What Really Matters? Love Or Genotype? 

Sometime last month, a very sick looking 8 year old boy came to the lab to have his sample taken and some tests run. He caught my attention because I expected him to wail and fight the technician like other children. But he was quiet and showed no signs of fear or pain. Everyone kept saying ‘strong boy’ ‘good boy’ ‘you’re a man’ ‘men don’t cry’ and he could only manage a weak laugh.

I saw him everyday I went to work that week and assumed he was admitted. He is really popular with the nurses. Then towards the weekend, I stopped seeing him so I thought he had been discharged.

The next week he came again and this time with his younger sister of about 5years and a man old enough to be their grandfather. I would later find out he is their father. They had pale eyes, dry lips and looked tired.

This time, I volunteered to take their samples because I was sure the boy wouldn’t cry. And they both didn’t.

I wrote down their lab bill and pointed their dad in the direction of the cashier but the old man asked me how much I wrote down and when I said #3000, he vehemently refused to take the form from me and insisted I reduced it to #1000. I was taken aback by his behaviour because these things have fixed prices so if he is supposed to know that they dont negotiate. I was angry and had a lot to say to him but my ethics lecturer did a great job. So I managed to keep my cool as I acted out all the scenerios in my head. Finally, the technician stepped in and asked me to change it to #1000. Nicely. And whispered that she’ll explain later. When he left, she told me that the man isn’t used to paying because he is my dad’s friend and him even agreeing to pay #1000 out of the #3000 the tests cost was major progress as they frequented the clinic because both children had sickle cell anaemia.

Read also: Circumcision Palaver

I went 50 shades of mad. So he wants another man to pay for his sins? I get really mad when I see children suffering just because two grown people wanted to be together.

Sadly some in Communities in the past, Parents traded blames and believed that their bitter relatives were the cause of their children’s death. In some cases, the woman bore the larger chunk of the blame as the man could take a second wife who would give him children and further prove that the first wife is the sole cause of bearing abiku or ogbanje–children who have not come to stay. Without knowing the true cause of their children’s death.

Thankfully, In the world today, things have changed. People are more aware of the role the parent’s genotype plays in the health of their children and even churches require a genotype result before wedding a couple. There are 3 choices the couple can choose from- Remain childless. Under take amniocentesis to know the child(ren) with the gene and have the pregnancy terminated. Which is very depressing because having an abortion isn’t a nice feeling or easy thing to do and largely because no one knows how many children will have the gene. The third and in my opinion safest way is  adoption but sadly, not many nigerians people subscribe to this.

Instead, most of the people who go into marriage have the intention of “trying their luck” and it is all fun and games untill the fourth child is buried because of sickle cell anaemia which could have been avoided but wasn’t because of either ignorance or outright selfishness.

The annoying part is they shed crocodile tears when these kids die and they knew it would happen from the beginning!

Sickle cell anaemia is a genetic condition whereby someone has an abnormal hemoglobin S which can distort the red blood cells causing them to break down prematurely and leading to anaemia (shortage of blood). Clinically, this is punctuated by crises, mostly painful. The ‘crises’ affect a variety of organs including bones, spleen and lungs.

According to Mendel’s principle of inheritance, there is a 25% chance that every child born by two AS parents would be born with the sickle cell disease. It is super scary because, it works with probability which means there’s a chance that all children may be born with sickle cell anaemia regardless of how many they are!

I have seen people fall madly inlove with each other and have to go their separate ways because of their genotype. Is it the fault in their stars or science is being cruel to them?

Personally, I feel the world is bad enough with too much pain and birthing a child who’ll come into the world to suffer crisis and not live a relatively healthy life isn’t worth it.

I know a woman who has lost 2 sets of twins to sickle cell anaemia. Did she know about genotype? Yes! She is a health worker but she went ahead.

I have also heard of parents who were both carriers (AS) but were lucky enough to have 3 kids and none had the sickle cell disease.

In conclusion, I hate to be a buzz kill so by all means, fall in love! Get married! Make babies! Adopt some! Or get a pet! After all, you only live once.

However, let your happiness not be the cause of an innocent child’s suffering. Love is kind.


Let’s converse in the COMMENT SECTION:

  1. Do you think the risk is worth taking?
  2. Why do you think people go ahead after all the cons have been pointed out?
  3. Will you like to read more posts in this category in future?

