Transient Global Amnesia – no lasting effects?

A few months ago I was diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) – it is a weird stroke-like condition that results in your brain not being able to form memories for a period of time (about 13 hours for me).

This occurs in 0.004% of the population, and is supposed to rarely occur.

On the morning in question, I recall taking my daughter to school, waving goodbye as she crossed the road at about 8:30am. Then about 1:30AM the next morning I remember my wife saying that she was tired, and that I seemed better and she was going home to sleep (taking our then 5-6 month old son with her).

Apparently my brain was on a loop of a few minutes, constantly asking where I was, what time it was, and exclaiming how time flies, over and over for the whole time. I dont recall much of what happened, I think, because as my brain was not recording anything I was unable to know what I didnt know, that is, that something was wrong. I had been to the gym, I have a foggy snippet in my brain that this happened, and that I had a shower (also, my gym app on my phone had entries in it). Apparently, my workmate said, when I came out of the shower I was crying and confused, and I called my wife. Various other things happened, I am told, but I have no memory of them at all. Vaguely, I recall my wife taking me to some carpark (McDonalds I think) to meet my parents to drop them the oldest two kids – but I am not sure if I remember it, or because I was told it happened.

At some point after midnight that night, my brain started piecing together information, or rather, recording again. I could begin to remember what people told me 5 mins ago, then still remember it 10 mins later, then 30, then an hour…

Right about now is where you start realising that you can not remember anything, then you start wondering what, why, how, have I had a stroke? What’s going on? Fortunately my wife was still with me, as had I been alone I think it would have been scary. As it was, once she left, I spend many hours lying there wondering what had broken in my head. I am not that smart a person, but I am fairly confident in my abilities to work stuff out, to figure out things with my mind. I have a degree, and work in IT, and spent a lot of time reading, and researching, debating and discussing. The thought that my mind might not be able to do this any more was.. well.. I think you understand.

I borrowed this from another blog, from a guy recounting his experience:

The hardest thing for me to wrap my brain around since my episode of TGA is the concept of consciousness. During the time I could not form new memories, I saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing, though I walked, talked, heard and saw what was going on around me in everyone else’s eyes. So was I truly conscious?

Read more: Danger! Exploding Melon! Or A Day With Transient Global Amnesia « { go2jo.com } http://www.go2jo.com/medical/danger-exploding-melon-or-a-day-with-transient-global-amnesia/#ixzz3FKlZK09v
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And from another:

As I discovered, your mental existence is predicated strictly on the existence of your memories. Without access to your entire life, you virtually cease to exist. Your personality becomes somewhat “flattened’, but its essential qualities seem to be unaffected. Your native intelligence remains intact, but without access to all the information stored in the rest of your brain, you have nothing to discuss. You are completely without knowledge and you are incomplete without it. World War II no longer exists, yesterday no longer exists and you don’t know they don’t exist. (http://gerryporter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/transient-global-amnesia.html)

Both of these are worth a read, especially the last one, he explains what happened far better than I can.

At some time in the morning, after a few hours stewing, and a CAT scan, the doctor and his team came in and said, “You’ve had TGA, you can pop off to work now..” (The abridged version). I went, really? What the…? I didnt really feel up to work so I had a day or two to make sure I could still function.

Several months later, after having been told there would be no lasting effects, I am writing this to make a record in case someone else is struggling with the same thing. There ARE effects that last. First and foremost is in the back of your mind that your brain doesnt work properly anymore, and perhaps you will forget another day, or an hour, or a minute, or not to step out on the road in front of a bus, or which side of the road you are supposed to drive on.

Secondly, I have trouble remembering stuff. Prior to this I was able to remember a number of 7 digit numbers, names, places, things I read, appointments, and tasks. No longer… Any more than one thing, and I have to write it down.

Thirdly, I have headaches a lot. Not just little ones, but big ones in the back of my head that make me feel nauseous. Never had these before. I have them when I wake up, off and on all day.

Fourthly, I’m grumpy. I’ve always been grumpy, but now I am really grumpy and incapable of doing anything about it. I used to get short tempered when I had type 2 diabetes, and had a hyper episode, but there were other effects with that, but with this, there is just irrational grumpiness.

Fifth, I used to lose myself in a conversation, because I have a lot of ideas and would move from one thing to another in my mind faster than I can articulate it. Now, however, more often than not, I get lost because my mind goes blank.

Sixth, the only time I feel really comfortable now is when I am “doing something” – running, cycling, riding my motorbike, working out at the gym, making stuff in the garage. I feel very much like I cant converse with anyone, or read/study, or do my job properly.

