What Amnesia Taught Me About Productivity (true story)

Imagine being knocked out or passing out and waking up in a strange house you’ve never seen before. It may be across town or in another state for all you know. You know who you are and you recognize your ‘significant other,’ but that’s about it.

You couldn’t tell anyone what street you’re on or how to get there. You don’t remember that you just moved into your home two months before, but your ‘significant other’ keeps insisting that you did. Nothing is looking familiar.

That is exactly what happened to me at about 6:00 PM on May 29, 2010. (click here for the extended version)At first my ‘significant other,’ Melanie, thought I was being funny or silly ‘pretending’ not to recognize our own home. I have been known to have a bit of a sense of humor at times.

But she began to worry and ultimately took me to the Vanderbilt Hospital ER when I kept ‘looping,’ meaning my mental “RAM” was only one minute 44 seconds (she timed it). I could only remember what happened during the last (ongoing) 1:44.

Talk about the ultimate in being UN-productive! This was hilarious and terrifying at the same time. It was more terrifying for Melanie. For me it was a bit frustrating, but I kept my sense of humor. I was a happy idiot!

I have no memory (now) of anything that happened during the 9 1/2 hours. The only reason I know what was going on is from eyewitness accounts and the fact that they audio recorded about 30 minutes of my ‘looping,’ for which I’m extremely grateful.

I was experiencing an extremely rare condition called Transient Global Amnesia (TGA). This was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was equally bizarre to those around me.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s web site, TGA is “…rare, seemingly harmless and unlikely to happen again. Episodes are usually short-lived, and afterward your memory is fine.”

Being of the opinion that we all create our own reality, I began to self-analyze. “Why did this happen to me? What was the root cause of this? What did I do to help create this? What am I suppose to learn from this experience?”

I see it as a gift: a non-destructive (thank God!) wake-up call to take better care of my health. My diet and exercise program has already improved as a result. I’m using EFT and other techniques to help eliminate any residual ‘stuck’ negative emotions that may have contributed to this.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your health. Physical and mental health comes before — and contributes to — productivity. Think about it. Plan for it. Schedule it.

Focus on your health first so you’re able to enjoy your life and focus on being more productive, successful and happy for many years to come!

4 comments to What Amnesia Taught Me About Productivity (true story)

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  • Raf


    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Have you fully recovered? Do you have any tips for recovering lost memories and also ways to stay grounded during the periods of amnesia?

  • Humanator

    Yes, I have fully recovered – EXCEPT for the 9 1/2 hours I experienced the Transient Global Amnesia. I still have no memory of what happened during that time. Thanks for asking.

    As for recovering lost memories, you might try regressive hypnotherapy. If it was for a long time (years), I would definitely look into that. Since it was only for a few hours, I have no interest in recovering those memories.

    How to stay grounded? They put a pad of paper in front of me and I wrote down some things to read that have happened and were happening, partly so I would know what was happening and partly so I wouldn’t be so annoying to the people around me. I kept asking (they tell me!) the same questions over and over as if I’d never asked it, every 2 minutes or so. I’m sure it must have been very frustrating for the people around me. I was a ‘happy idiot’! People told me I was very entertaining. My happy attitude shown through, even though it was a scary incident. I’m soooo thankful I came out of it. It reminds me of the experience of being on a bad drug trip where you keep telling yourself, “I am going to come down. I am going to come down.” Thank God I did!