Natasha Richardson, Head Injuries, and Me


Tragically, that esteemed actress Natasha Richardson died from the results of a head injury the other day, and that’s made me plumb what’s left of my own mind and remember a similar situation. Many years ago, I was crossing the street by foot–not even riding my bike–when a truck backed up at an alarming rate and hit me in the head. (That’s how I now remember it.) I was dazed and horrified, but kept going, determined to meet my friend uptown and go to the screening we’d planned to see. Once I got there, I was not making much sense, bizarrely giving my friend a few dollars and asking him to get me a salami sandwich! He ran out and did so–and I don’t even like salami!

Feeling queasy, I took the sandwich, went home, and stretched out on my bed, my pounding head getting worse as I vomited and felt helpless, not moving because it would have been too painful to do so. Well, bless my mommy, she knew something was wrong because she couldn’t reach me, so she came running into town, got the super to open the door, and they forced me to the hospital, where my bleeding brain was dealt with (though they strangely put me on Penicillin, despite having been told I’m allergic to it. I was too weak to sue.)

After a month in the hospital, I was released on various pills and, though I’ve been dealing with the injury and its repercussions ever since, I count myself among the very lucky ones who survived such a thing and can still function. My deepest sympathies go out to Natasha’s loved ones and fans for this totally random and horrid loss.