So as you will have discovered by now, I am a survivor of Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. I was diagnosed in August 2014. My life drastically changed from that moment and it has been completely different ever since. I am a complete shell of the 21 year old confident, bubbly social person I once was before I struck ill. I now suffer from daily migraines, chronic aches and pains all over my body, servere social anxiety and general anxiety about being alone – I can no longer leave my house alone. I have gained so much weight, I am almost unrecognisable to some people. I have sleeping problems, extreme fatigue – needing regular naps throughout the day and I have permanent bags under my eyes no matter how much make up I apply, I can’t hide them.. If I overdo it slightly one day, it will put me out of action for 3-7 days! I catch every cold/sickness bug going and spend at least 1-2 days a week being sick. I have to take 25+ medications a day, not including pain relief. This makes my life sound horrendous and some days when I’m having bad days it really is, but it’s not all that bad…
Having Encephalitis has made me appreciate life more, it’s given me a reason to wake up each day because I was so close to losing my life. I learn something new every day because my short term memory is damaged, which makes me feel like I’m improving as I’m using my brain to process information better. I think of things and peoples feelings in a more sensitive way as I can see their opinion more clearly. I actually stop and take time to appreciate all the little things like the birds singing, the bug crawling, the flower opening etc, I look at nature more in detail when before I would have been to busy to stop. I have stopped letting the world pass me by and I am now taking time to enjoy all the beautiful precious things that have been created as you never know how long you have left. I have also met an incredible network of beautiful people with Encephalitis so good things do come from this awful disease. There is light at the end of every tunnel.
I was recently interviewed by Caters Agency for Encephalitis Awareness and they have managed to get my article on the ‘The Daily Mail Online’ and a small piece printed in ‘The Sun’ newspaper. I have recently had a phone interview with Chat magazine so I’m waiting for that to be published so I will update when it comes out.
I was also approached by four Bournemouth University students studying Media Production recently. They are making a 3-6 minute documentary titled ‘The Heart Of The Matter’ for one of their course units. They had seen my story in the Daily Mail and have asked me to take part in the documentary about my life and how Encephalitis has affected me. They also added they wanted to spread more awareness for Encephalitis and help others with the condition. I accepted and we filmed recently, they are piecing it altogether over the Christmas holidays and coming back to film more after the holidays if needed. I really can’t wait to see the finished product of this, it will be a momento for me to keep forever. The uni students were great, such lovely people and made me feel so comfortable, they also got me some cute thank you gifts!
Daily Mail Online – Click Here
The Sun Newspaper –
Hopefully by having more articles published, more awareness will raised! I have read so many great articles and it’s so good to see awareness being raised! Let’s keep raising awareness and kick Encephalitis’ butt!