Memory Loss Isn’t Something You Can See

 

#Forgetfulblogger

Just like depression, anxiety and other illnesses on the inside – You can’t see memory loss. People that I walk past in the street probably have no idea that I suffer from memory loss as well as anxiety and depression. They have no idea that it sends my anxiety through the roof as it makes me over think everything so much more and become even more paranoid which then gets me down and makes my depression worse. Which I guess can sometimes be a good thing because I don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry to know whats running through my head when I’m out in public and I don’t want to be defined by it either. I am still a human being.

On the outside and on social media I know I can come across to a lot of people as being quite outgoing and positive. But I’m clearly just a very good actress! They don’t know that inside I am thinking such self destroying thoughts as I walk past them in the streets. Thinking that they are judging me for how I look- ‘Look at the way she walks’, ‘Look how tall she is’, ‘She looks so silly’, ‘What on earth is she wearing’. I try to convince myself that this is all in my head, that im not being judged by every single person I walk past. What makes me soo special that everyone wants to look at me? Most people probably don’t even notice what im wearing or how my hair looks. I know everyone notices my height but that’s not exactly something that I can change so why don’t I just embrace it!? Much easier said than done.

If I’ve recently passed out, all of those thoughts seem so magnified. I become a lot more weary. I look in to things a lot more because I feel I need to be on the ball more with what’s going on around me. Anyone could take advantage as I’m so confused with what day it is and what I should be doing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to not judge others from how they may look or come across on the outside. You never know what they are going through and how they may be feeling on the inside. Sometimes people think I look really angry, I’ve been told that people have been worried about approaching me when they’ve seen me in the street because I looked like I was ready to bite someones head off! I’m really not that bad, honest! If you do see me in the street then please do approach me. I may be stunned at first, it may take me a minute to realise who you are, you may have to explain who you are, or I may know exactly who you are and throw you a big cheesy grin! But either way, I’d be extremely grateful if you did approach me 😊

Some people are better than others at hiding what’s going on inside their head. But that doesn’t mean that whatever they are going through is any less important or worrying as others that are able to talk about their feelings or worries.
#Forgetfulblogger 

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A Memory I’d Rather Forget

So, as i’ve explained in previous blogs- When I lost 2 years of my memory I couldn’t remember a thing from those previous couple of years until a few months ago. I’d randomly have flashbacks of little things and I wasn’t sure if they were dreams or lost memories that were coming back. I’d have to check with my partner as to whether these things had actually happened or not. For some reason, the few memories that have decided to make a come back have been coming back to me when I’ve been in bed drifting off to sleep. I’m sure im not the only one whos mind runs crazy then there trying to sleep!

A couple of nights ago I was laid in bed and a memory came rushing back to me that I’d rather stayed lost!  I became agitated and wound up all over again, I woke my partner up and started to recite the memory…

It was just under a year ago I think, my partner and I decided to eat out at Nandos. It was a lovely chilled evening, I was wearing sweatpants and no makeup (I rarely leave the house without at least some foundation and mascara on!), we were sat at a table for two and had not long finished our meal. Out the corner of my eye I saw a figure walking towards me. My heart sunk, my blood pressure rose, and my adrenanline started to pump!

It was my father.

We don’t talk.

I’d rather not go right in to reasons why, but he’s never been a father figure to me. He always let me down when he was supposed to come pick me up for the weekend- He would either turn up 3hours late or not at all. Over the years I’ve built my own views on him and let’s just say… It’s not sunshine and happiness.

I hadn’t spoken to him for a couple of years, I’d avoid him if I saw him in public, his youngest son who still lives with him had sent a few hateful messages to me over social media which I can’t be mad at him for… He’s been blinded by what his dad has told him and he only knows one side of the story.

So anyway, back to the memory of when he approached me in Nandos- He walked up to me, he was wearing a dark puffer jacket, dark cap and jeans. I looked up and was greeted with a ‘Ite, ya forgets am ya dad?’. I replied ‘Well, yeah actually!’. His attitude and the way he approached me was not a way any normal human with morals and their priorities in the right place would walk up to their daughter. Luckily, the resteraunt wasn’t too busy but I could feel the eyes of other customers burning as they watched in shock. 

I attempted to let him know how I felt about him not being there for me, letting me down, making me feel like it was my fault, but he answered with ‘You’re not a baby anymore, I don’t have to cradle you’…

SORRY WHAT!? 

1) You never knew me as a baby either, 2) I’m still your daughter so you should still show a tiny bit of care towards me no matter my age 3) You’ve just proved my point of how selfish your really are.

The next thing he said was ‘Your little brother is going to be here in a minute, you going to ignore him aswell?’. Well, for starters I haven’t ignored you (I was too wound up to not answer back to this kind of stupity that was coming from a grown mans mouth).

