Thursday, February 3, 2011

Viral Encephalitis: A Disease I Never Wanted to Know this Much About

But I do. And now you're going to know too.

My mom has been in the hospital since Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning they were able to confirm a diagnosis of Viral Encephalitis. This is a swelling of the brain and very serious, but the type my mom has isn't fatal. According to the MRI, her brain swelling has remained localized. She currently has memory loss and gets fatigued easily. She has been able to regain motor skills as the brain swelling goes down and I am very optimistic that her memory will come back more and more as the swelling continues to go down. She is currently on a course of antivirals to help her own body's immune system fight the virus. It's very important that she stay as healthy as possible to be able to combat the encephalitis.

Recovery from this virus and the subsequent brain swelling will probably be slow and tedious. The full extent of the damage won't be known until the swelling has completely gone down - this could take weeks or months. She'll remain in the hospital for at least several more days before she's released to recover at home. As soon as my dad gives me the green light, I'll drive down to see her myself.

Many of you already know about this and have been faithfully praying for my mom - Thank You! I know your prayers are being heard. Please continue to pray for her. Several people have also posted notes of encouragement on her facebook wall. I'm sure once she checks, those will be uplifting for her to read.

My sister-in-law, Christina, is currently in medical school and has been very valuable to talk to during this time. She sent me this link from the Mayo Clinic that explains Viral Encephalitis in regular-people terms:

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