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The craziest day of my life


If you asked me before last Thursday what the craziest day of my life was, I would tell you it was when I was about 10 years old and my family woke up to policemen laying in our driveway with sniper rifles because there had been a robbery-turned-hostage-situation two houses down from us and the suspects were now on the loose.

Yeah, pretty crazy.

That was before last Thursday though, when my dad was hit with sudden temporary amnesia.

It went down like this...

3:15 pm: I'm at my folks house to help Mum with a computer project. My dad comes home from work and jumps into the shower to clean up for a volleyball match that he is going to referee down in Salem.

3:30 pm: Dad enters the dining room where Mum and I are sitting, all clean and dressed for his match, and asks Mum if she will come talk to him in the bedroom. She follows him and he tells her he is having some confusion, he doesn't know where he is supposed to be going, and wants her to pray for him. Mum does so, and then suggests they find his ipad to look up his game schedule. I join in the search and a minute later Mum and I both walk back into the bedroom where Dad is sitting staring at his calendar on his phone. He looks up at us, says he is having some confusion and doesn't know where he is supposed to be, and asks us to pray for him. With great concern Mum and I now both pray over him, after which he looks up at me, says he is having some confusion and doesn't know where he is supposed to be, and asks us to pray for him.

3:35 pm: Jodi and Mum FREAK OUT.

Not loudly mind you, but in a "let's get this man to the hospital POST HASTE" sort of way. We ask dad all sorts of questions about how he's feeling and determine he has no pain, numbness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or anything else out of the ordinary. So we then try to get information out of him as to how we can call his refereeing commissioner to get his game covered so we can drive him to the ER. Dad is quite unhelpful in this area as he can't remember the commissioners name, and won't let us look in his phone contacts because he "just needs to sit down and look at his schedule because he's having some confusion and doesn't know where he's supposed to be". Times FIFTY THOUSAND.

Dad couldn't remember anything that happened for longer than 30 seconds. And thus began the most bizarre, scary, and at the same time, insanely hilarious next few hours of our lives. It took us half an hour to get Dad out of the house and into the car because all he wanted to do was "sit down and figure this out" on his phone calendar, even though he couldn't tell us what day it was. We managed to get his game covered thanks to a call to our school athletic director (during which time I may or may not have burst into tears over the phone and become utterly incoherent) but for the life of us we couldn't get Dad out the door.

Later, Mum commented that Dad, ever the leader and boss, was going to be in charge of his amnesia, gosh darn it!

And it was true!

All the way into town he drilled us:
Where was he supposed to be? In Salem
"Wow!" he'd respond.
Did we get his game covered? Yes, we took care of it
Were we sure? Yes, Janin took care of everything. We're going to the hospital now.
Where was he supposed to be? In Salem, Dad.
Did we get his game covered? Yes, it's all taken care of.
Were we sure? Yes dad, don't worry.
So where were we going now? To the hospital, because you're confused.
And where was he supposed to be? In Salem.

My sister Kelly arrived at the hospital right before us and got dad all checked in so that when we walked him through the ER doors they were ready with a wristband and took him straight back to a room. He responded excellently to all their tests, being able to do everything they asked, and they pretty much ruled out a stroke right away but scheduled a MRI to be sure.

What they told us was that it was TGA, Transient (temporary) Global (all) Amnesia. TGA is a medical mystery. It is unknown what causes it and there is no medication for it. It doesn't last longer than 24 hours, is harmless, and after it is over your memory is fine and you are not likely to ever get it again. During the time someone has it they can remember who they and those close to them are, but lose all short term memory and will often repeat the same questions over and over again.

Thus assured that Dad was fine and would shortly return to normal, we settled in to answer his repeated questions and enjoy the weirdest thing we'd ever witnessed in our lives.

And oh yes, video it too. 

It was just that Dad was so incredibly endearing and CUTE! He would react the exact same way to our answers, word for word.

"So I took a shower?" 
Yes you did.
"Then I'm in clean underwear, phew!"

"Did I already ask that question?" 
Yes, many times.
"Oh rats!"

"Did that really happen?!" (after we'd tell him something that had JUST happened)
Yes, it did.
"See, I don't remember any of that!"
We know, Dad :)

(After explaining how good it was that he came home to take a shower instead of driving straight to Salem for his games like he normally would, and that we thought that was totally the Lord's protection over him): "Well praise the Lord and pass the mashed potatoes"

By 8 pm in the evening Dad was finally starting to make new memories, the sign the doctors were looking for to be able to release him. He'd had his MRI at 7:15 pm and he remembered being in the machine and repeating scriptures to himself to keep calm. We were able to leave at 9 pm and by the time Dad woke up the next morning he was 100% back to normal.

He sent me a text message that day: the nice thing about amnesia, it's like nothing really happened!

Except MWAAHAHA, we have proof :)


  1. This definitely goes in my books as the weirdest day EVER!!! After getting over the initial panic, and being assured by the doctor he was going to be fine it really did turn into a lovely, albeit spontaneous family night together. I'm so glad we thought to video him, because that is some entertaining stuff there!!! Nothing like a crazy amnesia attack to recognize the Lord's mighty hand of protection on him... I shudder to think if he'd been driving or got to his game in Salem and it had happened then. He shall forever be nicknamed "Dory" now!! Nice recap sis!

  2. Maria Brookshire-RhaySeptember 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Wow, what an experience. I'm glad all is well and your Dad is okay! God is good! That should be the center of family conversations for years to come :)

  3. Oh, my goodness. I would have been totally freaked out too! I'm so glad your dad is ok. I kind of think its hysterical that you videoed it for proof and future laughs I am sure. Well, I hope you never experience this strangeness again. Hope your dad continues in good health and mental clarity.

  4. At the same time, Faron was responding in the exact same way because of his concussion.
    We had to write the answers to his repeated questions on the board in the ER room. He had a 30 second memory span. So wild! Praise Jesus they (your dad and Faron) are both fine and will recover 100%.

  5. How scary!! I'm so glad to hear he is doing A-OK now! I'm thinking maybe you all need to watch "50 First Dates" together this weekend? :)

  6. So thankful that the amnesia was temporary and that he was wearing clean underwear!

  7. That was awesome Jod. Dad read to all the people at our Bible study and we laughed all over again.

  8. Now what's really weird for me is knowing of 2 people in the last year to have this! My boss had it earlier this year, described exactly as you did. Weird, weird, weird! I'm glad he's ok :)

    1. You are the first person I know that has heard of it, let alone that knows someone else who had it. Yes, super weird!