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65 Comments Add yours

  1. I too think it’s cruel to go ahead after knowing your genotype. Miracles happen though

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Yes they do. The million dollar question is if it is worth the risk.
      Thankyou for always leaving a feedback after reading. 💕

      Like

  2. Genotype matters, if you ain’t a good match then you shouldn’t go ahead cause there are bad situations that make love fade

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Well said “bad situations make love fade”
      Some things can be avoided and they should be avoided.
      Thankyou for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure taking a wife or marrying a husband you clearly know would put you, your pocket in to trouble is wickedness. Love doesn’t have anything to do with that. It’s the children who are in constant pain and may eventually die that I cry for. Two grown adults acting foolishly and regretting later is just stupid. They knew what they were getting into but many of them think there would be a miraculous intervention when prevention is cheaper and better than cure. Mtchheew

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Indeed. Prevention is better than cure.
      I heard of a couple who ignorantly got married and were lucky enough to not have sicklers (‘…..in the days of ignorance, God overlooked’) but it is just wrong when people knowingly get into it because they expect a miracle that may not happen.

      I really appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts. ❤❤

      Like

  4. As always you make some very valid and quite possibly brave points here, it’s always a pleasure to read. You are so right and if their love is so powerful, but possibly dangerous to others then why propagate, true love should be enough to sustain them both 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Omg!😂😂 “…True love should be enough to sustain them both”
      You have said it all.🙌

      Thankyou very for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Adnama72.wordpress.com says:

    I think if they are prepared for the outcome. It also depend if they are well read on the subject. Quality of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      They may be well prepared, well read and financially stable but the child would definitely be unprepared.
      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

      1. Adnama72.wordpress.com says:

        You are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Adnama72.wordpress.com says:

        Not if the parents inform without frightening the child as he/she grows old enough to understand. Maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sim says:

        Errrh. I don’t think there’s a nice way of saying it:
        “We are responsible for your pain. We knew this might happen but it was either you or our love, sooooooo…We choose our love”.
        OR
        “Erm…. you know how you get all that excruciating pain and spend months in the hospital? We are responsible. But it’s not that bad you can totally live with it cus we’ll be holding your hand every step of the way”
        I feel when it happens as a result of Ignorance, the child may understand. Not when it was a selfish act.

        Like

  6. floatinggold says:

    25% chance is still worth a try for some. After all, like you said, there are people who have multiple children and they are just fine.
    Sickle cell is not the only disorder that can occur when two people with wrong markings get together. It definitely is scary.

    I’d be 51 shades of mad. It’s so unfair that some people have to pay the regular price, while the “friends” get to get it for a discount. I personally know some rich people, who don’t pay a dime because they are “friends” of the doctor, while poor people have to pay the full bill. Ridiculous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      True. Sickle cell is not the only disorder that can occur when two people with wrong markings get together.
      However, other disorders may happen by chance but sickle cell is predictable and preventable.

      I agree with you. I do not subscribe to the whole “friends-shouldn’t-pay” idea, because like the man in question, they become over entitled in time.
      Everyone knows that a business thrives better when friends and family pay for goods and services.

      Some come with the ” I am your great grand mother’s sister’s daughter’s best friend’s child. I watched you grow up and I practically breast fed you and your ancestors”. All in a bid to evade payment.
      Thankyou for reading and sharing your thoughts😊.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Amaka says:

    I do not think there is such a thing as ‘the one’. So I always believe no matter how bad and hopeless breaking up seems, you can always still fall in love with someone else.
    When it happens now, both of you plus the innocent child(ren) would all be unhappy. Like which mouth do you want to tell the SS child(ren) that you chose ‘love’ over their lifetime happiness. Love is in quotes because like you said.. Love is kind…. Love cares more for others than for self.
    Nice one Sim! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Yeah. I think about how they would explain to their children too especially if they weren’t ignorant.
      You summed this really well….”Love cares more for others than for self”
      I really appreciate you taking time to read and share your thoughts.❤❤

      Like

  8. jovita says:

    Well this is quite the dilemma. One may have only one chance in life at love and will not want to give that up. If that is the case, I agree with you- they should look at other options such as adoption. There are methods today where testing can be done early in pregnancy and the parents have the option of aborting if the child carries the gene. All difficult scenarios. I would suggest everyone know their genotype and this should be brought up even before the first date. I reember my husband asking me when we first met.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Your comment does justice to this topic too well.
      Adoption is an option but many people do not like it (especially here in nigeria).
      On the other hand, early testing-amniocentesis-is another option which helps out but abortion too is just as difficult and is unavailable is developing countries like nigeria.

