Thursday, February 12, 2015

Transient Global Amnesia

Tuesday began as a normal winter day.  There had been a heavy snowfall on top of the two feet of snow already on the ground.  I was not sure if I could make it out my driveway but I gave it the old college try and got stuck halfway down.  I did try digging out, and placing cardboard under the tires for traction, but I eventually gave up, went into my house, called my regular plow guy and posted the following on my shop's Facebook page.

11:10am  Alrighty then. The plow never came so I tried to make it out and now my car is stuck half way down my driveway. So I may or may not make it in to the shop today - but don't worry, I always leave Mama Lucy with a week's worth of food!

11:48am  Snow plow guy just tried to plow/push me out - he barely got out with his truck intact. So I needs to find someone with a backhoe or a dozer. Crap. 

11:59am (Posted on my personal status) Plow guy came and almost got stuck himself - he suggested a backhoe guy - and miraculously he answered his phone (I have been trying to get in touch with him since last fall about my danged driveway) - so he'll be by after lunch. Bye bye $$$$$ *sigh*

12:05pm  Found guy with backhoe. He'll be by after lunch (how lovely - he gets lunch!). *grump*

1:18pm   Still waiting...

I kinda  remember writing those posts but the next 7 or 8 hours are missing.  Gone.  Vanished.  Around 8pm I wandered out to the garage and found my car inside.  My driveway and parking area were fully plowed and ringed with mountains of snow.

I looked on Facebook and read my shop posts.  I went through my purse and found $250 cash and a receipt for $400 from the bank machine.  It was timestamped 14:14 (which means 2:14pm).  I had zero recollection of going to the bank. I presume the missing $150 went to pay one or both plow guys - but I have no memory of either one of them.  I know that there were two different plow guys because my neighbor told me he saw both of them.  He also told me I called him and talked about roadside assistance.  

4:41pm - Donnie messaged me to ask if I was alright.

8:53pm - I noticed his message and responded "Is it really Tuesday?"  Seems I was under the impression that it was Monday.  My first clue was NCIS was on TV instead of Murdoch Mysteries.  Then I remembered I had watched Murdoch.  Last night.

10:30pm - I posted this to my cat group (language cleaned up for blog): 
OK - this is going to sound really weird - so here goes.
I have my shop open Tuesday through Saturday. I worked on Saturday. But, after getting stuck in my garage and unable to make it out the 500 foot driveway due to huge snowfall, I am at the mercy of the plow guy.
Somehow or other, I made it down the driveway on Saturday after work, then it snowed all day Sunday and I was hoping to have the plow guy do his thing on Monday. He did not make it until today. Late - so I missed not only being at my shop today but a whole day somewhere. And, somehow or other, I managed to make it to the bank machine a half mile away to take $400 out of my Visa account. I now have $250 left. WTF? I am a day behind! I don't drink or smoke. What the hell - how did I lose a whole day? This is freaking me out big time. 
(I admit in re-reading this it is a tad garbled.)

My cyber kitty friends from around the world leapt to my aid - asking cogent questions and making rational suggestions.  One person came up with Transient Global Amnesia, (description from Mayo Clinic website):

"Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can't be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or stroke.

During an episode of transient global amnesia, your recall of recent events simply vanishes, so you can't remember where you are or how you got there. In addition, you may not remember anything about what's happening in the here and now. 

Fortunately, transient global amnesia is rare, seemingly harmless and unlikely to happen again. Episodes are usually short-lived, and afterward your memory is fine."

I made it into the shop around noon on Wednesday. An interesting aside is that I noticed that my car headlights had been switched off, which means I had not put it into the garage.  Only men (mechanics and the like) completely switch off headlights that turn themselves off. I also found small scrapes of red paint on my front bumper (from the plow trying to free my car). 

Mama Lucy was delighted to see me and meowed, "Where have you been?"  My kitty group had managed to convince me that my situation was potentially quite serious so on Wednesday afternoon I gave in and called my doctor's office and made an appointment for Thursday afternoon.  A few minutes later they phoned back and told me to get to the ER.  I decided to stop after work (am slammed with Valentine's jobs!)  By the time I arrived at the Fort Erie hospital's Urgent Care facility it was 7pm.  They put me through triage, signed me in, gave me a bed and hooked me up to the ECG machine.  They also took blood samples and urine.  Then I sat and waited and waited and waited for three hours.  It was after 10pm that the ambulance returned to transport me to Welland hospital (next town over) for a CAT scan. 

Gave ambulance attendant complete history and story of events as I understood them (that was about the fourth time I had to do that).  And, of course - nobody responds or tells me anything. Upon arriving in Welland I was tucked in with warm cozy blankets and waited some more.  Busy night for CAT scans!  Finally it was my turn for this test which took less time altogether than the trip up and down the labyrinthine halls.  Then wait some more until finally the adorable young doctor came by, introduced himself and told me the scan looked normal as were the labs.  They still want a neurologist to speak with me but they said that office would call and make an appointment at the Niagara Falls hospital.  He did, however, allow that transient global amnesia sounded like a reasonable diagnosis.

Aside from not eating much all day (one energy bar and two rice cakes) I was still not very hungry but boy, was I tired by the time the taxi (health system paid for it!) brought me back to my hospital where my car was parked.  It was 2:30am by the time I made it into my house to confront a clowder of hangry kitties.  I fed  them, updated Facebook and curled into bed.

Woke up this morning feeling totally normal.  Got a lot accomplished at the shop between all the phone calls responding to my Facebook status: This is apparently what happened to me on Tuesday between posting about getting stuck in my driveway and waking up on Facebook later that evening. Just got checked out from stem to stern and doc says everything looks fine - NOT a stroke.  I included the Mayo Clinic link about transient global amnesia.

Talk about a long strange trip (or a short strange trip?).  I spent all day Wednesday playing detective to track down what I had done all afternoon Tuesday.  Without Facebook I would have been totally in the dark - with only a bank receipt and some unremembered cash (and believe me when I say that poor people are always ultra-aware of their financial situation!).

I am still waiting to hear from the neurologist's office, but at least I am confident that this was a one off event and I can safely go to sleep without waking up dead.  I have also been startled into doing some thinking about stuff like what would happen to my cats and how would anyone know what had happened to me?  I believe I need a digital executor as well as a set of house keys for my best friend.

Signing off with enormous gratitude.

Two wristbands, and a  whole lot of sticky patches.  Yikes!