Monday, 29 June 2015

Genetic inheritance

Genetic manipulation 
 To the vast majority of us, our genetic codes are something we hardly - if ever - think about. I must admit until recently I was among the many. Then things changed...

Ehlers Danloss Syndrome
EDS is an inherited illness which is incurable, irreversible, and ultimately will put me in a wheelchair - I estimate by next year - I'm not annoyed. When I heard I had it to this severity, I gave myself to 50 before needing the chair. The extra 9 years have allowed me to do a lot of things, including two trips to Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada, and a a final trip back to my home lands of the northern shires to see my beloved Scarborough.
I found I had this illness when I went for a blood test for arthritis, it is amazing how a simple blood test can change your whole outlook on life, and make you wonder about how you lived, and did you know something subconsciously.
Because of the lack of Collagen - a symptom of EDS - any operation is a high risk for me. I have never been worried about having operations, to date I've had two and I'm awaiting a third. The scars never concerned me either, I have enough from life to last more than a lifetime. What worried me is the scarring, knowing I have bad skin content the worry of ripping a would in my sleep is a big concern for me. I once witnessed a man have varicose veins burst, and was scared it might happen to me. This is why an everyday operation to repair my tendon is out of the question.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
As the title suggests, HCM is a heart disorder. In this case a build up of muscle between the cardiac ventricles leading to one being malformed, and the sufferer having breathing problems. I discovered I had HCM when I went to the doctor complaining of chest pains, and breathing problems. My breathing is fine, I have got used to the lack of Oxygen. This illness is the cause of many deaths among young athletes, I do wonder if my lack of interest in sports at school was because subconsciously my body was telling me something. Another thing of interest is I had given no thought to why I sleep on my left side, until I found out about my HCM. Perhaps, this is why I did it, sleeping this way my right ventricle can give air to my left.

Sadly, I've passed my bad genes onto my children. I had always been against tampering with our genetics, but the more I learn about my genes, the more I question should I have been allowed to live? I know it's not a thought which crosses the mind of people, but in the last few years it has been on my mind a lot.

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