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Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life Paperback – May 1, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A captivating, deeply authentic memoir of a devastating illness and a heroic recovery. Maria Ross' memoir Rebooting My Brain is a testament to one woman's personal courage and a reminder that health is a tenuous treasure. --Carol Cassella, best-selling author of Oxygen and Healer

Maria Ross weaves a tale of inspiration, love and hope about an active woman reclaiming her life after an unexpected crisis. Her humorous and honest voice leaps off the page and makes you feel as if you re talking to her over coffee, even when she s describing medical procedures. This is a must-read for anyone who s ever had the rug pulled out from under them, not just brain injury survivors and their families. --Ingrid Ricks, author of Hippie Boy: A Girl s Story

Rebooting My Brain is a deeply moving account of Maria Ross s brain aneurysm and her struggle to come to terms with it. She has written a memoir full of humor, grace, and hope, making it clear such a devastating injury can be overcome and can even serve as a means of discovering what is truly important in this life. --Nick O Connell, author of On Sacred Ground: The Spirit of Place in Pacific Northwest Literature and founder of TheWritersWorkshop.net.

The vivacious memoir writer was a marketing and business-branding consultant before her brain exploded. Just like there are no atheists in the foxhole, we can say there are no folks who don't examine their lives after they almost lose it.
I believe the book is valuable for several reasons. First, Ross is not a professional writer. She doesn't lie or fictionalize. Her experiences strike me as authentic, compared to many other memoirs. She truly writes with unabashed candor. She had an aneurysm and survived. After the cerebral hemorrhage, she was blind for six weeks and suffered horrible physical pain. She lost her memory and vocabulary. She had eye surgeries, brain surgeries, personal therapies, MRIs, drugs, in-home care, group therapies; the whole business might have cost a million dollars without insurance. What if her husband had not worked at Microsoft, which had excellent benefits?
The post-aneurysm months were excruciating, but with tremendous spirit (perhaps that perky marketing optimism helps) we root for her. She's humorous and honest and even describes her myriad of medical procedures as if she's talking about her dog, who figures prominently in her recovery. Her reflections on the tenuous, and even frivolous, nature of health are touching. It's all random. And it doesn't matter who you are or what you believe.
A year and half after almost dying, she decided to write a book. This book tells us about the last two years of Ross's life after her brain injury and the trials and tribulations for her, her husband, Paul, and their friends. Do not ever take life for granted. Now she's 'back' to her life and even admits she's back on the 'hamster wheel', but perhaps with more philosophical reflection focusing on quality more than quantity.-- San Francisco Review

About the Author

Maria Ross is a consultant, author, speaker and actress who believes that cash flow and creativity are not mutually exclusive. She writes frequently about branding, marketing, entrepreneurship and—even great wine—for such outlets as San Francisco Downtown, IntoWine.com, Sharp Skirts, DiningOutSF, Entrepreneur.com, American Express Open Forum and Seattle Business. Maria is also a dynamic keynote speaker and has also been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and on MSNBC and KUOW Seattle. She is a lover of animals, red wine, travel, independent film, crime dramas, dry humor, football and Jeopardy. Maria lives in Seattle with her husband Paul and their black Lab mix, Eddie. “Stories have fascinated me since I was a little girl. At six, I wrote the intricate tale of Smedley and his mouse family’s vacation to Disneyworld – and haven’t looked back since. When I started acting as a kid, telling different stories through various roles was like a giant game of make-believe – and still is for me when I act today. Stories told through poetry, film, theatre, advertising, art, dance and even food and wine never cease to enchant me. To me, stories make life worth living as they provoke, inspire – and just plain delight the pants off a captivated audience!”
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Red Slice Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984893903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984893904
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CandysRaves (and Rants) VINE VOICE on March 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was provided a copy of this book and asked to review it. Because it was such a unique topic and one I was very interested in, I read it pretty quickly. I didn't know a whole lot about aneurysms but from what I knew of them, I thought they were pretty much debilitating and were nearly impossible to recover from.

I was surprised by this author's candor and ability to share her journey so openly. She welcomes in to her life, both pre and post aneurysm and walks us through what she felt like. I felt most connected to her when she was talking about what her work life was like after. As a small business owner myself, this is one of my worst nightmares... what happens if something happens to me? What about my family? How will they deal with that? How will I?

