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The Day My Brain Exploded: A True Story (edition 2013)

by Ashok Rajamani

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4812242,697 (3.47)5
Member:karieh
Title:The Day My Brain Exploded: A True Story
Authors:Ashok Rajamani
Info:Algonquin Books (2013), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Early Reviewers, 2013

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The Day My Brain Exploded: A True Story by Ashok Rajamani

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've read a few other memoirs by people who dealt with medical crises and this seems to be fairly typical of them. Ashok Rajamani writes with a disarming frankness -- his brain bleed, he confesses happened while he was jerking off just a few hours before his brother's wedding -- and without self-pity.

I only wish he'd gone into more detail about his recovery. I gather it must have been remarkable; at the support group he went to, the others refused to believe it had only been five years since his brain bleed. I think this book would do well for a general audience as well as for people with a particular interest in the topic. Don't expect to find a lot of interesting medical tidbits in here though.

(I got this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.) ( )
  meggyweg | Jul 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was hoping for insight and intensity, but this book was primarily superficial and almost crass at times. His medical journey and recovery was interesting, but I did not enjoy the writing style. ( )
1 vote varroa | May 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This memoir is heart wrenching with raw emotion and honesty. After suffering an aneurysm, Ashok Rajamani begins the recovery process with pain, anger, wonder, and discovery. Ashok portrays his experience and rehabilitation with clarity and honesty, which most of us will never endure. I highly recommend this book, especially if you know of someone who has suffered a head injury or want to begin to understand the complexity of the human body. ( )
1 vote KaskaskiaVic | Mar 2, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ashok Rajamani suffers a brain aneurysm on the day of his brother's wedding. The aneurysm was the result of a congenital defect called an AVM, or arteriovenous malformation. Ashok survives the ordeal, including open-brain surgery and meningitis, only to have to begin his life again, relearning everything.

Told with great humor and in a non-linear fashion, we go back and forth between life before the aneurysm to life after. Ashok and his brother grow up in a suburb of Chicago with very few other children of color or children of non-Christian families. He talks of clashes with his Christian schoolmates and loneliness. He dreams of going to New York, and moves there for college. After a family trip, he returns to New York after 9-11 to find he is less welcome there because of his skin color.

Much of the story is about his relationship with his father, mother and brother. Although they all stand by Ashok during the initial hospitalization and afterward, they do so in ways that he doesn't understand at first. Their relationships change as Ashok struggles with all aspect of his life.

He shares many anecdotes of living with partial blindness and his other health issues, and the most touching are the stories of his participation in a support group for people with brain injuries. The medical professionals he has consulted are a cast of characters both heart warming and frightening. It seems that many of the health problems he has are not fully understood, and he spends a lot of time shopping for doctors that will help him and explain what is going on, instead of doctors who continue to say that to solve his problems they'll need to open up his skull again.

I read parts of the book to He-who-caters-to-my-every-whim in the car while he was driving, an indication of the books readability and humor. Two nights ago I decided that "Exploded" was worth being tired the next day and stayed up to finish it, sacrificing good sleep hygiene to see where the story went. Another recommendation for the book. This book will go on the shelf for reading again in the future. ( )
  MurphyWaggoner | Feb 9, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ashok Rajamani suffered a rare, congenital brain trauma called arteriovenous malformation or AVM. Tragedy struck when he was twenty-five years old and riding high on life. Rajamani held a prestigious job in PR, made the high salary, partied heavily and lived in his dream Chelsea studio apartment. He lost it all in 2000 and for four long years his entourage of medical providers became his new friends and numerous surgeries and therapies became his new social life. Rajamani details his medical journey; the loneliness and despair he feels in his search for his way back to himself. Who he finds surprises even him.
  FamilyResourceCenter | Feb 7, 2013 |
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"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."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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