Paralysis Is Not The Basic Concept Of Paralysis Essay

867 Words Jun 27th, 2016 4 Pages
Paralysis is difficult to explain to a 12 year old. Not the basic concept of paralysis, but rather the idea of that becoming your future, of paralysis becoming your life. Telling your child he is paralyzed is what my family was almost forced to discuss with me 10 years ago.

I suffer from Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis (HKPP), an autosomal-dominant disorder affecting 1 in every 100,000 people, making me one of only roughly 3,070 people affected in the US (and my family a disproportionate number of the cases). It causes paralysis in major muscle groups due to a mutation in the sodium-potassium pumps in these muscles. It is triggered by excessive carbohydrates and sodium and serious physical exertion and exercise (all characteristics of my lifestyle in middle school when I was first diagnosed). I had my first attack when I was 12 and have dealt with the disease ever since. Although it is under control now and I live a normal life, it has become a part of who I am. Learning I have a rare illness was the life changing event that drew me to medicine. I wanted to learn every minute fact I could about my disease which led me further and further into the medical world. This eventually led me to shape my academic career around the sciences, to shadow and volunteer at local hospitals, and to become involved in multiple levels of medical understanding through undergraduate neuroscience research and now research at the National Institutes of Health as a graduate.

This passion for…

Related Documents