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TGA Meet & Greet World Tour

Crazy as it sounds, we'll give it a try

From the Editor's Desk by Richard Holl

As goofy as it sounds, the TGA Meet & Greet World Tour really is a goofy, good idea. I’ve maintained that I’m not going to be a grumpy old man, so I let my brain wander while mowing the lawn or when sitting looking out over the lake I live by.

I’ve only met a couple of you since I started the TGA Project back in September 2017. However, I’ve met hundreds of you through Facebook, our website, by email, and a few by telephone. Many times since my TGA in 2013 I’ve felt lonely and fearful of something I don’t even remember.

How can I be afraid, if I can’t remember or describe my TGA? I hear stories of how I behaved and sounded back in 2013. I wasn’t too different from most of you. So far I’ve been lucky to have only had one TGA, but mine lasted 27 hours. When my brain re-booted, I came back in 1974 when I was an 18 year old private in the United States Marine Corps.

Fast forward to today, Sunday, September 24, 2023 and here I sit trying to rationalize my goofy idea of a TGA Meet & Greet World Tour. I had this idea a few weeks ago. I reached out to a TGA patient 3 hours from me to see if we could meet for lunch sometime. I live in Central Upstate NY, and Joyce lives in Ballston Spa just north of Albany, the capital of NY State. We emailed back and forth during the week, and Saturday morning around 8:30 we decided we both had time to meet today around 1:00.

A little after 8:30 Saturday morning I let my wife know we were going for a day trip. She didn’t hesitate or really care where we were going. We are both recently retired and have just been downsizing around the house. Joyce suggested the Factory Restaurant on Prospect St. I punched it into my smartphone and we headed for the NYS Thruway to Albany.

The Factory I’m guessing was an 1850’s paper bag factory. Joyce arrived a few minutes after my wife and I were seated. Joyce was elated to meet me. She was quite emotional as she described how happy she was months ago when she came across the TGA website. She was down on herself and couldn’t find anyone to really understand her. She mentioned her sister, who was her witness, who just won’t talk about Joyce’s TGA Episode. My wife immediately said she could relate to the sister’s lack of desire to discuss TGA as it was such a bizarre and scary unknown 27 hours before my re-boot.

Joyce and us had many laughs during our Meet & Greet this past Saturday. I truly feel it made all of our time together a personal bond of understanding of something unexplainable. We agreed the fog was all encompassing. Joyce and I discussed how as the days went by after our TGAs that a new emotion engulfed us in a fog of fear. The feeling that it might draw us back into the blackness of the void our brains were trying to figure out.

As we said our goodbyes after lunch, we decided this Meet & Greet idea really had merit. In one afternoon we came to realize how our brains overcame that deep pit of nothingness. Her TGA was 12 hours and mine was 27. She has had two TGAs and I only one. Her triggers were migraine related and mine was sexual intercourse. While walking to our cars, we decided to try this Meet & Greet idea on the rest of you. If it worked for us, it should be good for your brain too. We may never figure out why. There may never be an answer. But together we can help each other to re-boot as needed.

My wife and I look forward to setting some more Meet & Greet dates, times, and locations as this winter approaches. We’re not sure how many of you we can meet, but for Joyce and myself the re-boot over lunch was awesome, and tasty too!

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