My legs started to shake, my hands got sweaty and I started to grit my teeth as I held back so much anger, verbally and physically. He walked off as if the stand up was over, I gave my phone to my partner and asked her to call my mum (One of the only people who knows how I really feel about him after how he’s treated me, she was the one whos shoulder I cried on when he didn’t come pick me up after I’d been waiting for hours and I knew she was the only person at the time that would be able to talk and calm me down). As my mum answered the phone he started to walk back. The next part of the conversation is a blur and im not sure whether that’s down to the circumstances and I just saw red and my mind has decided to keep it blanked out or whether the memory is still a bit broken after my memoryloss. But what I do know is my attitude became just as stinky as his and he soon walked off and left me to it. I took the phone from my partner and spoke to my mum. She said to me ‘Just get up and leave, don’t even acknowledge him as you walk out’ my reply was ‘No, why should I, I was sat here first enjoying my evening, why should I have to leave because of him?’ I can be a very stubborn person as it is but when I’m would up, it’s a whole other story!

So I stayed, only for about 10mins but enough to make me feel like I’d made a point! I was not about to back down! In the past I’d stayed quiet when it came to expressing my feelings about him but now I’m a grown woman, I’m not scared of him and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion of him! As i got up and walked out I was still on the phone to my mum, she kept talking in my ear to keep me calm. I left Nandos and explained to mum right from the start what had happened. When my partner and I got back to the car I sat, had a good puff on my ecig, then it ran out! ‘It’s really not my day!’ I said to my partner. As we were driving home she attempted to cheer me up by helping me to see the funny side of it. We laughed about things that I should’ve said to him. Don’t you find that you come up with the best come backs after an argument or debate and then you’re kicking yourself wishing you’d have thought of that before! I still had a lot of adrenaline running through me but I was starting to calm down a hell of a lot.

Obviously im happy that another piece of my lost memory has returned but this is definitely something I’d rather stayed away. I had to re-live that whole experience and it was not fun. Hopefully if any more lost memories return, they will be happier than this one!
Thank you for reading.

Thank you mum for having to play the roles of both my mother and father a lot of the time as I was growing up and being my shoulder to cry on when I felt worthless and let down in those situations when all I wanted to know was why.

And thank you to my grandad for being the male figure in my life.

#forgetfulblogger 

Into The Deep – #ForgetfulBlogger 

Ok, so I was overwhelmed with the support I received after posting my first ever blog and got so excited about my next entry – But I had no idea where to take it from there! I turned to friends and family and asked- What is it you would like to know about my experiences with blackouts and memory loss, so that I could go into a little more depth with it all. So here goes…

#ForgetfulBlogger

-Do you ever remember things that you have forgotten and are there ways you can get any of those memories back or do they come back randomly?

During the “big blackout” that I had where I’ve lost 2 years of my memory I have remembered a few random things. Usually something jogs my memory like in 2015 our bungalow got flooded from a burst pipe, we had to live in rented accommodation while our house got sorted. I had forgotten all of this but I used to go past the house that we temporarily rented almost every day and one day something just jogged my memory! I remembered that we had lived there for 2 months! Sometimes I could just be laid in bed thinking and I have to ask ‘was that a dream or is it a lost memory from the past 2 years?’ lol. If you can imagine waking up from a deep dream but when you try to explain it to someone it all seems quite blurry- THAT is how bits of my memory come back. When I have these smaller episodes of blacking out – I tend to loose the last 2 or 3 days and most of that slowly comes back over about a week.

-Do the Drs know if its heredity and has anything like this ever happened to any other family members?

No, they cant see any signs to say that its heredity and nothing like this has happened to any family members, that I’m aware of.

-Do you know you’re about to pass out or is it sudden?

I can never remember what or how i feel seconds before i black out, but during the lead up to me passing out- I will get a severe headache, a lot worse than it usually is. This usually gives me and others around me an indication as to what’s about to happen. Ive been told that I also become very quiet and quite withdrawn from whatever is going on and round me. My partner has told me that my veins In my hands stand out and become raised which I am assuming is to do with my blood pressure rising from whatever is happening inside my body at the time.

-Can you remember your initial thoughts when you first come round after passing out? What goes through your mind when it happens now?

When all of this started it was very confusing and quite scary when I first came around. Id usually be surrounded by my mother and partner and sometimes an ambulance crew. I remember the first couple of times thinking ‘I wonder if I’ve lost another 2 years or if my memory has all come back’, neither of which was right. I used to worry and get a little scared, I didn’t know  what was going on and how I ended up on the floor. Now it seems to be a regular occurrence – I wake up knowing what’s likely to have just happened and just think ‘Oh not again’, my partner asks how my head is, whether I’m in pain and what day I think it is. I still have some slight confusion when I come around and I feel quite vulnerable at first but I recover a lot quicker now.

– What was it like when you first blacked out and came around feeling like you’d travelled to the future, how was it adjusting to every day things?

