So, okay, here’s something way up there on the “Really Weird” scale. It happened this way.
I went to Omaha to spend Memorial Day weekend with my wife’s family. We left the Twin Cities Friday evening, drove to Des Moines, stayed the night, and arrived in Omaha on Saturday. We visited cemeteries, placed flowers on family graves—a tradition I really dig—and that evening, my wife and I joined friends for drinks at a local brew pub.
Next thing I know, it’s 3:00 PM Sunday afternoon. I wake up in the hospital with no recollection of the preceding 48 hours. I’m kind of fuzzy, to say the least. Diane, my wife, is the room, along with my brother-in-law. As I come out of the haze, they’re laughing hysterically at everything I say.
“Where am I?” I ask.
They laugh, and my wife, good-naturedly says, “Lakeside Hospital.”
“How did I get here?”
They laugh. “I brought you to the emergency room this morning,” she says.
“What’s wrong with me?”
This brings on a near hysterical bout of laughter. “You have Transient Global Amnesia,” Diane finally manages to say.
I’m not sure if I should be upset, but her demeanor clearly indicates that I’m not in any real danger. So I ask, “What’s so funny?”
“You’ve been asking the same questions for the last eight hours.”
So this is what, according to Diane, happened. At 8:45 that Sunday morning, I suddenly began asking the same questions over and over again. “Where are we? How did we get here? What day is it?”
Freaked, she drove me to the emergency room of a hospital two blocks from our hotel, where they did a CAT scan and an MRI, and determined that I hadn’t suffered a stroke or a seizure. The neurologist came in on his day off because the situation intrigued him. He finally diagnosed my condition as Transient Global Amnesia. It’s a condition whose cause is unknown, but whose effect is temporary and with no lasting physiological or mental consequences. I’ve just simply lost a couple of days out of my life, no memory at all of Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
Weird. Really weird. An incredible reminder of how fragile everything is in life.
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