For him, it is always Monday, March 14, 2005.
The photo above is a reenactment of waking up everyday thinking you have to make it to a dentist's appointment. (via Thinkstock)
Amnesia is such a terrifying condition, yet we've made it look so glamorous in movies, or into convenient plot point for soap operas. In real life, memory loss has many forms and frequently involves learning to use forks again, stuff like that. In the case of patient "WO" who is being studied by Dr. Gerald Burgess at the University of Leicester, memory loss involves starting every day in the same place, a la Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. Or Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except Bill Murray remembers that he's starting the day in the same place, so it's more like everyone around him has amnesia. Wait, what?
Burgess' description of what happens to WO sounds pretty harrowing and not family-friendly:
"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."
The scariest thing about this story: THEY DON'T KNOW WHY HE HAS AMNESIA. The last moment of his memory loss is traced to being injected with an anesthetic before a root canal treatment over a decade ago. He hasn't suffered any brain damage and, after 10 years, the doctors are pretty sure he isn't just pretending!