I was clueless as to what to write for this week’s post, all the ideas that popped into my head didn’t seem interesting enough or of any importance, even to myself.
It wasn’t until an unfortunate incident, which happened this weekend, made it clear what needed to be discussed…….
So what do you do? You meet this guy/girl, all kinds of hotness, educated, driven, ticks all of your boxes, and you guys start getting close, more than just friends, start a relationship, at what point do you ask the question: ‘What is your genotype’ ?
- On that first date?
- When that friendship turns to a relationship?
- When he/she proposes marriage?
Confusing right? What confuses me even further is that this issue doesn’t cross the mind of many as much as it should.
In this modern day and age, many couples still venture into married life or start a family without even discussing or knowing what their genotype is…..
What is your genotype?
What we are talking about here is Sickle Cell. A topic very close to my heart.
Just to give you some background information for those who may not know, (please do correct me if this information is not accurate) the Sickle Cell disease is an inherited disorder and lifelong condition which affects the haemoglobin and can result in serious health complications including anaemia, bone damage, crises, strokes, lung problems amongst others. It affects those primarily of African heritage but also Caribbean, Asian and Mediterranean backgrounds.
The three most common types of haemoglobin are the following: AA (normal), AS (Sickle Cell Trait) and SS (Sickle Cell Anaemia). Without turning this into a science report, the chart below will simplify the explanation on genotype compatibility:
What really motivated me to write this piece was seeing how this person who sadly lost their life to Sickle Cell was so energetic, full of life, had goals and dreams and never let her condition stop her from achieving them or even define her. She was a soldier fought the disease until the end, a disease she didn’t choose to have.
So back to the topic, how important is it to know your partner’s genotype before starting a family? Answer: VERY! If you’re planning on bringing children into this world, wouldn’t you like to know that these children will not suffer from something that could have prevented? Now before the naysayers come with their opinions that marriage is not all about procreation or you can adopt instead, of course, this is all true. However, if you don’t know your partner’s genotype, or even your own, how would you know that in this situation, it would be a better choice to adopt than have children naturally? The fact still remains it’s essential to find out.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the phrase ‘Love conquers all’, which is why I asked the question at the beginning of this feature ‘At what point do you ask ‘what is your genotype’? Is it before it gets to the stage of love? When you first meet? Both of you may be AS and you may be willing to adopt children instead but your partner could be adamant on having children naturally, what do you do???
Be selfless and think about the innocent children that would be brought into this world most likely to go through immense pain throughout their lives. Or even be selfish and think how much it would hurt you to see your child go through all of that pain with limited options of helping them, the high financial implications of medical care, or even the trauma of having to lose a child. Go to your GP/Clinic, it doesn’t take long at all, just a little draw of blood and you can get the results in as little as 24 hours.
Be wise, get educated, know your genotype for the sake of tomorrow.
Till next week sweets
Miss Mimi x
P.S. For further information on the Sickle Cell Disease or if you are based in Nigeria and would like to join in the movement to spread awareness and eliminate this cruel disease, please follow the link below
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