The Day My Brain Exploded
Overview - After a full-throttle brain bleed at the age of twenty-five, Ashok Rajamani, a first-generation Indian American, had to relearn everything: how to eat, how to walk and to speak, even things as basic as his sexual orientation. With humor and insight, he describes the events of that day (his brain exploded just before his brother's wedding ), as well as the long, difficult recovery period. Read more...
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More About The Day My Brain Exploded by Ashok Rajamani
After a full-throttle brain bleed at the age of twenty-five, Ashok Rajamani, a first-generation Indian American, had to relearn everything: how to eat, how to walk and to speak, even things as basic as his sexual orientation. With humor and insight, he describes the events of that day (his brain exploded just before his brother's wedding ), as well as the long, difficult recovery period. In the process, he introduces readers to his family--his principal support group, as well as a constant source of frustration and amazement. Irreverent, coruscating, angry, at times shocking, but always revelatory, his memoir takes the reader into unfamiliar territory, much like the experience Alice had when she fell down the rabbit hole. That he lived to tell the story is miraculous; that he tells it with such aplomb is simply remarkable.More than a decade later he has finally reestablished a productive artistic life for himself, still dealing with the effects of his injury--life-long half-blindness and epilepsy-- but forging ahead as a survivor dedicated to helping others who have suffered a similar catastrophe.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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First-time author Rajamani delivers a fascinating look at his life and his recovery as a brain-injury patient that is both heartbreaking and uplifting. In 2000, Rajamani was a 25-year-old first-generation Indian-American living the dream as well as living on the edge: a rising star in the competitive world of New York City public relations as well as a full-blown alcoholic who arrives “volcanically trashed” for a major job interview and is still “hired on the spot.” Only a week after he is hired, his life changes entirely after he suffers a massive brain hemorrhage caused by AVM, or arteriovenous malformation—a congenital birth defect in which “a tangle of veins and arteries hidden within the brain” suddenly bursts, causing the brain to bleed and flooding the head with septic fluid. Rajamani expertly details his injury (“My brain had become, simply, a liquid mess”) and its treatment, describing procedures such as a ventriculostomy, “an operation in which they drilled holes in the skull and insert tiny plastic tubes, also called ventrics, to drain the fluid.” Rajamani describes how he recovers with the help of his family and an extended support group of brain-injury survivors, and discovers that “even though I face epilepsy and multiple functional defects in my sight, hearing and memory, I’ve become more at peace, finding a new kind of harmony with the world.” (Jan.)