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Old March 30th, 2012 (05:48 PM). Edited May 14th, 2012 by AlexMonroe.
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AlexMonroe AlexMonroe is offline
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Rush, a Memoir

An Introduction from Michael Our

im thirtteen, but only by to weeks. the doctors, thay say i only hav not even one mor week to go. im dying from a thing calld Excessive Epinephrine Release Syndrome. (i had mr. tessta rite that for me.) im not al the way shure wut that meens, but i no it givs me to much enrgy, wich isnt good for me. thay askd me if i wood tel them abowt wut it feels like to be sick like this. i told them it dusnt feel vary good. then thay askd if i wood tel them mor so thay cood rite abowt it. i sed yess but askd if i cood rite sumthing at the beginning. then thay sed yess. so rite now i thank my momy and dady. and i thank mr. tessta, mrs. wickins and i alsso reely want to say i thank my bruther blaik. and blaik, i really do want you to quit. now im dun with my introducshin so mr. tessta wil rite the rest for me. good by.

* * *

Michael Our’s Memoir, Typed by Theodore Testa

My name is Michael Our, but I never really learned how to spell it, which is why I didn’t try to put it into the introduction. In fact, I never really learned how to spell much of anything, because of the effects of my sickness. I’d like Mr. Testa to tell you about my sickness, if he wants to. (Excessive Epinephrine Release Syndrome is a deadly illness caused by a birth defect only ever recorded in Michael. His brain is literally scared of any sensation it experiences, sending electric pulses to the Adrenal Gland to constantly release small amounts of Adrenaline, or Epinephrine. This causes Michael to remain in a state of panic, stress, and restlessness. His body feels like it must run for its life constantly). Because of the sickness, I was never able to focus in school, so I was expelled quickly for acting out constantly, leading to me being sent straight to a hospital to see what was wrong with me. That’s why I can’t really spell good or talk with good grammar. That’s why Mr. Testa’s writing this for me.

Anyway, the longest I ever spent at one school was sixteen days. I was pretty good up until the last day, when there was a fire drill. I didn’t know what was happening when the alarms started, but I felt myself running. Time seemed to be slow, and I saw the others looking at me and beginning to laugh. I was sad at that point, but my body just kept running. I knocked over one girl who was standing up, and she bumped into a desk, knocking it over. Soon I was out the door and in the hall. Then I was already outside. Like a minute later, everyone else came outside and my teacher, Mr. Whitman, took me to the Principal. My mommy tried to tell the Principal that I couldn’t control myself, but then I jumped up accidentally and broke a crystal vase on the Principal’s desk. I picked up the yellow flower that was in it and gave it to him, but I was still kicked out and had to find a new school. It made me sad because I met my only friend there, and I never got to see her again. She was the girl I knocked over when she stood up to tell the other kids to stop laughing. At least, that’s what my mommy said Megan’s mommy said that Megan said.

I came to the hospital when I was seven. My mommy and daddy decided that by that point, if I wasn’t sick, I’d be normal by then. I met Mr. Testa pretty soon. He was a . . . a . . . (Psychotherapist). He was supposed to help me get through my sickness. Unfortunately, they didn’t know then that I would die at the end.

My doctor was Mrs. Wickins. She was nice to me and always said I was a brave boy. But she did painful things to me. Once I got twenty-one shots in my tummy in less than a half hour. But afterwards, I fell asleep, and when I woke up, Mrs. Wickins said I could eat as much candy as I wanted. I forget why, so if Mr. Testa wants to tell you, I hope he will. (In an experimental treatment for EERS, Dr. Wickins attempted to supply Michael with plentiful amounts of sugar, hoping that it would power the body with enough energy that Michael’s brain would stop sending signals for the release of Epinephrine. By that point, she’d seen how the extra Adrenaline was speeding up Michael’s heart rate to 118 beats per minute on any given day. The shots Michael mentioned were lasting anticoagulants, chemicals that keep Michael’s blood from clotting at the great speeds it’s traveling. While the speed of the blood flow should prevent from clotting on its own, if it were to build up, Michael would be killed before any signs appeared. Those anticoagulants, taken more than five years ago, are still in effect on Michael’s body). The candy was fun, but I didn’t like the shots. I don’t like needles. They make my body scared.

