Rare Saga

The unexplored saga story world.

A Ski Trip to Remember: My Mysterious Memory Lapses

The First Time

It was the first time I went skiing with some friends and one friend’s mom. My friend had just started making short videos, recording his daily life with his mom. He was wearing a camera on his head to film everything. When we got to the ski resort, we started having fun skiing. While we were skiing, all of a sudden everything went extremely bright in front of my eyes, like someone shining a flashlight directly into my eyes at night. After that, I don’t remember anything.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the exam table in a doctor’s office at the hospital, my legs crossed. After I regained consciousness, my shoulders felt very sore and my head felt fuzzy. I was very confused – weren’t we just skiing? How did we end up at the hospital? I had zero recollection of how we got from the ski resort to the hospital! Later, the doctor told me everything was fine and my friend took me back to our hotel. Thankfully, my friend had kept his camera running the whole time so I was able to watch his videos to piece together what happened.

I watched the video and saw that I had accidentally collided with my friend while skiing. It didn’t look like too hard of an impact. My friend was fine and I got right back up afterwards. But after getting up, I started acting very strangely, repeatedly asking them things like “What are you doing?”, “Why are we here?”, “How did we get here?”, just very confusing questions. My speech was also garbled, not making much sense. At first my friends just laughed, thinking I was joking around. But after a while one friend realized something was wrong. He called my name and asked if I was okay. The other friends gathered around too, asking what was going on and if I felt unwell. I just kept rambling the same odd questions over and over. A crowd of people also gathered to see what was happening. My friend then helped me get off the mountain with the staff’s assistance. He drove me straight to the hospital. He said I never lost consciousness or anything on the drive over.

At the hospital, I think they did some tests and a CT scan on my brain (I’m not very hospital-savvy). My friend told me this later, since at the hospital some friends went to fill out paperwork and pay while others took me to see the doctor, so there are gaps in the video footage once we arrived. I regained consciousness while waiting for the brain scan results in the doctor’s office. There is about a 3 hour gap that I have zero memories of, even now years later. The only way I know what happened is from watching the video afterward.

The tests at the hospital didn’t show any issues except some bruising on my shoulder. The doctor said I likely hit my head a bit during the collision or when falling, causing a minor concussion and resulting in retrograde amnesia as a type of stress response in the brain. There was nothing too serious. They advised me to come back for another brain scan in a week, which also showed no problems later.

If my friend hadn’t been filming everything on his camera, I’m not sure I would have even believed this happened to me. Losing 3 hours of memories seemed like something you only see in overly dramatic TV shows! I always thought amnesia plots were silly melodrama.

The Second Time

(This is a very painful memory, so please don’t question it or make light of it. No one would joke about something like this. I almost didn’t want to share this part, but I find the experience very strange and think it must be my brain’s way of trying to protect itself when faced with trauma.)

It started when a very close friend of mine attempted suicide and was rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment. All I remember is being outside the emergency room with my friend’s mom, both of us sobbing uncontrollably. His mom was slumped against the wall with his dad holding her up. His younger brother sat nearby crying silently. I leaned on a chair with my cousin standing next to me, holding me as I cried. After that, I don’t know what happened.

The next thing I knew, my cousin had his arms around me as we sat on a stairwell downstairs. I have no idea what led up to that point. All I knew was that my friend had passed away, so I started hysterically crying that I wanted to go back upstairs. I have zero recollection of what happened in between – how long they tried to revive him, how I got from the emergency room to the stairwell downstairs, nothing. Later when I asked, my cousin said there was probably 30-40 minutes between when the doctors stopped lifesaving efforts and when he brought me downstairs. We then sat on the stairs for another 50-60 minutes.

But I don’t know when exactly I lost memories prior to his passing being announced. My cousin didn’t notice anything off with me either. He said that afterward, they had moved my friend’s body to an empty patient room. His parents were sobbing uncontrollably over the hospital bed. I apparently stumbled out of the room holding some belongings and collapsed on the floor outside the room. That’s when my cousin brought me downstairs to a more private area. He said I was hysterical the whole time but he didn’t notice anything strange. By his account, I lost about 2 hours of time, but have zero recollection of any of it even years later.

I went for medical tests afterwards and again was told there were no abnormalities found. The doctors said it was likely retrograde amnesia as a type of acute stress response – essentially my brain trying to protect itself in an emergency situation. They advised me to monitor my mental health and do some psychological evaluations.

Later a friend recommended a counseling clinic that I went to. Other than some minor anxiety, everything checked out fine.

When I think about it now, I still find the human body amazing! It’s incredible to me that our brains can essentially block out traumatic memories as a way of protecting us. The idea that our brains have ways of shielding the body and mind during times of extreme distress is so fascinating to me!

Of course sometimes strange thoughts cross my mind too – like who is really in control, our brains or our minds? There are cases where the body can be kept alive by machines even when brain dead. Yet when the body dies, the cells and brain waves shut down very quickly. But in traumatic situations, the brain can initiate protective amnesia? So it seems neither the brain nor body has complete power over the other! Makes you wonder who or what is really running the controls.