Man Wakes Up Everyday Thinking He Has A Root Canal Appointment And It’s March Of 2005, Doctors Are Baffled
This man wakes up every single day thinking it is March 14th, 2005, and that he has to go to a dentist appointment that afternoon. Doctors have no clue how to actually classify or name his condition, because they believe that he is the only person alive with this specific condition. He can only hold memories for 90-minutes at a time (though some minor details slip through), and each day his memory is completely wiped at 1:40pm, and he goes back to thinking it’s the morning of March 14th, 2005 and that he has to get a root canal that afternoon.
Can you imagine a more miserable way to wake up every single day of your life than to get out of bed each morning thinking you have to go in for a root canal that afternoon? I’d rather be going to a DMV appointment, or a cat funeral…anything but a root canal!!!
But such is life for Patient WO, known as William among doctors, whose memory is wiped every 90 minutes. He’s been this way ever since he was serving in Germany way back on March 14th, 2005 and had a root canal. On that morning he was injected anesthesia before his operation and ever since he’s been stuck in a never-ending 90-minute loop of amnesia, thinking he’s going in for a root canal.
He can recall everything until 1.40pm on the day, while serving in Germany a decade ago, when he was injected with anaesthetic before a root canal treatment.
Dr Burgess believes his condition is unique and needs a new classification in the field of amnesia.
He said: “He wakes up believing he should still be in the military, stationed abroad.
“Every day he thinks it is the day of the dental appointment.
“Each morning he is prompted by his wife to check his computer, on which the family has listed, and keep updated, key facts he should be aware of.
“Some events that have occurred since the onset of his condition in March 2005 continue to elicit genuine surprise or astonishment.”
William’s symptoms are similar to patients suffering from what’s known as anterograde amnesia.
This is when damage to the bilateral hippocampal or diencephalon regions in the brain cause short spans of awareness as well as complete and rapid memory loss.
Typically it is brought on by a specific event or trauma and causes patients to loss the ability to create new memories after this event, while long-term memories from before the event are clear.
Without the presence of brain damage or changes, the experts believe the cause of amnesia in William could be a breakdown of protein synthesis in the brain.
Another explanation is that he is faking it.
But Dr Burgess, who has known William for 10 years, has dismissed that.
I’m not sure if this plot is more similar to the movie Groundhog Day, where he was forced to wake up every day and be miserable, or if it’s closer to 50 First Dates, where Drew Barrymore wakes up every day thinking it’s the day of her accident but doesn’t realize that and Adam Sandler proceeds to woo her until he gets her pregnant and she wakes up one day with no memories but she’s on a boat in Antarctica and she has a baby in her arms. There was also that dude ’10 second Tom’ in the movie whose memory was wiped every 10 seconds, which is actually almost exactly what’s happening to Patient WO, only it’s 10 seconds instead of every 90 minutes.
I’m thinking it’s closer to the latter, because someone could keep a video log for this guy, showing him his life every day for the past decade. That way he’d at least understand what was happening for those 90-minutes before his memory was wiped and he thought he was getting another root canal.
So what’s the major takeaway from this? Never get a root canal.