Direct links

15 Sep

Hello there!

This post will be on top of all my other posts so that it’ll be easier for new readers.

If you’re interested to know more about my story, here are some links.
Be sure to read my first few entries in Nov-Dec 2012. [my first Anti-NMDA experience] [my relapse] [raising awareness]

Through Facebook, I found Liz Molly from UK. She too is a survivor and has since done a ton to raise awareness! Here is a link to her blog. She has collaborated other links too. Do check them out if keen!

I found Ceri through Facebook too. She is from UK as well. She has informative stuff on NMDA on her blog so do spend some time visiting her site!

Alright, I hope this helps!

It’s World Encephalitis Day 2015!

22 Feb

Hello dear readers!

My apologies for not keeping this page updated as often as I would like to.

Today is a special day and I’m dedicating this post to ALL recovering/recovered patients and their families and whoever has/have been involved with someone diagnosed with NMDA Encephalitis.

Therefore the purpose of today’s post is to do all I can to spread AWARENESS of NMDA. Full name: ANTI-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis.

If this is your first time coming across this medical term, let me enlighten you.

NMDA is a type of autoimmune encephalitis. This occurs when our body’s own immune system attacks the brain.

Do keep in mind that seizures are one of the initial symptoms, it does not equal to the person being epileptic!

NMDA Receptor Antibody Encephalitis is a recently identified autoimmune disease that causes psychiatric features, confusion, memory loss and seizures followed by a movement disorder, loss of consciousness and changes in blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. The disease can respond well to various therapies that dampen down the immune system and the removal of an underlying tumour if one is found, but improvement is often slow.

If you are keen to know a deeper insight of NMDA, this link should do good. It is where I got my facts from: CLICK HERE

For those of you new to my blog, I first showed symptoms (seizure in school) in Nov 2011 and was only given a proper diagnosis in Jan 2012. I was hospitalised for a month and with the help of my doctors, I was discharged on 8 Feb 2012. Being hospitalised for a month may have seemed long for me but as I compare mine to other patients’ experiences, I have to be thankful. Some have been in bed for months, some are much younger than me and for some faced the worst, death.

Since then, I was under a high dosage of Keppra. It was to manage my seizures. In Feb 2013, I was in my last 2 months of university studies and I unexpectedly had a relapse at home. I had multiple seizures more severe ones compared to the year before. So I was given IVIG treatment, a steroid for 5 days which was used to lower my immune system.

To cut everything short, after being discharged, the medication I was given was appalling. I never had so much drugs in my system before (and to factor in those terrible side effects!!). I however tried to keep a positive outlook of it (I know many will say it’s easier said than done). It definitely has helped me cope with life. Today, all steroids and other medicine except for one are OUT!! (:

Besides this intention of spreading awareness about WED222, my other highlight is to let people out there know that having NMDA leads to not only bad but good outcomes too.

Despite the horrific memories and whatever bad that came out with it, life is well and I’m contented, happy, happy where I am now. I know there’ll be others who disagree but what I feel that came out best was myself helping other families who have loved ones suffering with the same diagnosis as myself. Through facebook support groups and this dear blog, I’ve connected with some, some even here in Singapore! I want to help them because being alone battling this daily is obviously bad and I’ve always wanted to give back to the society. It gives me a good feel and I’m happy doing this. I want to help as many, I feel the need to.

Therefore, this leads me back to my main purpose of today’s post>> awareness awareness AWARENESS of NMDA!

I hope my post has given you followers/readers some knowledge of NMDA. Please help to spread further. You may never know who or which family you are helping.

Till here, stay tuned for more updates hopefully! For more detailed experiences of my story, CLICK HERE

Thanks so much for time.

Love, D

Have yourself a merry merry christmas

29 Dec

Hi there!

I finally have the chance to update this (dead for 3 months) blog. Apologies apologies apologies..
How have you been doing?? Over at my side, so SO much has happened over this span of 3 months. Where to begin!? Hmm okay, the last time I updated, I know I was complaining about work being stressful. Well, you could say which job isn’t stressful right? Everyone goes through stress, it’s just a matter of how we deal with it.