Well I thought it was all a huge joke that everyone was in on! I was determined that it was still 2014, I’d get upset and angry because I thought that everyone else was wrong! The Dr’s were constantly asking questions to find out how much of my memory had gone and I’d get would up and annoyed with them. I did get a little bit cheeky – Id memorise signs around me so that when the Dr’s or my family would ask ‘Do you know where you are now Daniella?’ I’d remember all the signs id seen. They caught me out most of the time though! When I was allowed to leave hospital and I walked into my house a lot had changed in the past 2 years. I became quite upset and agitated with all of the changes I could see around me. I had to ask where so many things were including my own belongings in my own home. But, on the plus side – I had a whole new wardrobe, a lot more money, and a much better partner!

-What sort of tests have you had done so far?

So, when I started getting these horrendous headaches I went to the opticians to see if it had anything to do with my eyesight as I do wear glasses. They noticed that my peripheral vision in my left eye was absent. I had numerous field tests at the opticians and it was handed over to my local eye hospital but apart from slightly bad vision in my left eye, there was nothing serious to be seen and nothing to link it to my headaches. Things with my head kept getting worse, I tried almost every painkiller that could be bought over the counter and they just weren’t touching the pain. I ended up going to my Dr Who organised tests for sinusitis and when that showed nothing and they referred me to a neurologist. Through them I have had a lot of MRI scans, neuoropthalmology tests, an EGG test where they wired up my head and checked for any abnormal activity, and when I was in hospital I had a lumbar puncture done to check for any infections. None of which explain whatever condition it is that I have.

– Do you ever talk to your friends and family about the effects this has on them, it must cause a tremendous strain on your personal relationships?

I don’t think I’ve asked them outright as I believe I know how it must effect them. Obviously my mum, sister and partner are extremely  supportive and I understand the strain it must have and still puts on them. Luckily I knew them all before 2014 lol. My close friends are also very supportive and patient and have a slight understanding of what goes on and maybe after reading my blog, you too will have an insight as to what goes on. My work colleagues I think it was most strange for. They had a rough idea as to what had happened but I don’t think it really hit them until I first walked back into the office again. They obviously remembered me but had to treat me like a stranger in a way. They have also been very supportive and helped me while I re-trained for my job again which I’m extremely thankful for.

 -Does it effect your everyday life like going out?

It doesn’t stop me from going out altogether, no. I don’t worry too much about passing out while I’m out in public and that hasn’t happened yet. But if I’ve already passed out I tend to be a bit vulnerable for a day as im still getting used to the fact that my memory has gone back a day or two. I tend not to go out by myself very often anyway so I’ve always got my partner, mother or a close friend with me for reassurance. When I first lost my memory I did worry that I’d see someone that I’d  met between 2014 and 2015 that I couldn’t remember. Or, I’d worry that I might attempt to speak to someone that I’d stopped speaking to between 2014 and 2015 for whatever reason but I think I’ve caught up with everyone now!

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in helping me to write my second blog – Into The Deep.

 

 

First blog – The Forgetful Intro 

My name is Daniella. I am 25 years of age (apparently lol).

I suffer with what some may call “blackouts”. It starts off with a headache that becomes severely unbearable and I lose consciousness. When I come back round I tend to lose memory of the past 2 days or so. Dr’s and specialists have no idea what this is or what the reason for it may be.

This all started last year when I was at work one evening with an awful headache. I took myself out of the office, sat in the kitchen and took some painkillers. I then collapsed and was found by my colleagues who then called for an ambulance. I wasn’t taken to hospital and the medics put it down to a migraine. 

A few days after this random episode I went out for a meal with family and when I got home I passed out again. Only this time, when I came around, I had lost the past 2 years of my memory, I thought it was 2014 and was understandably very confused. I was in and out of the Dr’s and hospital for some time and ended up being kept in on a ward for a couple of nights. 

I thought it was one huge joke or TV show and everyone was in on it just messing around. I kept waiting to see a camera pop round the corner. I was convinced it was still 2014. I’d forgotten all about my new job, I forgot passwords for my online banking and social media, I had a new partner (luckily I knew her from years ago and she wasn’t a complete stranger!). I was, in a way, quite fortunate that apart from my new job there were no huge changes in my life from 2014-2016.

Numerous tests were done, hundreds of questions were asked but no answers were given and I was discharged. My notes are still getting passed from Dr to Dr. I’m still being poked and prodded by specialists. And I still have no answers. 

I have been retrained at my job thanks to the company and my employees for being so supportive. I have got used to a whole new wardrobe and style. I’ve slowly rebuilt relationships with people I had met during 2014 and 2016. And I’ve just simply adapted to “a new life”.

With my blogs I hope to help people in similar situations. Learn and share coping mechanisms. And maybe start some sort of awareness. Because although I have so many supportive people around me, I feel so lonely due to  the fact that no one can see it from my point of view. 

So please bare with me as I’ve never done a blog before but I hope you enjoy reading my journey 🙂 

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