      Your husband is a very wise man.
      Thankyou very for reading and leaving a feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. craftysurf says:

    I knew a married couple who had a complete genetic work up prior to starting to have kids. Smart. At least there are no surprises about potential outcomes, no matter how you feel about spinning the baby roulette wheel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Wow. That’s cool.
      I guess some people are willing to go the extra mile to avoid ‘stories that touch’.
      Thankyou very much for your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sim! While I agree with you about the sickle cell thing I also relate to the people who marry.

    The actual mistake is not knowing your genotype before dating. These days what should happen is you tell your genotype on the first date because i feel when you go too deep in it, breaking up becomes hard and you just risk it.

    Unfortunately while some will have 4 children and all escaped the SS, some will have just two both sickle called. The fault in our stars.

    So what I’ll say is the first thing to do when you start getting close to an opposite sex is talk genotype.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. One time a friend wanted to match make 2 of his other friends.
      He knew the guy was AS and asked the girl her genotype. She said AA.
      One year into the relationship and they found out she was AS. She said she didn’t take his question seriously that was why she said AA- Needless to say they went their separate ways.
      Genotype is a very big deal and shouldn’t be joked about.

      About some having ‘just two’, I think having ‘just one’ is bad enough.

      Some couples in developed countries opt for amniocentesis and then choose to abort the SS. But then, abortion is frowned upon.
      Thankyou for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  11. ihuomasylva says:

    Sometimes the health workers who advise the couple are to blame as they give them hope and tell them that they might not give birth to any child with sickle cell anemia. Also, most people are not sure of their genotype as they later discover they are AS after getting married. I have seen a lot of cases like this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      I agree with you. I know someone who did her genotype thrice and had 3 different results. I wonder why some health workers issue misleading results.
      On a second thought, some labs do a sickling test and issue a result for genotype- a sickling test result should be verified with hemoglobin electrophoresis to get the real genotype. But, oh well…

      Woah. I don’t know any health worker that does that. I know the cons are pointed out and the final decision is left for the patient to make.

      Thank you so much for your feedback dear. It means a lot😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Tamie says:

    This is one dilemma that would keep recurring no matter how much its talked about. Thankfully though, its on the decline.

    It’s amazing how despite the information out there about this, some people still choose to be ignorant. There are still a good number of couples who don’t know their genotype till they have a SCD child. Exactly my cousins scenario when her second child kept falling ill (the first thankfully, escaped it).

    Then illiteracy is another culprit. We still have a significant number of illiterate and superstitious citizens who will never believe anything you tell them about genotyping and its significance.

    The literate ones that chose love over the health of their children, I have no words for.

    Then faith. Someone once said if you think you have faith that you guys wouldn’t have any SCD child why not put that faith to work first by believing your own genotype will change Before you ahead and marry.
    I don’t believe in that kind of faith when you intentionally do something you know you shouldn’t.
    I’ve seen faith work, but here the couple had done the needful test twice but had received wrong results.
    About wrong results I’ve been a victim, told I was O+ till I got a result saying O-…. 7 repeated tests later I’m really O-. I don’t even want to think of the what its. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of multiple testings.

    I do not think any genuine health worker will advise would be couples to go ahead and marry and give them false hope. That is just wicked.

    Chai, I’ve written a second post. Forgive me Sim.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      As always, you make very valid points.
      Illiteracy, superstitious beliefs and faith play a huge role in this.
      Some pastors claim to have prayed for people and their genotype miraculous changed. One pastor claimed he prayed for a pregnant woman and the sex of her child changed from female to male.
      Needless to say, he couldn’t perform any miracle in front of us.

      Urgh! Wrong results is just very annoying. My sister was told she was SS one time- A full grown adult who had never experienced crisis at 23. A year later, the same facility said she was AA.
      I feel they sometimes guess these things.
      Multiple testing in DIFFERENT FACILITIES is everything.

      Thankyou for the ‘second post’ o! I love reading posts in the comment section.😄😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sim says:

        *miraculously

        Like

  13. It is indeed very cruel. My dad is educated, he knew his genotype (AC) and my mum’s (AS), he lied to her (told her he was AA) and married her. Luckily no SC’s in the family and my mum would probably have never known until she found out I was AC and she was wondering how that could have happened. That’s one scenario.

    Some other people are not aware of the dangers. And yeah you’re right, some are just super selfish and can’t leave each other

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Some people are not honest with their genotype when they fall in love. Especially when they feel their partner may not be willing to take the risk.
      That is why couples are encouraged to go for these tests together.