So I’m glad work has been slightly better, well I feel better so that’s a good sign. Need to keep up this positive attitude! Anyway, it’s an apprenticeship, ending next Feb. Time really flies! I can’t believe 2015 is approaching! I begin my final term 5 next Jan and end in Apr. Everything is happening so quickly. It feels as if I was just ushering in 2014 at my friend’s house last year.

As each year goes by, I feel that I am always against time. And always complain, no time for this and that. Sometimes I feel like I just need a getaway to a beautiful island, just me myself and I, enjoying the simple things in life, not forgetting the serenity etc. Maybe it’s just the pace we are living in. I’ve watched documentaries where people live really simply and I tend to question myself, will I be able to survive those conditions that they are living in daily?

Anyway, so back to the stress topic.. it was kinda stressful in school too due to individual and group projects. So glad term 4 is done. There were good and bad moments. Skip skip skip to Christmas!! Yessss, my favourite time of the year although I didn’t really feel the mood this time round. Having the company of my family and friends, all the catch ups and what not. It all made me feel a ton better! What made this year more special was attending the Lorong Boys perform at the Esplanade. Their music pieces were played so well and the band made it interactive with the crowd.. Great job, great job! (:

Ah yes, for those loyal readers of mine, here’s an update on my current condition.
I’m on a lower dosage of Keppra. Next doc appt would be in Mar and I have to make a decision as to stop my Aza completely or to carry on but with a tiny dosage due to the long term effects. I’m glad that I’m left with 2 types of medication although I think they contribute to my mood changes and many other things. I want to stop everything completely but on the other hand, I have this paranoid feeling deep within me, that what if a relapse occurs. So many ‘what ifs?’. But I told myself to worry less and take it day by day and see how things go. To be glad that I’m doing something that I like, with no regrets. I now know how to phrase “to live life to the fullest” came from.

Hokay! It’s almost bedtime.
Tomorrow is another baking adventure day! Gonna try out a new recipe. Hope all turns out good, no hiccups!
Thanks for your time dear readers! Hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a merry new year!!

That word= STRESS.

15 Sep

Hello dear followers/new comers!

Very sorry for the lack of updates here. YET, I still see that it is being read thus, feeling terribly guilty!!!

So as school begins later in the afternoon, I shall update a little.

Hmm well, for starters, someone from Singapore came across my blog and found it useful as one of her family members has Anti-NMDA as well. I’m glad that it has somewhat helped her. Compare the public’s awareness here in SG and in other countries such as UK, US..I just wished more awareness was done especially that this illness is on the rise. For now, I think social media yes, it’s a powerful tool but there is definitely more that can be done! IF ONLY i had more time on my side.

So yup, hopefully I can find more people with NMDA here in SG. I’ve met other survivors apart from SG too through the FB support grps I joined. I always remind myself to be thankful because there are others younger/older going through worse. My heart goes out to all current and recovering patients. Ya’ll are in my prayers.

Whilst on this topic of mental health, I read this article in the newspapers about a 17 year old girl who suffered from a brain tumour right smack in the middle of her brain, making it difficult for the surgeons to remove it. She underwent treatment and eventually had to stop her studies because she became immobile. She unfortunately passed on leaving her loving and supportive family in June. I believe it was stress that played a role in that horrid tumour. I was lucky to not have a tumour found and received treatment in time.

I will never forget the period where I had to learn to walk, talk, eat. I had physio and speech therapy sessions. How I felt so useless, how restricted I was and I had to be on the wheelchair whenever I was out of my ward. The list goes on. It’s been 2 and a half years already. Life goes on. I’m still on medication, zero steriods so YAY to that. Family and friends keep me going. And yes the Man watching over all of us. Where would we be without Him.

Before I end off, I think I’ll put up some links I feel are relevant for future readers who come across this page. Oh it’ll be on a separate post. Okay, time to check on my cookies (they’ve been cooling off for awhile now). Thanks for your time dear readers/followers!! I’ll try my best to keep those posts coming :D

Love, D

What is your battle?

22 Jul

Hello followers/readers!

Before I head to bed, I’ve decided to type a short entry regarding the latest status of my condition.

for those reading my blog for the first time, my first few entries were about my experience dealing with the rare (well not so rare as the number of cases are increasing) neurological condition. It’s called Anti-NMDA Receptor Auto Immune Encephalitis. Yup, it’s a long name and much research has yet to be done.

