Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Retrograde amnesia

Retrograde amnesia is a form of amnesia where someone will be unable to recall events that occurred before the trauma that causes the onset of amnesia.

I "lost" five days after my surgery while I was on a respirator. No complaints, I wouldn't want to be alert and entubated simultaneously. What I've come to realize as I recover is that I've also "lost" the events of the week preceding the initial heart attack and trip to the ER. This past weekend, I told my roommate that he'd done a great job on the Christmas decorations. He looked at me deadpan and informed me that I had put up the lights on Wednesday, November 28. The heart attack was Saturday, December 1. My last recollection that I can clearly date is my blog posting from Sunday, November 25. I've gone so far as to delete the three blog entries that followed because I felt like someone else posted them. They weren't terribly funny anyway.

This is my first personal encounter with Amnesia. It has always been a convenient plot device - as common as an "evil twin" on Soap Operas - never something happening in my head. And believe me, I know that losing what was probably an average week in late November will never compare to the trauma of someone losing their identity or memories of their lives and loved ones.

BUT - we knew there was a big but coming - it's kinda cool. It's like entering a room that someone has described as having a window and only seeing four blank walls. Even after they assure you that the window is there and that you installed it you can't see it to save your life. You just have to take their word for it and hope that no one is cruel enough to take advantage of your mind's downtime and lie to you about something you've said or done.

I'll probably come back to this topic, maybe a sonnet or limerick...?

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