Michelle Philpots lives every day like it's 1994 - even if she doesn't want to.
The office worker from Spalding, England was in a pair of serious car accidents - a motorcycle crash in 1985 and a car crash in 1990 - that had a strange long-term effect on her brain. At first, it seemed like Philpots had developed epilepsy, and she suffered from seizures.
A surgery removed some of Spalding's damaged brain cells, preventing any more seizures, but the accidents caused lasting damage to her memory. Philpots struggled to recall details like people's names just minutes after meeting them, and was eventually fired for photocopying the same sheet of paper over and over.
Doctors diagnosed Philpots with "anterograde amnesia," a rare memory disorder that only affects her short-term memories. Everything after 1994 is a blur to Philpots - including her marriage to her husband Ian.
Every morning, when Philpots wakes up, Ian has to show her their family photo album to convince her they're really married. Ian says he's just lucky that Philpots met him before 1994, because otherwise she wouldn't remember him at all.
Their life together is anything but easy, but as it turns out there are a few upsides to losing your memory.
To get through her everyday life, Philpots has left hundreds of Post-It notes with details about herself around her home.
She rarely leaves her house, but if she does she brings along a GPS device with her address programmed into it, just in case. But despite her struggles, Philpots has taught herself to live an almost normal life.
"Right at the beginning for me, it was heartbreaking, knowing that I was different,” she explained on the Today show.
“I wanted to be back to the normal me and not this shell of a person. I want my career back. I want to be able to say, ‘I remember when’ again — but knowing [that’s] the life you’ve lost, you can’t do it.”
Philpots programs reminders for doctor's appointments on her cell phone, and otherwise just tries to keep herself busy. She loves comedy shows, because she can laugh at the same episode every day, and even enjoys soap operas - despite not being able to follow the plot.
Meanwhile, books are a no-go, because "by the time I’ve started and get to the middle, I’ve forgotten how it started."
“I get frustrated, but I have to keep calm because I love her," Ian admits about living with his wife's condition. "She still remembers when we first met. It’s just the day-to-day things she struggles to recall.”
Could you love someone with Philpots's condition?
[H/T: Daily Mail]