Friday, June 8, 2012

Being genetically counselled

I had made an appointment to see a genetic counsellor about 3 months ago and the time came this week. I hadn't really given much thought to it to be honest. The main reason I went was to do genetic testing to find out if I actually have the known Stargardt's mutated gene, as I feel like it will be the final thing in accepting my diagnosis, even though I know I do have it.

So I went along to my appointment not knowing what to expect. Normally when I am seeing a doctor I have what I want to know planned out. This time I was under prepared for my usual standards.

The genetic counsellor was really great; she had easy to understand diagrams that showed the most likely way I inherited Stargardt's, and then showed me possibilities of when I have children. The good news is that the chances of my partner being a carrier is quite rare, and thus it's likely my children won't have any chance of inheriting Stargardt's. There's the possibility of testing my partner in future to see if he is a carrier, but to be honest I don't think it would matter because it wouldn't affect my decision to have children if they were at risk. I cope well and have a great life!

The other question is whether to test my younger siblings. There's currently two debates in my household
1. There's not point in knowing because you can't stop it or change it
2. If you knew you could make decisions about careers etc and also use preventative measures like wearing sunglasses at all time and so forth.

It's a hard decision and there will be more debates in our home.

So I have to give blood and it will be sent to the US for testing which will take a few months, which is not good for someone like me who is so impatient.

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