I like that she doesn't have all the answers. I like that she got angry. I like that she got sad. I like that she got frustrated. What I liked the most is that she was able to find her way back. Maybe not exactly where she left off, but to a new life. To a new path. I think that's a testament to who she is and who she is to become. My hats off to her.

The book is well edited and formatted. A dream for someone that reads a lot of self-published works. I wish all were as well done.

My only reservation is that I felt we were missing some hole in her story. I don't really know what that hole is or what part of her life, but there did appear to be some gap there. It doesn't take away from the story and, of course, it may be that she chose to leave it out. Not entirely helpful since I can't place it, but it still nags me a bit.

Overall, this is a great book. I love memoirs and they are my favorite genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have no idea how Maria Ross could have written the story of my life almost to a "T". But wait, she had a brain aneurysm in 2008 I had one in 2003, and except for the blindness, and never going back to work, because of the crainiotomy and cognitive issues, Maria and i could be the same person. She could also stand in the shoes of so many people with Acquired Brain Injury. The book shows those without an injury and carers, just what it is like in our world. Like her, I never realised the extent of my injury, nor how far i had come in my rehab. Unlike her I did not have a whole host of family and friends for support, and i certainly would not have been able to tackle a book at my 2 year mark. Congratulations on such an achievement. This book should be recognised in the medical world, and would be a very valuable asset for anyone who is faced with such an injury.

We might look the same on the outside, but inside is a very different story!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
The thing I like about this book is it is about one woman's story, but it really about all of us. Who hasn't had worried about something like this happening to them? Maria's blend of her experience, that of those around her, and the science behind it all is educational and inspirational.

I know Maria and was there through much of this experience, but there were many, many things I did not know. The book is intensely personal, but it contains a level of humor and candor that keeps it from getting too sappy or maudlin.

This is a book for smart people who want to understand more about how their own brains work as well as how to support someone who has suffered any type of brain trauma. The recovery lasts far longer than a hospital stay, and that was my big takeaway from this book. Even with a miraculous recovery like Maria's, some changes are permanent and we need to realize that and adapt.

I'm glad she chose to share her story. If you like smart women, great comebacks, and stories that pull at your smart-strings as much as your heart-strings, you will like this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this true story of Maria and her recovery from a very very life threatening brain bleed. She has a naturally sunny disposition and I believe this serves her well in her recovery. She says at one point it was like going to her funeral while she was still alive as she learned how important she was in her friend's and families lives something not everyone gets to know. She provides very clear non medical description of her subarachnoid hemorrhage and the treatments that she receives and the stumbling blocks in her miraculous recovery. What amazed me was that she seems not to harbor any ill feelings towards the doctor that missed the diagnosis- if made sooner it might have saved some of her brain tissue and left her without permanent deficits.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it."
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Format: Kindle Edition
In her memoir, Rebooting My Brain, Maria Ross writes about life before, during, and after a brain aneurysm that hit her unexpectedly in 2008.

A rare and lucky case, Ross follows the trajectory from the day she had a brain aneurysm until the present day, in which she is able to live life fully despite the brain damage caused by the aneurysm. We follow her journey through the emergency room, the ICU, her hospital bed, a recovery center, and, finally, her home, where she has to learn to live life again through mental and physical therapies.

Readers gain insight into what it means to go through a traumatic and nearly lethal experience. It is a story we have heard before, and the prose style is nothing new, but Ross makes the story so much her own that we cannot help but be moved and changed by it. She both tells her story and provides us with lessons learned from it. She balances the narrative of her recovery with emotional scenes involving her friends and family; she provides us with information--about characters and medical processes--so that we can better understand her story. (For example, she explains early on how her front lobe's temporary damage affected her maturity level, so that we can see how the injury affected her intra-personal relationships.)

By the end of the book, we know who Maria is; we know too the elaborate surgeries and emotional struggles she had to go through. We come away with a sense that we have learned so much from this story: both about what it means to have a brain aneurysm, and what it means to appreciate and live life to the fullest.

Ultimately, Rebooting My Brain is a story about the devastating strike of illness and its effects.
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