Apparently, I have a defect on my #12 Chromosome. No one takes credit for this inheritance; no family member displayed the symptoms. Likely, it’s a version you get when one of your genes betray you; a private mutiny. Regrettably, as a mutant of the chromosome community, I can pass along this blunder. Indeed, a lamentable legacy. I reviewed issues that are linked to a botched Number 12; what a montage of abnormal anatomy and freaky physiology. Am I the human equivalent of Generation Loss; the loss of quality between subsequent iterations when one is making copies? I am a simple error in duplication.

Heart Valve Problems:
(I do have a sticky heart valve) Periodically, my heart races and every now and again, it tightens like a hard, clenched fist. I wonder; is this the bitter end? Am I having a heart attack? Has my heart gone mad? Sporadically, I’m short of breath, dizzy, and bone-tired. Everybody’s heart aches sometimes, right? In reality, these discouraging signs are all indicators of my diagnosed mitral valve prolapse. Fear not; courage calms a brave heart when it beats too fast or loves too hard.

Trouble with spatial visualization:
(what you need to ace math and be an expert at parallel parking) Eureka; I’m exceptionally inquisitive but in fourth grade, I had an Anti-Christ of a teacher. Since then, I’ve circumvented all subjects remotely requiring mathematics. Mr. Fuller was the diametric opposite of an educator. He was a bully; his belittling means converted each day into a long-division nightmare. To defend myself from that amount of negativity; I discounted him. I carry the remainder into all procedures involving division and multiplication. Additionally; into all areas requiring that any two objects have to be parallel.

Recurrent ear infections;
(underdeveloped Eustachian tubes) Did I understand? The doctor said I spent too much time playing underwater in the pool? At the visits to the ear, nose and throat doctor, were they talking swimming pools or gene pools?

Components of my skeletal frame are not entirely developed:
Following traumatic accidents, abnormal irregularities were incidentally discovered during emergency room MRI’s and Cat Scans. A passenger both times, the second wreck was more serious and semi-life-altering, but obviously, I lived. With all knowledgeable members of previous generations deceased, I had my DNA analyzed in an effort to unearth the source of my inexplicable abnormalities. I reluctantly agreed to additional diagnostic procedures. Verifiable evidence of my atypical inheritance was uncovered but no definite answers. More tests opened the door to more questions. I now graciously ignore queries from puzzled specialists. I prefer to remain an enigma.

Hemochromatosis;
(high transferrin saturation rate)
Translation; I have too much iron in my system. Caucasians of Northern European descent are at highest risk, and symptomless, silent carriers can pass the defect on to their descendants. My DNA test revealed that in fact; Mom’s, maternal side was Northern European. Intrepid Norsemen, they voyaged across the ocean from the Scandinavian Peninsula of distant Denmark, frosty Finland and the upper-most reaches of northern Germany. Fortunately, Dad met Mom and contributed his hot-blooded, Iberian Peninsula genes to the paradoxical mix. This select family formula balances the fire and ice equation and keeps me from rusting. The Danish birth certificates are bona fide and truly iron-clad.

At the bottom of the alphabetized list of “Diseases and Disorders from Chromosome 12 Defects” is Von Willebrand Disease. It is the “most common hereditary coagulation abnormality.” People with Type O blood have decreased levels of clotting factors. Naturally, I’d have Type O positive. It’s called universal, it’s so common. My #12’s ultimate, regular, irregularity.

Seriously, I am grateful. I scanned some of the other diseases you can get if your #12 is damaged. You don’t always live; you die early or suffer long with agonizing disorders. For sixty years, I’ve lived pretty well. I only have vWD Type 1. It’s named after the Finnish doctor Erik von Willebrand. He first described the disease in 1926. It’s the reason I ended up in the hospital after a miscarriage; I’d “bled out.” No pulse and no blood pressure, standard symptoms of my completely commonplace coagulation aberration. A quirky Finnish connection; does this confirm a Nordic root of my defective # 12? Most likely, it’s just a coincidence.

Finally; it has been clinically diagnosed and reconfirmed repeatedly so now I wear a Medical ID bracelet. It has the official name of my disease and the prescription clotting medication I require engraved on it. I carry my desmopressin; a handy nasal spray, all the time; nearly. With the aid of fancy pharmaceuticals I hope to stick around a few more decades with my defective # 12.

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