When I was 8, I had frequent migraines and couldn’t focus in class. A picture of me when I was 9 reminded me of how adults around me frequently commenting on how pale I looked. My lips were almost white. It wasn’t a pretty sight. (Hey, that rhymes! xD) At that age, a blood test finally confirmed the reason to my frequent migraines and paleness. I was scared upon hearing the news from my mom but she said there was nothing to worry about. All I had to do was to take a tablet of folic acid everyday for the rest of my life so that I am able to lead normal life. No blood transfusions needed! If I were a beta thalassemia major patient, then that would be a different story.
I inherited the blood disorder from my mom while she inherited it from her father (my grandfather) who passed away the year before I knew about the disorder. FYI, he lived through his life until he was 72 without knowing that he had beta thalassaemia minor. (He died of cardiac arrest, not thalassaemia.) None of his family members knew that the beta thalassemia trait runs in the family. It was only after I got diagnosed that my mom’s siblings went for a blood test. Their awareness regarding thalassaemia was only after they heard that I have the disorder. It was found that most (some, not all) of my maternal relatives (uncles & cousins) all have beta thalassaemia minor. This means I’m not alone. x)
I was reminded over and over again to look for a partner that doesn’t have thalassaemia, minor or major. If I were to bear a child with another person that has thalassaemia, the child won’t live a longer life as this blood disorder is a genetically inherited disorder. I personally know a person who died of thalassaemia major at the age of 20. It was a pity.
Having minor thalassaemia doesn’t badly affect my quality of life but it does give me migraines whenever I missed a day of taking the folic acid tablet. Although I have this disorder, I still can live my life normally. Thank God!
I’m writing this not to ‘minta kesian’ but to be aware of the consequences of thalassaemia, major or minor. Before any of you get married, please be sure to go for a thalassaemia blood test with your partner as you wouldn’t want another human being to be burdened with the disorder. If you do not carry the trait at all but your partner does, your child might not have major thalassaemia but might have minor thalassaemia – just like me…which there’s not much to worry about.
More info about thalassaemia here.
|My blood test report when I was first diagnosed.|