What It’s Like to Lose Your Short-Term Memory

This hits too close to home: I think of Lottie, a sister-friend, a mother to an-in-law’s child, a nieces’s close childhood friend,a member of my family who fights this as she is afflicted by seizures. An extremely difficult condition for those living with it as much as those who loves someone who has to manage it, survive it. As you watch someone who was once so vibrant, so alive buckle under the weight of coping with this crippling, stifling condition, it becomes just so clear that you can only hold on to so much, if time and destiny allows you to.

Thank you for sharing your story, Christine.


Christine Hyung-Oak Lee | Longreads | February 2017 | 18 minutes (4,276 words)

Longreads is proud to feature an exclusive excerpt from Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life, the forthcoming memoir by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee. Lee’s story was first featured on Longreads in 2014, for her BuzzFeed essay, “I Had a Stroke at 33.”


Short-term memory dominates all tasks—in cooking, for instance: I put the water to boil in a pot on the stove and remember that the water will boil while I chop the onions. I will put the sauté pan on the stove to heat up the oil for the onions, and I will then put the onions, which I will remember I have chopped, into the oil, which I remember I have heated for the onions. I will then add tomatoes. While the onions and tomatoes cook, I…

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