It’s been about two and a half years since I was first properly diagnosed with NMDA. Time really flies.


Two years may seem long but sometimes I ask myself have I really moved on with life? I know I post a lot on being positive etc and I do try. Tiny details such as the ambulance siren or just by reading the word mental/neuro/brain/ whatever words that is related, it just triggers my brain into remembering those days you know what I mean?

Those constant headaches I had since secondary school (I shouldn’t have taken them lightly), my bizarre behaviour, horrid hallucinations, 360 deg change in personality, things I never thought I’d do, my inability to walk, talk, eat basically the necessities in life etc…

I am glad all is OVER. Although life is back to normal for me, one thing that frustrates me is that my eyes tend to become dry easily (no idea why), causing me to blink more. It’s irritating because it makes me look tired even though I’m not? I’m trying to include more kiwi fruit into my daily intake..I heard it benefits our eyes so hopefully I’ll see some improvement.

Medication wise, I’m taking them at a lower dosage(hooray). Thanks to my neurologist who has been slowly reducing it.  Next appt with him is next month. I will try to update by then!

So what is your battle in life? For myself, getting through everyday without thinking about my hospitalisation period and post hospitalisation, when my body was getting used to all sorts of pills (steriods, eew). Medicine really gives negative side effects. It doesn’t cure, it just prevents. But anyhow, it has gotten me to this stage today and I’m very grateful for that. My prayers go out to all current and recovering patients including their loved ones who are journeying with them. WE CAN WIN THIS BATTLE.

Thanks for your time!

Love, D


Dedicated to my dad

19 Jul

Yes, the title above says it all. I know I should’ve done this long ago but anyhow, it’s never too late right?

Even though fathers day has long been over, I just feel the need to share with you readers/followers of how grateful I am towards my dad. He’s been there for me every step of the way, and I mean EVERY step. Even before I was born, he had me in mind. I must thank God for him. He is truly irreplaceable. I must remind myself of how blessed I am to have my daddyo with me till today.

I know how blessed I am when my friends tell me how lucky I am to have him as my dad.He sacrifices his time, he listens, he loves, he supports, he understands, he cares, he is patient. Most of all, what I’m really happy is that he bothered to learn about Facebook and even joined the NMDA group because I was a member too. He even reads and shares my blog to his friends so as to raise awareness of NMDA. *so dad, if you’re reading this, no matter how many ‘thank yous’ I say to you, does not equate to the amount of love I have for you. Love you x infinity!!!

The intern experience

15 May


Deepest apologies once again for the serious lack of updates here.

I see there are people still viewing my blog, whether it is my followers or newcomers, I feel guilty for not updating this space!! Okay so here goes. I’ve finally found some spare time to blog.

We’re in the middle of May already! Time is flying way too quickly. I’m into my 3rd coming to 4th month at my internship site! I’m interning in at a production site – F&B line. In the cake department. And yup, you must be wondering how’s it been for me? Someone who has zero experience in this line. Well, everyone has to start somewhere right? My internship-school schedule is sorta on a 2 weeks rotation. I work for 2 weeks then back to school for a week and the cycle is repeated. So my first 2 weeks was HELL. Maybe I was too hard on myself? But I found it tough. Work wise, it was interesting. I learnt/still learning a lot. The pace is definitely different. People are different. They aren’t your friends. No one can be trusted. As usual, as interns, you usually get bullied/blamed for certain things etc. Although I enjoy what I’m doing, sometimes the mental part of it gets to me (which is my weakness: I tend to overthink stuff). I always pray every morning on the way to work (work starts at 7am btw) that everything goes smoothly, that I can pull through each day without much difficulty. And yes God did answer my prayers. As the weeks went by, I felt more familiar with everything blahblah. I still make mistakes so def need to improve on that!! Perfection is not everything, I know.

Many say being a pastry chef can be tiring mentally especially the physical part and yes, I truly agree!!

