“Database: the information you lose when your memory crashes.”
Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top
TIME: 10:21 PM
PLACE: DePaul Health Center
SUBJECT: Emergency Room entrance
I did not expect to be at this hospital today. I met my dad and sister at the Dragon Boat races and we raced our first heat. Cathy and I walked back to the sponsor’s tent with Dad following a couple of minutes behind us. I was sitting down and saw him walk past the tent. He turned and looked a little confused. I called him over and he asked me if I was sure that this was our tent. He then stated that he felt really disorientated and could not figure out how he got there, nor did he remember why he was there. Things went quickly after that. He walked to the EMS area, they took his pressure, heart rate and called an ambulance. They took his blood sugar level. Everything was normal. He was unable to remember anything that happened in the short term. They took him to the emergency room in the ambulance; we followed. At the ER, he was considered a stroke protocol and he had a CT scan. That was normal. No stroke. The neurologist arrived and after asking him questions, stated that he has Transient Global Amnesia and was admitted for at least 24 hours. He kept asking the same questions, in the same manner and tone. His reactions to our answers was the same each time. “Did I have a stroke?”, No. “Did I have a heart attack?” No. “Did we race?”, Yes. “Did we win?” No. “How did I get here?”. In an ambulance. “Did you ride with me?” No, we followed. “Did I have a fun ambulance ride?”, Yep, lights and sirens. “Cool.”, “I don’t remember driving this morning.” You were fine before the race. “I’m sorry guys, I just can’t remember.” Don’t worry about it Dad. “I had a CAT scan? They drug a cat over me? I’m sure they didn’t find anything. Ha ha!” (He still had his sense of humor-that was good to see.) “What time is it? Really? It’s that late? Wow, I lost a lot of time here.” “So, what’s wrong with me then? Are you going to tell me?” You have Transient Global Amnesia. It’s temporary. “So, I guess that means I’m staying at the hospital tonight.” Yes you are. “What hospital is this?” DePaul. Then 2 minutes later, the exact same series of questions would begin again. Cathy and I must have patiently answered these hundreds of times over the course of the day. When we left, he was beginning to remember some of what he had done on Friday and starting to retain some of the answers we were giving him, so it looks like he was at the beginning of recovering. He was scheduled for an MRI but hadn’t had it when we left at 10 o’clock. He will probably be getting it in the morning. I will be going back tomorrow (Sunday) to see how the MRI went and when he will be released. He should make a full recovery, with a rare chance of reoccurrence. He will not remember Saturday morning and most of the day at the ER and hospital at all. Ever. The whole thing is very surreal.