Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Genotype Question


I was watching Moments with Mo on Africa Magic Entertainment sometime last week. It was an old episode on Sickle Cell and the consequences etc, which I had watched a long time ago before then so it was my second time of watching it. Mo Abudu had people living with sickle cell on the show and a woman who had lost her child to sickle cell. There was also a man who had broken up with his girlfriend because they stood the risk of giving birth to a Sickler.

I’m sure y’all have heard about Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) or know people living with it or people that have died as a result of it..:(. I’ve not actually seen them go through a crisis or been close to a sickler with the SS genotype before. People with SS genotype have severe sickle cell anaemia while people with a milder genotype like SC have less severe or no symptoms. I have a cousin with the SC genotype. I just found out when she got admitted to a teaching hospital after she started vomiting blood, had turned completely pale and developed a fever. She’s 5 years old; my aunt said they (she and her husband) found out when she was 3 or so. She doesn’t have the crisis that the SS ones have but she a times has difficulty breathing because of her asthma and looks very bony, although she is the most playful out of her siblings who are not sicklers.

I was worried when I found out that my cousin was SC and the only question I had to ask my aunt was “but didn’t you guys know your genotype before you got married”. As if she read through my mind she started gisting me about how when she and her husband were about to get married they had checked her husband’s medical records and found he was AA. She already knew she was AC (never heard that before? It’s quite rare) and so they got married. It’s when their second born (the sickler) started falling sick and they found out she was SC, that they took another blood test (she and her husband). Her own was still AC, but her husband’s own had 'changed' to AS. Ah!! What a surprise, how could that have happened? But it was obvious it was true or how else could their baby be SC.

They had asked the important question before marriage, but now all had changed. Theirs is an exceptional case of people who asked each other about their genotype before marriage, but were greeted with shock after marriage. But how many of us ask that important question before marriage or while dating? (hoping the records are correct or better still take a new test). How many of us are married and didn’t check ours and our partner’s genotype before marriage.

It’s a very important area to touch before walking down the aisle or better still before even attempting to fall in love. Seriously, it’s no beans. The woman who came on on Mo’s show, the one that lost her child to sickle cell (he was 35 years of age and married with a child) said if she knew her genotype and her husband’s before marriage and had foreseen all the suffering she would go through she won’t have married her husband. She still has another child with sickle cell that is 32 (would be older now since that Moment’s with Mo episode was in 2010 or so).

Now no need to fear, sicklers do live long, (especially now with more advancement in medicine)but they go through a lot of suffering!! One guy on the show said his doctors told his mother he wouldn’t live past his 21st birthday but he was still alive at over 60!! God does work miracles. Still on the show, there was a couple who said they had known their genotype before marriage but had gone on with their marriage with faith in God. The wife is a sickler and their first born is a sickler, but a very mild one. They are very lucky she doesn’t have frequent crisis. They seemed a very happy couple and confident in their faith in God. I’m happy for them, but how many people have that much faith. Some people say they have faith, but how much.  A lot of people go ahead with their marriage knowing they are both AS and end up being unhappy and seriously traumatised when they give birth to a sickler. Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya in her book ‘How to choose a life partner: 165 questions to ask’, writes

“Q. 146. Are our genotypes compatible?

Medically, it is advisable that an AS genotype should not marry an AS genotype

to guard against the high possibility of giving birth to an SS child........

However, we have an all-sufficient God and with faith all things are possible.

Be sure to discuss this with your mate. If he or she does not have enough

faith to believe that you could have only AS genotype children, then you should not proceed

any further. If your faith is strong and you believe, then you may go ahead. You must

however, consider two things: you should not have too many children; and in case you

have an SS genotype child, can you cope with a sick child?........”


