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Request[AMA Request] NASA Cassini Team

Sep 15th 2017 by Aj834 • 25 Questions • 496 Points

As the title states. English is my first language and I consider myself to be generally not-stupid. TGA is a medical condition where you forget where and who you are for 24 hours or less. It was scarier than I could ever describe. At this point, the severity has greatly decreased and I am mostly back to normal. I am trying to use this time to document everything I can about this mindset. Please AMA, as I would love to have this record to look back on when I am lucid.

to add some more info: A few days ago I started having some weird feelings. I texted a friend at like 2am saying "do you ever feel like you've had all the cards taken from you? like somehow you've been given a chance to "redo" something in your life but you don't know what it is? I'm starting in this moment fresh somehow. I don't really feel like I've lived this life up to this point. I'm starting fresh from this moment and I have no idea what it all means." Turns out that was one of the first symptoms of TGA which is the craziest shit I have ever heard in my entire life and i thought it was only a movie plot.

Last night I went to a party with my boyfriend of about a year. It was a normal day. We usually eat vegetarian but it was a special occasion so we split a very yummy hamburger. I took a few hits of a pre-rolled club joint that was from a friend-of-a-friend. Nothing abnormal, smoking pot helps with my anxiety, I tried it about 9 months ago and I have liked it a lot. Anyways, I randomly threw up on myself in the car on the way to run an errand. I only partially made it out the window. After that, I asked my boyfriend "Why are my pants wet?" and he said "you threw up on them." and I said "throw up? what's that?" and he said "vomit." and I said "I don't know what that is." and then we had that conversation hundreds of more times. over and over. He became very scared and we went to the ER.

EDIT: Did you know TGA only has a 6% chance of coming back? It can be triggered by really good sex, cold water, stress, and more. For me, It was emotional stress. I've had a stressful few months and I didn't know it was important to self care and monitor. I tried to do things right, but I did a lot of things wrong. I'm 23.

Transient Global Amnesia = World Temporarily Forgotten

Thank you.

tl;dr I have Transient Global Amnesia, much like Dory from Finding Nemo, or Ava from Grey's Anatomy. I think it's almost over but I'm still having confusion.

Q:

I was mugged once upon a time and my brain reacted with TGA. I don't remember anything about the next 4-5 hours. I just remember the doctor telling me it was the most profound case he had ever seen. I was resetting every 10-15 seconds. I freaked out my roommate when I showed up at the apartment and didn't know how I got there or what month it was, and asked him the same questions over and over.

I haven't had any reoccurences, and I hope you don't, either! Do you remember the previous weeks leading up to the TGA? What's the first thing you DO remember after it started?

A:

Woah. That's definitely a stress... a 10-15 second reset sounds like hell. I'm so sorry :( I do remember the previous weeks. I guess the first thing I remember was staring at the x10000rpm on the dashboard. I was thinking "what car am I in... who is that note to..." and I remember being cognizant that it was abnormal for my boyfriend to be clutching my arm and elbow while I walked, and I noticed that he seemed to be really scared but I didn't know why. After that, I remember walking into the ER and everything being super bright and there were two security guards looking at my boyfriend smiling. After that, there was an Indian doctor who looked at my boyfriend and said "freaky, right???"


Q:

Is it scary to suddenly not remember what happened? How disorienting would you say that is?

A:

Extremely horrifying. It was like hell. It was like being abducted by aliens and total sensory overwhelm. Everything was too bright and i could see everyone looking at me. I felt like they all knew somehting important that I didn't, and i knew whatever was happening really wasn't good. Thank you for your question


Q:

No problem, thanks for the respond.

A:

any time!! AMA for science! I'm aware that this all sounds like BS, but i'm cognitive that this will be beneficial in the future and really beneficial to look back on. this is all on the hope that this disorder is temporary :(


Q:

Hey, I wish you the very best of luck.

That is a crazy situation and I hope you are taking care of all of the potential long term medical issues.

So, when this happened when did you get scared? At the hospital or when you saw your boyfriend was concerned?

A:

There should be no potential long term medical issues. TGA is really only supposed to last a day or two and my MRI was totally clean. My boyfriend was a champ at keeping me calm. He knows that I really like physical touch, so he held me against his chest and kissed my forehead over and over saying that he was going to take care of him. We were in the hospital for our anniversary 😕


Q:

is reading music harder after the TGA episode than before?

A:

i play by ear, mostly. I can read music, but it takes me forever. I probably have like 20 songs in my brain, and then i like to mess around with chords and stuff.


