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Poetry

War on the Brain

This poem reflects the experience of a child with P.A.N.D.A.S, a rare but terrifying neuroimmune disease.

By Lily Kangas

Published 12:02 EST, Fri December 17th, 2021

This poem reflects the experience of a child with P.A.N.D.A.S, a rare but terrifying neuroimmune disease.  

In March of 2015, a war broke out.

This was no ordinary conflict.

It consisted not of armed soldiers,

battling to protect the fabric of their nation,

but of a body inflicting irreversible destruction to its mind.

For weeks, obsessive-compulsive thoughts flooded my psyche,

a dark shadow of depression infiltrated every aspect of my being.

My own limbs became weapons,

fighting against me. 

They twitched and flailed at the control of my disease

I held them down, 

but the war only became more violent. 

My thoughts resembled bullets,

perpetually striking with a force that could kill, 

each one as unbearable as the last.

My relationships were towns on the front lines

Innocent, yet ravaged by the cruel war in my mind.

Weeks turned to months,

those months amalgamated into one grueling year.

I felt my last glimmer of hope for a diagnosis slipping through my fingertips.

I was ready to wave the white flag. 

Lily Kangas, Youth Medical Journal 2021

By Lily Kangas

Lily Kangas is a student at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, California. She is interested in all STEM fields, specifically medicine, neuroscience, and psychology.

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