Brain Wreck

At half a globe away from home, a business professional delivers a polished presentation to a group of executives. And within two hours, she forgets how to walk. Talking becomes too strenuous. She is struck by an odd series of neurological deficits that baffle her and a dozen doctors … for 27 months.

Brain Wreck is a must read for anyone who has witnessed the frustration of a mysterious illness. This is a story of determination and an unrelenting journey to save one’s mind. With humor and unabashed honesty, the author restores a shattered spirit while striving to be “normal.”

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”      – Epictetus

Buy the book on Kindle here. Paperback is available here and a Nook version is available here.

 

Reviews

“Can a gripping pursuit to discover the truth behind a life-threatening illness also be warmhearted, insightful, and humorous in equal measure? Read More

Becky Dennis’ inspiring and artfully crafted memoir Brain Wreck proves the answer to be a resounding ‘yes.’ With unsparing openness and Texas congeniality, Dennis takes us on the ride of a life while she races to save her own.”

-Franz Wisner, NY Times bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brotherand How the World Makes Love

“This patient’s testimony raises many questions about encephalitis and its management. It is also a lesson for physicians, with the hope that we improve our behavior toward patients, having read their feelings and gained some understanding. Read More

The author describes her impaired life very well and the disease from the inside … often humorous, but there are some strong sentences: ‘Please speak English,’ she says when a physician tries to explain physiopathological features. Lessons that physicians can gain from this book are … difficulties in diagnosing encephalitis and the ‘invisible sequelae.’ The author focuses on a real unmet need in the field of neurological infections: When should we make the diagnosis of sequelae? Using what tools? What is the optimal management of patients? This presentation is quite similar to stroke or trauma. Should we apply the same management?”

– Jean-Paul Stahl, University Hospital and Medical University, Infectious Diseases, Hôpital Michallon, Grenoble, France

“As an infectious disease physician who has studied encephalitis for over 15 years, I was surprised by how much I learned about the patient’s perspective of this illness. There is so much to be learned from this book, especially for those in the medical field as it provides a number of very important messages about rare or difficult to diagnose syndromes. When testing doesn’t support a diagnosis, this book encourages physicians to keep looking for answers when confronted with elusive illnesses and resist the temptation to refer to invisible symptoms as “stress.” Becky uses humor to tell her distressing story about such a severe and poorly understood illness and its long-term consequences. “Brain Wreck” serves as an important, albeit painful, illustration of the diagnostic difficulty of rare and orphan diseases.”

– Dr. Carol Glaser, MD, DVM, MPVM, Chief of Encephalitis & Special Investigations Section, California Department of Public Health

“This is the gripping tale of one woman’s struggle to discover the truth behind the mysterious illness that is encephalitis and save her mind. This book beautifully captures the feelings of fear and isolation that patients often experience, but also does so with humor. We learn first-hand about the difficulty in diagnosing encephalitis and the often ‘invisible’ effects that it can have on a person after the illness. This powerful patient’s perspective gives a very important message that medical texts cannot do justice.”

– Dr Julia Granerod, PhD, Lead Epidemiologist, Encephalitis Study with the Virus Reference Dept. of Public Health England