Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Sequel to No More Tears: Introducing Stepping from the Edge

by Dr. Margaret Aranda

Photo 1. Book  #2, Stepping from the Edge.  It doesn't just happen in the movies. It happens in real life, too. God can move mountains and He can stop airplanes, too. Dr Aranda's Book #2 can be ordered directly from Tate Publishing by going to For author autographed copy, please go to or check the Home Page here.

Going through a struggle in your life? Or is every day a struggle? Or do you live with someone who has a chronic illness or has been through a devastating time? In Stepping from the Edge, I take you through that age-old question that so many have asked me in my life, "How do you do it?"

I share some very personal stories, from being a runaway at 16 years old,  being a battered wife, being an abandoned wife in my first month of medical school, and being a single parent with no child support or alimony through medical school, internship, residency, or fellowship.

And then, as most of my friends know, I was in a devastating car crash that left me bed-bound for six years. It was humiliating to sit at a Conference Room table, look up, and see drooling people with head braces and reclining wheelchairs sitting with me at the table. I was one of them, as I had a traumatic brain injury with DI, vertebral artery dissection, dysautonomia, etc. I used to be the one standing up, giving the lecture. I was confused. How did this happen to me? What did this mean?

In 2012, I was finally beginning to get better; even got accepted to Stanford's Advanced Clinical Anesthesiology Program to start in August, 2013. It would have brought my profession back to me.

But God had different plans, and boy did he open the doors that needed to be opened and did he ever close the doors that needed to be closed. I woke up one day in January 2013 with a headache that turned into a migraine, and it lasted for 5 days. When I called my cardiologist and told him that something was wrong with me because I was ataxic and bumping into the walls, he admitted me to the hospital. During a neurologic exam in January 2013, a doctor dropped me to the hard wood floor and there it started all over again, the expressive aphasia, hypotension, and migraines. I developed dehydration and acute kidney injury from DI, barely surviving. My blood pressure was as low as 70/44 mmHg. I was placed on fluids and other spinal cord injury medications, finally leaving the hospital step by agonizing step. Back to Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy at home.

Since then, I have my own little secrets that I use every day to keep myself persevering. In Stepping from the Edge, there are 10 Lessons and 10 workbook-type assignments for you to do yourself after each chapter.  I received inspiration for this book from one particular scene in the movie, Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Watch the movie first, and then read the book. That's your first assignment. Then you will be inspired to Persevere, to conquer, to be a Lion, and to ROAR.

Try to guess which scene inspired me to write the book.

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