In 2001, at the age of three, my primary focus in life was watching Powerpuff Girls–and keeping my one-year old brother from drooling on my collection of stuffed animals. Not surprisingly, I didn’t notice when my dad started acting strange. Even my mom was unconcerned at first–his personality changes seemed trivial enough.
Usually an [...]
January 2014–After three years of being treated for pneumonia, at age 35, with five children and an insignificant medical history, I learned that I had a weird-named disease–scleroderma, which had no cure. I also learned that I would need a double lung transplant.
Fast-forward to September 2016–I was admitted to a university hospital in [...]
“Dad was in ER today,” my mother-in-law told me in her native Korean.
A week ago, while at work, Dad (a.k.a. my father-in-law) had bumped his head hard. It was only when he had to sit down because he felt a sudden coldness on his head, that he drove – after [...]
What if I told you the hardest thing about living with a genetic bleeding disorder, like hemophilia, isn’t the joint damage, the surgeries or any of the other physical hurdles? What if I told you, what “hurts” the most is going through a lifetime worth of struggles, disappointments, obstacles, and being told no! The [...]
I recently spoke to 165 first-year medical school students at the University of Pittsburgh. It was their first day in the class, “Introduction to Being a Physician,” which is dedicated to the doctor/patient relationship, and focuses on humanism in medicine. The preceptor told me that previous students, who are now medical residents, remember the [...]
It was two weeks before Christmas and just days before both our birthdays. We had been married only four months, and it would be our very first birthday and holiday celebration together. I had been thinking about my life as a wife – married life – with children, a yard, flower beds, maybe even [...]
“So, tell me what’s been going on, Chris.”
I watched intently as my neurologist – who I had only met thirty seconds before – settled into his chair in the exam room. Upbeat and cheerful, he had a smile on his face, which is just what I needed at that moment of vulnerability. Without [...]