This Week's 'Grey's Anatomy' Struck a Chord With Me as a Person With a Rare Disorder


I’ve always been a die hard “Grey’s Anatomy” fan and have watched it religiously for years. This week I sat down and started the show and prepared for an hour of drama, tears, and escape.

This episode follows the team of doctors as they try to save a John Doe who was in a terrible car wreck. They are all fighting about how to treat his injuries. Throughout the show, each doctor is confronted with a moment or person from their past that becomes intertwined with the plot of the accident victim.

At one point the resident in the room, Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), realizes what is actually wrong with their patient. He has been bleeding uncontrollably for hours and no one could figure out why. Edwards is then confronted by a younger version of herself wearing pajamas and pushing an IV pole from her days as a kid constantly in the hospital from having sickle cell anemia. Young Edwards starts to speak saying she remembers reading about a blood condition that causes this type of bleeding. When Dr. Owen Hunt asks present-day Edwards how she knew about the disease, young Edwards speaks up, saying, “When you spend your childhood in a bed, you become obsessed with the thing that put you there.”

After hearing that, I was suddenly back in the ICU as a young kid, learning as much as I could about how my lungs worked and why I was the way I was. Later I became obsessed with genetics. I needed to know precisely how recessive genes were passed on and how mutations on chromosomes were made. I read and read, learning as much as I could, wondering how I became me. I learned about alleles and why they are so important to genetics. I learned about bronchial tubes. I would amaze my classmates for why I knew so much about one organ. I spent my childhood in a bed, and I became obsessed with the thing that put me there.

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