Critique PS please!

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ib1256
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:57 pm

Critique PS please!

Postby ib1256 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:04 pm

At eight months old I was diagnosed with the rare kidney disease cystinosis and given seven years to live. My only hope for survival took the form of a small white pill, an experimental drug pushing for FDA approval and in need of hard evidence to support its claims of kidney pain relief. I was that evidence – an infant who, through decades of strict medical regimen and frequent doctor visits, became the poster child for the disease.

Nearly twenty-two years after my initial diagnosis I sat yet again in a familiar hospital bed at the National Institute of Health – my home away from home – and prepared myself as the nurse’s needle made its descent toward my innocent forearm. “Just a little pinch,” she reassured me once more, and in a matter of seconds the pain ceased.

My visits to NIH had become a wash-rinse-repeat routine of the same familiar poking, prodding, and pinching. The smell of fresh latex and hand sanitizer greeted me each morning upon my first steps into the lobby and bid me farewell upon my departure, in between intoxicating my nostrils while under the steady hand of a lab technician. The hallways echoed with coughing and medical jargon, flashes of blue and white flannel rushed about, the loud speaker requested doctor so-and-so – the hospital was like an alien world to which I somehow gained admittance.

The solace I found in my frequent medical trips arrived only when I escaped the monotonous routine of the hospital and returned to the Children’s Inn – a sort of hotel for cystinosis sufferers during their visits, promising warm beds and a friendly community. However, the community side had always been sorely lacking, a few odd cases of awkward hallway hellos and glances with my fellow residents were the only friendly moments I could recollect. We were a house of strangers in desperate need of an icebreaker, and after years of bashfulness I decided to be that icebreaker.

When fruitless brainstorming over warm soda and potato chips left me with little but indigestion I became restless and, after a last swig of Pepsi, decided to wing it. My days of door-to-door salesmanship selling boy scout popcorn proved a great resource that day as I became the pitchman to my hesitant audience – “Free food!” I exclaimed to their weary faces, combating their reluctance with promises of nightly relief from their hectic days. Many shook their heads politely, triggered by best-forgotten memories of the terribly formal group discussions that had speckled the lobby event calendar in the past. However, I roped enough lonely residents to satisfy my determined desire, persuaded both by my salesmanship and their own curiosity.

When dinner time rolled around the lounge lightly swelled with over a dozen residents and, due to my newfound resolve, the party became a nightly staple during my rather lengthy ten-day summer stay. I readied the lounge and ordered the food, and on the third night familiarity was in the air and the nightly party had already evolved from an informal buffet of greasy finger foods to a friendly group of people chatting about their woes and hopes. Some showed up simply for the free food, but many shared my curiosity over the elusive residents of the Inn and stuck around for more than to fill their stomachs. By the seventh night the food became a mere diversion and idle chatting had been replaced by a casual discussion around the fireplace while residents munched nachos and sipped cola. Everything from healthcare to the FDA was mulled over in the drowsy minds of myself and twenty or so others, our fears expressed both through words and solemn pauses. Several complained about the experimental drugs that were costing them an arm and a leg, others about the terrible pains of dialysis. I sat humbled by their worries as I pondered how we all were affected differently by our illness, both physically and emotionally, and how even within a single disease there exists seemingly endless variation among its sufferers.

By the final night their frustration with regulations and research funding became my own. I came to realize I had been living in a bubble, lulled into a paralytic trance by the drowsy method with which I had moved through my medical life, for fear of what I would discover if I engaged with it. I no longer have that fear, it has been replaced by a desire to elicit change within a system I now see to be broken. Law school can give me the knowledge I need to understand this complex system which has governed my life immensely yet I feel so disconnected from. The complexities of the medical world are right now intangible to me, but with a law degree this alien world will fall into the confines of structure and principles that I can comprehend, and through comprehension I can find a means to alter it.

ib1256
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Critique PS please!

Postby ib1256 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:38 pm

shameless bump, need help!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Critique PS please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:00 pm

You don't need help. This is very well written, although ending sentences with a preposition is not ideal.

User avatar
Shooter
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Critique PS please!

Postby Shooter » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:08 pm

I like it. It could be more concise though (not sure what page restrictions you are operating under). That is about the only critique I have.

I can say that there is definitely a lot of important work to be done with regard to drug development and regulatory institutions. At the present time, there doesn't seem to be enough interplay between doctors, lawyers, business people, etc.

ib1256
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:57 pm

Re: Critique PS please!

Postby ib1256 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:26 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm confident with it, just wanted to get some reactions.




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