My legs, feet, arms (sometimes backache) were aching within the first week! GAH. But im getting used to it, especially the long standing hours. I realised I get more tired when I need to get up from sitting for half hr or more. Weird? Anyway, important thing is NO PAIN NO GAIN. and and and SUCK EVERYTHING UP! That is gonna be my advice to all future interns. Suck everything up. No matter how much you get scolded for the slightest thing or being belittled… Be thick skinned!! Survival tips for ya!! Oh yes, don’t take your weekends for granted! I’m already very lucky to have Sunday as my off day. Compared to my other classmates attached to hotels, they work more hours yet still get the same pay/depends. So, shall count myself lucky that way. About 8-9 more months till the end of internship. Looking forward. POSITIVE positivepositivepositiveeeeeeee.

Moving away from my intern experience so far, I wanted to tell you readers that my term 2 at school has come to an end.

Ended off with my term 2 assessment yesterday where I had to produce 3 items. Classic French dessert: Saint Honore and 2 Asian desserts – kueh bakar berlauk (Malay) and crispy red bean pancake (Chinese).

Yes, I was nervous before entering the kitchen but everything was better when I started so yay. Feedback from my chef wasn’t that bad. There was room for improvement in terms of time and some of my techniques but nothing major so *phew. Thankfully, no accidents such as my terrible terrible unforgettable loss of nail that I carelessly sliced off during my previous assessment. My nail has fully grown but has grown crookedly. I don’t know how to explain but it’s different than how it used to look like before.

Oh I did burn myself while working. Dear deck oven decided to give me a burn near my elbow. Thankfully the skin has peeled off. Gotta be careful with the ovens, stove and all.

So that’s my life summarised into those paragraphs. Time really waits for no one. Time is something not to be taken granted for! Despite my work/school schedule, I still managed to squeeze time to meet my close ones so I’m happy for that. Also, exercise! I finally got back to exercising. Need to keep reminding myself for health’s sake! Tomorrow, I’ve planned to dedicate some time to baking – my fav!! It’s gonna be a special cake for my mum, her belated mother’s day celebration. It’s gonna have her fav ginger snap biscuits. Lets just hope it’ll turn out fabbbb!

Alright, shall end off here. Thanks for reading this space dear readers. Have a good weekend!!

Love, D

World Encephalitis Day

22 Feb


22 February 2014

Today is World Encephalitis Day.

As a supporter, my aim is to raise awareness, connect with you readers and ensure that you understand all about Encephalitis.

For most of you, it may be the first time coming across this word ‘Encephalitis’.

Encephalitis is the acute inflammation/swelling up of the brain resulting either from a viral infection or when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks brain tissue. There are several types of Encephalitis, one of which is Auto Immune Encephalitis.

It occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy organs and tissues as if they were foreign. Instead of useful antibodies that attack infections or harmful foreign substances, the immune system may produce antibodies directed at normal body tissue causing problems with normal function.

What are some symptoms to look out for?

Well, a minor one would be headaches, fever and it worsens to seizures, confusion, loss of confusion and even death. So do not take your headaches lightly (especially those of you who experience frequent headaches)! From my personal experience, these headaches started when I was much younger, probably 16 years old? I recall myself either complaining to my family and friends about frequent headaches. They would be those kind of headaches at the side of your forehead. I’m allergic to panadol so whenever I got those headaches, I would usually just sleep it off (if I was home) if not, let the headache just fade off.

Never did I think those were the very early symptoms of my neurological condition, Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. I know so because I rarely get these headaches now that I’ve received treatment. If I do get them, it is during my menstrual cycle or the extremely hot weather here in Singapore. Now that I’ve mentioned about receiving treatment, it has been almost a year since I was under immuno-therapy suggested by my neurologist.

Time really has past by too quickly! Don’t you think so?! Time DOES NOT wait for you.

It is true. So many of us procrastinate (yes, I’m guilty of it too), if you have a goal in mind, go for it !! Of course, if it is a major decision, you will have to do more planning, the consequences etc. Last year I was to graduate from my university with a business degree but due to my sudden diagnosis, I had to defer.

