Stories about disease

‘You’re so bipolar’: Mental illness is not a joke

In an age where obtaining information is as simple as typing a few letters in a search bar and pressing enter, it’s disconcerting to witness the extent of disillusionment when one realises we’re so uneducated in matters of great importance. Mental illness is one of those things. We may live in the 21st century. We may live in a world where automobiles can drive themselves. Yet, as far as mental illnesses go, we may very well be back in the 17th century. The extent to which people are unaware about mental illness is so pervasive, that those who are informed of it are ...

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Mr Spock, may ye live long, dear friend, and prosper, in eternity

The Star Trek series, as with all offerings produced in the ambitious 60’s and 70’s to define the newly construed sci-fi genre, attempted the most arduous task of instigating a solemn courtship; that between imagination and high-tech innovation (which was projected to arise in the future). These emphatic productions, both in print and electronic media, called upon people to stretch their neurons, and envision a world of endless possibility; where advancements in technology enabled mankind to solve its most fundamental, age-old maladies – such as aging, warfare, disease, as well as lack of unity. Photo: Star Trek ...

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Fatal amoebas: Up your nose and into your brain

Just reading the title makes one assume that this is a story out of some cheap sci-fi movie: a unicellular organism killing mankind, one brain at a time. When, in reality, this amoeba does exist and it’s called Naegleria Fowleri. This organism is thermophilic and lives in fresh water like lakes, ponds as well as polluted water systems such as sewage and dirty canals. All the amoeba needs is a passage to enter the brain, and that usually happens when people swim in such waters, when the possibility of water entering the nose is high. Since the nose is the quickest ...

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If Ebola hits Pakistan

The Ebola outbreak has claimed almost 5000 lives since March. A vast majority of lives have been lost in West Africa, with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea facing the worst hit. Even though WHO has declared Nigeria Ebola free, there is as yet no vaccine or even a specific treatment for the virus, which has a dismal survival rate of 37%. This infection produces a range of mild to deadly reactions in people, from complete resistance to moderate to severe illness, followed by recovery and then to excessive bleeding, organ failure and death. Like HIV, Ebola is not airborne. Touching the blood and body fluids of ...

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My life when Amma was diagnosed with breast cancer

Do you know how it feels to wake up one morning and find out that your mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer? I do. It doesn’t hit you at first. It was all a big rush; hospitals and tests, alien language and timeframes, it was chaotic and far too real. I still remember sitting with her, my mother, at the hospital. We were surrounded by family, aunts and uncles, but she was scared. This was my mother, the person I would run to in the middle of the night when I had a nightmare. She was my hero. And yet, ...

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Are we safe from the Ebola disease?

While other countries are preparing for an imminent threat of spread of the deadly virus known as Ebola, one has to think what is being done on our end to ensure the safety of our people if the virus finds its way to Pakistan. However, before we ponder over that, there are a few questions that need to be answered. What is Ebola? Ebola, a Filovirus, has been around since 1976 but the largest outbreak to date has been this year and so far efforts to control it have been widely unsuccessful. It is confined to Africa at the moment with the ...

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Do we want our children to be paralysed in Naya Pakistan?

The daily theatre of political brinkmanship that Pakistan has been witnessing as of late has led to a number of negative consequences. I am not going on a long lament, listing a plethora of things wrong with Pakistan but will bring to attention a very important issue that is grossly being neglected at the moment – polio. Do you know that Pakistan is the biggest polio endemic country in the world today? We may hear that Pakistan is only one of the three countries where polio exists, including Nigeria and Afghanistan, but what we do not hear is that we ...

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Stop criticising the Ice Bucket Challenge!

My advice, to those criticising the Ice Bucket Challenge for being a waste of water, is stop! Stop criticising long enough to understand the rare disease community and their struggles. The kind of awareness ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), has gotten over the past few weeks is the kind of well-deserved attention, I as someone who saw those closest to me suffer with a disease nobody knew off, could diagnose or had even heard off, wish and hope one day all rare diseases receive. People from all over the world have taken part in the campaign that has spread like wild fire. Celebrities ...

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The Bucket Challenge is definitely NOT on my bucket list

The first video I saw of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ was of Anne Hathaway and her contribution to this social media craze. Since I had no idea what it was about, I saw a few other videos of celebrities and came to the conclusion that it’s something along the lines of a ‘wet t-shirt contest’ because that was the only thing I could make out during these short videos. While I enjoyed watching heartthrobs like Zac Efron, the Hemsworth brothers and Siddarth Malhotra drenching themselves in water, I noticed that all of the participants of the videos mentioned the word ALS and something about a donation. So I ...

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A colourful ride

Wherever I am, your thoughts dictate me. Whatever I do, your smile is my only memory.   Your cries wrench my heart, Your pain hurts me more. A little scratch on your skin, Makes my world cease.   Your smile is what I think about all day; In your tiny fingers is where I belong.   You are so precious; I can never leave you, You are my treasure; my respite from my blues.   You are life’s gift to me, Your lovely face is all I want to see. Your tiny things, your innocent laugh, All make my sorrows go the past. Your shoes, your dresses, your clips and toys, Are all sources of my utter joy.   I know the grief ...

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