All of those touched by HE, by other forms of autoimmune encephalitis, or indeed by any type of encephalitis, have the opportunity this spring to attend – and benefit from – the wonderful conference put on annually by Encephalitis Global (“E-Global).
This year’s conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, and begins on the evening of Friday, May 11, 2018. The conference runs through mid-afternoon on Sunday, May, 13, 2018.
These conferences are an opportunity to spend a weekend with others who know and understand just how difficult it is to deal with the problems our illness causes to the brain and central nervous system.
Those who attend the conference will spend a weekend at a nice hotel in Seattle (Best Western) where there will be a variety of interesting presentations throughout the weekend designed for those who are coping with the impacts of encephalitis. Because all of the presentations will occur right in the hotel, where we will also have several meals together, this is an opportunity to learn, to laugh, and perhaps to cry, with others who understand – whether you have HE yourself, or whether you are the spouse, family member, or friend of someone with HE.
The topics of the presentations this year are geared toward improving our ability to cope with the impairments that come along with encephalitis and include:
- An introduction to meditation for those with brain issues – by the founder of a Meditation Studio in Vancouver, BC
- A discussion of the rehabilitation needs of survivors – by an encephalitis survivor who has written a book about her experience
- A series of mental exercises presented by another author and encephalitis survivor designed to help you identify your negative tendencies, defeat your fears, and reach your full potential despite your challenges
- A discussion designed to help both survivors and their caregivers develop greater resilience and coping strategies, by a doctor in Organizational Psychology
- The “do’s and don’ts” of applying for US Social Security Disability benefits, by an attorney (and co-founder of HESA) who became disabled due to HE, along with a Seattle Attorney whose practice focuses on helping people obtain Social Security Disability benefits
- An interactive program titled “Talking therapy for the Encephalitis survivor: how to live with the Post Encephalitis Brain, and how to Identify and Manage Emotions” presented by a Psychiatrist
Attendees often form friendships that continue long past these conferences, and many say privately that being able to spend a weekend talking to and socializing with others who genuinely understand what you are dealing with is at least as rewarding as the formal presentations!
There will be a minimum of two attendees at the conference who have HE, and there will likely be several more (who have not yet signed up). In past conferences, those of us with HE have arranged to have lunch together on Saturday so that we can share our unique challenges with one another, and to see what other HE’ers are up to! Other attendees at the conference typically include people with other forms of autoimmune encephalitis (NMDA-R, Rasmussen’s, ADEM, etc.) as well as those who have survived infectious forms of encephalitis.
A link to the registration information (including additional info about the presentations for this year), is below.