My thoughts released; a mind set free
|Even though it's not even mid month yet, my wife and I, mostly my wife, has been busy decorating for Halloween and I even managed to write a Halloween poem this past weekend, but I was unprepared for the terrible scare that came on Monday.
My wife and I were up early to get our oldest off to school. Our younger daughter had therapy so didn't need to be up quite as early, so we had a bit of quiet time before I had to wake her and take her to her appointment and then to school. When I returned home, my wife was working on laundry and going through some items she had gotten form her mom's the end of last month.
It was nice to have her home enjoying a day off while the girls were in school and we talked and enjoyed a romantic interlude from the daily activities, after which she started getting us some lunch. Nothing fancy, just some leftovers nuked in the microwave. She had brought me mine and asked if I wanted grated cheese, to which I answered no thank you. She had her plate heating and was grating cheese for herself when she caught me off guard by asking me if I wanted cheese with mine, just shortly after asking me.
Catching my attention further, was the way she was looking around, a puzzled look to her beautiful face. Her dinner was done and the microwave beeped to let her know. This seemed to startle her, as if she didn't know it was even going, but she took her plate out and put a bit of cheese on her food. But instead of joining me at the table, she continued to stand in the kitchen and look around.
I asked if she was okay, and she replied with a trembling voice, "I'm lost."
Not fully understanding, I asked what she had lost. "I'm lost," she repeated, sounding even more afraid. She came over to the table, and sat down with her plate. Nothing physically out of place, no signs of anything not being right, but she was looking around like a doe in the headlights, asking about the cloths baskets being out, where the items her mom had given her had come from, and similar questions.
She began eating while I answered her, but she didn't seem to comprehend anything. After a few minutes, she repeated that she was lost. I asked if she knew me; she did. I asked if she knew our girls; she named them. I asked where she lived; she didn't know. She didn't know what day it was, what year, what she had been doing that morning or anything recent.
My heart fell right to the bottom of my chest and felt as if it would explode. My first thoughts were a stroke, even though she had shown no symptoms. I explained we needed to go see a doctor and she nodded. I grabbed the few items I knew we may need with and walked her to the vehicle, and once had her inside, got in to drive. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked where I was taking her. I softly replied, "To the doctor, remember?"
Shaking and crying more, she answered in the most frightened voice I have ever heard, "No, I can't remember anything."
We talked while I drove, she did remember her family members, where she went to grade school, and with some difficulty, high school. She remembered where we met, but not when. She seemed to do better as long as I talked with her and comforted her but I could see the terror in her eyes as she repeatedly asked where we were, were we where going, and what was wrong with her.
We spent a good six hours in the emergency room with doctors asking questions, running tests and ordering images tying to find out why her memory had failed. With each result, I found a bit more and more hope, nothing was wrong. Nothing physically anyway. She was not in any imminent health risk at all, but her recent memories were gone and she was unable to make any new ones.
Her only complaint was a headache starting up a couple hours after we got there, so they gave her somethin for that and to help her sleep. Through the afternoon, we continued testing and talking, searching and hoping. Another doctor came in and explained to me that, although rare, there was a form of amnesia that looked likely and that he had seen a few times before.
It's called Transient Global Amnesia, and strikes for no reason. It's temporary and usually lasts from six to twenty-four hours, and has no permanent or lasting effects. My wife's lasted just a bit past six hours before she began remembering things. It started slowly with her being able to remember one of the doctors, who then asked what day, date, and year it was. She struggled to remember but did. Another couple hours to observe and monitor as more and more memories came back.
Not quickly, it was like she had to concentrate very hard to find the memories, like trying to remember an old phone number or what you ate for dinner a month ago. Nonetheless, I was enraptured that she was remembering. Since she was showing improvement, they let me bring her home that evening. She hadn't eaten much all day so we stopped for a bite at one of her favorite places, and she remembered eating there with the girls.
We talked and I joked, she seemed to be a lot better, but still was having trouble with writing new memories and struggling to remember some things. We returned home, I had called someone to get the girls after school and watch them overnight, so it was quiet and peaceful. She was feeling very off and still unsure about anything that day, but wanted to watch a bit of tv before going to bed.
I did call and update the girls on her being home, a brief bit about what had happened, and that she was doing much better.
Yesterday she was kind of sluggish an felt "off" most of the day. She slept a lot and we took good care of her and kept her relaxing and resting. Today she was much her old self and feeling pretty much back to normal. We had planned for a quiet day, but the school called and we had to pick one daughter up. After, we grabbed a bite to eat, checked out a second-hand store, and then stopped to get a few items at the grocery store.
She went in and started shopping, I was sitting out in the truck enjoying a smoke, when she came bursting out the doors and almost running to my side of the vehicle, tears in her eyes. My heart sunk as I began wondering if it had returned. I started to open my door but she was there already. No relapse, but she had been suddenly hit a what sounds like a panic attack. She informed me, once I got her calmed down some, that she was just shopping along andall at once she became filled with fear.
I let her sit for a few minutes while we talked and held hands, then asked if we should go home or finish shopping. She was willing to finish shopping as long as I stayed right by her. She did well, but needed to have me close. When we got home, she said she was feeling a lot better, but very tired. She took a nap and after seemed to be her old self again. While she slept, I contacted her doctor and was informed that with this form of amnesia, she would regain all her memories, except for those from right before it showed and up to a short time after she began remembering.
She remembers everything up to, but not making lunch. She kind of remembers being in the hospital but no details, no ride after until we stopped to eat, then some of the evening after we got home. Monday was still pretty scrambled and half the day missing. Her doctor also said that some who suffer this regain some memory of the incident. Not so much the forgetting, but the fear they were feeling while it happened. I'm hopeful that was the panic attack today, just more of her recovering. Even so, it's going to be a long time before I forget the fear I was filled with not knowing what was happening to the woman I love.