I Lost 2 Days In Tortola

I am very grateful to have to the opportunity to share my story as it has been 7 weeks since my TGA and I am having a slight panic attack now at midnight. I wake up thinking about it and get major anxiety which I believe is PTSD from the event itself.

I was on vacation in Tortola, one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had been snorkeling and all those fun things but also had some major conflict with my sister-in-law who was on vacation with us. I don't remember this or much of the week itself. My memory of the week is like a photo album, just snap shots! I have no memory of the argument with my sister-in-law or the day after it. We had taken her to the airport and we were about to pick up another friend coming in for our second week in Tortola. My husband says I started to act strange and got confused, he took me to the ER. I kept asking the same questions over and over again. The ER doctors suspected a stroke but as I had no physical signs of stroke it was not diagnosed as that.

I have no memory of the MRI, EKG etc. but I have a note pad that I wrote over a period of 7 hours. My husband had me write things down and I would read it, recognize my writing but have no memory of writing it. My memory retention was about 2 minutes and this went on for over 7 hours. I also had a bad headache and nausea. It was as or even more traumatic for my husband than for me I think.

After about 12 hours in the hospital I gradually started to be able to form short term memories but had no recollection of the previous week and was very fuzzy about other events. The hospital doctors said I had "conversion syndrome" caused by stress but my neurologist who I saw immediately on my return from vacation diagnosed TGA within about 2 minutes of my dialogue. He told me it is very common for people who experience TGA to also have migraines which I do.

I did not feel normal for about 2 weeks after the episode and I still have a lot of anxiety about it and a lot more headaches.

It seems from reading other stories, TGA's happen on vacation fairly frequently so maybe travel, change of environment etc. are a contributing factor. Stress is probably a factor as well.

I feel fortunate my husband was with me and for the care I received from the hospital in Tortola. But I am scared of it happening again when I am traveling alone. I have put a note with his contact info with my cell phone!
sushikcat sushikcat
56-60, F
2 Responses Jul 19, 2012

I got a medic alert bracelet with my husbands number on it, but also the first time it happened to me I know to call it it amazed me that I knew to call him and drove me crazy at the same time ! According to him I called repeatedly ,like every 3 minutes, so rest assured you'll know who to call ,but I would suggest a medic alert bracelet to keep your self more at ease..

Thanks for sharing! I carry my info with my drivers license as well. Since my TGA in Oct. '10, I've taken several trips alone, by plane and train, and so far, so good. Take great care of your general health, and try to avoid stressful situations & people. Breathe! ;)