The Paris Review

Survivor

A hypochondriac’s guide to rare diseases.

I recently made a wrong turn out of the parking lot of the Danbury Fair Mall, where I’d indulged in a bag of Auntie Anne’s pretzel nuggets and a pair of cheap earrings at Claire’s. Bemoaning my love for this soulless crap—and not paying attention to my route—I found myself at the entrance to NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders. 

I’m a hypochondriac. I’ve also been a state-licensed EMT for nineteen years. EMTs and the national tabloids, is far reaching.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review2 min read
The Ritual of American Racism
The multidisciplinary artist Betye Saar is best known for her assemblages: meticulous arrangements of found objects, religious iconography, and cultural ephemera that, together, interrogate the ritual of American racism. “Betye Saar: Call and Respons
The Paris Review10 min read
The Perseverance of Eve Babitz’s Vision
Eve Babitz. Photo: Mirandi Babitz. © Mirandi Babitz. And because we were in Southern California—in Hollywood even—there was no history for us. There were no books or traditions telling us how we could turn out or what anything meant. —Eve Babitz My g
The Paris Review6 min read
A Bluebeard of Wives
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. Bluebeard Illustration, “What She Sees There,” by Winslow Homer, 1868 “Sabrina,” says my husband’s first wife, “is married to my husband.” I hear this through The Gra