Finally, I cant sleep. I am tired, and it feels like my brain is cloudy all the time, you know, like when you have pulled an all nighter. I also used to have Sleep Apnoea, so I know what its like to be severely sleep deprived. This is similar but not the same. When I say I cant sleep, I can make about 5-6 hours, which is 2-3 hours short of what sleep testing suggests that I need to get properly rested (having sleep apnoea means you get sleep tested, BONUS!).

Anyway, that’s the story, and if you have had TGA, or want to know anything about what I have said, feel free to contact me either by posting or using the form

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believe without a reason

I was listening to the Michael W Smith song “Missing Person today, and I was struck by the line:

And like a child he would believe without a reason

I find this more than just a little bit annoying. Firstly, its a misuse of what Jesus says in Matthew about “becoming like a child”.

This means to unlearn everything the world has taught you to value, and to relearn how to live in the kingdom of God.

Secondly, How can you “believe without a reason”? There is no possible way you can believe something without a reason. At the very least, you believe something because someone you trusted told you something. 

Its an old and very stupid thing that Christians, particularly evangelicals, hold on to. I can remember many Pastors preaching this. “Just believe like a chid” – WELL WRONG. Children believe like children, but then they grow up.

Christians do not, and should not “believe without a reason” – just like when you are at school, or anywhere else for that matter, if someone tells you something, or teaches you something, you dont “just believe it” – you take it with a grain of salt, and you go away and find out, or get a second opinion, consult an expert.

 

No, friends, there is no such thing as “believe without a reason” – and it marrs what would is otherwise a cool song (and Christianity!)

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Creation Ministries and Oscar Pistorius

Many of you wont know about Oscar Pistorius, you can read up on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Pistorius

Its been a quite interesting case with many experts giving evidence. What’s also quite interesting is an article on creation.com where they detail the various kinds of evidence and some of the issues with it. The crux of their argument being that even experts disagree on evidence, which they are able to reproduce, and measure scientifically.

 

The problem is that whilst the CMI might consider themselves experts, they are not. They are “people who have an interest in firing guns” and not “ballistic experts”. When they DO employ “ballistic experts” they only employ ones who agree with their perspective on how they should interpret the evidence.

 

This is completely contrary to to facts, and good “Science”. Most of us study the texts to determine what they are for, what was intended to be said, its socio-historical context, its theological context, its historical theological context, etc. The “Science” involved in interpreting scripture is called Hermeneutics. This is what you do BEFORE you start making any scientific conclusions about creation. In fact, once you do this, you realise that any scientific conclusions you make about creation have very little bearing on what Genesis says at all.

 

They say this:

Further, with the lure of prestige, fame and fortune accompanying evolutionary ‘discoveries’ in academia today, and with most universities firmly ensconced within the reigning materialist paradigm, one would have to be naïve not to believe that much of the evolutionary interpretation is also influenced by the rewards that come with telling the ‘right’ stories.

Apparently evolutionary studies are not based on science, but because scientists are being bribed to manipulate the evidence. Its beside the point because the bible does not have anything to do with the study of evolution, other than the God who ordered the universe also made it possible for science to be done. Either that or all science is a lie.

I liked this article which popped up today on the subject: http://agreatercourage.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/more-pannenberg-on-genesis-1-2.html

Then:

… when it comes to the past, an objective, reliable eyewitness account of events carries the most weight. When it comes to origins, the claimed evolution from the Big Bang onward had no eyewitnesses and has never been observed in the field or repeated in a laboratory

Of course we know this to be true. However, scientists can measure and observe, then draw a line backwards and get some idea of what happened. However, this same criticism is true of Genesis, because the author of Genesis was not present at creation either. Worse, the author did not ever intend the text to be understood as an explanation of WHAT (the scientific detail) but rather, the WHY (the theological implications of a God who orders the universe), and HOW (this God is the one God who is above all other gods, and understandings).

They go on to say:

By contrast, creation had the ultimate, most reliable and truthful eyewitness possible, the eternal Creator God Himself. And He has given us an account of that supernatural, six-day, once-off event—primarily in the book of Genesis, but confirmed by many other passages of the inspired Word of God. Noah and his family were eyewitnesses of the Flood judgment about 1650 years after creation, and God (and possibly Noah himself) ensured that the account was also recorded for us in the Bible. As in a court of law, let us take the objective, unbiased account of the ultimate eyewitness at His plain meaning when evaluating the evidence for where this wonderful universe, including mice and men, has come from. When we do so, we will find that all of the ‘forensic’ evidence available to humanity as made in God’s image makes perfect sense when interpreted in the light of that record.

God did not WRITE the Bible, he INSPIRED it. There is a huge difference, and the author of the passage in question was not recounting, as I said, the details of what happened, he was not there, he did not know. He was INSPIRED to write about why things are the way they are. He also was not present at the flood, and did not know NOAH.

These people have stolen what it really means to believe in creation, and the name “creationist” and perverted it into some perverted shadow of the truth.

Its time to claim it back.

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