      True. Ignorance plays a vital role too.

      ThankGod your family is one of the lucky exceptions.
      Thankyou for sharing dear😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Your bestest friend says:

    This is an amazing post… I think more people need to hear more about sickle cell disease coz I usually say parents that got married in the 80’s might not have been educated on it. It breaks my heart to see children less that 3 years of age suffering from sickle cell anaemia… I mean how can people still be ignorant in this modern age and time??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Hello bestest friend😄
      I agree with you.
      Creating awareness is one effective means of combating the menace.
      Thankyou for stopping by. I really hope you stick around.😊

      Like

  15. I don’t know what to say now. The comments here are intense! In my opinion, it depends on the couple. Not everyone that marries plans to have children, take Oprah Winfrey for example. So if our couple don’t plan to have kids, or maybe they believe they can handle the consequences of their actions, they should go ahead with their luff. 😊
    I’m so sharing this!

    (Permission to use your question for my blog series, 9Perspectives, next month. 🙏)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sim says:

      Correct… Some people do not want to make babies or even adopt already made babies (LOL)that’s weird but still fine.

      Oprah isn’t married-I think she’s just in a forever relationship.

      I feel the consequences of their actions do not affect them as much as it affects the child.

      Permission Granted😂.
      Glad to have you back and thanks for blowing up my notification🙌

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oooh, thank you, Sim and it’s always a pleasure reading your posts! 😊👊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mercy says:

    I don’t think the risk is worth taking cause the word love goes with peace, and I don’t think a marriage in which both parents are AS will work in peace, instead it’s start in peace and end in peaces.
    Fate shouldn’t be tempted in matters like this cause it’s very tough to get to the alter and then have to turn back. We all know God can do all things but God isn’t the author of confusion. So I think it’s best to remain friends and continue to live their lives peace, and its the love is so strong that they can’t separate abduction is just the best like you’ve stated.
    But I really don’t see any reason that lovers 💏 would love themselves so much that they would be willing to gamble the health of their kids, is that really love……to me its lust……
    Though no one knows the future, it may not be nice to be the Potter of a cracked clay jar.
    I’m glad most churches like the one I attend have made it compulsory for intending couples 👫 to go for medical test to ascertain their compability before taking them to the alter and I hope others would do the same.
    Thanks ‘her royal awesomeness for this post, I love it😍
    And
    A very big thank you to Anyaibe Obinna for sharing, you have inspired a soul.
    I’m gonna share too😋

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sim says:

      I don’t think the risk is worth taking either.
      I also share your concerns about them going from peace to war.

      No matter how anyone puts it, their relationship will be strained and seeing their child (ren) go through so much pain will make them question their love.

      You addressed me by my title-Her royal awesomeness😍😍😍😍- you’re the best!

      Lengthy comments like this make me do a happy dance. Thankyou so much for reading and sharing your thoughts in such detail.
      I really hope you stick around❤❤.
      Obinna is an Angel for sharing 😊

      Like

  18. Mercy says:

    Ohhh…… Sorry🙃
    I meant adoption🙈 not abduction

    Liked by 2 people

  19. murisopsis says:

    Humans love to gamble. Knowing you are a carrier just makes the stakes higher… Currently I’m working with mice that have sickle cell and they are a “chronic” pain model. It is so sad for the mice but doubly for the people (children) with the condition.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      Woah! I can imagine them squeaking in pain.
      It is worse for humans but they never learn- the innocent child carries the cross.
      It is just sad.

      Like

  20. Kris says:

    I was shocked reading this. When I got pregnant, I was incredibly concerned and I’m just a person with Type one Diabetes. Those poor kids….doomed before they even are started. What love is that?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      No child deserves to give up a relatively healthy life to satisfy the wants of adults.

      I think it is called self-centered Love.
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts Kris.😊

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Suze says:

    In America, we have about a 1 in 10000 population with SCD…..no testing is done until someone becomes ill from the disease. At least you all have genome testing to determine whether or not someone is a carrier. here, you’d have to pay for genetic testing which is exorbitantly high….the only blood test prior to marriage is for syphilis.
    If I knew I was a carrier of a disorder such as SC, there is no way I would ever have a child. How could anyone say they love their child if they knew they had given such a horrible disorder to their child? Such selfishness is beyond my understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sim says:

      In nigeria some churches have enforced lots of pre marital blood tests if a couple must wed in their church-HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Blood group, Genotype etc.
      With genotype being the newest one added due to the increasing prevalence of the disease. (The pastors obviously want to have one less thing to pray about).

