My life before Autoimmune Encephalitis with positive NMDA Receptors

So my name is Jenny and I am 21 years old.

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In this photo I am actually having my first symptoms of encephalitis NMDA, not that I knew it then, I just thought I had bad hay fever, a severe ear infection and anxiety attacks.

Firstly this blog is going to be for me to vent and somewhere for me to write down my days and for me to keep a track on my memories/symptoms and even side effects as I can’t trust my memory anymore. I have lost 2-4 years of my memory and have been finding it hard lately to remember things. This is also for my family, friends and other encephalitis sufferers to read to try to understand how I am feeling and what it is like living with an invisible illness, a brain injury, encephalitis. Encephalitis is a rare condition, having positive NMDA receptors makes it rarer and harder. This is also to help raise awareness for Encephalitis as no one seems to know what is wrong with me, I have inflammation of the brain. My life has just changed forever and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Dates and times are very important for me now which you’ll see as you read on and in future posts!

My life was pretty normal until towards the end of July 2014.

I had moved into a flat with my boyfriend Martin in 27th May 2013. We adopted 2 cats on 14th July 2013, called Mystie and Tipsy who had various medical issues but after a few stressful months they over came it all and are now relatively healthy and very happy. We have two turtles called Treasure and Whizzy which we gave a forever home on 5th august 2012. We both had a car each and full time jobs although I hated my job working full time in a call centre and decided at Christmas 2013, after numerous problems with my arsehole of a team leader who decided he would use his mental health issues and home life issues and take them out on me causing me to have an anxiety attack at work after he tried to publicly embarrass me in the call centre and being told I would be most probably be working the late shift (12.30-9) Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and the same again New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, that enough was enough and I would shove the job back in their faces by handing my notice in just before Christmas! I probably shouldn’t have put that but it’s my blog and my thoughts and I think no matter how bad your life is, you should never take it out on anyone else, or try to belittle someone else, it’s bad karma! Even though I had no job to go to, I did not care, I was sad to leave all the friends I had met there but an office job is just not for me. I was not the type of person who could sit down for too long so this job killed me and I put on so much weight errrugh!
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Me and Martin just before the episodes June 2014.

Anyways I decided I wanted to do what I had always wanted to do and that was to be an early years teacher so I applied for an early years apprentice at Paragon and proceeded to call around 50 potential places, only one got back to me, The 115 club. I went for an interview and got the job! It was to start on the 20th January 2014 and my last day at the call centre was 18th December 2013 so I had a month off work to enjoy myself and relax! It was a part time position working 2.45-5.45 Monday to Friday term time and working 2 full days of 8.45-5.45 a week during holiday time. It meant being on an apprentice wage and seeing my monthly wage decrease by 75%!! But I loved this job so much that I didn’t care about the money, I could have happily worked for free! I was having weekly appointments for psychological therapy for depression, anxiety and OCD behaviour. This started 22nd august 2014 and ended 13th February 2014 where I relapsed that very night and felt like I’d gone back to square one but after reading the relapse prevention programme we had set up, I felt back in control of my emotions and never really had an issue since that or so I thought.

Seeing as I had this fresh start with my new job I decided to sell my car to save money as my job was only a 10 minute bike ride away from home and I decided to join slimming world with my mum to shift this weight so I could finally feel happy with myself and start enjoying myself and life properly. I joined on 19th February 2014. My last weigh in was 13th August 2014 where I lost 4.5lbs, got slimmer of the week, my 3 stone award and I was also nominated for woman of the year 2014 which I won! My awards from slimming world consists of 1/2 stone, 1 stone, 1 1/2 stone, 2 stone, 2 1/2 stone, 3 stone, young slimmer of the year 2014, bronze body magic, silver body magic, gold body magic, woman of the year 2014, slimmer of the week x4, slimmer of the month x2! I had lost 42.5lbs in 25 weeks!
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Me and my mum when I won woman of the year 2014 at slimming world!

I had my 6 month appraisal at work on 3rd July 2014, where I was not only offered breakfast club hours at the ringwood club but they also wanted to take me on as a proper member of staff which meant no more apprentice wage!!! I had never felt so happy in my life, I was literally on cloud 9, absolutely buzzing!

I was obsessed with my sewing machine, making baby quilts and pillows, buttons, making button embroidery pictures, making bunting, couponing – I once got over £120 worth of free cat food, £40 worth of free fruit and veg, £65 worth of meat for £21.43 and over £150 worth of free coke zero.

As you can see I had really changed my life around for the better and I was really getting on track! Everything good was seeming to happen to me, sometimes it felt to good to be true, but then I though about all the good karma I had been giving out and thought this was mine coming back! I had a really supportive family, boyfriend, best friend and a small group of true friends. I had got rid of all the fake friends in my life who were going nowhere and were holding me down and maybe unintentionally causing me to feel depressed.
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Me and my best friend on her wedding day, 25th July 2014, the day before it all started. I’m so lucky to still remember this special day!

I started to notice little changes around June/July 2014 time, but it all started to spiral out of control from August 2014.

I will start blogging about my weird and wonderful symptoms and seizures that happened to me so that you can get a little understanding of how it feels to have your immune system attack your brain and nearly kill you, and how it feels when everyone just thinks you’ve gone crazy!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you wanna chat just leave a message below x

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Author: jennygx

My name is Jenny, I live in Bournemouth with my boyfriend Martin and 2 cats Mystie and Tipsy. I was diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in August 2014, my whole life was completely changed and I created this blog to try to piece together forgotten memories with texts and social media posts I had sent during my month of madness. I now use the blog to raise awareness for Encephalitis and brain injuries and to connect with other survivors.. I am still slowly recovering, it is a long process and extremely hard but every day is a step closer to a healthier me!

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