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Book Review: The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. Lipska

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
the-neuroscientist-who-lost-her-mind-barbara-lipska Imagine spending your life studying the brain and mental illnesses like schizophrenia, only to find yourself start exhibiting the same symptoms.

This is what happened to Neuroscientist Barbara Lipska in this powerful memoir, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind.

Lipska describes her life before any symptoms. She was/is highly functioning in all areas of her life. In her career she managed/manages a foundation and a brain bank.

In her personal life she has a loving husband, children and grandchildren. The family are into fitness and Lipska describes being physically fit and always pushing herself, to run further, to go faster.

Suddenly one day Lipska is on a run, a regular route she’s done thousands of times before, but she can’t remember where she lives.

This is just the start of the sometimes bizarre, sometimes difficult and sometimes downright scary symptoms. Lipska goes to the hospital, family in tow and is diagnosed with a brain tumor.

As the tumor is being treated Lipska’s symptoms worsen. She becomes abrupt and emotionally hurtful to her family. It is a strange thing. Looking back now, Lipska can understand how some of the awful things she said would have hurt her family and how she now knows that they were hurt by their reaction. Yet she can still remember how she felt and what she was thinking at the time. I think it would be fair to say Lipska losing her empathy was probably one of the most challenging symptoms for her.

Lipska describes her journey through the American healthcare system and how she managed to get enrolled into a clinical trial programme, after checking that her insurance would cover the costs, that probably saved her life. I must admit this part made me feel extremely grateful for the National Health Service (NHS) that we have here in the UK, which is free, paid for through taxation.

The ending is ultimately positive. As Lipska continues to be treated her symptoms start to lessen and eventually disappear. Her cancer goes into remission. Reading The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind made me feel like I’d made a new friend in Lipska. This is because stories, especially personal, intimate and ones involving vulnerability help people form meaningful connections with one another. I will admit that this book made me cry at one point, which is extremely rare and a testament to Lipska’s writing and honesty.

Despite the subject matter, Lipska’s tone is warm, engaging and makes the book a page turning read. I read it in a few settings, never wanting to put it down.

I would highly recommend The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind to anyone that likes memoirs, or stories about dealing with adversity.

Review soon,



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A List of Qualities in People that INSPIRE Me

By Inspiration, Life, ThinkingNo Comments

According to Google inspiration is defined as:


Google’s Definition of Inspiration

Back in 2008, I wrote a blog post about People that inspire me. I could add so many people to that blog post.

But instead I decided to look at the qualities in people that inspire me. Here’s my list of qualities that those people display:

  • Accepting.
  • Authentic.
  • Balanced in their thinking.
  • Battle their inner demons.
  • Believe in fairness and equality.
  • Brings joy to others.
  • Can have a presence on entering a room or blend into the background in social situations.
  • Captivating Story Teller.
  • Careful in their actions.
  • Cares about others.
  • Comfortable with themselves.
  • Confident yet humble.
  • Connects emotionally with others.
  • Creative.
  • Describes their own thoughts & feelings through words well.
  • Determined.
  • Diplomatic.
  • Dislikes injustice.
  • Empathetic.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Flawed.
  • Funny.
  • Generous.
  • Good communicator.
  • Has others following them.
  • Honesty.
  • Humorous.
  • Independent.
  • Influences others.
  • Intelligent.
  • Is a Collaborator.
  • Is a Doer.
  • Is a Dreamer.
  • Is Grateful.
  • Kindness.
  • Knows when, who and why to ask for help.
  • Makes others feel comfortable.
  • Makes others laugh.
  • Motivational.
  • Non-judgemental.
  • Occasional vulnerable.
  • One-step ahead of others.
  • Open minded.
  • Optimistic.
  • Passionate.
  • Patient.
  • Positive.
  • Relaxed in new situations.
  • Self-aware.
  • Sensitive.
  • Shares their Knowledge and wisdom.
  • Sincere.
  • Stands up for the rights of others.
  • Supports & helps others.
  • Unconventional.
  • Values community.
  • Vibrant.
  • Wants a better society for all.
  • Wants others to reach their potential.
  • Willing to fight for a cause.
  • Wise.
  • Works hard.

I’m sure there’s many other qualities that could be added to the list. I also know that as well as people, many other things inspire me. Things such as music, books, films, paintings, nature, animals and expressions of love to name but a few.

What qualities do you admire in the people that inspire you? Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.

Blog soon,



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A Rough Time for The Fascinating Man

By Health, LifeNo Comments

Do you remember The Fascinating Man? Well I caught up with him a few weeks ago and he’s recently been diagnosed with epilepsy. He told me that the doctors said it was something he always had but been triggered by recent stresses his life.

The Fascinating Man told me about the effects it has in his life, seizures that sometimes he feels coming on at other times he doesn’t. He said that he’s been started on medication to control the seizures, but they haven’t yet got the right dosage for it to be fully effective. I was sad to hear his University has stopped him graduating (a few months before he was due to do so) as they couldn’t insure him on placement until he has 1 year seizure-free.

I realised that he’s lost his driving licence as you have to be seizure-free for at least twelve months in order to have a UK driving licence. I asked him how he was getting about. He said that his boyfriend was driving him where he needs to go. Last time I spoke to him (see The Fascinating Man) I got the feeling that he wasn’t completely happy at that time with the relationship, so I asked him how things were. He seemed to indicate that the epilepsy had brought them closer together and that the boyfriend had been really supportive, which I was pleased with.

I know what it’s like to be diagnosed with a medical condition that’s life changing (see How I was diagnosed with Diabetes). I also know that it’s probably effected him in more ways than he expressed in our brief conversation. But I feel so much empathy for him, especially when I’ve seen him work so hard to complete Uni, only to be told he needs to repeat the entire 3rd year with a few months to go. I let him know that I was sorry to hear about his epilepsy and tried to reassure him that everyone has something. Explaining that I have diabetes and a friend of mine has a heart condition. That was then the end to another too brief conversation between us.

While reading up on epilepsy for this blog post I found a really interesting article by Hill entitled The psychological and social impact of epilepsy that could be applied to any long term chronic medical condition. It’s an interesting read and will give anyone not diagnosed with a long term medical condition some understanding of the psychological and social impacts that a person with a long term chronic medical condition experiences.

Write soon,


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