When a Brain Scientist Suffers a Stroke - Well - Tara Parker-Pope - Health - New York Times Blog:
On a December morning in 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up with searing pain behind her left eye, the beginnings of a hemorrhagic stroke. As the left side of her brain shut down, she began to feel disconnected from her body and entered an almost-euphoric like state. It took her a while to make sense of the experience, but as her right arm became paralyzed, it dawned on her that she was having a stroke.
“How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?,'’ she said. “In the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage, I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life.'’
Her account of the experience of stroke is vivid, and at one point, she recalled, she felt like someone had taken a remote control and hit the mute button. “I was shocked to find myself inside a silent mind,'’ she said.
What is so surprising about Dr. Taylor’s story is that she experienced a sort of euphoria as she was left with only right-brain functions. She lost her sense of self, but she also shed the stress of her life and, as she puts it, “37 years of emotional baggage.'’