Brain on Fire: my Month of Madness

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Susannah  Cahalan
Brain on Fire: my Month of Madness
Brain on Fire is the story of a 20-something who contracts a rare type of encephalitis. Due to the rarity of her physical illness, the symptoms are initially chalked up to mental illness. This is an interesting story, with one feature I found a little bumpy in the telling. She will, in several places, give a little anatomical/physiological/pathological explanation, which can be somewhat educational, but doesn’t seem, IMHO, to transition smoothly with the rest of the text.

Scary note: If someone living in New York City, and being hospitalized in a prestigious place like NYU Langone, must seemingly wait ages to be properly diagnosed, what might happen to someone with the same disease who does not have access to these resources?

All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments

From  Margaret Mezzacapo
Author:  Alex Witchel
All Gone: a Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments 
This book chronicles the author’s mother’s journey through stages of Alzheimer’s, from an active, vibrant, educated woman to a completely different and debilitated person. This journey impacts not only the patient, but many others as well. Witchel uses food as an illustrative device to chronicle her younger years as well as the present, and includes recipes for the dishes that serve to illustrate her life.

I enjoyed this book and its style. Before starting any Alzheimer’s support group, I’d recommend reading this book. It shows that those who are mourned are not necessarily deceased.