A Bump on the Head in Chico

Being knocked out cold, robbed

and not remembering any of it


I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk a…
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone…
— Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day


After a six day stay, within two hours of being discharged from Enloe Medical Center I pretty much did everything I was instructed not to: I smoked a cigarette, got high on weed and went for a two mile walk. It wasn’t as though I was being defiant of my physicians and nurses, it was that I was in full panic mode and made not the best coping choices specific to my physical condition.
As a result, I got the intended effect of feeling stupid dizzy and tried really hard to cry. I thought it would do me good, but no tears came – just the hollowness of empty-feeling emotion.
On Sunday, March 27 between 9:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. while walking on Chestnut Street between 13th and 16th Streets I was knocked out cold when I was struck behind my left ear. I don’t recall the blow.
Whoever or whomever did it got my wallet (containing $16.00) and a small paper bag of low grade marijuana.
As an aside, I don’t mention smoking cigarettes or pot casually or in an advocacy manner. I’m not trying for cool affect. Cigarettes are bad for you and I have an on-again, off-again relationship to them.
Pot can be bad for you as well, but as I’ve written before, if it weren’t for pot I’d be dead.
My diagnosis is a concussion with a small brain bleed. My symptoms are constant light dizziness. I’m supposed to refrain from exertion, no more than half an hour reading or working on a computer at a time and a lot of bed rest.
I haven’t been the best post-hospitalization patient.
I’ve never been knocked out cold before. From what I’ve pieced together, a very kind woman named Carly found me and called 9-1-1. She also took my cell phone and called my friend Megan Schwartz to tell her what happened to me then handed the phone to a Chico police officer who told Megan I was okay and an ambulance was on the way.
I have no memory of the ambulance ride, but apparently a hydrating I.V. was administered. I have very limited memories of the ER at Enloe.
I do recall a man, presumably a paramedic or a police officer saying, “He was found laying on the street.” I also recall a neurosurgeon explaining to me that I had a small brain bleed and what that meant.
The next day I slept 20 hours and was surprised that I was kept at Enloe for six days. As I’ve come to expect, the care at Enloe was excellent. Funnily enough, my stay was in room 5551 where I spent a couple of weeks last August as part of a care team for a friend.

Right outside the window is the heliport for the Flight Care helicopters and watching them land and take off never gets old.

An affable Chico Police Officer, Nick Rush took a report in my room. He’s originally from London where he was a Bobby and has been in Chico for two years. We discussed that being physically assaulted and robbed in Chico is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence.

I would be remiss not to mention that if you walk alone day or night, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. An error I made was that I was talking on my phone and not paying full attention as I walked alone at night.

The downside to all of this is that for the first time in my three and a half years of living in Chico, I feel a heightened sense of paranoia as I move about. Night is difficult and shadows frighten me. Post-trauma stuff.

This, too will probably pass.

Please leave a comment or contact me at dregisbilar@live.com

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