When I hear the word carrier, a few things come to mind. Mainly, AT&T/Verizon/Sprint/T-Mobile because I used to write for Ubergizmo.com. The second thing that comes to mind would be the Protoss Carrier from StarCraft. Well, today it has a new meaning for me. Let me start from the beginning.
A few weeks ago, I was sick and hospitalized for about five days. A few days after I was discharged, I received a phone call from the hospital asking me to go back in because I was diagnosed with thalassemia. The lady on the phone wouldn’t tell me anything more about my condition and so the brief conversation ended. Having no idea what it was, I did what anyone would have done, I Googled it.
From PubMed Health:
Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.
I was shocked. I had no idea I was suffering from such a disorder. After all, I had none of the the listed symptoms: bone deformities in the face, fatigue, growth failure, shortness of breath, and yellow skin (jaundice). Anyway, I had an appointment with the doctor scheduled for the following week (today) so I guess it wasn’t an emergency.
I visited the doctor today, a nice lady named Elizabeth George, who broke the (bad) news: I’m an alpha thalassemia carrier. No, I don’t have cell towers and no, I don’t shoot little ships out of my belly. But if I do have any children in the future – I just have to make sure the mother of my kids isn’t a carrier as well. If she’s a carrier, there’s a chance that our kid can die six hours after birth due to this disorder. Fortunately it isn’t 100% and it can be detected around 12-weeks into pregnancy, so the mother can have an abortion and we can try again (no, it doesn’t sound very nice at all but hey – that’s life).
Other than that, it’s not a problem at all. So, I guess that puts an end to my fears about thalassemia.
TLDR; the future mother of my children will need to get a blood test before we start a family. I’m fine.