looking up symptoms. We were able to rule out stroke, dehydration, epilepsy, migraines, head injury, hypertension, and drug or alcohol use. See, in Joniopolis you can just catch things out of the blue with no reasonable explanation.

          So we’re sitting around the kitchen island and Richie tells us there’s this thing called Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)-- your recall of recent events simply vanishes, so you can't remember where you are or how you got there.  Yet, despite feeling disoriented, patients are otherwise alert, attentive and have normal thinking abilities. (Well that’s the first time I’ve been accused of normal thinking).

          I was scared I’d be admitted to the hospital and miss Bob’s ordination. Plus I kept looking at Nicole and thinking, “She just got here—what a horrible way to spend a vacation.” Then I said we were supposed to be playing Rook, a favorite family game.  St. Bob—make that just Bob—then said, “Well I don’t want you for my partner!”  And the kids busted up laughing.

          We called a nurse hotline and put her on speaker. “What does your current husband weigh?” she asked.

          Are you kidding me?  I looked over at Nicole. “Is she seriously asking for the weight of my current husband?” Now we both began laughing—uncontrollably in my case—and Bob had to take over the phone call. Apparently she had said, “What’s your current height and weight?”

          Finally it was decided to let me go to bed, especially since it was late and I’d probably fall asleep in the ER if we went there. How can you test someone’s cognitive abilities if they’re asleep?

          And the next morning I was fine. Well, Joni fine. So it appears Richie had pinpointed the problem. But I think if you have a global condition you should be able to take a global vacation.

          Here we are after the ordination:

Have you watched any of my short Youtube Mom videos? Just think—if you get TGA you can watch them over and over and enjoy them all over again!


  1. That sounded scary! Trusting Richie to look up the symptoms? What if it had been a stroke? Sounds like a scenario from one of your books! I'm glad you're ok!!! Neo is reading Golden and she loves it!

    1. We looked up stroke first, thank goodness! And I'm so glad Neo is enjoying Golden-- wow! Please give her a big hug from me!