Amnesia (or, what happened to Ben)

I mentioned a few times that I’m planning on writing the story of my husband’s amnesia. I’m still trying to keep it SHORT and interesting. But here’s a teaser…

My husband starting having seizures in his sleep two weeks before our wedding. Over the years, he continued having occasional seizures in his sleep.

Four years ago, when I was seven months pregnant with our third child, Ben suffered a series of seizures (9 grand mal seizures, to be exact), what is called status epilepticus.

I am eager to share with you about the many ways that God was evident in my life during this time. I have never before called anyone (other than an ambulance) when Ben had a seizure before. But that night, after Ben’s first seizure, I called a dear friend whose husband I knew was away on business. We had no idea that this was more than a single seizure. But at 2 in the morning, my friend called my neighbors, our pastor, and the members of our Care Group.

I was surrounded by friends when the ER doctor told me that Ben’s heart had stopped for 4 1/2 minutes, and that they were going to keep him unconscious on a respirator for a few days to try to heal his aspirated lung.

When Ben woke up, he was groggy and confused (but alive!!).  His confusion was obvious right away, particularly because he couldn’t remember how many children we had until I showed him their photos.  And he refused to believe that I was pregnant (although I was 7 months pregnant and big as a house!).  Each time I told him I was pregnant, he responded differently.  One time he teared up and said, “Congratulations!”  Another time he adamantly insisted that I wasn’t pregnant.  “What’s THIS?” I asked, pointing to my belly.  “Fat!” he replied!  Over time, we realized that he had lost about 4 years of his working memory.  What a surprise when he came home and discovered that our 5 year old daughter was reading!

Praise God that Ben’s brain has been healing over the past 4 years.  He continues to struggle with short-term memory.  But his sense of humor and wonderful trust in God help us daily to face life with joy and with faith.

I will post more on this another day.  Just wanted to give you a brief history so you can understand when I mention what it’s like to live with an amnesiac!

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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