It’s Genetic

I can remember sitting in high school biology and being fascinated by genetics.  All the weird traits that are inherited from one of your parents.

Did you know being able to roll your tongue is a genetic trait?  So is having dimples.

That second toe that you have that’s longer than your big toe?  You can blame that on your parents too.

Part of the interest, for me, came from being adopted.  These little dominant and recessive genes gave me a peak at two people who were, at that time, unknown to me.

Now that I’m a parent myself, genetic has taken on a whole new level of interest.

It’s fun to sit there and stare at Vista and catalog all the things that are ‘mine’ and all the things that are from her dad.

Blonde hair – definitely from Bil.

Blue eyes – well both of us have blue eyes, so it’s hard to say who her eyes look more like.

Her chin is definitely mine.  And so are her ears.

Since she’s been born, though, we’ve also been exploring genetics on a different level.  Scientists sit in a lab somewhere, combing through her DNA strand by strand, trying to find that one little piece of code that’s not just right.  If they ever find it, then it’s becomes Bil and my turn to have our DNA examined to see if the uniqueness that is Vista comes from one of us in particular.

As she gets older, though, we discover more and more, on our own, that has been passed on to her.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that V’s not been totally well lately and no one’s been able to figure out why.  She’s had a rash on and off, she stopped eating, has lost a lot of weight, and had one ER visit for fluids because she’d become so dehydrated.  The big discussion has been – are her new anti-seizure meds to blame.

The answer?  Maybe. Depends on who you talk to.  The ER doc says probably, the neuro says no, family doc say perhaps, and the allergist we saw today says probably not, but it is a possibility. Unless we take her off of them there’s no way to know for sure.  They’re working right now, though, so there’s no way we want to do that.  Taking her off means looking at brain surgery and we’re just not ready to face that yet.

More than likely she has some sort of virus that her body is fighting that’s caused her to lose her appetite.

And the rash?  Well she can thank genetics for that.

We found out today that Vista has chronic urticaria.  That’s a fancy way of saying that she’s super susceptible to hives.  Anything could make her react.  Being too hot, too cold, eating something that her body reacts too (not to be confused with an actual food allergy).  Or, like in this case, simply coming down with a cold, flu, or other virus, can cause her to have hives on and off for weeks or even months as her overwhelmed system tries to fight it off.

She can thank both Bil and I for this.  We both were like this as kids too.  I still quite often get hives on my arms from eating strawberries (not that a little thing like hives will keep me away from a bowl of strawberry shortcake).  And anyone who has ever had a drink with me has seen the ‘allergic flush’ that turns my skin red as soon as I have liquor (doesn’t keep me from drinking either.  heh)

The good news is that it’s more a pain in the ass than anything else.  And? It gives her another thing to blame us for, years from now, in therapy.

Rather than ask for donations to her therapy fund, I’d rather know – what’s your favorite trait that you’ve passed on to your kids? Or better yet…  which one are you going to get blamed for years from now?

 Its Genetic

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