Imagine Going For a Walk - and Forgetting Everything - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to General Talk

Imagine Going For a Walk - and Forgetting Everything

Moderator: Football Moderators

Imagine Going For a Walk - and Forgetting Everything

Postby knapplc » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:25 pm

This is incredible. And, apparently, it could happen to anyone at any time. It's just amazing that he was found.


DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Joe Bieger walked out his front door with his two dogs one morning last fall as a beloved husband, father, grandfather and assistant high school athletic director.

Minutes later, all of that -- indeed, his very identity -- would seemingly be wiped from his brain's hard drive.

For 25 days, he wandered the streets of Dallas and its environs a lost soul, unable to remember his name, what he did for a living, or where he lived, until, finally, a contractor who was building a new house for Bieger and his wife happened to recognize him.

By that point, Bieger had somehow made his way to a suburb about 20 miles from his Dallas home, holes worn in the rubber soles of his canvas shoes. He had lost 25 pounds, and a full white beard covered the normally clean-shaven educator's face.

Bieger, 59, says he was diagnosed afterward as suffering from psychogenic fugue, an extremely rare form of amnesia.

Now reunited with his family and back at work, Bieger agreed to tell his story.

Bieger says he has regained all his memories up to the point he wandered away, and is amazed at the outpouring of support he received from friends, co-workers and the hundreds of volunteers who helped search for him on the streets, at hospitals and in homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

"Everyone believes that God brought me back for a reason, otherwise this might have ended differently," he says. "God wants me here to work with these students."

Jelly packets in pockets

Bieger is under the care of a doctor who specializes in such cases. And his cell phone now includes a GPS tracking device.

But more than three months after the episode, he says he has only vague memories of those days on the streets of Dallas, one of America's most crime-ridden cities.

He recalls being stopped and frisked by police officers, who were looking for a suspect in a holdup at a pizzeria. There was also a smoky bowling alley. He remembers waking up cold on a playground, wearing shorts and a T-shirt with fall temperatures dropping into the 50s. Another time, he says, he awoke under a construction trailer.

He says he cannot recall what he ate to survive. But when he was found, he had jelly packets from a fast-food restaurant in his pockets and half a stale bagel.

Witnesses and police accounts fill in a few other gaps in Bieger's journey. His dogs were found running loose within a few hours of his disappearance. About two weeks later, some homeless people told searchers they had seen a man matching Bieger's description near a Sam's Club store close to his home.

Over the next several days, he apparently crossed busy streets and interstate highways to the Dallas suburb of Plano, several miles north of Dallas. Not long after that, he was spotted at a church carnival in Plano.

Recognition

Gwen Brooks, executive administrator at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, says the man claimed he had lost his keys and asked if he could search the bushes.

"He didn't look out of the ordinary at that time," says Brooks, adding that everyone assumed he was part of a Habitat for Humanity construction crew working nearby.

Bieger's ordeal finally drew to a close on October 30, in the suburb of Carrollton.

Mike Phillips, a construction foreman, spotted a man wandering close to the site where Bieger was having a new home built. Phillips thought the man might be Bieger, but he couldn't be sure.

"Joe, Joe!" Phillips yelled, and then asked the man if he knew his name.

Bieger replied that his name must be Joe.

Did he know his last name? Phillips asked.

"No, I don't guess I do," Bieger said.

As the two men spoke, memories slowly came back, Bieger says. It took about two hours to come out of the fog.

"It wasn't instantaneous," Bieger says. "Over some period of time I began to realize who I was."

In September, before he wandered off, he had experienced two episodes of amnesia that lasted only a few hours, and so his wife of 37 years, Patricia, had an idea of what happened to him after he vanished. She says that during the ordeal, she always believed her husband was alive.

Nevertheless, "there were days when I just wanted to give up," she says. The Sunday before he was found was her lowest point. "I said, `Lord, I can't do this anymore. You just have to send my husband home,"' she says.

