Author Archives: Brianna Albers

Pride Cometh Before the Side Effects

It’s not that I didn’t think I’d have side effects. I hoped. Just like I hoped that COVID-19 would wind down by late last summer; just like I hoped “The Rise of Skywalker” would be, like, tolerable. But I knew better. It was a vaccine, after all, and a gnarly…

The Green-eyed Elephant in the Room

Let’s talk about the green-eyed elephant in the room. I’m a naturally jealous person. The therapist in me is convinced that my childhood has something to do with it — all those hours on the playground watching the kids on the monkey bars, wishing quietly for a body like…

As SMA Treatments Advance, History Has Its Eyes on Us

I’ve dreamed of cures. Miracles that occur in the blink of an eye. One minute, I’m sitting in my wheelchair, and the next, I’m standing, walking, running. I’m wobbly on my feet, of course, and crying, because everything has changed, and I’m probably overwhelmed by the newness of it all…

The Evrysdi Chronicles: Full Speed Ahead

According to my mother, my columns are the first result when you Google “Evrysdi (risdiplam) denial.” Which isn’t surprising. I’ve written several scathing columns about the application process, from verifying my diagnosis to correcting blatantly false insurance claims. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, or so the…

3 Melatonin Pills a Night Keep the Hallucinations at Bay

I see things that aren’t there. The writer in me realizes that, at first blush, this sounds like the opening line of a young adult novel. Take, for example, Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Raven Boys,” which opens with, “Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she…

Unlike Hamilton, I Threw Away My Shot

My first instinct was to scream. After weeks of waiting, and days of researching clinics and time slots, I finally received the prized text message: “Brianna and 2 caregivers have been selected for the COVID vaccine.” I screamed, then sent an all-caps message to a group chat with friends that…

As Someone With SMA, the Fight for My Life Never Ends

It’s become a sort of ritual. Once every few weeks around 3 p.m., my mom will drop by my room. “So,” she’ll say, with ridiculous amounts of forced brightness. “So.” Code word for “We need to talk.” Code word for “I just checked the mail, and you’re not going to…

My SMA Friends Remind Me That It’s OK to Rest

You already know that for the longest time, I didn’t want friends with SMA. I was young and desperate to be seen as “cool” (whatever that means), but more than that, I was dumb. I thought that being seen with “people like me” would ruin my street cred —…