Bizarre!

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.

11 Responses to “Bizarre!”

  1. Carol White Says:

    WOW! THat would be a great story to include in one of your books!!

    Glad you are okay!

    See you in August at B&N?

  2. Pat Salonen Says:

    Kent – wow! – never heard of it but happy to hear you came through it o.k. Hope Ernie is doing well!! LOL

  3. Beth Says:

    Sounds like someone spiked your drink. Did they do a drug screen? Always be careful to never walk away from your drink in a public setting.

  4. Jan Cannon Says:

    Never heard of such a thing. That would be like going to sleep and waking up after being in a coma. Your brain is over worked. I see you have no events scheduled for a couple months. Good thing. Take it easy and hope to see you in a couple months in the northland.

  5. Rod Says:

    Before you mentioned the diagnosis, I knew exactly what happened to you. Same thing happened to my dad a few years back. It is the single weirdest medical situation I have ever seen and I had never heard of it before. About 24 hours after it started, the tape recorder started again. During it we just had stay bed side and keep answering the same questions about the hours prior and how he got there.

    Absolutely agree, it would be a great thing to include in one of the books with your perspective. Happy all is well.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Yep, that’s about as weird as reality for us “normal” people can get. I am happy to hear it has passed and that you are once again aware of your surroundings and recent activities. Of course, there are a few days in my life I would gladly forget…

  7. David Says:

    William,

    I had an incident around the same time. I fell on the stairs but caught myself. I walked to the kitchen for a soda, and I wake up find myself on the floor. My wife is on the phone with 911. I don’t remember passing out once, but I guess I passed out three times. A week later I go to the emergency room not feeling quite right. So I get the complete treatment including CT scan. Find nothing wrong with me. A visit to the neurologist finds nothing. The neurologists thinks it was the pain from the fall. A return visit to the neurologist is in early July…get the results of EEG. I plan on seeing you in Westerville. Take care.

    Dave

  8. Kat Says:

    Like so often happens, soon after I hear a word, story, etc., for the first time, I hear about it again and again.

    Just a couple weeks ago my cousin told me that this happened to her!

    Glad for both of you that it has no after effects.

  9. Jeff Says:

    Sorry to put this here, but your older blogs no longer allow posting — but I’m sure you know that.

    Having just finished Purgatory Ridge, I must say I enjoyed it significantly more than the first two Cork O’Conner books. So much so, in fact that I am trying to get my wife to read it. (She read Iron Lake but did not enjoy all the Anishinaabe references and words.)

    I also just started Blood Hollow, which I am enjoying immensely. (Yes, I like to read them in order.) I have noticed about your books that they can be read exclusively of each other, but I think the story is better knowing the characters and what has occurred earlier.

    Thanks for the stories. I do hope to read the entire series. I took a break to read a classic — 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — which bored me so much that I seldom read. The classics are nice, but give me a good story any time!

  10. Marilyn Says:

    My son suffered a similar situation, and he not only asked the same questions every time, he asked them in the same order each time. Dr said it shows Jeff was an organized thinker. That answers from each question, triggered the same next question each time. He ended up with about a month of memories gone but healthy and sound after about 24 hours. Scary stuff for sure.

  11. Leslie Says:

    Seriously? That is really weird, and makes me want to study your brain.