Who are you when your brain is not you?

Jane Lapotaire is one of the lucky ones. Many people do not survive, let alone live intelligently and well again once they have suffered cerebral haemorrhage. In the long haul back to life - 'nearly dying was the easy bit' - she's learned much, some of it very hard lessons. Some friendships became casualties; family relations had to be redefined; and her work as an actress took a severe battering. The stress of living is felt that much more keenly when 'sometimes I still feel as if I am walking around with my brain outside my body. A brain still all too available for smashing by noise, physical jostling, or any form of harshness'. But she has survived and now believes it herself when people say how lucky she is.

This is a very moving, darkly funny, honest book about what happens when the 'you' you've known all your life is no longer the same you.

"Jane Lapotaire is one of this country’s most distinguished actresses, winning many awards for her TV and theatre work. In year 2000 Jane collapsed having suffered a cerebral haemorrhage. This is Jane’s story of recovery from the subsequent brain injury that the haemorrhage and invasive surgery left her with. Despite the fact that her damage was not caused by Encephalitis I heard nearly everyone of you in her words time and time again. What is truly remarkable about this book above any other I have read is her insight into her difficulties and her ability to verbalise those insights. Jane also had remarkable insight and retained ‘islands of memory’ from her acute stage of illness, and her post-operative confusional state. Jane also manages to describe the actions and words of the other person she has become with astonishing clarity. She is honest about the effect this has had not only on herself but also on her relationships and friendships that became casualties of Jane’s recovery. Jane also accurately describes her battle to receive services and her disgust at how little neurological help there is available in the UK. If you have been affected directly or indirectly by neurological illness and don’t want to feel so alone then READ THIS BOOK. If you are a professional and want to understand how very hard it is for people in recovery then this is the place to start. Put to one side all the textbooks and academic research - this book provides a lesson in humanity."

                    Review by Ava Easton, The Encephalitis Society, 2003

Available to buy from Amazon