Cause is a mystery

Dana Ames, director of a search team that looked for Bieger, says: "We knew that his intellect should still be intact, so his survival skills were going to kick in and it was a matter of time to find him."

No one seems to know exactly how many others are afflicted with psychogenic fugues, or what the precise underlying causes are.

Victims may lose all memory of themselves, family or friends, but otherwise seem to function normally and can perform routine tasks. Many experience an urge to move constantly from place to place. Most victims eventually regain their memories, though it can take days and sometimes years.

"It's among the rarest of the dissociative disorders," says Dr. David Spiegel, associate chairman of psychiatry at Stanford University.

Bieger's return to the Highlands School, a 400-student Roman Catholic institution, was marked by a student assembly and tears of joy.

"Just to see him and see that he was OK, the children were euphoric," says Denise Funke, a coordinator at the school.
Image
How 'bout them Huskers!
knapplc
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18961
Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: It's an L, not an I

Postby RWLongy4 » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:34 pm

That would be awful, the one good thing is his memory came back to him... Imagine having all your memory wiped for good.
RWLongy4
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle Eye
Posts: 3118
(Past Year: 1)
Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Miami University (OH)

Postby joelamosobadiah » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:02 pm

That is unbelievable. I mean, what would you do? I can't even imagine the fear and absolute wierdness of that whole situation.. 8-o

Even worse, can you imagine being related to the guy and just being afraid that his memory might not come back at all. :-o
Image
joelamosobadiah
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 16386
Joined: 4 Sep 2006
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Gun control is hitting what you aim at.

Postby Plindsey88 » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:23 pm

I had an episode of temporary amnesia when I was a kid... It was caused by a fall from a tree... I landed on my head, knocked myself cold, and when I woke up I didn't know who I was, who my own brother was, where I was, or what the hell was going on... After a few hours my memory came back, and I was all right...
Last edited by Plindsey88 on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image

Signature courtesy of: madaslives911
Plindsey88
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 10241
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby chadlincoln » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:26 pm

Wow. That's amazing. I thought that

wait

what am i doing here?

what's my screen name?
chadlincoln
Special Teams Staff
Special Teams Staff

User avatar

Posts: 253
Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Postby mrblitz » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:01 pm

Very strange. And scary. I think my wife would probably wish that would happen to me. :-b
Image


Call em as I see em!
mrblitz
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle Eye
Posts: 12770
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Having a coffee at the fantasy cafe.

Postby SniperShot » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:02 pm

Man that is freaky.
SniperShot
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertEagle EyeWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 7511
(Past Year: 14)
Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Fairfax, VA

Postby knapplc » Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:29 pm

Plindsey88 wrote:I had an episode of temporary amnesia when I was a kid... It was caused by a fall from a tree... I landed on my head, knocked myself cold, and when I woke up I didn't know who I was, who my own brother was, where I was, or what the hell was going on... After a few hours my memory came back, and I was all right...


I got knocked cold after falling from a tree when I was a kid, too. I was out of it for a while when I woke up but I didn't have amnesia - just a concussion and a heck of a headache.
Image
How 'bout them Huskers!
knapplc
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18961
Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: It's an L, not an I

Postby dgan » Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:30 pm

Sounds like the government found an unsuspecting guinea pig for an experimental drug...

j/k }:-)
Image
dgan
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Eagle Eye
Posts: 2941
Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Home Cafe: Football
Location: The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field

Postby steelerfan513 » Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:41 pm

mrblitz wrote:Very strange. And scary. I think my wife would probably wish that would happen to me. :-b


That you would lose your memory, be gone for over 3 weeks, or both? ;-)
Image
Image
Kudos to Leber for the amazing sig and to Metroid for the userbar and making them both fit
2008 and 2009 Defunct Dynasty League Champion
steelerfan513
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeMatchup Meltdown Survivor
Posts: 11906
Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Home Cafe: Football

Next

Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 3:45 hours
(and 36 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact