My First-Hand Experience
I was walking in the garden with Granny and she was talking about how my dad would run around the house and hide by the plants when he was up for a spanking again. She said while she was watering the plants that my dad would itch like crazy because he’d squeeze himself in between flowers with thorns because he was so afraid of Granny.
She was in the middle of a funny topic when she turned around and asked me, “Who watered my plants?”. “You just did, Granny.” I was a bit confused at first. But the most frightening experience I had with her was when she looked at me and said, “Why are we here? What’s happening?”
I was so scared I called my dad at the top of my lungs so that he would hear me since he’s inside the house. He came running and I told him what happened. We decided to bring her to the hospital because we didn’t know what was happening to her. She seemed very disoriented and she was constantly asking me what happened to her and where she was going – she asked me that about five times.
Labs and scans were taken and while she was sitting across the doctor’s table beside me, she slowly began to regain bits and pieces of her memory. After a few more minutes, her memory went back to normal. The doctors came up with a diagnosis and it was transient global amnesia.
Transient Global Amnesia Defined
Transient global amnesia, which usually affects individuals between 40 and 80 years old, is technically a temporary loss of short-term memory. It is neurological in origin, which may be associated with epilepsy or stroke.
An individual suffering from this condition suddenly experiences loss of memory where he doesn’t recall what he just did, where he is and why he’s even there. He asks questions repeatedly because he is confused and disoriented, and he forgets the answers that were just recently given to him. He does remember himself and the people close to him, but he is unable to create new memories, which can make it very depressing for the affected individual.
Essential Symptoms for Diagnosis
Below is a list of the important signs and symptoms to watch out for in order to suspect transient global amnesia.
- Abrupt onset memory loss, can’t recall recent events and unable to create new memories
- Identifies oneself and those close to him
- Asks repetitive questions
- Ability to identify objects and follow instructions are retained
- No other neurological affectation that involves arm or leg paralysis or impaired cognition
- Memory loss lasts less than 24 hours and eventually returns to normal
- Absence of epilepsy or seizure during the period of amnesia
Possible Causes of Transient Global Amnesia
The exact cause of TGA is still unknown and doctors and researchers continue to exert efforts into finding the origin of this disturbing condition. Although transient global amnesia is rare, it can cause depression and frustration to the individual and his family.
Some possible causes that are associated with the condition include:
- Exercise, including sexual intercourse
- Emotionally draining or stressful events
- Pre-existing vascular disease
When to See a Doctor
When something like this happens to someone we know, it is important that we remain calm. NEVER yell at the person, as he is already confused and frustrated. He needs all the support he can get. Talk to him in a calm way and try as much as you can to answer his questions, which requires that you be patient because he will be asking the same questions over and over again.
Although the person involved does not appear to be in pain, do not wait for the condition to prolong without treatment. It is not normal to experience memory loss. Bring the person to the nearest hospital and have him checked immediately. It would be wise to keep him there until his memory returns, which will be soon.
Don’t worry too much. Studies prove that once you’ve experienced transient global amnesia, you’ll never have it again. You just need to get through it the right way.