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 of slurring a word.
As I type this, it’s one of the few days I can recall that the vertigo isn’t making me nauseous when I turn my head too quickly or I lean over to pick up my cat. And because of these simple things I can accomplish without contributing to the problem, I feel more alive inside.
A glimpse of the prankster I used to be is surfacing because today I feel more like “me.” The me I was before encephalitis, a cruel and often invisible brain injury to those on the outside. God bless the poor soul who will be the victim of my prank. This is your warning! 😎
For as long as this reprieve lasts, I will seize the day. I’ll use this energy that was once taken for granted and I’ll do the things that are typically difficult. Today I’ll use my concentration and focus and I’ll read … and remember what I read. I will walk an extra block. I will celebrate what it used to feel like to be asymptomatic, a precious gift of health.
Today I will reach out to someone I care about because I can focus long enough to mull over their heartstrings, contributing to our friendship (vs. common feelings of “stealing” from it). Today I will belly laugh at one of those crazy encephalitis moments that have shaped the “new me.” Ones that start with humility and are refined with a unique courage that only brain injury and neurological disorder survivors understand. [“I remembered to zip my zipper at dinner!”]
To all the fellow encephalitis survivors, I wish you a day like this. Most of us experience these rare days at some point. Today is mine and I promise not to waste it. Encephalitis, I “unfriend” you.