Dysfunction of Eustachian Tube


My journey from a patient to a scientist

I was living the life of luxury – chicken tenders were brought to me on call, buckets of toys were given to me daily and staying up until midnight was not optional, but mandatory. With endless hours of fun and no restrictions, I was living the dream of every child – a 24/7 sleepover! For me, that week-long stay in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Texas Children’s Hospital did not feel like a confinement at all, but was an opportunity to enjoy and explore. Being a young child at the time, I embraced my situation with youthful optimism. I remember enjoying the company of the nurses and playing video games until I got bored.

All the while, my mom sat anxiously by my bedside wondering how the seizures I had been having since I was three-months-old were affecting my health. In that week, I experienced a few seizures and was further confirmed with having partial complex epilepsy. I was put on a regimen of Trileptal and my seizures have been controlled ever since. I firmly believe the expertise of the neurologists at Texas Children’s is what allowed my case to be a success story. Now, I aim to follow in their footsteps and become an epileptologist. Due to my personal connection to epilepsy since childhood, I have an insatiable curiosity and motivation to learn more about the condition that affects me and many others. The physicians on the epilepsy team at Texas Children’s have been helping me achieve this goal. Over the summer, I was graciously given the opportunity to shadow my doctor, Dr. Irfan Ali. 

I followed him during clinical rotations, observed cutting-edge brain surgeries and learned how to read EEGs and MRIs. I worked in the EMU, but this time seeing the behind-the-scenes work done by the doctors. Because of Dr. Ali’s kindness, I had one of the most meaningful experiences in my life, particularly because I saw patients who reminded me so much of myself at a younger age. I also have been given the opportunity to do research with Dr. Anne Anderson, one of the doctors that I met while shadowing. She was incredibly generous in welcoming me into her lab.