by Dr. Margaret Aranda
Going through a struggle in your life? It is a struggle every day? 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 than, 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 people drooling with head reclining wheelchairs and braces sitting with me at the table. I was one of them, as I had a traumatic brain injury with D, vertebral artery dissection, dysautonomi to, 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 me back to my profession.
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 StartEd it all over again, the expressive aphasia, hypotension, and Migraines. I developed dehydration and acute kidney injury from DU, barely surviving. My blood pressure was as low as 70/44 mmHg. I was placed on fluids and other medications spinal cord injury, finally leaving the hospital step by agonizing step. Back to Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy at home.
Since than, 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 it 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 than read the book. That's your first assignment. Than you will be inspired to persevere, to conquer, to be a Lion, and to RO.