25 July 2010, by Dannie Cho

Afflictions

We are about a week before the wife starts injections as part of the IVF cycle. The wife seems to have mentally psyched herself up for the multiple injections over the next few weeks, and I have mentally psyched myself up to masturbate into another bottle. All seems well and calm on that front.

But an idle mind finds things to worry about, and I find myself wondering exactly how healthy our child will be. In my last blog entry, I considered including another famous quote, but I think Darwin’s saying is more appropriate here – it’s all about “Survival of the fittest.”

And I’m nowhere near the level of ‘fittest’. There is a whole list of things wrong with me – crooked teeth, a lazy eye, ingrown toenails, prone to diarrhea (and not the verbal kind, though one of my friends constantly proclaims that I’m full of s**t) after a bad experience several years ago with a bad batch of McDonald’s nasi lemak, a recent discovery of a heart murmur, and most annoying of all, a heightened susceptibility to gout attacks.

I’m not especially talented either. I used to hate Arts & Crafts because I failed every single assignment. I joined the choir in Secondary school, but I was asked by the choir conductor to sing softer because I was always off-pitch. I’ve taken up dancing recently, but I dance off-beat. The wife has to count off the beats for me for a few bars before I can hear it for myself in the music.

Pretty scary, if only the fittest survive in the world out there. Especially when quite a number of the above ‘problems’ can be seen as hereditary.

But let’s focus on my problem with gout. I had my first gout attack sometime in the early 2000s. People tell me it’s a rich man’s disease, and then look at me like my ankle or knee is swollen because I stuffed a million dollars worth of coins in my joints, though nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t drink. I avoid soya and bean products. I do love to eat crabs, but those meals are few and far in between. But I still get gout attacks.

2008 was a particularly bad year for me. The attacks were so frequent and painful that I decided that I had to quit my job and just focus on recovering fully before going back to work. I saw a specialist and am long long-term medication that makes the problem more manageable now.

In the back of my mind, though, there is always this thought that there is a high chance that gout is hereditary. Knowing how painful the attacks can be, I sometimes question myself, why would I want to bring someone into this world, to suffer the same pains that I go through? It is no longer a matter of a child falling sick and me wanting to suffer the sickness on his behalf. It’s actually knowing what that affliction is like, and still deliberately planning to inflict it on someone I love and care for just by bringing that person to life. Why would I want to do that?

You know what? I don’t really know.

I do know I want to have children, and my parents to have grandchildren.

Nothing else matters at the moment. Because if there are problems down the road, we will solve them as they come up. My wife, my parents, my sister, my in-aws, my family… we’ll solve those problems when they come up.

Nothing else matters.

6 Comments

Dannie Cho

Dannie

October 10th, 2010 at 3:00 pm    


Jesz: Thanks. I don’t think I worry too much about it, but it’s just something that stays at the back of my mind.

Celine: Nah… I’ll probably let the wife take care of the baby until 2-3 years old, when they are more fun to play with… just kidding!

Carol: Nicely said!

Jocelyn: That may be so, but I can’t just decide to only shoot Y chromosomes or something, right? 🙂

CL: Great that you’ve been checking out our travel blog and saw us at the MaybeBaby seminar. There’s another one coming up, where we will be panelists again. Do say hi!

I firmly believe that as thinking, feeling, opposable-thumbed humans, we have the mental capacity to decide what is best for us, and for our society. Even if my child were to have gout or any other affliction, the best thing we can do is to teach them to first learn how to take care of themselves, then contribute to society and country. As long as they can do that, Come What May!

CL

August 20th, 2010 at 5:44 am    


Have been following your travel blog last year and then I saw you both at the MaybeBaby Seminar! 🙂

Thanks for this entry. My husband suffers from some forms of scoliosis and asthma. I have eczema and diabetes. After every cycle, I get VERY disheartened and do think that maybe it’s all for the better that I do not bring someone here to pass on all our problems. We are dog owners and I ever told my husband that if we both are dogs, we should never breed for we’ll be committing what we term as irresponsible breeding.

But I’m touched by your last 2 paragraphs especially. Come What May!

Jocelyn

August 18th, 2010 at 11:12 pm    


Hv a baby girl cos I heard gout attacks more common in men.

carol

July 27th, 2010 at 9:16 am    


dannie,

there can be many many reasons why not to have a baby because the list of what-ifs is just endless. but you only need ONE reason to have a baby, and you’ve already found it.

Celine Yeo

July 26th, 2010 at 1:54 pm    


Simple…To be a daddy and hold someone of your own in your arms 🙂

jesz

July 25th, 2010 at 4:00 pm    


dan,
don’t worry unduly… 船到桥头自然直
there’s jus too many aspects from start to end…
Cheers…

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