She’s said it all

It’s a serious issue I personally musn’t play with since I’m AS. In fact there is an experience I had that touched me. When I was doing my IT in 400 level in a community pharmacy, there was a day a very thin looking guy came in. He looked jaundiced- his eyes were yellow. He held his prescription paper feebly then handed it to me. I sensed he was a sickler but didn’t want to conclude sha. Anyways his prescription was for diclofenac (a pain reliever), but not just any diclofenac. Let me bore you a little (or even more if I’ve been boring you since); diclofenac (D) comes in two forms; D potassium- which dissolves in the body faster and hence suppresses pain faster, and D sodium- does not work as fast as the former but is effective. His doctor prescribed the former. We had only D sod in stock. He took his prescription paper and started to leave. Oh no, I wasn’t going to let him go, not like that.

Me:  “Why don’t you buy D sod?”

Him: “My crisis comes at night and I’ve tried EVERY pain reliever and they don’t work. My Doctor says this will definitely work”

I was right, he was a sickler. I begged him to please just take what we had. As in what was running through my head was what if he doesn’t get it elsewhere and he dies in his sleep at night from pain...GOD FORBID!!.. It will be my fault, indirectly..“wo you must take what we have” (in my mind). He finally agreed and boy was I happy. He took only one satchet sha since it wasn’t what he wanted (He actually wanted to buy a pack of 10 satchets of D pott!!)..The koko is that I was sha relieved and since that day I said “ah, my child will not suffer!!!”

So, please friends ask o..hmmm... and before you fall in love o..I’m serious. Yeah you met this cute guy/girl and you can bet that you guys are made for each other, but have you asked them their genotype, especially when you’re AS, AC, SS or SC? Forget myths that state that between AS and AS genotypes, it is only a 1:4 chance of having a sickler.It’s a lie, that 1:4 chance is per birth. Read your biology well if you are or were a science student or even if you’re just curious.

So you’re wondering but how will I ask? Won’t I come across as too forward? I don’t know o, but just pray you get a chance to ask the way I did..:) Let me share a personal story.

Once upon a kinda long time, I met this cute guy- I mean he wasn’t cute the first time I saw him because I was too shy to look at his face. But the second time I saw him it was love at second sight.. We became good friends. As in we click in every way..too much chemistry going on...But then something kept nagging me, “better ask about his genotype o, before you fall completely”. We were still in the friends zone then, but I knew I had begun to fall for him. So I panicked. How was I going to ask? I started going paranoid. “What if I ask and he lies”...what if, what if.... Then finally one day..gen gen gen gen...his brother fell sick..and it was a good thing.

 We spoke that day:

Bobo: My bro’s sick

Me: Eeya, what wrong with him?

Bobo: I think it’s malaria..he’s been down all day

Me: (My heart started to beat. This was a chance to ask..seriously! I didn’t want to blow it)Does he fall sick all the time. You know tha AAs always have malaria frequently (nice one shey..*wink*)

Bobo: Yeah he does, maybe that’s why.But I don’t fall sick like that

Me: Ehn, ehn.....What’s your own genotype sef?

Heart beating, head pounding, hope getting lost gradually, gradually, gradu.........

Bobo: (cutting through my emotional frenzy) AA

Yepa!! Ope O!! My heart started dancing ‘alanta’. My head stopped pounding. I smiled a big wide smile and said a silent ‘Thank God’ in my heart.



So, that was a long post. I’ll leave you with a question Mo asked on her show.

When do you think is the right time to ask: Before dating, during dating or just before you walk down the aisle?

Or will you not ask at all?..... I mean seriously???!!!!

I leave you with these videos...


64 comments:

  1. It is very important to ask o. Like you, I believe prevention is better than cure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, prevention is better than cure..
      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
    2. What about AC and AC? Can they wed?

      Delete
  2. I dig the way you asked *hi5* Sharp babe. There was this guy who was asking me out and i asked for his genotype and he said he doesn't believe in the stuff. I looked at him like he had sprouted horns! In this 21st century?! I tried to explain how important but the guy wasn't hearing it. I just jejely friend-zoned him sharply.

    First time here and following
    http://toinlicious.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. AY: You have been TAGGED! Please check out my blog for more details on the rules and how to participate. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Toinlicious you are welcome to my blog!!

