The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

February 1, 2013

Virginia woman pieces together 17 years lost to amnesia

(Continued)

While her vision, which over the past year had deteriorated greatly, was suddenly clear, Shawnda eventually realized that a 17-year chunk of her memory was gone. The only comfort to her was that Shaylin was unaware that her mother had forgotten her.

Migraines, or normal headaches, tingling, numbness, needle feeling in feet, forgetting certain things. April and May was same as above in March, but my left eye was starting to get worse.

Mid June at work, both arms go numb. Thought I was having a heart attack or stroke — ate candy bar and drank Hi-C because thought it was sugar. Left/Right went numb while driving — my rear and legs would get numb often.

June 26 — Forgot people's names at a wedding.

— Pain Journal, 2004

Strasburg, Va., a small town among rolling, green foothills, is a frequent stop for truckers headed down Interstate 81 toward Roanoke or north toward Pennsylvania. Shawnda was born and raised in the surrounding county, and it was I-81 that she took in 2004 to go to work at Alexander Properties, in nearby Basye, Va., where she and Cindy Davekos-Wilson sold timeshares at the Bryce ski resort. Shawnda, a tall, blond 29-year-old and new mother, had taken the job to make more money than she made as a paralegal. She and Cindy became fast friends.

That spring Shawnda started noticing symptoms. The vision in her left eye would fade. Numbness afflicted her extremities.

One day, "she called me up borderline-hysterical," Cindy said. "She went to hit the brake in her truck, and she couldn't get her foot to move. . . . I'm on the phone crying, but I'm not letting her know. This is my friend, and I'm trying to keep her strong, but I'm like, 'Something's really bad here.' "

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014