When your Brain goes Wrong

This morning I woke up perfectly normally, with my young granddaughter in her bed beside me, and sunshine filtering in through the blinds. I had been up late making tahini balls and washing up, something hard to do when playing with a four year old. My husband was already up, having gone to sleep early in the welter of storytelling required to settle the little one.

I went out into the living room, poured myself a cup of ginger tea, then (apparently) curled up in distress clinging to the kitchen bench. S asked if I was alright, and I answered that I was extremely nauseous. He came over to hold me and I collapsed. My next memory is sitting on the lounge, with him asking me stupid questions, such as where do we live, what is this address? I answered full of confidence, giving our address from twenty years ago! I did feel annoyed at this interrogation. However everything looked odd to me. Why was the sewing machine on the dining table? Β I had completely forgotten all the current details of daily life. I forgot Eddy was having a sleepover with us, even though I had just seen her in our bedroom. I forgot our neighbour was in hospital where I had just visited her the day before. I was shocked to hear of her illness, then we were both suddenly worried that I might also have viral encephalitis. Everything felt weird. S took my BP, which significantly was not low.

Our son and his wife arrived, summoned by a desperately worried man. My memory was returning to normal, but again I felt dizzy and nauseous. Β I needed to lie down. That was the final straw. S had already made an appointment at the doctor’s surgery for 3pm … but now he decided we had to go to the hospital and be seen sooner rather than later. Was it a TIA? A ministroke? All my limbs seemed to work, I had no particular numbness. Well, we got to triage in the hospital, found blood sugar, blood pressure, ECG all normal, then sat down to wait. The Emergency Department had just been slammed. Ambulances were queueing outside. Two very ill patients were waiting for admission. A child with an arm cast was waiting for a referral to physiotherapy. Another child was scoffing packets of junk food and harassing his grandmother. Β A neighbour and friend who is a doctor noticed us in the waiting room and came in for a chat. Another neighbour and friend who is head of nursing just phoned us to see how I was, because after three hours we finally agreed to leave and go home for lunch, before seeing the private practice doctor in the afternoon. So sad to see the two very ill women waiting for admission, and no doctor in sight.

We had been warned about a crush in the waiting room at the surgery, with a nasty winter flu going through the population. When we arrived it was almost empty, and we got in immediately … no risk of catching the flu bug. The doctor (not my usual) was terrific, positive, friendly (yes, he is a friend, you know how small towns are) and told us it was looking like Transient Global Amnesia. Lots of tests are the way to the diagnosis, which is basically eliminating every other possibility. These are all scheduled for the next two weeks, but meanwhile life will continue as normal!

If you are interested there are two links… one to the Mayo Clinic on the word Transient, and the other to Wikipedia on the words Global Amnesia. PS S offered to take a photo of me looking normal, but I think I have one!


50 thoughts on “When your Brain goes Wrong

    • hi laura, thanks for the article .. it does raise a new spectre … the possibility that it is TEA, since all the symptoms fit that …hopefully tests will show us in a few weeks πŸ™‚

      • sincerely hope not – I know of TEA since I was therapist for an epilepsy clinic. Fingers crossed over the coming weeks and best wishes

    • me too bluebee … although now it looks like TEA, which is recurring, but controlled by anti-convulsant meds … still a long way to go with tests first … thanks for your good wishes πŸ™‚

  1. Oh Christine! I don’t like this for you, that’s for sure. You have such an abundance of energy and a true zest for life, that anything slowing you down doesn’t feel quite right. I will also be praying for you and I know you’ll be guided in the best way to take care of yourself. Thank you for trusting us with this very personal part of your life’s journey…we do care about you!!

  2. Well, I prefer the Mayo’s statement saying that it is rare and unlikely to happen again. I know you have a positive attitude and you will be well and I’ll add my postiive energy to yours. Take care lovely lady, G

    • hi susie … yes, i don’t remember the actual event, but it was quite brief then everything was normal except for some dizziness … which i still have a little of … more frightening for everyone else wondering what it might mean … but we will know more soon πŸ™‚

  3. What a scare for you all. At least it resolved quite quickly, and I hope the tests resolve further that it was a one-off. It was so good of you to share the information because I’ve never heard of it, and wouldn’t have had a clue. I’m relieved to hear in your words, and see you looking normal, and with sense of humour intact πŸ™‚

    • yes, i have been smiling a lot … the relief of being ‘back’ memory-wise! a very strange experience but it was funny from my point of view … except for the dizziness and nausea …. and annoying being cross-examined : ) maybe i enjoy a brief look at other states of consciousness???

  4. Hi Christine! I filled out a long note to you in the waiting room while Tom was undergoing an MRI, but somehow I couldn’t get it to download, so I’m home now. What a scare, can’t repeat my other note, memory not that good. I am hoping all the results from the tests you had give you the least amount wrong that could be. I hold out for your highest good. I, too, had my granddaughter this week but not for a stayover and most of the visit was great except a few mood things. You’ve really been thru a lot this summer, with the tick bite, and the very advensuresome travel you did. I can understand your magnetic draw toward the cloisture! Be well, my friend.

    • Took the quiet time to read your previous blogs as well. Such lucious looking fruit and veggies; Life in Australia looks lovely, when you have your toilets, that is. Tom experienced severe pain in his back and leg and could not stand up; this happened while I was in Europe and he didn’t tell me; got daughter to help at time of incident and wouldn’t go to hospital, so now with on-going pain, it is being diagnosed. Reiki helps to a point, plus they added steroids. We are on the road by Wed. for a week; I’m headed for Charlotte NC to do facilitator training in SoulCollage(R) with a very dear friend and artist there; I am excited about this.

