what I’m reading: brain on fire: my month of madness by susannah cahalan.

This book is scary. Scary because it’s a true story and could happen to anyone. Scary because it took doctors too many weeks and months before they finally figured out what was wrong with Susannah. Scary because one doctor brushed off her concerns with the diagnosis that she just drank too much and partied too hard.

When Susannah wakes up in the hospital she discovers she has no memory of the past month. What happened and how did she wind up in the hospital? As the days and months pass, Susannah recovers and struggles to piece together what happened.

This is a great memoir. The author does a fantastic job of being real and honest. She chronicles how she was diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic and tested for a number of diseases before the doctors diagnosed Susannah as having an inflammation in her brain. She sifts through hours of video footage and interviews friends and family to try to reconstruct events that she doesn’t remember.

For me, this book highlighted the fact that there are so many things about our bodies and health that we don’t understand. There are so many areas of the human brain that we don’t know about. I’m glad that the doctors were finally able to figure out what was wrong with Susannah and that while Susannah had a long road to recovery, this book had a happy ending.