Dear readers, please do not think that having this neurological condition of mine is a setback. It has made me a stronger person today. It has made me look at life in a different light. Life is not always smooth sailing, definitely not a bed of roses for me. Life taught me to appreciate the little things we tend to take for granted. For example, our ability to walk, talk, eat or even bathe ourselves. These basic daily things, I could not do when I was hospitalised. So back to time, and going for your goal. I won’t say I lost close to a year of time when I deferred from my uni studies because in fact, time has pushed me to further my passion which is BAKING! I know being in a country which values one’s paper qualifications, most parents/students would be against my decision to become a pastry chef because I had the opportunity to join the corporate world.

It was a major decision to make and I have no regrets till today. I’m enjoying every bit of school (just completed my first term at ‘At-Sunrice’). I don’t think I have been this happy/confident about making this decision myself. I believe I’m on the correct path. And since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (yes, I’m typing this draft in advance), I would like to share this post with EVERYONE who has been through this entire journey with me. You know who you are, my dear family and friends, no need for names. Not forgetting the medical team AND the MAN above!! Valentine’s Day is not only a day to share with your other half but with your other loved ones. They have stuck with me through thick and thin, accepting, supporting, loving and caring for me. Thank you for entering my life. Thank you for making me who I am today. Each one of you are my pillars of strength. What would I be without you guys. I love you. xoxo

So what did I take home from this condition I’m slowly but surely recovering from. Besides that life isn’t all that smooth and that time waits for no one, I have learnt that change begins with YOU. I had to accept the fact that I was diagnosed with this and face the side effects of the medication. Resisting wouldn’t help so yes, I had to be mentally strong. If you read my previous or rather my first few entries, I posted a lot on optimism. All so that I could remain strong inside. I think you get my point? So I just want to encourage all current/recovering patients of illnesses be it mental, cancer etc, it isn’t the end of the world. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss  Believe in yourself because only you can make a difference.

Please continue to spread the love and raise awareness of ‘Encephalitis’.

If keen, more information can be found here >>

Susannah Cahalan shares her personal experience. She wrote a book now New York Times Best Seller Take a look at her website>>

Thank you for your time.

Love, D

Finger power

8 Feb




Rainbow macarons












I know, I always start off by saying how I’ve neglected this blog of mine blah blah blah.

So to start things off differently, isn’t that pic of the MACARON TOWER pretty or what!?

I took this during my Chinese New Year visit  (I know, macarons for CNY? = no link) Anyway, my uncle bought and shared it with my other relatives. The macarons were too pretty, we just stared in awe initially before indulging in them. Don’t you think the colours just brightens up your day or just for that few minutes/moments? Well it worked on me! Which brings me to why I was feeling down.

If this is your first time reading my blog, something you have to know about me is that I’m currently studying to become a pastry chef so being in the kitchen is like my second home. So, an unfortunate incident happened to me during my practical assessment just last week. Any guesses?!

Yup, that’s right. I cut myself. Not a minor but MAJOR one. ): HALF my nail plus some flesh beneath it was cut off while I was using the chef knife. Ah yes, terrible terrible bloody scene. Even when the medic was helping me bandage it, I could feel my finger throbbing. I am so glad I didn’t faint. I don’t think you would want to see a pic of it or imagine. Argh, I was really careless and of course, there isn’t anyone else to blame but myself. Got to admit, I wasn’t fully concentrating too. And yes, as I am typing this, I am typing with my ring finger bandaged up.

So yes, I was down during that last week. I had to stop my practical assessment halfway through, head to the docs as my finger was bleeding for 15 mins or more. 2 days later, I was back in the kitchen, finishing up what I had left out. I was at a disadvantage obviously. Working with a bandaged finger and gloves wasn’t my ideal way of completing my practical assessment but I had to go along with it. I MADE IT through anyway so hooray!!

Another challenging thing was/still is when it comes to bathing myself. I was instructed to keep the wound as dry as possible so each time I bathe, I wrap my left hand with a plastic bag. So yup, it was/still is challenging for me especially when it comes to washing of my hair/face. I then realised how much I took my fingers for granted. How the little/minor daily things I do with my fingers. Almost everything I do such as this (typing), washing, eating etc is affected! I was close to giving up while bathing one night because I got so frustrated with myself for not being able to scrub my hair properly. then memories of my hospitalisation came back to me (nurses had to bathe me that time) But I assured myself, this isn’t permanent. I will get better and stuff. OPTIMISM IS KEY!!

