Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

I had myself totally prepared to have the best Christmas ever. New town, new job, new, old friends and family, trips back home, etc. Todd and I were both prepared for a phenomenal holiday season. And for the most part, I wasn't disappointed. In the three weeks before Christmas, I put up the tree and decorated the house, made cookies, and went to look at lights with the kids...Finley sang, all decked out in a Christmas dress, in a program at church and she stole the show. By December 23, the gifts were wrapped, and I spent the day baking and getting last minute things done.

Then, finally, the day arrived. Christmas Eve. Big deal at our house. That's when we celebrate with Todd's family. And, for the first time ever, we were having dinner at our house instead of Gigi's. That morning, Pop, Nonna, Papa and Gigi arrived with tons of gifts and lots of food. Just as we were about to sit down to dinner, the phone rang...

My dad was in the ER...he was disoriented and confused. He had the symptoms of a stroke. But the doctors didn't think it was a stroke.

I'll cut to the chase here. My dad had AMNESIA. Yes, that's right. AMNESIA. Transient Global Amnesia, to be exact. But we didn't find that out until 2 long, worry filled days later.

I'd never known anyone who actually had amnesia. Alzheimer's? Sure. Senility? Sure. And those things are awful. I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of those, by any means. But AMNESIA? That's the kind of thing you see on Murder She Wrote or One Life to Live! (Ok, I don't think I've seen it much on One Life to Live, but plenty on Days of Our Lives. Marlena is positively plagued with amnesia.)

Now, my dad's case wasn't as severe as Marlena's usually is. He knew who he was, and who we were, but he couldn't remember what was going on or where he was. Then, we'd tell him, and he'd forget. Almost instantly. Then he'd ask again. He did that over and over, all day long. He thought it was 2005. He couldn't remember where he worked. And he said his mom was 1,000 years old.

This was all preceded by his taking a trip to Wal-Mart to do some last minute Christmas shopping. And we all know, somewhere deep inside us, that as soon as we walk thru the doors of a crowded Wal-Mart, we could lose our grip on reality at any point. That's why I avoid Wal-Mart. I already walk a thin line between sanity and losin' it. I can't afford to push it.

By Christmas Eve night, he was back to normal. The doctors ran all kinds of test on him, but didn't find anything serious. (Thank You, Jesus)

He got back home late on December 26. Then we celebrated Christmas with my family. It was nice. And a little weird. Considering we had an amnesiac wearing a Santa hat sitting there in the recliner.

Can you belive that?

It's all true.

No one I know has ever heard of Transient Global Amnesia. Except for my friend Becky, who saw it on an episode of NCIS.

And THAT is what I did on my Christmas vacation.