Q:

are any chords more/less difficult before than now? how about skills like drawing? have you found any strange skills you did not know you had as a result of the TGA?

A:

I haven't played the piano since I got home. Yesterday I pretty much sat in the same spot all day except for one bathroom break. I was such an emotional wreck that all I could do was listen to iTunes and cry a little, feel better, cry more. I probably cried like 50 times yesterday. Disorientation was a bitch.


Q:

Do you recognize people when you are having symptoms? Do you know their names? Your name?

A:

I know names now. I think I could answer most questions appropriately right now, But i'm going to go back and look at this AMA later and then decide. I've been in a cold-sweat for pretty much constantly. my boyfriend kept saying "i love you. i love you" and he said i responded "i don't understand, I'm confused" and he said that made him very sad. then when we were in the hospital, he asked me questions aobut Grey's Anatomy and i answered them, and then he was all smiles and knew I would be ok. We talked about George and Izzie and Addison Montgomery.

oh and PS I had a job interview this morning. I cried before and after and I have no idea if she thought i was retarded, or what, but i got the job :'D


Q:

Wow! That's awesome that you got the job amid all that's going on. Kudos.

What kind of work do you do, and what did you study in college? Do you have any gaps in your memory when you look back on your school days and professional life?

A:

Thank you. I'm going to be a barista, so i can afford to go back to college. I was a paralegal at an immigration law firm for almost 3 years. college- BYU Idaho. my school days? like high school? or at college? My professional life: I guess i better hope this is never revealed in my professional life!! I don't want people to know. I'm not even telling my family. my parents would become upset and i would have to emotionally take care of them and I'm fragile right now.... I'm just trying to recover and be good to go by my next obligation, which is seeing a travelling theater company with my mom because my dad dropped a saw on his foot.


Q:

How deep did the amnesia go? I take it you forgot your name, where you were, the date, etc. But did you forget other more habitual things? Like, say, why and how to brush your teeth? Or he to maintain balance while standing? Now that things are coming back and you're able to process all of this, what is craziest thing you forgot?

A:

What is the craziest thing I forgot? I don't know. I need to review my notes. I'm having to google a lot of shit that I KNOW I knew right now. I knew that bad things would happen if my boyfriend would leave. I knew he was lying to me, but i also knew he was the best way to stay safe and he would take care of me. It's like there's a flame in my head that is trying very hard to stay lit. sometimes I have thoughts that I can put into words, so I've been typing them in a note in my phone so i can review later. I've been trying to match my thoughts to the questions in order to do this AMA. I'm afraid this is a super lame AMA because I don't think I'm answering the questions that people are actually asking me? haha. I don't know. It's keeping my brain busy until my boyfriend gets home from work, so that's nice.


Q:

I dont know i feel like id be more inclined to believe an adult woman was fearful of potential punishment (from spouse or others) due to being pregnant than her not knowing what it is.

A:

Yeah, I see where you're coming from. I just didn't feel like we looked religious or anything. I have three piercings on one of my ears and an unnatural hair color. My boyfriend has a beard and a man-bun and winged-tip dress shoes. I'm sure they just have to look at all the options. Anyone who talked to me asked me first if it was alright to talk in front of him.


Q:

I dont know i feel like id be more inclined to believe an adult woman was fearful of potential punishment (from spouse or others) due to being pregnant than her not knowing what it is.

A:

This cracked me up, btw.


Q:

Yes, thank you. Does this condition make you question whether you can trust the people in your life? Meaning, a person close to you could take advantage of you and you might not remember tomorrow.

A:

Oh absolutely. I mean in the reality I was in, my boyfriend was selling my body to aliens. That isn't something that your brain can just immediately shake off. I haven't told anyone in my family. Just a few trusted friends, my boyfriend, and his family. (We needed them to take care of the dogs, etc. and we are living with them right now, so they needed to know.)


Q:

You'll be okay within 24 hours, my dad had it, repetitive questions, patchy memory loss , still no obvious cause known but some say it's due to a lacunar infarct (small clot), but he was 55 . How's your lifestyle?

A:

My lifestyle is pretty comparatively mild, I say. I quit drinking, I used to work 60 hour weeks at the law firm, I like active things, but I haven't done too much lately since I broke my ankle a while back. That's nice to hear about your dad.


Q:

I was once diagnosed with TGA but it turned out to be repetitive seizures caused by a brain injury. Have you ever had seizures or other brain conditions?

A:

Migraine induced seizures from being born too premature. There was no seizure activity on my MRI.


