Total amnesia about and for a few weeks after car accident. Anyone else have this?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was told it's normal, but I can not remember even driving to where I was going when the car went off the road...or why. Husband told me Idid talk to him on the phone and say, "I'm so sorry about the truck." I have no memory. He answered that he didn't care about the truck, just me and asaked how I was but someone got on the phone to tell him I was being rushed to surgery. I spent two weeks in trauma's ICU, then two weks in a regular room. I barely remember any of it. I was on strong drugs. Maybe that was it. I do not have brain damage...I was tested for that, along with everything else.

    Did anyone else experience a trauma and not remember it? In a way, I don't want to know or remember. At first, I never wanted to remember. But I'm recovering now and I am puzzled that there is no memory at all. I guess I was lucid and talking, although not being very logical. In ICU I asked Jumper to take my picture. And she said, "Are you serious?" I said yes so she did (I have not had the guts to look at the picture yet). I don't remember. I also told my husband I thought he had a And I told Jumper she had confessed she smoked pot, which she doesn't. But then I am medication sensitive and was taking morphine.

    It's strange to hear about what I d id without any memory. The truck was totaled, the roof bashed in yet I remember nothing of rolling in the ditch...weird what t he mind does to protect us.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You likely suffered a concussion as part of that accident. While it may not result in permanent brain damage, it often affects memory, especially around the time of the incident. You may find your short-term memory is a bit unreliable for a while.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did. So Concussion causes that? Thanks by the way :)
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are not alone. Illness can cause this also. A few yrs back I had a long migraine and got a flu type bug at the same time. I was unable to keep my medications down so I was literally cold turkey on my pain medications AND a seizure type medication that is used for nerve pain. My husband called an ambulance cause I would not say anything and just moaned even when not asked a question.

    At the hospital they did a tox screen and the phenergan and benadryl that I was taking, combined iwth the seizure medication showed up as meth. Rather than call my pain doctor, who would have explained that the medication combo gives a false positive for meth, the doctor decided that I was a meth addict and was abusing my other pain medications. So in addition to losing 2 days of my life, I woke up in restraints with everyone at the hospital trying to get me to tell them where my meth stash was and did I smoke it or inject it. The doctor refused to speak to me for the next 2 day that she held me hostage. I had to do a screening iwth a psychiatric orderly (NOT a nurse or a doctor - literally an orderly with a list of questions to ask me) to see if I tried to kill myself.

    I only got out because I convinced the night nurse to call my regular doctor. That was entertaining because she came up the next morning and chewed out the doctor right in front of my door. It is apparently a breach of medical ethics to not call the patient's reg doctor and if that reg doctor is local then care has to be given to the reg doctor, which did not happen. I do have only spotty memories of that time, so I am sure I missed things.

    It is incredibly common to lose memories after an accident, esp with a head injury. I wanted to remember everything that I lost and felt very unsettled by the amnesia for quite some time.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Susie. I appreciate your sharing. What a terrible experience for you!!!!!
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Daughter has no memory of the beating, or of the days afterwords. At first, she had highlight memories ~ coming to and believing she was blind, convincing the male he would be better off taking her to the hospital than letting her die, coming up with the snowmobile accident story for cover for him.

    Then, over the next few days, she lost all that.

    Daughter describes it as waking up one morning in a different bed and reaching for the man you love and learning he tried to kill you and that you nearly died and didn't.

    That shocking; that nonsensical. Daughter was still in love with the person who tried to beat her to death because she didn't remember any of it. She was so sad, Serenity, to think he would do that to her. But everyone told her he had; there were pictures.

    He was in jail and going to prison and that was why and she was named so it must have happened but she just could not remember.

    That time was missing.

    Susiestar, I am so sorry and outraged that happened to you.

    You must have been so afraid, and in such pain.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, thanks f or sharing too and so horrible for your dear daughter, to have been s o badly betrayed by somebody she loved and probably believed loved her too. Gives me a creepy feeling just thinking about it. So awful.

    Maybe we don't remember because it's too horrible. I feel so badly for your daughter, as I do each time I hear about that. It is so hard when our kids choose bad people to care about...THAT I know about.

    Big hugs and love to your daughter.
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Oh, thank you, Serenity. Daughter is doing so well, now. You will heal, too. It took something like six months for daughter to reach a place where she felt like herself. There has been further healing; amazing stuff. This will happen for you too, I think. I am grateful that you have come through it, and that you are here with us again.

    We missed you.

    The other thing that happened for daughter as she healed was the strangest kind of flashback. Traumatic responses to ordinary things. She was not able to shower. This showed up one day out of the blue. Weird kinds of traumatic feelings. It helped her very much to understand that this was part of her healing. That she was getting better. It is as though those emotions had been buried. When she was strong enough to process them, up they came. Maybe that will not happen for you Serenity, but if it does, it means you are healing as you should.

