Continuous Memory Returns: Kelly Part Seven
Kelly’s continuous memory returns is the discussion for part seven. There is sometimes just no logic to amnesia. Kelly asserts that she has a clear memory of the pantomime of shooting the nurse, to be left alone. Yet she had a trach at the time, yet doesn’t have a memory of having the trach removed. While it is possible that Kelly’s memory of the pantomime has been reconstructed, it is also possible that this is a small island of memory in a sea of amnesia. Almost all severe brain injury survivors have some sort of island of memory. The end of amnesia is not when these islands of memory begin to exist, but when continuous memory returns.
So the recollection you have of things like the trach, things like the gun, that’s very hit-and-miss-type memory and this is before your continuous memory returns?
At what point does your more continuous memory return?
That one’s easy. Because I was a legal adult without caregiver support consator, conserva, conservatorship, things of that nature, my mother had come out to see me and to become my legal caregiver/guardian/conservator. She had to go to court and go through all kinds of hoops and loops and things to become my conservator, my guardian, and she did that.
I remember having to go do that. She was staying at the Ronald McDonald House, which was right behind the hospital. She came to see me every day, and I remember her telling me that she had to go see the lawyer and she’d asked me where was a good place to eat and I remember telling her good places to eat in Austin, because, because everything’s good.
I remember those things, and then she would come back and she says now somebody’s coming to visit you, and she’d tell me who was coming to visit me and I’d say have them bring me a calatche.
What’s a calatche?
A calatche is a stuffed Danish pastry that, that’s made famous in Czechoslovakia.
So she came back with your calatche?
No, she didn’t know where to get one, so I didn’t get my calatche.
For Kelly, it wasn’t the taste of getting the calatche, but the process of asking for it, the disappointment of not getting it which is where her continuous memory returns and more normal memory functioning.