• Trapped Within

      Armstrong, Bridget (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Imagine you hear someone talking to your loved ones, “I’m sorry…. their chance of survival is small”. What is this? What's going on? ‘Maybe this is a dream’, you start to think to yourself as you try to wake yourself up. You are unsuccessful in waking up, and you still see complete darkness. You start to hear a doctor talk to your family about ending life support. You are conscious, afraid, your heart is racing, and to make matters worse, you realize you cannot move or speak. “How can I tell them that I am still here and alive?” you say to yourself in your head. This is merely a glimpse of what locked-in syndrome may feel like. If you have ever experienced or heard of sleep paralysis, where you are conscious, but unable to move your body, except your eyes, then you can begin to appreciate what individuals living with locked-in syndrome experience continuously. Instead of your experience lasting for a few minutes, like sleep paralysis, locked-in syndrome could be something you are trapped in for the rest of your life. This article examines the world of locked-in syndrome, its etiologies, types of locked-in syndrome, and what diagnosis/treatment looks like.