      But even with the genotype test made very cheap (#1000 = $2.77) about 1,500 children are born with the disease every year, 3.6million people already live with the sickle cell disease (that is 2% of the country’s population).

      This is largely due to superstition, faith and illiteracy.
      However, selfishness on the part of the informed ones also increases the number.

      In this part of the world, people take the bible verse that says “multiply and fill the earth” literally (Gen 1:28) so not having kids at all isn’t really an option.
      Hell! not having kids in the first 2years of marriage is a concern as they would be pressure from your family, in-laws, friends and even enemies.
      Thankyou very much for sharing your thoughts and for following😊

      Liked by 3 people

  22. diingy says:

    Is love worth the risk? No in my opinion, you think you know what love is till you’ve birthed a child and I dont imagine seeing them suffer is a good thing. Maybe people go through it cuz

    Liked by 1 person

    1. diingy says:

      Through with it cuz the feel they can beat the odds, they hear the stories about people who had no children with the ss genome. After all its a one in four chance

      Liked by 1 person

      1. diingy says:

        And yeah more of these types of posts my course is health related I think I’d enjoy it

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sim says:

        I agree with you. The risk isn’t worth it because in the long run it is more often than not, always a terrible decision.

        People need to understand that just because a handful of people got lucky and didn’t have any sicklers doesn’t make it less of a selfish/bad choice.
        Thankyou very much for reading and sharing your opinion. I’ll publish more in this category in future😊.

        Like

  23. heygirl says:

    No, I don’t think the risk is worth taking. That’s why I always advice people, once you’ve seen a man/woman you love and you see the possibility of you guys ending up together in the future. GENOTYPE IS THE NEXT THING (if you’re not AA). Your happiness counts, yes. But don’t you want to be happy with your significant other forever??? People in the world today still fail to see this. They won’t listen until they end up in the pit. #sigh. It is well.

    I love this awareness post Sim! You did a great job 💕 as usual.

    BTW, I nominated you for a challenge. You can check it out here:
    https://heygirrl.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/three-days-three-quotes-challenge-day-one/

    I hope you accept!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sim says:

      Well said👍.
      Letting someone know early in the relationship reduces the damage indeed.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for nominating me.
      I’ll get to it soon.❤❤❤

      Like

      1. heygirl says:

        I really love the awareness post and you’re welcome Sim… 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  24. It’s quite sad. I think people should think of later, not just the now. Especially the kids that would suffer, the regret will b more than the luck. I do know someone, not personally though, who went ahead with the marriage despite incompatible genotypes. Luckily, their child is not sickler. One of the lucky few sha, though they were prepared to abort the foetus if it was the other way round.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sim says:

      Yes. A handful of them are lucky not to have sicklers but in my opinion, it is too risky. No need gambling with a someone’s life.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  25. SOMGOLIBE says:

    Wow… I think there’s so much risk attached to choosing love, the important thing is that they know the consequences of their actions and are prepared for it, i.e they could get married without having children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sim says:

      Exactly my point! But in this part of the world they can’t live without having kids, so that is where “trying their luck” comes to play.
      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts dear😊

      Liked by 1 person

  26. gaillovesgod says:

    Praying for this father and son, and all families with illness.
    Praise the Lord for you passion to help others, and to educate.
    The children need an advocate!
    Thanks for educating us all a little richer.
    Praying for you too, dearest Sim! God loves you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sim says:

      I am doing the little I can in my little corner and can only hope someone some where reads it and makes the right decision.
      Amen.
      Thanks for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. gaillovesgod says:

        Amen. Lord willing! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Liifeai says:

    My answer would be a solid NO😑. I don’t think endangering children’s life all in the name of love is something I’d ever ever do. Yes, it could be hard to let go after many years of courting but what’s got to be done has to be done BUT sometimes like @NaijaFreshGraduate said sometimes miracles happen.

    This is a really touchy matter but I’d love to see more posts on matters or matters related to this.

    Like

    1. Sim says:

      I agree. The best option is to know your significant other’s genotype before things get too deep.
      Thanks for your feed back😊

      Like

  28. Emma says:

    I don’t think it’s worth it when you think of the consequences …if you claim love, okay cool but what happens to that love when you see your children suffer because of the choices you made .. you’ll both probably end up suffering along with them and resenting yourselves for the decision you made .. so Yh there’s a reason why your genotypes don’t match

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sim says:

      Oh well, people will be people! it is just the children I feel sorry for.

      Liked by 1 person

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