12 life-changing letters: encephalitis

Encephalitis. What a mouthful of a word. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t heard of this 12-letter word until 6 years ago. When the doctor said it, I kinda shrugged, thinking “thank God it wasn’t a stroke.” His expression changed as he explained that encephalitis is a form of brain injury, quite similar to a […]

What Is “Recovery” from Encephalitis?

When death stared me in the eyes 8 years ago this week, I never contemplated survival from encephalitis. I fast forwarded to milestones I assumed I’d miss … my son’s graduation, his career, his choice in who he’d marry. Being with my family during holidays. Traveling to new countries. Retiring. If I were to survive, […]

What Success Looks Like Post Encephalitis

Success? Hmmm. Are we measuring in miles or inches? In the interactions I’ve had with hundreds of survivors, success looks different from person to person even though survival looks similar. Regardless of how we acquired encephalitis … West Nile, auto-immune disorder, Herpes, Lyme’s, etc. the outcomes are similar. Memory loss, extreme fatigue, speech disorders and […]

Encephalitis Survivor Tips Vol. 2

Brainstorming among the brain injured … now there’s an interesting way to spend a Saturday afternoon! At our Nov. 22nd survivor/caregiver meeting, these were the top mentions of helping us help ourselves. That’s what I call a successful brainstorm. Top tips: Listen to your body. Learn to pace yourself. It sounds so simple, yet we […]

Seize the Brain!

Asymptomatic, a beautiful word for someone who knows chronic illness. Today is one of the few days in nearly seven years I woke up with energy, a respite from the daily fatigue that squashes my creativity and challenges my temperament. Today the word “asymptomatic” rolls off my tongue with ease, absent of my usual fear […]