Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tom Matt Baby Boomer's Rock & CoSozo Interview

by Dr. Margaret Aranda, MD

Invisible Illnesses, we made National News!
Women, Health & Wellness, ROCK ON!



Well, this was a fascinating journey with an energetic comrade in time, fellow Baby Boomer Tom Matt. He has made one of his life's efforts to bring awareness, health, fitness, and energy to the Baby Boomers of today, and Hat's Off to him for such a grand accomplishment!

He asked me to be interviewed for his show, and honestly I can not recall how exactly it came about. That's the fuzziness about brain injuries...they make some memories hazy, but you know they happened. The week prior, we had a 'Pre-Interview' where we were introduced and received and exchanged background information. Tom is just the kind of guy that you don't want to stop talking to; he is charismatic, and his brain is filled with knowledge and justice.

The first thing I noticed about Mr. Matt is his energy. It is dynamic, compelling, and contagious. I could visualize him as a person who runs 10 miles/day, or multitasks effectively yet comes home to a wonderful wife and family. And still, he has time to pay attention to them, as they re-center and re-connect him to the world, to his own life, and to his own purposes. But on to my interview, some of which may have needed to be edited out because I talk too much sometimes. Just sometimes.

Mr. Matt was able to take me on a walk to my past. To age 13, where I made 35 sandwiches/day for 7 children, 5 days for the week. At 14, I picked garlic in the Gilroy fields with the migrant field workers, and Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" was blaring from a transistor radio. That song still takes me back to the fields, and to A & W Root Beer, where we went every Friday with our $0.35/bucket. Those root beer floats never tasted so good, before or since.

I think we mentioned when I ran away at 16, entering Junior College. I forgot to mention I got chicken pox and dropped out, only to go to Cosmetology and then Real Estate schools, gaining both licenses by the time I was 19. Graduated college in 1985, USC Medical School in 1990, Stanford anesthesiology in 1995, Stanford Critical Care in 1996. I forgot to mention that I also got Board Certified in Forensic Medicine and Certified in Age Management Medicine.

The big elephant in the room was that my daughter and I were in a car accident in 2006, leaving me bed-ridden for the better part of seven years now. I was getting better until January of 2013, when a doctor let me drop onto the hard wood floor, sustaining another traumatic brain injury and requiring crushed DDAVP or pituitary hormone now, and probably for the rest of my life. I'll probably always struggle with pulling nouns out of my head (expressive aphasia), and stuttering that will stay with me just like my long nails  ~ just a part of who I am. Some people even finish the end of my sentences for me, and you're not supposed to do that to a person with a brain injury. The patient needs the mental exercise.

He asked me how I did it, how I survived seven years in bed. I said the answer was in Book 2, Stepping from the Edge. Soooo many people have asked, and basically, my answer is "one day at a time". But the book has lessons at nearly the end of every chapter, is individualized, can be used for Bible Study, and allows you to see the difference between 'believing' in God vs. 'acting like you believe'. Enough said.

The podcast came out today. At the end of the show, he asked me to summarize, in one word, my advice to others. If you know me for any length of time at all, you know what I said.

*** Click here for Podcast:   http://ow.ly/t1xi1    ***

Invisible Illnesses, we made National News!
Women, Health & Wellness, ROCK ON!
Thank you, Tom Matt!

Age 31: The Color Blue

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Age 53: Loneliness: the Littlest Piggie of All

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

It starts with Thanksgiving, I think. It's The First Little Piggie of all, who has to go to market. The hustle and bustle of people organizing who is going to sit next to who, how much wine to buy, how much cranberry sauce to really make. Then after each remnant is gone, WaLa! Christmas rears its magical glow, even if you are not ready for another broken heart and the Second Little Piggie wanted to just stay home anyway. It is all about the miraculous birth of Christ to be in awe of so many things: the stable, the poor pittance of no room at the inn, and a pregnant mother left outside to bear her firstborn son. The glitter is compounded by the heavens opening up, with choirs of angels singing, the wise men bringing gold, incense, and myrth, expensive gifts by anyone's eye at any time in history.

Then it is when the people start to leave. They go visit others in far-away places, and the freeways become thinned out once again, like they were last year. Visits back to the store to exchange sizes, place things on Layaway, decide what to keep and what to give to the poor. We cooked for the poor this year, and then we patted ourselves on the head for it, making sure that everyone knew. It was so beautiful; we couldn't help ourselves. God Bless those who bless others secretly, not telling a soul. For the Third Little Piggy just ate her roast beef as usual, unnoticed by anyone. But she was storing treasures in heaven, which is even better.

