Friday, September 14, 2012

The Things I Learned From Losing my Mind

Holly Turner:
    the printer is not on their computers yet
    Where are you?
Holly Turner:
    where am I????
    don't you know where I am?
    Something has happened
Holly Turner:
    I don't know where you are
    please tell me
Holly Turner:
    Aaron are you teasing?
    I have lost something
Holly Turner:
    do I need to call you?

So began my experience with TGA- Transient Global Amnesia.   Of this day I have no recollection, except what Holly and others tell me and occasional "flashes" of memory. She was working at the house of one of our friends, and I was to go over there later to do some work on their computers.  After this exchange of text messages, she did call me, and our conversation caused her to come home right away. 

A Very Strange Experience

I can honestly say this is the strangest thing I have ever experienced. In all of my years of ministry, and walking with people through their medical problems, I had never heard of this.  During the episode, I remembered my own identity, and the identity of others, but did not remember other pieces of information.  For example, I recently purchased a new guitar--a Taylor 814 CE. I had previously owned a Taylor 314 CE, but had sold it on E bay. When Holly came home, she asked me if I could play my guitar, and I did, but I was confused as to why I had an 814 instead of a 314,  and did not know what happened to the 314. When I got to the hospital,  Joel met us there, and I knew him, but didn't remember where he worked.  I remembered that he and his family have been sick recently.  When asked who the president was, I could remember that it was Barack Obama. But when asked for my address, I gave my post office box from years ago when we lived in Steinhatchee, instead of our current one.  I continually asked the same questions again, and again. 

Tests Tests and More Tests

When Holly came home and realized that something was wrong, she tried her best to get me to get dressed and get ready to go to the hospital.  I was not defiant, but was not compliant either.  I was confused and bewildered.  She had been at the home of  Matthew and Jennifer Ellison. Matthew called their pastor, Brother Leon Holden to pray for me. He was away, and called his son Chris to come and check on me.  Chris came, and then Matthew Ellison, Mitch and Carolyn Mitchell.  The EMTs were called, but I finally ended up just riding to the hospital with Holly.  Upon arrival in the ER, I was immediately taken back and the testing began.  It was decided that I should be admitted, and I ended up spending a total of 3 days in the hospital.  They were not able to find the cause of my episode, but did find some other minor things wrong with me. 

What I Learned  (again)

I am dependent   As a matter of fact all of us are. We are only alive, functioning and in our right minds because of the grace and mercy of God.  At any moment, if the Lord so chooses, we could lose our ability to function. (Lam 3:22 KJV) “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” It is humbling to realize that at any moment, this kind of thing can happen, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Anyone who thinks that they are in control of their own destiny is very foolish. We are all at the mercy of God. And not only that, but we are dependent on others.  There are times in all of our lives when we cannot take care of our selves, and must depend on others to take care of us.

God communicates His love through others.  Throughout this ordeal, many people have communicated their love and concern to Holly and I. Some came to the hospital. Some called. Some sent texts. Some posted on Facebook.  Two of my dear pastor friends came and prayed with me. It meant so much to Holly and I.  This experience makes me more than ever, want to reach out to people who are going through hard times. If I started listing all of the people that have meant so much to me through this time, I would surely leave someone out, and feel badly because of it. (As you know I am having memory problems these days). Under this point, I must say that I am very thankful for Facebook.  Facebook allowed me to stay in touch with many people during this time, and many people to communicate with me at a time, when I needed to hear from them. God truly communicates His love for us through others!

Humor is therapeutic.  I am aware that not everyone "gets' my sense of humor.  I have been told that it is "strange" But being able to see humor in things and laugh was a great blessing during this time, at least to me. There are many things to laugh about in a hospital if you just know what to look for! I am convinced that they make you wear those split back gowns, so that you won't be tempted to run away when you see the food! Who in their right minds would want to be seen in one of those things on the street!

God providentially arranges appointments.  One of the tests that I had was a chemically induced stress test.  This test is conducted in three different stages and there is some waiting that is required between stages. I found my self in a row of wheel chairs next to a black man by the name of Leroy Watson.  So here we were side by side in our wheel chair, and I looked at him, smiled, and asked him if he wanted to race! (see my last heading). He laughed and so began our conversation.  I was going to bring the gospel into the conversation, but before I could he did! He began to talk about how good God had been to him. He shared about his marriage and family. He has been married for 46 years, and all of his kids have gotten scholarships to different universities. We talked about how the gospel was the answer to racial issues. All the while people were listening to our conversation and hearing about the greatness and glory of our God and His gospel! I was able to share the gospel with two of the techs that worked on me. I believe that if we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we can exploit the appointments that the Lord sets up for us to fellowship with other Christians, and share the gospel with the lost!


I am very thankful to be home, and at least for now I am in my right mind (some could debate this point I know). I can honestly say that my love for others, and compassion for those who are suffering has grown through this. I hope to be a better, husband, father, friend, and pastor because of losing my mind!