© 2021 Pulse - Voices from the Heart of Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved.
I eavesdrop on the cells in your brain,
which are trying to bust out of a prison
surrounded by broken connections.
They make an almost inaudible hum
beneath mechanical whooshes and pings
surrounding your hospital bed. I listen
while sitting with your hand in mine,
not comforted by the confusion
of intensive care–I know your brain
is scheming, despite these machines
Movement disorders can be horrifying. Afflicted persons are solidified or contorted. They may flail so violently that a fork endangers their lives. As a beginning neurologist, I assumed that all such patients curse their fate. Once I got to know Brian, though, I realized that I could be wrong.
Brian and one of his brothers had inherited Wilson’s disease, a rare, genetic movement disorder that had spared their eight siblings.
People who have