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May 27, 2010
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Recently, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease.

The day that I learned of my illness was pretty routine. I woke up, showered, ate, and then went to school. Along with twenty-or-so others, I attended my third period AP language and composition class, and I was assigned this very essay. School ended, and I went home. I was completely unaware that the disease had already worked its way into my body. On the outside however, I felt nothing except the cool spring breeze lick my face as I walked off the bus and then headed to my house. I innocently continued on with the rest of the day while the silent killer did its sinister work. From my body’s core, the little virus was starting to ravenously eat away at my cerebral cortex. All the while, I was eating an after-school snack of apples and peanut butter. At this point, I still haven’t felt the symptoms. Medical researchers at some of the most prestigious universities have been quoted as saying the disease needed some sort of trigger for the full effect of the symptoms to be felt. And it hit me like a freight train.

My vision had blurred to the point that I couldn’t see anything in front of me, and of course, there was the characteristic notion of vertigo that the disease is quite known for. I had to stabilize myself in the black steel chair that I was sitting in. I was phasing in and out of reality; one moment I was at my house, the next, I was taken back to my childhood, and then back again, like some sort of lucid dream.

I was in a panic, sweat poured down my body like a waterfall. The sweat, in turn, cooled as it ran slowly down my body, causing me to shiver like an earthquake. I cried out meaningless words, hoping that anyone would find me.

I had become trapped in my own head.

Minutes, or perhaps days passed before anyone found me. The symptoms hadn’t let up — I was still shaking, still unbalanced, still paranoid, still scared. But I was saved, my cries for help hadn’t fallen upon deaf ears, but instead the ears of my parents.

What happened between my episode and my reawakening at the hospital was very much a colorful blur. There might have been doctors with resuscitators or paddles trying desperately to get me to breathe again, but I’ll never really know. It was time for the head doctor to break the news. He opened his arms wide, in what I interpreted as a shrug or a welcome-to-hug gesture and then he said it.
He said the words that would change my life forever.

“The results just came in from the medical laboratory. The pathologists have looked at all of your recent blood tests and spinal fluid samples, and your diagnosis is grim,” The doctor sighed and closed his eyes for a moment, as if he was shielding himself from something monstrous. As he opened his mouth to speak, I could feel the worst fears of my parents revealing themselves in the room.

“You have…” He paused again, wiping a thin bead of sweat that had gathered on his forehead. He inhaled deeply, and with that simple breath of air, he exhaled the words that would crush my dreams.
“Writer’s block,” he turned to my parents, “I’m so sorry,” and with these final words, he pivoted and left the room.

My heart skipped at beat. All my life, I had taken extra measures to retain a healthy literary lifestyle. I had never set my eyes upon the wretched Twilight novels, and I read American classics to expand my literary knowledge. But that was all useless now, I couldn’t do anything but pray for the best.
I heard my parent’s crying, but it sounded distant, and their sobs seemed to echo in the walls of my head. How was I supposed to go off to college, without any ability to write? I had a deep, distressed feeling that I was going to die alone, as I could not even write a sign stating “will work for food.” My parents must have shared the same thought, as they started crying even harder.

“Not my baby!” My mother yelled, breaking out of the trance-like state that the words spoken by the doctor had put on her, and she ran over to embrace me.

All hope for ever finishing the assigned paper had diminished, for writer’s block is incurable. Or so it seems. The pain from writer’s block proved to be unbearable, and it would not go away. I simply had nothing to write about. At least that’s what I thought…

Suddenly, it struck me. All this that I have been experiencing, this whole series of events made a perfect story. But could it work? Could I muster the strength to get out of my hospital bed and start writing? One part of my mind fought the very idea, but my better half had other plans.

I tore the IV out of my arm, and got out of the inclined bed. Like a zombie, with arms outstretched, ready to type, I made my way over to the nearest computer. There was one behind the nurse’s desk. One of the nurses was using it, but that didn’t stop me. I pushed the nurse out of her chair and took command. The computer was monitoring the heartbeats and blood pressure of current patients. However, this was not Microsoft Word, so I exited out of it.

A new image appeared on the screen: a brilliant white parchment. My eyes gazed over the emptiness on the page, and I began to improvise based on the days events, only slightly exaggerating some details and plot points. The only thing missing was a title, and I used the only word to describe that day:

Hmmm...

And that simply, through improvisation and exaggeration, I had cured a “disease” that has plagued writers for centuries. The literary gods had smiled upon me that day, as I had turned nothing into something.





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