This newsletter contains:
- PAWGust for Guide Dogs
- Lindy Lost four hours of her memory!
PAWGust for Guide Dogs
This is my third Pawgust. Lindy and I had so much fun the last two years that we are doing Pawgust again this year. This time we have even more reason to walk at least 30 minutes every day in August, as you will see further down in this newsletter under “Lindy Lost four hours of her memory”!
30 Minutes is not much of a challenge for most people and especially for all my four-legged friends. Then again, when we encounter rain, wind and even sub zero temperatures, it will be no mean Paws! I will ensure that we have no excuse to get out there, especially when we are doing this to raise much-needed funds to help educate the next generation of Guide Dogs.
I heard that up until the introduction of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), the wonderful work of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT had been fully funded by public donations. Since the introduction of NDIS, the public perception is that the NDIS funding can now support the work of Guide Dogs. The reality is that only a small percentage of their work is funded through NDIS and the organisation still needs to source the majority of their funds through donations. This is because many of the Blind and Vision Impaired clients suffer their sight loss later in life (over 65 years of age) and thus are not eligible for NDIS funding!
I read on a notice on the trees in the park: “Give a dog a bone and he is full for a meal. Teach a dog how to guide blind people and he will have a full stomach all his life.” I guess the same can apply to a Vision Impaired person. Take me, for example, the instructor taught me how to guide Lindy and now we can go out to places together without always relying on someone else to take us. When the next generation of Guide Dogs are taught how to guide, they provide independence to all those vision impaired people. I know for a fact that everyone can contribute to society with a bit of helping paws from my mates!
You can supPAWt the wonderful work of Guide Dogs by donating to our page: https://www.pawgust.com.au/fundraisers/lindyhou
or you can sign up and participate in PawGust through: https://www.pawgust.com.au/join/guidedogcometfriends
Lindy lost four hours of her memory!
Lindy had a very frightening episode of TGA (Transient Global Amnesia). Read on to learn all about what Lindy experienced.
Sunday 12th July was just another Sunday for Lindy & me. We got up early, had our breakfast and went rowing at Capital Lakes Rowing Club. It was a cool morning and Lindy went out on a Double with Mal. I went for a drive with uncle Wes and took our Sunday morning stroll while Lindy rowed. After rowing, we went to a coffee shop while I snoozed under the table. Uncle Wes dropped us off at home after 10am. A quick snack for both of us and we set off for another walk around the neighbourhood. After we got home around 11.15am, Lindy put my harness away in the cupboard, just like after every other walk.
However Lindy does not remember anything that happened during the next four hours! The following is my account (with contribution from other witnesses) about the next four hours of Lindy’s life.
After our walk, I proceeded to lie on my downstairs bed. I saw Lindy walk towards the stairs and closed my eyes for a well earned rest. All of a sudden, I got woken up with crashes from the stairs and other bumping and clashing noises. The loungeroom wall prevented me from seeing what happened on the stairs, so I got up from my bed and walked over and saw Lindy standing at the bottom of the stairs, a bit disoriented. One of the picture frames was smashed to pieces and glass was all over the floor, but luckily Lindy did not cut herself on the broken glass. She didn’t appear to have fallen and, although Lindy was talking to me, I noticed that she was not her usual self! I decided to keep an eye on her by lying on the floor at the doorway where there was no glass that could hurt my paws.
After quite a while, Aunty Polly arrived as previously arranged. The first thing Lindy said to Aunty Polly was “it is good of you to pop in.” I thought that was a bit strange as she knew that Aunty Polly was coming around to see us and yet she didn’t seem to remember that. It was even stranger when Aunty Polly asked if she went rowing that morning and Lindy said she could not remember!
