A Couple Strokes Off My Game.

Posted by admin on April 8, 2019 in Randomalities |

As Superman, I have been able to skirt most conditions mere mortals endure. As we all know, Superman’s only weakness is kryptonite, and in his mild-mannered form, Lois Lane.

You never see Superman taken away in an aid car, rushed to ER, connected to a slew of machines and run back and forth through an MRI. It just isn’t very Supermanny.

Well, this Superman, this man of steel and mirth, got taken for a ride this weekend.

No, I didn’t go faster than a speeding bullet. Instead, I lost my mind.

Everything seemed normal for much of Sunday. I puttered around the house, took a nap, watched some TV, shot at the woodpecker that keeps making love to my house. Nothing out of the ordinary.

At some point, I went upstairs to check on Kat, and that’s when everything apparently went haywire. I couldn’t remember the morning, who was president (I think that’s a trick question as I am usually in denial about that anyway right now), and I kept asking why the furniture was in different places in the living room.

That shouldn’t have been a difficult one to answer since we spent the better part of Saturday moving everything around the room to make it more feng shui. O.K., truth be told, we were making room for a bar.

However, this was all something of a mystery to me around 1 in the afternoon.

I vaguely remember Kat on the phone. Insert some fogginess here. Later she told me that when I heard the sirens I said, “Those aren’t for me, are they?”

They were. The medicsĀ poured into the house and started assessing me. I failed the “What year is it test?” but nailed the “What is your name?”

So far, so good. I got one out of two right. As we rode in the ambulance my memory started to return. I saw my son driving in his car behind me. Kat was nowhere to be found, but only momentarily.

Before I knew it I was in a hospital gown laid out on a bed in Room 11 of Swedish-Edmonds. Everybody seemed to be in a rush, connecting me up to a plethora of beeping machines. They took blood, stuck a needle in my arm in case they wanted to shoot me up with something exotic down the road and ran a bunch of basic tests.

Then it was off to the MRI. As a writer, I’ve written about every aspect of an MRI, except what it’s like to be put in one. Well, it was a no-brainer (sorry, couldn’t resist). I wasn’t claustrophobic. I just closed my eyes, went to my happy place and relaxed. If it weren’t so noisy I probably would have just fallen asleep. Midpoint, the technician pulled me out and shot some dye into me so he could look at all that blood pumping through my noggin.

And then it was done. I was wheeled back unceremoniously to emergency.

I can remember all this quite well. As usual, I was making jokes throughout the whole process, entertaining the staff. Kat, the poor girl, was worried sick since she thought it might have been a stroke. Bless her heart. While waiting for the paramedics she ran all sorts of tests on me. I don’t remember a single one but she told me I had a nice smile.

Finally, after about 45 minutes the doctor came back into my room. The MRI showed nothing atypical, which was a great disappointment to me since I thought my brain was extraordinary in both form and function. Sorry, science, I’m no longer donating it to you for further study.

Today, I am home. With good reason. They want to make sure this was an isolated incident and nothing would be worse than being downtown in a skyscraper and wondering how in the hell I got there.

Oh, I almost forgot the verdict. It seems I had what is called Transient Global Amnesia. With TGA, you can’t remember where you are or how you got there and you may not understand what’s happening at the moment. You remember who you and the people closest to you are, but that’s about it. It happens to people as they grow older. It’s not serious, nor does it have any long-term effects. It just scares the living crap out of you and everyone else around you.

Anything can set it off: stress, strenuous physical activity, crazy good sex (I’m going with the latter since it’s my story I’m telling). You usually never get it more than twice in your life.

Over the years I’ve told others about the day about a decade ago when I was in the shower in Florida and suddenly panicked. I couldn’t remember what I did that morning or what I was doing in the shower.

At the time, I attributed the episode to withdrawals from Lexapro. I went cold turkey in that regard, so I just thought my brain was short-circuiting as the drug left my system.

But now that I look back, the situation was almost identical. The only thing different 10 years ago was that my flatmate didn’t call 911. Since we were in the throes of a divorce, I think she was hoping that I would just stroke out.

Looking back, I think I had my first episode of Transient Global Amnesia. Hopefully, the one yesterday was my last.

Why weren’t there photos of me on Facebook in a hospital gown, wearing a backless house dress? Superman would never do that and my family is under strict orders to never take one, even for family entertainment.

But I decided that this story was important to share with my audience. As you get older, this can happen to you. Hence, the decision to write this RobZerrvation.

If it does happen to you, get someone to call 911 immediately! This is no joking matter. Without hooking you up to some machines or running a CT scan or MRI, there’s no way to know if it’s a stroke or TGA. This is something you can’t self-diagnose.

I was lucky. I had a momentary brain fart (my new name for TGA). In the end, it was no big deal. But it could have been.

And for all those doubters out there, I finally have proof positive that I do have a brain. And from what I was told, it’s running on all eight cylinders right now. Except for two epic backfires.

In the Emerald City, still wondering why I rearranged the furniture,

  • Robb


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