Q:

Is this the experience I've felt after a seizure? Often after a really severe seizure, I forget who I am, where I am, what day it is, why I'm there.. the list goes on but I gradually recover, while it often takes approximately 24 hours to fully recover and be fully lucid.

A:

Are you epileptic? This sounds more like a post-tictal state than TGA.


Q:

Yeah I've got Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, and you're right about me being in a postictal state instead, which is actually pretty reassuring. It's a similar state but for most it lasts up to 30 minutes, although I've experienced the amnesia up until I'm asleep for the day.

A:

You should see a doctor. TGA rarely ever happens more than once, and it only rarely shows up on an MRI. It is also my understanding that individuals with epilepsy rarely have it. Even though I usually say I'm "epileptic" thats more just for ease of explanation. Technically I have migraine induced seizures.


Q:

You said it is getting better. Is it because of a treatment? Is there some kind of treatment? What helps you the most to regain your memory?

A:

There's no treatment. It's supposed to be temporary and go away on it's own.


Q:

Wait- can this be triggered by smoking weed and a extremely bad panic attack? I remember when I first smoked weed I had a horrible trip and I felt like I was living in constant 15-30 second intervals for about 2 hours. It was absolutely horrifying

A:

I experienced the same thing the first time I smoked. I didn't smoke again for a few years. With that experience, all the scary stuff was in my head, I wasn't hallucinating or anything, it was just like a horrible dream where everything was scary and confusing. This experience was like an interactive nightmare from hell. I said before that I can't even find the words to describe how scary it was. I was sure that these were all aliens in human bodies and things were going to be really bad if I allowed my boyfriend to leave me with them. It really was an insane experience.


Q:

So with this TGA; have you ever actually picked up a skill you didn't have while lucid during this time; such as a foreign language or physical ability like whistling?

A:

I don't think so. But that would have been rad


Q:

As you are coming out of this experience, are your memories during this time returning, or is it still just a blur?

A:

At this point I would say I am back to normal. Nothing much has changed, except I would say my emotions are heightened and I'm very snippy. That not seem like much, but normally I would say I'm polite to everyone. I'm thinking I should get into kickboxing or something because this episode has left me wanting to hit stuff.


Q:

Funny thing is, there are actual cases of pot being the cause of TGA, so it's very possible that's what happened here, especially given the car story.

A:

what car story? can you explain more?


Q:

Last night I went to a party with my boyfriend of about a year. It was a normal day. We usually eat vegetarian but it was a special occasion so we split a very yummy hamburger. I took a few hits of a pre-rolled club joint that was from a friend-of-a-friend. Nothing abnormal, smoking pot helps with my anxiety, I tried it about 9 months ago and I have liked it a lot. Anyways, I randomly threw up on myself in the car on the way to run an errand.

Your car story. Unless I'm reading it wrong, you smoked not long before the symptoms occurred, right?

I'm just saying, based on what you've told us, it sounds possible that the marijuana is the cause of your TGA because some reports have linked the two.

A:

wouldn't that have manifested one of the other thousands of times that I've smoked? Or affected anyone else that was there? It was like a small family birthday party at a park


Q:

You just said that it can be triggered by cold water or sex. So you're never fuckin or getting near water again either? I'm about to call bullshit on this one

A:

Extremely cold water or extremely hot water, if I remember correctly. No, I don't plan to go ice-dipping or lava-diving any time soon. Physical stress is another trigger. So sex, working out, house building.... can't avoid any of those. We've had sex a few times and everything was fine. I don't think pot caused this, but I'm not to a point where I want to find out firsthand. Honestly I'm pretty sure it had a lot more to do with the emotional state I was in with a lot of understandable stressors. But what do I or my doctors know? You're right. This is all bullshit. thank you for your question though! I posted this expecting this type of feedback, and honestly I feel the most like myself when I'm thinking "this person is a total idiot."


Q:

You just said that it can be triggered by cold water or sex. So you're never fuckin or getting near water again either? I'm about to call bullshit on this one

A:

Even though I don't understand this question, I get the sense that you're probably making a joke or being an ass, haha. Maybe you wrote it to be confusing on purpose? Regardless, feel free to ask me more shit. the more the better.


Q:

It's not supposed to rude lol. He's saying he has experienced similar situations and then asking whether you like eggs. Also did you forgot you replied or did you just reply twice?

A:

You and me, CloudThief, you and me. (FYI in case this is used in some medical journal or something, in being sarcastic here. I understood his question, I just thought it was rude.)