Today I am lonely and this Little Piggy wants none. My heart is heavy, my smile is fake, my laughter is coming from a place within me that shrinks away from the dreary, pretend world. I wish there was an easy way out, a way to leave earth without causing pain to my daughter. Oh, sure, other people would care but only for the initial shock of it, and then they would forget. In a year, no one would remember my daughter, no one would remember I helped with Theatre when I could barely stand up without vomiting, no one would remember that I was not from this world. This Little Piggy cried "Wee-wee-wee!" all the way home, but she made her way home. She did it.

I was different. God made me different and you know what? I'm glad he did.

I never had to steal from any one else's wallet, I never had to lie about where I was or wasn't, I never cheated on my husband, and God had to see that goodness in His own way. I protected my daughter even if it meant leaving her father, and I would do it all over again if I saw that it left her in shivers and tears. I had to protect her and I already answered to God for it, so don't judge me. I already made it to the door of Heaven, and God let me choose to come back, speaking as Angels speak and working to bless others.

Soon, it will be back-to-school again after Winter Break, and the 10th Annual Valentine's Day Party will be held at our house, no matter how small. Valentine's Day always sneaks around the corner for single people, just when we thought the 'coast' was clear. No, it rubs our 'being single' in our faces once again, making us feel like we are missing a mate. No, it slaps you in the face.

So I decided to teach my daughter that you don't have to have a man to be complete. You don't have to have a mate. So we have an all-girl party with mothers, daughters, grandmas, aunts, and a token brother who wears a tuxedo and pours the mimosas. The menu includes champagne, tomato soup, heart-shaped sandwiches, pigs-in-a-blanket, salad, and cookies. And all the crafts are set up in a line, so you make your own Valentine's Day Cards. Glitter, stamps, glitter markers, confetti, all kinds of crafts that Moms love to receive and treasure.

But how wonderful are the thoughts of the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate even now, as I write. How sweet were the hints of firewood I can still smell, flowering out from the fireplace and throwing out their crackles like popcorn that just make you smile. Life will go on, and all the pleasantries with it. The smell of strawberry hair, the singing that fills the house with glee. Those are the things that I miss the most. The sound of a child in the house, the laughter of children.

I want so badly to shrivel up in the fetal position and just wallow in self-pity, self-sadness. But I can't. Life has to go on, and the fall leaves are picked up with runny noses, to be replaced by snow and snowmen who come to life with magic hats upon their heads. We just have to look around to see the magic; it hides around every corner and under each table and behind every tree. Without us, there is no magic. Without us, there are no squeals of surprise and delight. We are inside our own book, we are the main character, and God sees everything.

So it is time to stop. Stop wallowing and sit up straight. Sit up straight and gain royalty. Gain royalty by spreading a smile. It has to be done today, for there may not be a tomorrow, and it has to be done genuinely, for God knows our hearts and our souls and that inner place where complete forgiveness abounds. We need to visit there more often, yes. We do. God, show us how. For our forgiveness is someone else's sin, and we need to forgive them before they can forgive themselves.

Now I will go lay down like a little kitten with no worries, and I will purr myself to sleep, knowing that I have forgiven. I want to be myself, loving and kind and smiling and beautiful, and I will not let anyone take that away from me. So I will pray and ask for forgiveness, and I shall also bestow forgiveness. In this way, I shall be made whole again, and the fire shall continue to crackle as my soul approaches the innocence and virginity of where it was before all of this happened.

And my soul will smile, because I will still be me. And I will thank God for protecting me for one more day, and thank Him for protecting me for one more night. And I will be grateful that I have found myself again, just as I was before.
I don't want to change. 
I want to stay the same. 

2014 Spirited Women Directory. Dr. Aranda makes Cover Girl as Nancy Mills' Health & Wellness expert, as well as several other pages: 23, 123, 124, 125. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
(Click on purple words to go to Directory) 

And I am not going to let any one change me.
Believe me, they have tried. But I took a vow and I'm keeping my end of it.

It's my life, my decisions, my mistakes, my accountability.
Mine. I face it, and I live with it. 
I only owe it to God, to live my life according to His purpose.
Now you go find yours.


Age 31: The Color Blue

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution for Dr. Aranda

                                        My New Year's  Resolution can be summed up here:

                                         "I have the eyes of a Lion, and You're going to hear me ROAR."
                                                                                                                                  ~ Katy Perry

Who's joining me?



Age 31: The Color Blue

WITHDRAWAL OF OPIOIDS AND PAIN MANAGEMENT WITHOUT OPIOIDS By Dr Forest Tennant   We are pleased to share information from Dr. Forest Ten...