I was a very healthy working professional I am an RN who is in charge of education. 4 weeks prior to this sudden illness I recieved my annual flu shot as I always have done. I had some muscle aches for a few days, before I got sick and thought it might be from my cholesterol medicine, so I went to see my PCP ton 10/28/2011. He ordered bloodwork which came back perfectly normal, no sign of any infection or virus. On 10/29/2011 my husband heard the water running in the bathroom and came in to check up on me, I was on the floor, he called 911 - they transferred me to the local ER. I was confused and they had to sedate me, intubate me,etc. They did an initial spinal tap which was normal. They could not figure this out as all my tests were coming back normal, so they transferred me to a larger teaching hospital, where after the second spinal tap and an MRI the correctly diagnosed adem. I was put on high dose steroids and was on a ventilator for 12 days. I moved out of ICU, and was sent home 3 days later. I am still recovering, I am getting home therapy now, hopeful to move off the walker to a cane next week then start regular outpatient therapy. Still a little foggy at times, but seem to be able to think clearer every day. I am very impatient to get better, but scared of some permanent damage. I definitely have some right sided weakness, and some fine motor hand issues. I also notice the lower the steroids go (I am still tapering) I seem to have more headaches. I also have always been upbeat and positive and will find myself start crying for no reason. I know I am still in the acute recovery phase, but I seem so anxious about stuff now. What a very scary experience the whole episode was, and I am so thankful to be alive! How has the recovery process gone for others. And has anyone else suffered this after the 2011 flu shot?
Just an update on my status. I have returned to work as of 1-2-2012 part time, and plan on returning full time in Feb. I am totally off steroids, and my headaches have lessened. It seems good to get back into a normal routine. Cognitvely, emotionally, and physically I am doing pretty well. I am having a repeat MRI on 2-3-2012, so hopefully all will be improved. It was a very scary and life changing event. Happy New Year to all!