As he began to open his eyes slowly, he heard the sound of water splashing against something. He was waking from a deep sleep. When his eyes were fully opened, he surveyed his surroundings. As far as he could see all around him was water. He realized with a horror that he was in the middle of the ocean. He did not know why he was there. He felt all alone. There was no companionship other than the birds that flew by occasionally- but they could not understand his plight. They could not relate to his situation. He was an alien in their world. If he was not careful, he could leave his foot or a hand hanging off the little raft he was on and it could be bitten by a shark or some other curious creature. Life would be a chore for him. As time passed, he wondered if he would survive. His mind played tricks on him and tempted him to think everything was normal and that he did not have to be confined to the raft. One time he stepped off the raft and into the water. He thought he could just walk away. He quickly returned to the raft and did what he had to do to say safe. During the days storms came and life could be rough. Eventually he took the oars of the raft and began to paddle in one direction led by the sun- away from it in the morning, toward it in the evening. After persistence he finally saw land. He kept rowing until he was safe on shore. ---------- This short essay is an allegory about life with PKU from my perspective. The isolation, the lack of understanding I have faced, the temptations to ignore PKU and forego the diet. Maybe some of those with PKU can relate in some ways. But when we decide to face the diet and beat the effects of PKU it is like finally finding land after being isolated in the middle of an ocean throughout our lives. Thankfully we have doctors and dieticians who understand and family and friends who can be of support. Fortunately we also have each other. I am among the first generation of treated PKUers. I am so happy that research has made things even better for the up and coming generations. I hope I can be supportive to some of you so you do not feel like you are isolated- "alone in the ocean." Here's to victory over PKU.