    ‘hi5‘ joor. One needs to be sharp in those kind of matters o jare, ki oluwe ma lo ma regret later o... It is good as you friend-zoned the guy; ‘he doesn‘t believe in that kind of stuff ke!! People need to be educated.

    Thanks for following. Will run along to check your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. prevention really is the best. one of the reasons i got married to my husband was cos he was AA. I had always know i was AS until i did a blood test recently and found out that I was AA. I know a couple who were both AS and got married. they didn't have any kids until after 5 years of marriage and their son AS, not a sickle. they had just made up their minds that they would be together no matter what and they stuck by it. plus i think they did some genetic stuff in the US.
    Love this post.
    www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made a smart choice...that your genotype is now AA is a shock..i dunno why there are sometimes inconsistencies in the blood test results.
      The couple took a risk o..see what love can do..me i no fit sha..all that genetic stuff scares me sef
      Glad you loved the post, *my head is swelling*
      Thank you for leaving a comment.

      Delete
  6. Nice post, n its rily imp to know before getting deeply involved. But wat happens wen d genotype changes *happened to two of my close peeps*.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. First of all, let me say thank you for visiting my blog, leaving your comment and following too. Thanks so much

    Now, your question is not too clear, but I'll assume you are referring to two people who had always known they were AA and then suddenly on carrying out another test, find out they are AS. Before I go on let me clarify something. Genotype doesn't actually change in the real sense (unless by divine intervention). It is a part of you from birth. The reason why people have different genotype results could be due to errors by the laboratory staff carrying out the test or use of faulty and substandard materials in carrying out the test.

    When two people find out their genotype has 'changed' from AA to AS, if they are not married, it it best for them to break their relationship (it is very hard to, but wise). If they are already married and hope to have kids, they could decide not to have too many or not to have at all (adoption is an option). Advanced medical intervention is an option, but there are a lot of ethical issues involved and I would also not like to delve into it.

    Thank you so much for your question and I hope you are satisfied with my answer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. :D

      You're welcome. I'm really glad you found this enlightening.

      Thanks for taking out time to read the post and also for leaving your comment.

      Delete
  9. wahala no too much?... I love this babe... She love me scatter (like mad).. The problem is we are both AS and we know it... But she wont let go... Even after saying i dont wanna suffer my unborn child, plus catering for a sick child all my life.. She just wont let it go... I am so fucked up... Advice please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm..

      Noris, I understand how you and your girlfriend must be feeling now. And sincerely, I really wish there is something I could say that would make you feel good or at least help you guys manage the situation together, but we really have to face reality.

      If you decide to stay together, you should be ready to face whatever the future may bring, because truthfully, the pains, hurts and regrets you could experience in the future if you decide to stay together, will most definitely outweigh whatever you may be feeling for each other at the moment. All your emotions will wear out, reason and reality will set in, then you will possibly start to resent each other and sincerely wish you had gone your separate ways.

      Noris, I would advise that you and your girlfriend discuss this thoroughly and you should try to make her understand these things.

      However, I can only give advice. The choice is yours to make Noris;

      -Whether to face the pain of a break-up now, or
      -Whether to be ready to face the challenges that will come in the future if you decide to stay together, and that will probably cause much more pain that the pain you would experience on parting ways now.

      The challenges may not just be emotional, but could be financial and social as well..

      What choice are you going to make?

      Guy think, abeg and make a decision.

      I wish you guys all the very best... :)

      Delete
  10. Am in love and hope to spend the rest of my life with a guy who is also As in the light of the recent developments in knowing the genotype of a foetus before its 3months.I am a christain and don't believe in abortions but feel that's the only reasonable way out in this situation.I pray for only 2 AS or AA kids and am gonna seal childbearing.God help me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Prevention, they say, is better than cure.

      You want to go ahead with all the information you have? You want to suffer your unborn child? How are you sure you are going to have only AA and AS children? How strong is your faith? Are you sure 'abortion is the only "reasonable" way out in this situation'? Have you really thought this through?