Before I knew it, the place was full of people – paramedics, Uncle Wes and the Wells family. I did the most helpful thing by lying on my bed, staying out of the way and keeping my eyes on things. The paramedics were a bit concerned about Lindy’s low heart rate and even more concerned when they heard that Lindy had heart issues many years ago, even though it has been fixed since! Lindy was able to walk into the ambulance and off they went to Calgary Hospital. I stayed with the Wells Family for the next few days. Although I had lots of attention while I was there and Myzka, their little kitten, kept me distracted, I did miss Lindy a lot.
Back in the hospital, the doctors kept an eye on Lindy’s heart rate and put her in the cardio ward. After blood tests, X-rays, Scans and an MRI, it was found there was nothing broken. Lindy just had a bruised head, strained leg muscle and torn rotator cuff in her shoulder. By Wednesday evening, the Neurologist finally came up with the diagnosis of TGA (Transient Global Amnesia). One of the main symptoms was that Lindy did not remember what happened during that period yet her long term memory was ok. That is why Lindy was able to provide the paramedics her cardio history. She was able to figure out the date and even the month but when it came to what year this is now, she couldn’t remember.
The funniest thing was that, while laying on the hospital bed a few hours later, Lindy said to her niece, “I remember not being able to tell someone what year this is! How can this be? It is 2020!” The reply from her niece was: “Don’t worry! Everyone wants to forget 2020!”
Lindy still can’t remember what happened on the stairs, how she managed to knock the picture off the wall, nor how she bumped her head, hip and tore her rotator cuff. She did not remember when Polly came into the house, when the family arrived nor the ambulance ride. The last thing she remembered was hanging up my harness in the cupboard and the next thing she remembered was talking to her niece on the hospital bed. All through this time Lindy was fully conscious. She just told people something more than once and did not realise that she had already provided the information.
The family looked up about TGA and below is some of the information from the Mayo Clinic.
“Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that the cause may not be able to determine. During an episode of transient global amnesia, your recall of recent events simply vanishes, so you can’t remember where you are or how you got there. In addition, you may not remember anything about what’s happening in the here and now. Consequently, you may keep repeating the same questions because you don’t remember the answers you’ve just been given. You may also draw a blank when asked to remember things that happened a day, a month or even a year ago.
“The condition most often affects people in middle or older age. With transient global amnesia, you do remember who you are, and you recognize the people you know well. Episodes of transient global amnesia always improve gradually over a few hours. During recovery, you may slowly begin to remember events and circumstances. Transient global amnesia isn’t serious, but it can still be frightening.”
It was certainly frightening for me and everyone who came to my house during this time. The good thing is that Lindy was told there is no long-term issue. I was hoping that she may not always remember that she had given me a treat but no luck … I have not been able to score a second pig’s ear in one day since the episode.
She was also told that it is unlikely to have a second episode. As to her heart, the specialists did not think that she had two medical episodes at the same time and the TGA was a definite diagnosis. As to Lindy’s low heart rate, it is due to her fitness level and is common for fit people but can be a real concern for the general population. The monitor also picked up an unusual reading and the cardiologist will continue to keep an eye on it. This may be ‘normal’ for Lindy and she may have had it all her life!
On Thursday, the day after her TGA diagnosis, Lindy left the hospital. I joined her at the Carters’ house for the next five days. I stayed very close to her all that time, except when I got taken out for a walk with Duffy. Lindy has now met someone else who had the TGA a year ago and he has no long-term effects. He was fully recovered and back doing all his sports after a couple of weeks. Lindy’s physio also knows someone who had the TGA over 15 years ago and has not had another episode since.
Lindy is now almost completely recovered from the episode. She is riding on her indoor trainer and rowing on the Rowing Ergo machine most days at an easy pace. She is doing rehab work on her shoulder, and it is just about back to normal.
We go out walking every day – rain or shine! The best part is that we often have family and friends join us for our PAWGUST walk. I like this because I can go off the leash part of the walk while someone else guides Lindy around.
“Let’s all PAWS it forward with our generosity”
This is the tail of Lindy’s Comet