The Strangest thing happened to me yesterday.
A journey that usually takes me 30 minutes took 8 hours. And in case the amnesia returns, I am setting it down so I don’t have to remember – if it’s in black and white, I can always read it and remind myself about it.
“Are you OK?” asked the man whose face filled my view (and the thought that came to my mind was how uncomfortably close he was to my face). He looked worried.
“Are you OK?” he repeated a second time. That’s when I realized I was lying on my back on the road. Well, I don’t think I am OK, otherwise, why would I be lying on the road?
“I don’t think so” I responded.
Not knowing what was wrong with me, I added “What is wrong with me?”
“I am sorry sir. I just hit you with my car. I didn’t see you in time. Can I help you up so I can take you to the hospital?”
Hit by a car? I hoped nothing new was broken. As the man helped me up from the ground, I noticed the crowd surrounding us for the first time. Someone suggested the driver should be accompanied, but no one got into the car with us. There was little blood from the visible bruises I could see and I did not feel any real pain.
We were soon at a hospital on the Island. I was still kind of fuzzy and everything looked strange. But I was soon ushered into a nice room and asked to lie down on the bed which felt really comfortable. I was starting to drift off when the nurse returned with some notes in her hands, and asked me for my name to which I blurted out a response. She asked a few other questions but I could not for the life of me give answers to. She left after a few minutes. I wondered why I couldn’t remember some of the things she asked for.
She soon returned with the doctor who proceeded to examine me. After tapping here and there, rotating all the joints in my body while asking me if it hurts, listening to my chest and back, pressing on my belly and so on, he declared he didn’t think anything serious was wrong with me, but that I was suffering from a slight concussion.
Looking at the notes in his hands, he repeated my name as if asking me for confirmation. The name didn’t sound right, and I almost immediately said “That’s not my name”
“Well, that’s the name you gave when you were admitted. Are you sure it’s not yours?”
While the name sounded vaguely familiar, and for some reason, I knew instinctively that it belonged to a woman – maybe an acquaintance? I was sure it wasn’t mine.
“So, what is your name Sir?”
Which is when it hit me that I couldn’t remember my own name!
“Do you know where you live?”
I couldn’t recall.
“Do you remember your phone number?”
“How old are you?”
“Do you remember your parent’s name?”
“What is your brother’s name?”
And so the questions continued. I couldn’t offer an answer to any of them. Which begs the question “Who am i?”
I asked to see my phone and was told it was completely smashed during the accident (I think the car went over it before it stopped). No identification was found on me.
“Where do you live?”
“I think it is on the Island”
“Can you be more specific?”
“We really should keep you overnight for observations …”
I could sense some hesitation in his voice.
“No, I want to go home.”
“How are you going to find your house Sir?”
I hadn’t exactly thought that through.
“If it is on the Island, I can drive him around. Maybe it will jog his memory” Good idea from the gentleman that knocked me down, but he seemed a little too eager for my liking. But I had had enough of lying on my back so I agreed.
“Well, sir, if you are discharging yourself, you would need to sign a waiver form stating so.”
I asked for the form and signed it.
I was led out the door. Apart from feeling a little light-headed, I felt relatively alright.
The gentleman drove round the Island, and I was quickly getting exasperated with his nonstop “Are you OK” questions. Fortunately for me, we turned unto a street which looked familiar. Almost without thinking about it, I started giving him directions and soon we were at a house I was sure was where I lived.
I rang the bell a couple of times. After about 10 minutes someone peeped through a gap in the gate and greeted me “Welcome, Uncle Tunde”
And it all came rushing back to me. Now I remember my name, who I was, my address, my siblings, my place of work, my parents, etc. I nearly jumped for joy! And I also remembered whose name I had given at the hospital. Followed by the accident and why I was thinking about the person.
I turned to the gentleman and smiling widely, I said “It is OK! I remember my name! I know who I am!”
Two pairs of eyes looked at me questioningly. And I could see they doubted if I was really OK.
The gentleman looked a little confused, and as I discharged him, he thanked me profusely, dipped his hands inside his shirt pocket and offered me his debit card.
“Well, what am I to do with your debit card without the pin?” I said with a broad smile on my face. At least, I have my sense of humour back!
He looked confused for a minute, looked at the card in his hand, and then quickly withdrew it and replaced it by his business card, “Sorry, I meant to give you my business card.”
Finally, I am home! It was 2AM in the morning and I didn’t feel sleepy at all. Time to wind down with a movie on my laptop (and if you tried to contact me yesterday with no success, now you know where I was).
But one last thing before that. I decided to go over what I had learnt from the experience:
– the saying about treating all drivers on the road as crazy? Whether you are in a vehicle or not, take it as gospel truth
– the fact that you are on the sidewalk does not mean some crazy driver may not decide that you are on the road, so keep your eyes on the road and your wits about you!
– if you are going to be thinking about someone, at least make sure it’s either a family member, or someone of the same sex (well, adjust your thoughts accordingly so you don’t get labeled a “perv”)
– if you are going to be thinking about someone else, make sure you have an ID card or some other identifiable detail on you
– in fact, as much as possible, don’t think about anyone else while walking by the road side
– walking home along the road may not be the safest way to get some exercise
– and always accept the offer of staying at the hospital for observations – even if it doesn’t save your life, at least you will sleep in comfort rather than the stifling heat when NEPA strikes at your house!