    With all my heart, Serenity, I wish you every good thing.


  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Serenity, my son does not remember the period before his brain injury. He does not remember what happened. Only waking up with a terrible headache. At least that is what he tells us. The doctors insist that the only thing that could have caused the injury was a very strong blow to the back of the head. I wonder if I will ever know what happened, or if he knows.

    I cannot remember an instance like that except for I had several surgeries and the anesthesiologist gave me something that works on memory. So I was conscious, but without memory of the incident throughout.

    I could not figure out why they brought a translator to talk to me when I was coming to. It seems that I spoke Spanish throughout the procedure and they believed I could not be communicated with in English. I had no memory what so ever. I have always been a little sensitive afterwards about conscious sedation.

    This was maybe 14 years ago. I knew Spanish then but not so good.
    I do not know why amnesia occurs. Whether it is the trauma or shock. Or whether swelling to the brain affects the memory center, temporarily. I will try to look tomorrow if I can remember. No pun intended.
    This is horrible, Cedar. How hard for all of you, especially Dear Daughter.
    So there is none of the signal or warning emotion in her to respond differently. Like my thread, who do you trust?

    It is like those stories where somebody learns a dark secret about a loved one that changes everything. Or the movies like Suspicion. But even there there is the dawning awareness of danger. For dear daughter there was nothing.

    I worked with a woman whose daughter's fiance killed her while they were both high on drugs. She was like 24 years old. They were both in college. Apparently the killer was destroyed by it, and at the time the mother had compassion for him and visited him in jail. That was when I quit that prison to go to my mother. I always wondered if she sustained that compassion for her daughter's killer, or if she was only able to sustain it while she was still in shock herself...and had not truly come to grips with had happened.

    Because murder is murder. That is another question I ask myself. I routinely had compassion for many murderers and other criminals, even child molesters. Not all. Some. But unless I had to evaluate them for a report I made it a point to not read about their crimes. Compassion is a very difficult emotion to come to, when there is an irrevocable loss. Some people do. I do not know how.

  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Due to my hobby for many years being horses, I have had a lot of concussions, so many that I have organic brain damage as a result. In several cases, I have no memory not only of the actual accident that caused the concussion, but of several days before and after it.

    I was told that a concussion is basically a bruise of the brain, hence temporary brain damage, and that causes the amnesia.

    I was not diagnosed as having brain damage at the time of each concussion, but over time, those little bruises lead to changes in circulation and the formation of scar tissue. It's the same thing you read about in football players.

    I am checked regularly and am lucky that in my case the damage does not seem to be progressive, though I am advised to avoid future concussions if at all possible, and told i have a higher than normal risk of dementia for someone who has no family history of same.

    SOT, your loss of memory is perfectly normal. Bits and pieces may come back to you as time goes on, or they may not.

    The riding accident when i was 19 that ruined my left knee and left me with the most severe concussion (Thankfully, I wear a helmet at all times when riding) when the horse I was riding flipped over a fence and landed on me, kicking me in the head in the process. was a complete blank for many,many years. About 5 years ago, the memory, sharp as if on video, of me waking up in the hospital and my first word being "Is Cocktail Hour OK?" came back to me.

    The answer was, of course, no. Cocktail Hour broke his back in the fall and was humanely destroyed on the spot. I knew that as I asked that question several times throughout my recovery from the concussion and knee reconstruction, and was finally able to remember that.

    I also have a stinking suspicion that our subconscious plays a role in this amnesia by suppressing the memories to protect us.

    I know that the PTSD from Stu's death (he bled out in my arms)took about a year to hit me. Before that, the memory was suppressed, along with a lot of other memories of his illness and death.

    They are still coming back, 13 years later, and am constantly finding triggers, despite being in therapy I stlll have flashbacks.

    You may have flashbacks eventually as well. Your brain is still healing from the concussion. It takes a LONG time for brains to heal from even small injuries like bruises, and it sounds like you had a subdural hematoma as well since surgery was done, so more trauma there.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for all of the sad experiences written of here, for those who suffered and those who watched their loved ones suffer. Serenity, I am glad you are healing and getting better every day. The brain is remarkable in its defense mechanisms and ability to regenerate.