I never really felt any pain from my sickness until I was about ten. I’d never really gotten what people call a “Sugar Rush,” despite all the candy I ate, so I’d never had a “Sugar Crash” either. But, I think it’d feel like how I felt when I was ten. I was tired all the time, and I didn’t want to eat any more sugar. I was still always nervous, but whenever I’d have an (Epinephrine-Induced Episode), it would hurt really badly. The doctors said I broke bones when it happened, because my body was so weak from overuse. They said that by my eleventh birthday, it seemed like I had (Ebola) or the (Red Death, made up by Edgar Allan Poe). I was sweating blood, I cried blood, and my spit was red with blood. It was a bad combo, because whenever I’d have an (EIE), I’d cry, drool, and sweat from stress. I had to take a bath after each “Rush,” I decided to call it, and it was really painful because, like I said before, my bones would break, and muscles would pull. Once I even broke my right foot so bad that they had to cut it off from the knee. During the surgery to cut it off, though, the doctors accidentally broke the rest of my right leg, and it’s barely healed, even after two years.

Mrs. Wickins just came in to see how I was doing. She said I was doing a very good job of telling Mr. Testa about what had happened to me. Now I feel happy. I like Mrs. Wickins and Mr. Testa.

Anyway, about a year and a half ago, the doctors told my mommy and daddy that they didn’t have any more money to pay for me to live. That was when my brother, Blake, first joined the army. Blake, my only other family member besides mommy and daddy, had always been near me when I felt sad, and he’d read to me, act out movies he’d seen at the movie theatre, and sing to me. Blake sings pretty. Blake didn’t even see his friends for nearly two years, except when they came to see him in the hospital or at home. I haven’t even been home in three years. But Blake was smart and in college because he wanted more than anything to get smarter, but knew he was costing mommy and daddy money to go there, so he dropped out and took the only job he could get after about six months, a year ago. He joined to army. Blake was a . . . a . . . (Pacifist, meaning he never uses violence and tries to keep peace with others), so my mommy and daddy didn’t believe it when he signed up. He said he’d do anything to help me get through this, and he left. He made some money, and without paying for his college costs, my parents were able to give me hospital help again. I was sad to see him leave, especially when he was doing something he hated just to help me, but he promised me he wanted to do anything he could. He’s still over in a country that we’re not even allowed to know which today. I miss him.

I finally stopped feeling like I’d been on a “Sugar Crash” about a month ago. I felt happy about it, but the doctors did not. They said that I hadn’t gotten better like they’d hoped I would when I stopped having an (Epinephrine Withdrawal Period). Apparently, during this time, my body had been acting normally, but it was making me sick. They said something about my heart, but I’m not sure I understood it. (During this time, Dr. Wickins had successfully replaced Michael’s Epinephrine release with a surplus of sugar. However, this had slowed Michael’s heart rate to what should have been almost healthy, but due to the anticoagulants, Michael’s blood became too thin to carry the nutrients he needed, and eventually, his bone marrow weakened due to less need of blood cell synthesis. They finally stopped the treatment, realizing Michael would suffer more than he would heal, and he was restored to his “normal” state).

When I realized that my heart was never going to be healthy, I started getting sad again, even without me being extra sick. I didn’t like the feeling at all, and my mommy and daddy were upset too. They wanted me to get better already. I wanted that too.

I heard that Blake was still alive only two days ago, the first report of his safety we’d gotten in three months. That was when I realized how much I missed him. I talked to Mrs. Wickins and said that I didn’t want my brother to be forced into fighting anymore. We hadn’t seen each other in so long, and his hard work and sacrifice hadn’t paid off - I was still really sick. She told me to talk to Mr. Testa, saying what I was thinking about was something that could be talked out of me. However, I told Mr. Testa the way I felt about everything, saying “It doesn’t feel very good,” and he finally talked to my mommy and daddy about what I wanted. I wanted Blake to come home before anything happened to him, even if it meant I would die before getting better.