It’s close to 2 weeks since my very first and hopefully last major cut. Doc said it’ll take about a month or so for my nail to fully grow. I’m monitoring it v v closely. Oh yes, which reminds me, onto my health issues.. my next blood test is next week including my doc appt! Hoping for nothing but good news of course!!

I’m currently on my term break (2 weeks is better than none!) So, I gotta make full use of it. One week has almost gone by. I went cycling yesterday with a few classmates of mine and we got sun burnt! ): But all was fun nonetheless plus good exercise! Hope to cycle next week and yes, not forgetting= BAKE!! I have to find time to update my baking blog too! It’s in the ‘remote’ stage whoops!

Alright! It’s way past my bedtime, so till my next post! Maybe one more just before I commence my internship (time is flying by too quickly, I need time to pause). thanks dear followers/new readers for your time! Have a FAB Feb ahead!! *remember to not take your fingers for granted! Lesson learnt : watch where the blade is.

Love, D


Bring it on 2014!!

19 Jan

Hello dear readers/current and new followers!!

I know this space has been pretty boring, my sincere apologies.

Anyway, we’re in the middle of Jan 2014!! How time really flies. How has your new year been so far? I hope you had a good time spent with your loved ones like how I did. This new year started out differently compared to my other new years because on the 2nd day of 2014, I went on a short trip to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam together with some of my friends.

It was my first time flying to Vietnam and despite researching on their weather, cultural sites etc, nothing beats being physically there, soaking in the atmosphere. I would say, the vast number of motorbikes I saw on the roads daily were a bit overwhelming for me! The feeling was a little like Bangkok? Weather, just like Singapore’s. But it gets pretty cool at night, which is good. I was fortunate enough to have my friend’s uncle who kindly brought or recommended us shopping, cultural sites and not forgetting….the food!! Even though we were in Vietnam, we went to this French restaurant where I was very impressed by it’s chef/owner who personally explained the menu(which was written in French) to my friends and I. He not only explained to my table but to every table in the restaurant. TRULY FIRST CLASS SERVICE!! Huge thumbs up!!

I visited the Cu Chi tunnel, Independence Palace and War remnants Museum as well as the Notre Dame Cathedral! Learnt lots of history especially the war times in Vietnam. I also met  an Italian couple who were very friendly and my friends and I found out that they were flying to Singapore a few days later so we offered to show them around since it is our hometown. It was a good weekend spent with them! so back to my trip…ah yes, shopping was WHoooo! Bargaining was a must if not, you’d be cheated! Foodwise, those with weak stomachs, best to be cautious. Time past so quickly, before I knew it, I was back home. Good trip indeed! (:

Moving onto school life, term 1 is coming to an end. Meaning…my internship will be commencing soon! Mixed emotions, more towards the positive light. I’ll be working at a production site. Down side? It’s a 6 day work week. But plus points are that I don’t hve to work on public hol. More importantly, I’ll be rotating to different areas such as cakes, cookies, bread, chocolate every 3 months. So I’m pretty excited. Hope I’ll have the strength to cope physcially and mentally. Next week, is basic bread week. Do you like bread? My dad and I can live on bread alone. I love love baguette especially! Yum yum.

Moving onto life medically, my next doc appointment and blood test is next month! Hoping for the best. The flu bug’s around, I unfortunately caught it just after my Vietnam trip ): No one likes being sick. It just makes me feel so lethargic?? Ugh, just hate hate hate it. NEED TO GET WELL NOW! Anyway, onto my NMDAR condition, it has been pretty stable. Just to make it clear to whoever, it is NOT a mental illness. Patients are misdiagnosed due to the bizzare behaviour that they display thus landing them into a mental hospital but but BUT this happens because of the brain is ‘on fire’. I’m sure if you google brain on fire, a former patient/author named Susannah Cahalan has a book and website where you can get more info on NMDAR.

In addition to this, if I’m not wrong, 22 Feb 2014 is World Encephalitis Day.

I hope more awareness would be shared and spread throughout the world. Your part will definitely make a difference!

Till here, I will try to post more often! Thanks for your constant support readers/followers (:

Love, D



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