      A word, they say, is enough for the wise.

      Read my reply to Noris' comment above yours.

      All the best.

      Delete
  11. Just came across this site today. It's interesting though especially with this subject matter. At least people get to be aware of their genotype before marriage.

    Well, when you are talking about Sc genotype I should be able to give you more insight about it than anybody else. I am a victim. And till now I'm still crawling round the circle of crisis. Since I knew myself around the age of six, its being awful, devastating and disheartening passing through such in life. And sometimes you wonder what sort of life is this? Why will two human beings decided to do this to their own child due to their negligence, illiteracy or selfishness.

    Anyway, I believe in preordainment. It's my destiny, a test and a lesson from God. I'm a regular hospital goer. Every nurses in General Hospital know more than usual. Right from primary to high institution. You might be surprised since according to Doctors, they say the moment you hit young adult stage, you are free. Well in my case, it's a little bit different. Yeah, I stopped experiencing the usual regular crisis. When I was 20, I was diagnosed of Avascular Necrosis (Rt) on right femoral head at early stage. Six years later all because I didn't want to lose a year at school, I waited to graduate before having a Girdlestone Arthroplasty Surgery. I felt everything was ok. It was tough getting a job but I secured one at the Institution I finished from. It was rough. Couldn't have good grade due to sickness every now and then.

    I lose so many great people (ladies) that I would have got married to due to genotype not matching. Of recent, about a year now, I was again diagnosed of Sickle cell Retinopathy at my right eye which later result to blindness. My last hope is the second eye and I am due to have to Total Hip Replacement (THR). I am handicapped coz I've got no $14850 for THR and I don't know how much it will cost to have eye surgery.

    You might imagine me being sobbed in tears but I am not coz I believe everything happens for a reason. I will not be defeated no matter what. I am too young for all these though.

    sos563us22@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saeed,

      Thanks for your comment. It is very touching and enlightening. I don't even know where to start from. The pain you must have been feeling all through the years must be so indescribable.

      Take heart.

      I will send you an e-mail as soon as possible.

      Keep up the positive spirit.

      Delete
    2. As always dear. I've got no choice.

      Delete
  12. this is realy educative.thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I could be of help. My pleasure

      Delete
  13. Thanks so much for the insight. I always thought i was AA since i did the test during my college days and there was no sickle cell. I just found out recently that i am AC so i requested my Fiance to have the test done. It came out that he is As. I am very confused right now and do not know what to do? He thinks it shouldn't be a problem but im so confused right now...I wish i had know about this about 2 years ago. What do i do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe you must have seen my post. I am an SC patient. Well, I can't ask you to quit or something but its a risk you wanna take. The only way is if you are lucky not having 1st or 2nd Child bein an SC, then you will be advised not to get pregnant again coz you stand a chance of having the third being a sickler. And all well and good, if you believe can withstand the pressure and determined then Sc shouldn't be difficult to maintain due to good and appropriate medication and measures now.

      Delete
    2. Questions like this are tricky sha.. I really don't know what to say. You can read and think over my replies to Noris and Anon 8:51 above.

      All the best.

      Thank you Saeed for your comment..:)

      Delete
  14. directed here cos I'm tryna look up info on d worst case scenario being an SC child, this has really helped.

    www.sholagiwa.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found what you were looking for... :)

      Delete
  15. pls av u seen any SC victim living a normal healthy life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, my little cousin I mentioned in the post.

      With PROPER CARE and MONITORING, they live rich and fulfilling lives

      Delete
  16. This is xactly wat I'm facin, afta 6yrs of courtship I jst found out we re both AS. I knw its better we quit but its nt as easy as its being said. I need "HELP"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emmanuel, hmmm...

      I don't really know what to say to comfort you, but I understand how you must feel!!

      I don't want to sound like a broken record.. You can read and think over my reply to Noris above, especially. If you are a praying man, pray about it.

      God help you..

      My heart goes out to you.

