Waking Up To The New Everything

Hospital patient with drip

“Oh, my head hurts. This pain is terrible,” I think to myself, holding the back of my head while lying on my back. “And where in the world am I?” I began sitting up.

As my last blog shared, I had been sent to the nearby hospital. But, more important, my last post shared how God’s perfect timing was perfectly shown twenty-three years ago.

In a nutshell, back then II came down with a serious illness I simply call encephalitis, but technically known as meningoencephalitis. It’s an acute inflammation of the brain, and the effects it can leave depends on the severity of the inflammation and where it occurs in your brain. It can have many different mental and physical effects.

As I began to sit up, with one hand holding the back of my head, I felt very ignorant. Ignorant to all that was going on, wondering what in the world was around me.
“Who are these people? Why are they staring at me and getting closer? Why does my head hurt so bad?”
That day turned out to be the eighth or ninth days after I first arrived at Highline Hospital. So after the first hour when I was escorted into that hospital to the day I ‘woke up’, I do not remember a thing. I wasn’t asleep those days, mind you: I just don’t remember any of the things I was doing, saying, or being told. Not one. But man, I’ll never forget when I woke up. Severe head pain and many questions going on in that twenty-three-year-old brain of mine.

“Look. I can tell something’s improving.” I heard, then followed with questions.
“How are you feeling? How bad does your head feel? Do any of us look familiar ?” were a few things I remember hearing from the two or three strangers I can still picture standing around me.

Now I can’t get into the exact details of what began taking place for one simple reason: my brain was no longer normal. It was as if my brain was an empty bowl. A bowl where nothing was inside to pull out that could help me recall anything about anything. It felt as if all twenty-three years of what I had known was history. And that is what encephalitis did to my brain. Not remembering happenings from the past, or what anything was called, had taken into affect along with, thankfully, only a few physical ailments.
I heard much going back and forth between those whom, I soon learned, were called doctors.

“Looks like she has come out of the worst part. There’s now hope.” Sounded good to me being as most all other things said made no sense.

I know the doctors, in very simple terms, tried to explain what had happened.

woman in hospital with two doctors

“Marianne, something has caused you to fall down [seizure] which had you come to this place called a hospital. It took us a few days to figure out what sickness you got. Thankfully, you now have come out of the toughest time of it all. From now on, we will see how this has affected you physically and mentally, doing all we can to help you get better. Do you understand?”
But that was fine. They knew I wouldn’t be able to make sense out of it anyway. I just knew all these people, who were wearing almost identical clothes, were reassuring me that things would get better. I don’t recall much more than that. I do know, though, how that hospital had became my new home, a home I will never forget. Why? Because it had become the only home  I knew about.  Remember, my brain had become an empty bowl where not much from my past could be found.

A big day, indeed. I bet, if I knew what a diary was,  I would have written something like:
Dear Diary,
Something happened to me that I can’t really explain. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know what these people mean when they say I have encepha-something. I have no idea what all this poking around on me they’re doing is for. They asked if I know who my family is. I need to learn first what a family IS. I’m tired now. Time I lie back down. I’ll write more later.
Bye diary.

That time, right then and there, was the beginning of my often-worded ‘new’ life.


The beginning of one long, winding road that had too many scary turns and unexpected detours.

I do plan to share a bit more of what took place those next few weeks, but with far less detail than my book I am now writing. I have been strongly encouraged to share what had happened, as I’ve stated before, to show how God’s plans for His children are perfect.

Marianne Petersen’s book God and My Pillow is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 
Follow Marianne on Instagram and Facebook.

11 Comments on “Waking Up To The New Everything”

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