25 July 2010, by Dannie Cho
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.