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Looking back over my last 27 years in the legal field, I can see clearly how instrumental my legal experience has been in my life and how it has changed others’ lives for the better.
Because of my own experience with a closed-head injury and how later I helped my husband through his, I was able to help “diagnose” others and help them through the legalities of their own injury cases as well. Studying medicine in college enabled me to understand the medical side of things and my years of legal experience allowed me to pull everything together from the legal end for clients. This medical/legal combination mixed with my understanding and compassionate nature was a recipe that literally saved lives.
We moved to Hawaii from Las Vegas back in 1987, and at the time, I was convinced that it was the best thing for me and my family. I didn’t know what lay ahead but the move to Hawaii felt like the “right” decision and timing. So with blind faith we sold almost everything we owned and in less than six weeks we left Las Vegas with our two young daughters – landing in Honolulu with only eight large trunk-size boxes.
We didn’t have a car or a place to live, and I didn’t have a job. But, undaunted, I set appointments with the firms that had responded to my mailed resumes and within a week I was working. Continuing in the legal field was a blessing as it always had been and it still was a tremendous passion of mine.
An example of how my legal experience helped changed lives was how I was given the opportunity in Hawaii, as a medical litigation paralegal, to help a young girl who had sustained a catastrophic brain injury. I spent months researching and developing a strategy for the case and the strategy I presented to the attorneys, after many months of work, was eventually used at the expert’s deposition and then at trial.
I fully dedicated myself to her case which led to the largest award for a medical malpractice case in the state of Hawaii at that time ($5.5 million). I was humbled by the experience and by how I could have been so instrumental in helping that young girl. I was definitely in the right place at the right time.
In 1991, we moved to Florida and during the seven years we were there, I was again able to use my medical background mixed with my legal experience to help more clients (at least ten) who had also sustained severe brain and spinal cord injuries. Helping others became my purpose in life and it was very rewarding to be able to share my knowledge and skills in such a meaningful way.
Heavy Workloads, Stress and Premature Aging
After many years of working intensely on such large cases and doing endless hours of research and pulling material together, I was on “tilt” most of the time. It had all the makings of a very stressful life for me, but because of my medical background and all that I gleaned from my personal physical healing processes, I knew how to take care of myself so I could prevent stress from getting the best of me.
In Florida, a co-worker was so amazed that I was 42 (she thought I looked a lot younger), that she encouraged me to write a book sharing what I had learned over the years — ways to help reverse the aging process and reduce stress. I ended up taking on the challenge so other people can live without stress and aging prematurely.
My Book-Writing Journey: Rewarding Yet Challenging
I had a very strong and passionate desire to write my book with the goal of helping others in their day-to-day lives. I knew people could create their own good health if they just knew how and I wanted to be the one to get them there.
It took eight years researching and two years of writing to complete my book, BIOSYNERGENICS:Guerrilla Anti-Aging. It took so long because, despite working two jobs, other challenges arose such as a debilitating back injury which not only prevented me from sitting at the computer for over a year, but it also forced us to move back to Las Vegas so I could physically function better in the dry heat. What got me through this period was perseverance, keeping a positive attitude, having faith that everything was going to be OK, and believe it or not, a little laughter now and then. I have really been practicing what I preach this year!
What Helped Me
Deadlines. Difficult people. Office politics. Illness. Family conflicts. Moving. Stress. Stress! Stress!! Throw in the kids’ and family needs and not enough hours in the day to do everything and you have a recipe for both emotional and physical burn out.
Over the years, I rarely had time for myself or friends and could only sneak in a few minutes in the bathtub if I was lucky, or a quick 30-minute “lunch hour” to try to catch up with a friend. As legal professionals, you know that stress builds and it affects our health immediately: free radical production increases, cells die and premature aging begins. At age 21, I began a more healthy lifestyle which included yoga, herbal therapy, proper breathing techniques, and a healthy diet and exercise. I found that an overall healthy lifestyle was key to rejuvenation and long life.
Stress does its damage but I took control and reversed the process and continue to do so. In our fast-paced legal environments and in our everyday busy lives, we must be proactive and take control of our stress before it happens because, if we don’t, we will physically suffer too much too soon.
In closing, I’d like to share a little poem that came to me as I was waking up on New Year’s Day 2002. I’m not a poet, but since the words are poignant, and suddenly came to me (never before, nor since), I felt compelled to share them. I’ve shared them with family and friends, and now I’d like to share them with you.
Transparent as air.
Easily taken for granted.
Youth. Friendship. Love. Health. Life.
Hesitate …Too late.
Opaque void densely filled with lost opportunities.
Instead, say, every day ~
Thank you. I love you.
And fill yourself, your life, with light, from the reflections of memories and appreciation for what you have.
~ Karen Renée Gomez
About the Author
Karen Renee Gomez
After a closed-head injury from an automobile accident left author Karen with cognitive deficits and an inability to understand her pre-med courses, she had to drop out of Indiana University during her senior year. Her intended career in medicine came to a screeching halt.
However, in keeping with her altruistic nature, she has been helping people deal with personal crises, one injured person at a time. Over the past 27 years in her career as a medical malpractice/personal injury paralegal, while at the same time, conducting her own 30-year life experiment with “New Age,” ancient and natural anti-aging methods and techniques (for prevention and rejuvenation), as well as controlling her own stress, and managing her own pain without drugs.
Drawing upon experiences from both her medical/legal career and 30-year life experiment, she offers a unique perspective on anti-aging and overall well-being.