The Night My Brain Got Damaged - Excerpt From the Book Lifesaving FAQs of How Food Reversed My Brain Damage
Brain Health & Nutrition
"I write about the brain."
While working the late shift at a hotel, a man forcibly entered my work area and attacked me. That night I received multiple blows to my head. I suffered a concussion along with spinal trauma.
After what I believe to be a series of first blows to the head, my attacker ran away. Moments later, my attacker returned and continued his assault. I am pretty sure that my attacker was attempting to steal my cell phone which was in my hand during the attack.
While the attacker stood over me, I braced myself to be stabbed or shot. Thankfully I wasn’t stabbed or shot. Then the attacker jumped into a vehicle and drove away.
As I lay on the floor, I knew instantly that my brain was injured. Within those precious seconds following the attack, all my research and studies about the brain came rushing into my mind. That’s when a sense of peace flooded my entire body. I knew a problematic challenge was ahead, but I would not let this attack destroy me!
Unfortunately, the police or first responders did not come to my aid that night (despite multiple calls for help). No one came to relieve me from my work duties until hours after being attacked (despite several correspondences with upper management).
I do remember the 911 dispatcher saying that since I wasn’t bleeding my situation was not deemed a violent act (or something to that effect). The fact that many people (including some emergency responders) don’t have a thorough understanding of concussions, I wasn’t surprised at the dispatcher’s response. I will further expound upon that dynamic later in this publication.
Just before the attack, I had been arranging reservations with a trucker over the telephone. When the attacker approached the lobby area, I asked the trucker on the phone to hold. Turns out the trucker heard the attack as the phone rested on the front desk.
Moments after being attacked, the trucker arrived at the hotel. As the trucker approached the front office area, his first words to me were “I heard you screaming on the phone. Is everything OK?” I couldn’t remember that I placed him on hold moments before the attack.
Trying to remember anything before the attack was like staring through a window that has been spray painted black. You know something is there, but you have a hard time finding it.
While I don’t remember the details of my phone conversation with the trucker that night, his observation helped me piece together times and memories related to the attack. Keep in mind, during this entire time, no emergency care or law enforcement was coming. The fact that the attacker promised he would return to “kill me” enflamed the reality that I was on my own.
I was able to watch the video surveillance of the attack that same night. The video was quite telling concerning the extent of the attack. It showed me stumbling and off balance as I ran behind the front desk to call for help. The video also shows me dashing out the hotel lobby doors. Once I reached the parking lot, I stood blankly staring ahead.
I can only speculate as to why I ran outside the way I did. As far as I could tell, the attacker had already fled. I just don’t recall what I was thinking during that moment.
A second camera (surveillance) provides a closer look of me after I ran outside the hotel lobby area immediately following the attack. The look on my face was quite haunting. The person I was watching in the video was not me. That was the moment I connected with many other brain injury survivors. The injury of my brain had cracked my identity.
I had spent countless hours studying and advocating for individuals and families impacted by issues stemming from the brain before being attacked that night. In a matter of seconds, my role as an advocate and researcher drastically changed to the survivor. Like so many brain injury survivors, I was now broken and alone.
Brain Health & Nutrition Writer