Yesterday, I finally made my mommy and daddy accept my decision, and I told them that I wanted to have my body studied to find a cure, in case anyone else ever has the sickness I have. They sent me to talk to Mr. Testa so he could write down everything I said as a (Memoir). I told Blake to come home, and he promised he’d be back before I died. He got on a plane just this morning to come home.

The doctors say I would have just one week after being cut off to live. They stopped helping me just before I came to talk to Mr. Testa. Funnily, this is the best I’ve felt in my whole life. My body’s working on its own, working wrong, but naturally. Blake’s flying only halfway home today, then getting on another plane tomorrow so he arrives tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see him.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about myself. I haven’t liked being sick. It makes me want to cry. And you should know that my tears are only a little pink from only a little blood now, so that’s good. I’m ready for all of this pain and sickness to end. And I’m ready to do it with a smile on my face.

* * *

Afterword, by Theodore Testa

As often as I find myself caring about my patients, I know it’s usually due to the fact that I have to understand how they feel, not as much my heart feeling affection for them. I think that Michael is one of the ones that has touched me, as children often do.

As Michael said, he was taken off of the EERS treatment, one week ago today. Michael did finally die, in the midst of a “Rush.”

The Ours were given devastating news, which triggered Michael’s final Epinephrine-Induced Episode. Blake, after not appearing on the night he was supposed to, was discovered to have been on a plane that was shot out of the air over the Pacific Ocean. The Ours learned this news, and Michael’s heartbreak initiated his final blow. Too weak to do much to keep himself alive, young Michael was killed before he could be saved.

As Michael wished, his body was taken in for analysis to discover a cure for EERS for future victims. By this point, no remedy has been found.

The Ours, having no money, were forced to sell their house for a smaller one, a horrific form of irony, seeing as how there were now no other members of their family needing other bedrooms. I’ve been tending to them psychotherapeutically, trying to help them return to their old lives, though it is more difficult than with other parents, as they’d suddenly lost their only children, and hadn’t had a “normal” life since before Michael was born. It is also difficult to help them when I too am saddened by the loss of Michael Our.

The day is April 27, 2022. Michael Our, the first boy ever diagnosed with EERS, died two hours ago.

* * *
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  #2    
Old April 2nd, 2012 (02:55 AM).
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IanDonyer IanDonyer is offline
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...oh my God. I honestly don't know what to say here. I really don't. This is... just... oh God, wow, I don't think I've been this flabbergasted by a story in a long, long time. And that's a very good thing. And man, I cried. I've never had a story actually force tears on me, but this one did and I find that amazing.

A question. Has this had influence from the story "Flowers for Algernon"? It has such a similar style that it was one of the first thing that struck me. If so, kudos for that. And if not, kudos for your originality either way. *claps*

Wow. Poor Michael. Sounds like he went through a lot of painful stuff. And I find it so sweet, yet so sad how Blake's death was what set Michael's own off. I feel so sorry for Mr. and Mrs. Ours, losing both of their children within such a short time span.

I... suppose I really don't have much else to say. I just want you to know, you've got some talent, man, and I'm looking forward to seeing other stories from you. Please, don't be a stranger 'round these parts. :p
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Old April 2nd, 2012 (01:28 PM).
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AlexMonroe AlexMonroe is offline
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Well thank you, really, for that. It always means a lot to a new writer (at least, new compared to the other writers here) when they get a good review. Especially when you said I made you cry. That definitely made my day. :)

I did read Flowers for Algernon, though it was a long time ago. The story does have some roots in that, but also by the fact that I've always been able to sympathize deeply with people who go through things like this.

I will most certainly not be a stranger around here, and I already have a few ideas for some future stories. In fact, I have plans to start writing one today or tomorrow. All I'm worried about now is that they won't be able to match up. :)

Again, thanks.
~AlexMonroe
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