    When my Nana passed, my Mom, who had been her caretaker, went through a frenzy of cleaning out her room. It was as if she wanted to unload immediately, the pain of her passing. When I visited, Mom had a box of some of her things in Nana's closet. In it, was some crystal jewelry, and a Christmas piece Nana had made. I asked Mom, what she was going to do with the box of items, she said it was going to Salvation Army. So I asked her if it was alright if I could have some items, she said sure. One year, Mom and Dad visited during Christmas time. I had hung up the special item Nana made. Mom came up to the house and saw the item and said "How did you get this?" I reminded her. She said "Oh, I would have never given that to Salvation Army!"
    In her grief, I think Mom was in such a state, that she was in a sort of "robot mode."

    I do believe that deep emotion can produce a certain form of amnesia.

    I have also been thinking about this thread and susiestars comment. I have been having a Marilyn Monroe fascination and reading her letters and poems. The same thing happened to her, she was admitted to a psychiatric ward by her doctor, MM thought she was going to rest, and it turned out she was put into a padded cell, against her will. (Okay, sorry I am off on a tangent.)
    I am glad SS, that your doctor came to rescue you, what a terrible thing!

    This thread made me wonder about my two, and the effects of drugs on the brain. It made me think of all the parents who suffer the consequences of their d cs addiction, the subsequent venom, manipulation and such.

    Then I thought, "What if our d cs, have a drug induced delusional amnesia, where they are replacing the real memories of their childhood, with imaginations of horrible treatment by us.
    Or even remembering real occurrences, but the drugs twist and turn things into terrible seeming reality for them? Not to excuse the choices our d cs make, but to try and figure out how to present a different picture for them, when I am in contact.

    Instead of frustration and anger, a sort of empathic attitude. Where I present myself as I truly am, loving concerned and kind.
    Not to start enabling again, and be taken advantage of. But to be me.
    I know at times, I have reserved that part of myself with my d c's, as a protection, so I won't be taken advantage of.
    You know?
    Like how we are with workmates who have a reputation for negativity, or backstabbing, I am not close to them, nice, cordial, but not close.

    So, I am thinking, that if I protect myself and am emphatic in my mind,that my two will not be living in my home, but when I do see them, or talk to them, I am more loving and kind, then I am replacing their blaming, delusional memory, with what I truly am.
    I am sorry, if I have gone way off subject here. I cannot help but think that my two on drugs, have lost the pieces of themselves that remember all of the good times we had.
    Replaced our family, with these drug friends.
    In doing so, the deeper they get into using, the more delusional memories they create, and rely on.
    Drug induced amnesia.

    Okay, everybody, this is just my musing for a day or two, written out this morning, I hope I have not offended anyone with my ramblings.

    I shall think about this on my walk, the stars are out and the morning is cool with light drizzling and refreshing breeze.

    GN, my sister's whole being is involved in horse rescue. Her friend suffered a bad accident as well, kicked in the head.
    They both love horses, and work very hard to save as many as they can.

    Take care everyone. Thank you for sharing your stories.
    Oh my goodness Cedar, your daughter, my daughter.

    That place where time slows between heartbeats. I am so sorry for the pain of it.

    I am very very sorry for all of your suffering, it is nice to hear of hope, recovery and health.

    Peace be to you all,
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh, and Copa, your son, I did not know of this. I have been off track in my reading and posting, trying to recoup after last weeks chain of events.
    My dear sisters, such trauma you have endured.
    I am so sorry.
  13. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I had a grand mal seizure(my first & only) in April. Not as traumatic as a serious car accident, but .. .. .. I don't recall a thing about the incident or the few days I spent in the hospital.
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Now, that is scary ctmom, any explanation? My grandson had the same, photosensitivity they think, he was watching his cousins play a video game, and went on all fours, just paralyzed, then started seizing in the ambulance, they couldn't stop it.
    He has been okay for a few years now, no recurrence, but, there is always that thought......He gets headaches with bright lights and such.

    I hope you are okay now, what a scary thing.....

  15. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    New Leaf ~ I followed the hospital visit with seeing a neuro doctor, who said he couldn't discern the reason for my seizure. I was 60 years old at the time.

    I think my husband was far more frightened than I; when he came into the room where I was watching TV he said my lips were blue & I was unconscious briefly

    I think somehow the brain can shut down to protect you from reliving the trauma. As little as I understand about how the brain works, I still don't have any recollection about what happened
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am glad you are okay, it is more frightening to me that there is no grandson has not had another incidence, but I cannot help but wonder....

    I am glad that you came out of it. Thank you for sharing.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey pam. I'm sure you remember back in 2008 when I darn near died due to meningitis. To this day I have no memory of the months of September, Oct and most of Nov. I know from posts on this board most of what went on. You do remember me being convinced I was pregnant with twins when that was impossible. Turns out Jamie thought it would be funny to tell me I was pregnant while I was in the coma. I have lots of strange memories that were delusions. I'm sure I told most of them!