I Forgot To Remember: a Memoir of Amnesia by Su Meck with Daniel de Vise

I stumbled on this book and once I opened it I was riveted. Su Meck was twenty-two years old, married with two toddlers when a ceiling fan fell on her head. She physically recovered from the traumatic brain injury but she lost all her memories of her life. She was discharged three weeks later by the hospital and resumed her life. The book: Forgot to Remember is an account of her life.

The problem was she understood nothing- she could not remember how to care for her children, cook, drive a car, read or write, most daily rituals. She did not recognize her husband or children.She had to relearn having sex.  She suffered from retrograde amnesia plus for a while she had an inability to make new memories. Her husband anxious to get back to work, leaves Su to navigate the world. With a facade of pretending everything is fine, Su allows no self pity and tries to relearn everything. She becomes good at hiding her deficits. Some of the most poignant scenes are when her children are her protectors and teachers. Imagine a preschooler helping you find your way home from a playdate!

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Incredibly, the hospital and her husband did little to prepare or help her with this condition. Jim, her husband, in part due to ignorance comes across as very insensitive and is absent throughout most of their marriage. Twenty years later during a family crisis, she finally begins to consider the life she has struggled with and to understand her brain trauma. Honestly, once I got over my disbelief and anger at the lack of support or understanding given to her, I was left awed by her strength.  Eventually, Su gets a college degree in music. In the process, her case becomes public and she realizes she had something to contribute to others who were dealing with a similar situation. She ended up going on television talk shows to discuss her case. Su Meck is a hero and I think her story is worth reading…my 2cents.

 

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