      Delete
  17. Hello, I came across this blog when trying to research into SC gynotype. My girl friend actually has SC gynotype, Although i am AA. but i am still very much afraid of her heath, she looks healthy now and i have not seen her fall sick since about a year of our dating. But i am still afraid of the future for her, expecially during pregnancy and child birth. please do you have any info about this? I really find it difficult leaving her because of this. Expecially as AA gynotype is even the only one good enough for her. Pls advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SC patients usually don't have symptoms as severe as SS patients. Really SC patients are better off marrying the AA genotype.

      I think if she takes care of herself properly, takes her routine drugs every time and avoids unnecessary stress she'll do just fine. I understand your fear especially concerning pregnancy and childbirth. When you get to that stage you should seek proper medical advice and she should have regular appointments with her doctor and you'd be adviced appropriately.

      Really, I believe you guys will do just fine.

      Delete
  18. ...heard of a nurse whose husband lied to her about his genotype before marriage. she found out when their daughter had d 1st crisis. he actually got a fake lab result done cos he knew how important it was...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A perfect example of how deceptive human beings can be. Too sad.
      It would be best for intending couples to go for the lab test together at a reputable lab and receive the results together to avoid such.

      Delete
  19. AY, what about geonotype AC and Ac? Will there be a problem if they wed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Josiah, I think that is a good match. The possible genotypes per birth would be AA, AC, or CC.

      Now I don't know much about CC patients. You could inquire from a qualified medical doctor about the CC genotype and the quality of life of patients with such genotype.

      All the best.

      Delete
    2. cc is the worst type of ss according to DR not me

      Delete
    3. if u want more info send me you email and i can forward you some conversation i had with http://www.fakihivf.com/ in Dubai.

      Delete
    4. Samson Ezekiel, I've clicked to Follow you on Google plus...can you contact me with the said conversation with the DR? I earnestly await your mail. Thanks.

      Delete
  20. There is a new technology which involves artificial insemination which cost about $16,000 - $20,000. It involves test tube baby technology where the sperm and ovary are collected n check for the S gene (if it has another ovary is selected) before fertilization n artificial implantation of the embryo back into the lady. But i am not 100% sure if d technology is in Nigeria yet. You can go to http://www.fakihivf.com/ in Dubai and select IVF with PGD gene selection. I am also going to make some enquiries about this with a Doctor in London in weeks ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  21. my name is taiwo,am AS and my wife is as and she is prenant now,though we did not know our gynotype before,we just got to know it now.what should will do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a tough one.

      Personally, I'll say prayer is the key.. If you are a Christian now is the time to build your faith and pray fervently. Also, please speak to your Doctor who can counsel you appropriately and help you prepare for the bundle of joy you are expecting.

      It is my hope that everything turns out very well.

      All the best Taiwo.

      Delete
  22. Never knew the pain and heartbreak in having to break a good relationship because of this genotype issue....never knew it will affect me one day. Dating this pretty lovely girl and we have both had our fair share of dissappointments as far as relationships are concerned. We have been very happy together, she in manchester and am in london but only just found out we are both AS. You cant imagine the heartbreak am facing right now as am having to make that decision to end the relationship now as i have read all the other options of selective abortion and the expensive pigd....just feel its too much and with all the morality issues..and our both parents aint ok with the whole paroles so we break up today and the chase continues but this time am popping up the question from the start cos relationships in the UK are expensive so having to break them up cost a fortune.But better now than cry later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is up to you but if you are both based in the UK, please see a geneticist (get referred by your GP) the Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnostic (PIGD) is free for your first child

      Delete
    2. Anonymous, yes it's much better to know now, than to cry later.
      It's not easy, but you will be fine.

