Had a very weird thing happen this morning.

As many of you know, I had a bicycling accident and an associated traumatic brain injury about three months ago. I’m home now and out of the hospital. Thanks very much. (You can read a brief synopsis here.)

So yesterday I was hobbling around in the garage and removing the side mirror from my Old Saab. Every screw on the Old Saab is a six-point screw so I can’t use my normal US-type screw drivers. The head was a little bigger than my biggest screw driver and I remembered that I saw a package of new six-point screw drivers in the shop and I went to get them. My memory of seeing them was as clear as day. I even picked the package up and looked at them and wonder if Scott, my brother-in-law, bought them to work on my car while I was in the hospital. I was pleased as could be that I had them and was looking forward to using them. I remember that they were on the bench top in a pile of other things.

I went to the shop to retrieve them and found that there was nothing stacked on top of the bench. No pile of junk and no screw drivers. I searched through everything, knowing that they must be there.  Such a fresh and vivid memory has to be real. But they weren’t. I searched again, positive that I wasn’t making it up but they weren’t there. It dawned on me that I must have dreamed it and my brain believed it to be true or my brain just made it up to fill in a blank. I was warned about both scenarios by the good folks at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I asked my wife if her brother bought some screw drivers to work on the car and she wondered what I was talking about. The experience was so weird.

Have ever had a vivid memory – something that you would entirely rely on – only the find that it’s not true?

Since I’ve had my injury I’ve become very interested in the brain and how it works. I’ve bee a little surprised to find that most people who write about the brain consider our visual experience to be mostly imaginary. They don’t seem to doubt the reality of material things but strongly consider that few things are what they appear to be visually. Very odd!


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