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Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life Paperback – May 1, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
We might look the same on the outside, but inside is a very different story!!
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.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it."
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What an amazing, inspiring, true story! Thank you for sharing. My mother did die from that same kind of aneurysm, and I appreciate your insights that help me understand what she... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Having been a nuero surgery a ICU nurse for four years and later a Peds rehab nurse for five years, I have been on the caring end of this situation. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book. I had an unruptured aneurysm that was repaired surgically. I can relate somewhat to her experience but my recovery was a lot smoother and I had no effects like she... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very enlighting, my son had a stroke earlier this year and Maria helped me understand what he is going thrioughPublished 6 months ago by Lee O'Neal
This book is excellent & highly recommended for anyone struggling with brain injury either as a survivor or a caregiver. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bryen Zimmerman
Just finished reading Maria's book, had my own ruptured aneurysm in '92. This resulted in surgical clipping of the aneurysm. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Rosemarie
Excellent. Very insightful, informative and educational for anyone that has gone through this event.Published 12 months ago by Anne ANDERSON
Excellent being able to see the patients perspective. Very quick read, I like I was part of the family.Published 13 months ago by Kimberly A Bare