      Thanks for dropping your comment

      Delete
  23. Its heartbreaking that i av to fall in dis category as well, broke a relationship wit d is cute young lady (how i love her so much) didn't av a choice cos i knew d risks involved. I moved on, and met another Damsel, love set in and we became so inseperable, i inquired bout her genotype which was AA. Thru curiousity, i took her for a lab test,d result came out to b AA ..happily d love got stronger until dat faithful day she was sick and d doc requested she carry out series of tests which d genotype test was included. I got d greatest shock of my life when i got a AS result,tears dropped cos d feeling of haven to break anothr cherrished relatnshp again. I started wishing she wasn't sick (atleast if she wasn't sick,i wld av not known,wld av sticked wit d earlier result of AA,wonder for a moment y d doc also recommended a genotype,wished he never did). @ a moment, i felt strong taking d risk,but each time i think of d consequence,my heart pounds. To crown it all, my previous gf is married to a AS man now and has a AS child already.....how i wish dat was my child....how i wish i was strong enough to take d risk,I'm in a serious crossroad,dunno what to do. No one can feel d pain unless u r involved. How i wish a miracle will just change either of our genotype. This is just a piece of my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. faddyb, I understand your pain, trust me.

      I would say, keep strong. Personally I won't advice anyone with AS genotype to marry another with the same genotype. You made good decisions. Keep believing in God and He'll come through for you and you'll find your partner.

      I strongly feel God gave us the knowledge we have for a reason.
      The Book of Proverbs 27:12 (Good News Translation) says: " Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later."

      Take heart and continue to believe.

      Delete
  24. Bros, have faith in God and marry...This genotype thing is really deciding our partners....Now one is compelled to marry anyone just because your blood matches with him/her. Science is really messing things up...enough is enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faith in God is very important, no doubt.

      Thanks for your advice to faddyb, but has it ever occurred to you that 'Science' is a blessing?

      Delete
  25. But seriously, can the sickle cell cycle be stopped? every AS wants to marry an AA. It gets tougher meeting some one who is AA. Eventually, when AA and AS gets married, they'll still have a few AS children who are carriers already. May God help us as we need a solution to the sickle cell anemia disease not just forbidding people to stop marrying themselves. i am honestly fed up with the genotype thingy. I only meet wonderful AS guys and annoying AA guys. It is well. God dey.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Hi, AY i will appreciate your good work on the blog project. God bless you real good!
    but i need to say to you that as much as this blog is a blessing for people who are gaining life insight to managing the conflict their genotype inflict on their love life and future offspring, i think it will be a wrong idea and a miss direction of purpose for some people to have come here and be advertising spell caster, posting their name, email address and phone contact on this blog. please sweet AY, i need you to react to this fast. if they want to do such many be we should open another blog for them -which am aware that you are not for this purpose! please and i beg you, please, remove these spell casting posts with immediate effect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your observation.
      I have deleted the 'spam' comments

      Delete
  28. I must say u re doing a great job. I presumed you re a pharmacist from what a read in ur post. You re truely a woman of honour

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww. Yes, I am a Pharmacist.
      Thank you for your kind comment. God bless you.

      Delete
  29. I am genotype SC married to a man with AA.There is nothing like when to ask o.I ask on the 1st date before I fall in love and change my reasoning.I know what I go through when I have crisis and wouldn't want that for any of my kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is great that you are taking/took charge of things.

      Thanks for visiting. All the best.

      Delete
  30. plz is it adviceable to marry a lady wyt SC genotype, I am AA..i know about thier crisis, nt severe like SS, but what about pregnancy period, can they wistand it?....am scared....and also whats the diffrence between SS and SC

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  31. THIS IS REALLY A PLACE TO BE, GOD BLESS ALL THOSE HAS CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO ADD TO OUR KNOWLEDGE AND GOD BLESS YOU MORE MA FOR THIS GREAT PLATFORM.......... AN ISSUE I'M HAVING IS CAN AN AS AND AC MARRY...... OF CAUSE, THEY'LL GIVE BIRTH TO SC.... BUT CAN THEY MARRY? THANK YOU MADAM AY

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  32. Do u have an idea of how much a genotype test cost in nigeria nd which clinic would u recommend...i base in ibadan

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  33. HI, Is it ok for AA and As to get marry?

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  34. Ay thanks so much for your findings..

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave a comment. You can't tell how much that encourages me :)