  5. I did FasterEFT and SoulCollage training on an E-Course with Karen Mann, in Australia and I know there is an Australian SoulCollage group. Maybe all this will work to get me to Australia one day.

    • hi Sue, thanks for your good wishes, all valuable here … it would be wonderful to meet you over here one day … hope Tom is soon on the mend … and you have not shared about your big trip yet … was it amazing? i know you will have fun with your Soul Collage training, such a creative/expressive thing to do πŸ™‚

      • I KNOW…isn’t that weird! I have shared via 2-3 to 6 pages of over 1,300 photos I took on my Facebook; I don’t think you do Facebook, but if you do, let me know and we will befriend one another; I’ve had many appreciative comments from my photo sharing and just brief comments; I will do a series on Napkinwriter…..hopefully first one goes up tomorrow. Seems very strange not to have written in that long of time, the trip marvelous in many, many ways, once-in-this lifetime almost for sure; been pressing on trying to establish some income making workshops/classes to be placed by fall/winter… but ….Napkinwriter is dusting off the table and getting back on topic. Be well, friend and I’ll watch closely for updates.

        • I meant 2-3 up to maybe 6 PHOTOS per day as I catagorized them, not pages! I only did that to my poor family at an outdoor occasion last weekend. I said, “well, there is more, but you can turn this off NOW!”

  6. Oh dear…. this must have been terribly frightening for everyone. It sounds awfully serious, especially the suddenness of it all. Please keep us posted, and take care.

    • probably more frightening for Stuart … I only felt annoyed, and a bit confused … although now there is a bit of worry about the future when tests will show us what might have caused it …

  7. Sorry to hear about that, Christine! Our thoughts are sure with you!

    At least it looks like it wasn’t a stroke! That’s great… really great!

    As we age… things certainly tend to go wrong with the majority of us! Getting older isn’t for sissies! My wife has Wilson’s Disease… a very rare heredity oriented disease that involves the inability to metabolise copper (that occurs in most foods). At one time she had neck surgery (on 8 vertebrae due to arthritis)… and due to complications with the surgery… she cannot eat. She gets hers nutrition via a gastrostomy tube (i.e., stomach tube). Ironically, i worked (before i retired) as a teacher for the (wheelchair bound) multiply handicapped… and a lot of my students had gastrostomy tubes. She, Marla, also has other issues related to her disease… like skin breakdown on her buttocks.

    It’s too early (after what happened to you) to be trying this… but later on, consider using alpha-lipoic acid as a supplement. I take a few capsules of it every day. It is one of the few really good antioxidants that actually can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. I’ve been taking it for years. It acts a lot like a vitamin… and it regenerates certain vitamins (like C and E, i believe) and renders them reusable by the body. If some of these vitamins are depleted… it actually functions in their place. Unlike most vitamins, it is oil and water soluble. As our bodies age… they synthesize less and less of alpha-lipoic acid. I think that something like this would really help you a lot. Read about it! If you get some… get it from a good-grade vitamin distributor. I get mine from Puritan’s Pride… on-line. (Most doctors aren’t very knowledgeable about vitamins and such; mine is; but most are limited in what they know.)


    We certainly hope that you feel better! πŸ˜‰


    • thanks for your very considerate reply tom, i will look into your suggestion, we do not take any medications but we do have some supplements, and a healthy home grown diet … so nutrition is my first thought when something is needed, who not let the body make what it needs out of the best ingredients … sorry to hear your wife is not well, luckily you have a big heart πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, Christine!

        I eat very healthfully too… being a strict ovo-lacto vegetarian and eating a lot of organic produce and yogurt, etc. Certain supplements are — in this polluted, overcrowded world — more than helpful. Alpha-lipoic acid is certainly one of them! Not very many vitamins/helpful supplements can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. πŸ˜‰

    • thank you M, the diagnosis journey, as you so well put it, will probably take us to Canberra to a specialist in the end … I do wonder where it will lead, but right now the symptoms actually fit TEA, which is controllable with anti-convulsants … but do I want to go there????? is there a link with childhood meningitis? so many questions!

  8. Please take good care…so many things have similar symptoms..but different causative agents…som monitor the symptoms carefully to facilitate proper diagnosis…be well.

  9. Christine, was nice to see your smiling face, sorry about the short circuit of the brain and pray that it will not reoccur, my father always told me that there would be days like that, keep your chin up and hair color changing, MJ

    • thanks MJ … brains are funny things but I am still smiling … your father was right … also our friend the head of nursing dropped by today and told us the last three days have been the busiest in his 15 years at the hospital … so it is not just me having a short circuit!

  10. Good heavens, how frightening, Christine! I was scrolling down and just about to leave comments about the bee eaters (we have them in the Algarve) and those amazing round boulders on the beach, when I saw this. How swiftly life can change!
    Hope you’re fully fit again now and no ill effects. πŸ™‚

  11. Can imagine how scary it must have been for all of you, but especially for S. Praying there will not be a recurrence….ever, and that the tests come out clean. You not only look normal in that picture, you look gorgeous πŸ™‚

  12. Was just looking at your Bingie beach photos and wondering about health facilities in the area! Yes, my own brain goes in unusual directions…but when thinking of (or hoping to eventually!) moving out of the big smoke one has to take these things into consideration I guess..

    Hope you get some answers soon Christine and that it’s easily manageable x annie

  13. Oh, Christine! I hope it was a one-time event, and that all is well now. I’m sorry I’m so far behind. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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