What I learned when I almost died

Exactly one year ago today, to the hour, an axe hit me in the head. A brain aneurysm ruptured and flooded my head with blood. The extreme pain, dizziness and nausea cut a dividing line through my life – one second I was fine, the next I was on the verge of death. I can … read more What I learned when I almost died

Restoration work

My mother bought this bracelet 40 or 50 years ago, at a flea market or something. It’s sterling silver, from Mexico, and the stone is an amethyst. I always loved it. The stone had a fissure in it, which I thought was intriguing. Then Dad took some jewelry-making classes and replaced the amethyst with turquoise. It was … read more Restoration work

Holes in my head

For more than a month, I’ve been running my fingers over the new holes in my head. OK, they’re not actual holes – you can’t look into them and see my brain. They’re large dents and grooves. Seeing as how they’re in my skull, they feel pretty freakin’ significant. They are near the incision that was made for … read more Holes in my head

Other gifts, too

About a month into my recovery, a friend who is an herbalist and practices traditional Chinese medicine told me: “Your shen had a fright and has yet to fully return.  Taking baby steps to make things nice and cozy ‘in Lisa’ will entice your shen’s full return.” She recommended herbs, meditation, looking at green things, being … read more Other gifts, too

Watch over me

It’s only this week, now that I feel almost fully recovered from the brain surgery, that I realize what a big deal it was. Eleven weeks today, almost to the minute, since that aneurysm ruptured and I collapsed on the floor. I really did almost die. And the surgeons really did dig through my brain. … read more Watch over me


My biggest accomplishment of 2015 is that I survived it. I like the sound of that – it has the right mix of crispness and surprise. But … nah. “Privileged white girl! What do you know about survival?” my inner critic hisses. The people who should be allowed to take credit for surviving 2015 are … read more Accomplished


[Dec. 28] This morning, I had an anxiety attack from reading the description of my surgery. I had downloaded my patient record from Emory. It described the surgery step by step, in clinical detail. Four pages of detail. It was the first time that I realized what the doctors meant when they said the aneurysm was in an … read more Re-traumatized

Impatient patient tossed from hospital

FRIDAY, Nov. 27 (WORDPRESS BULLETIN): Just 12 days after collapsing with a ruptured brain aneurysm, blogger Lisa Schnellinger has been released from Emory Hospital in Atlanta to the custody of her primary caregiver Tom Willard. The discharge came two days earlier than previous optimistic estimates. There were unconfirmed rumors of a threatened mutiny by Emory … read more Impatient patient tossed from hospital