Thursday, June 18, 2015

Allie Pleiter on...wait, I forgot...

It’s all material….

image courtesy of WikiHow
It had to happen.  

After all, romance author is probably the only career—except maybe soap opera star—where experiencing an episode of amnesia is a professional resource.  I was bound to do an amnesia story one of these days.  And this year, A RANGER FOR THE HOLIDAYS (November 2015) is just that.

In June of 2010, I woke one morning with no ability to retain short-term information. I remember only glimpses of this, but my son CJ tells me I recognized him and all our family, but not that my daughter was at camp or the things we had bought the day before.  Now, CJ is no stranger to medical crises, so he wisely asked me things like what day it was, etc.  I could not answer any of them.  Smart kid, he sat me down on the couch with my dog, said “here, pet Bella while I call Dad.”  CJ and Dad decided it was time to call an ambulance.  CJ was in cancer treatments at the time, so the immediate theory was that I had suffered a stroke from the stress of his illness.

I remember none of this.  I don’t remember the ambulance ride nor most of my days in the hospital.  Evidently, I asked the same 12 questions over and over (think “50 First Dates” only nowhere near as charming) and gave identical responses to the answers.  Can’t you just see the headline now?  “Teenage cancer patient calls 911 on amnesiac romance author mom

It’s almost amusing now that everyone is okay.  CJ is healthy and in very successful remission, our house is not in any medical chaos whatsoever, and my doctors tell me that I experienced not a stroke but Transient Global Amnesia—a once-in-a-lifetime vascular phenomena known to happen to migraine patients and people who take cholesterol drugs (I am both).  And, it makes a fascinating story.

I don’t recall many facts, but the emotions are still vivid for me.  Feeling like a freak, feeling as though your missing memory is stalking you, the desperate need to feel safe, all these things were useful to me as I crafted Texas Ranger Finn Brannigan.  And now I really can say, “It’s all material…”  

If the story is vivid and compelling to you, now you know why.


Keli Gwyn said...

Oh, Allie, I so sorry you suffered that memory loss. How frightening it must have been for you and your family. I'm glad everyone is doing well now.

They say write about what we know. Well, you'll certainly be able to add a good deal of realism to this story.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Wow, what a scary experience that must have been for both you and your family. I'm happy to hear you're okay, Allie.
I'll look forward to your story!

Jackie Smith said...

Scary, scary, Allie! So glad you are ok now (and your son) and looking forward to your new book!

Leann Harris said...

I am glad you're okay now.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like CJ has a good calm personality and handled the situation very wisely. Very grateful that God held you all close.

Pamela Tracy said...

Allie, I'm with Leann, glad you're okay now.

jcp said...

Glad you're fine now.