26 February 2009

It’s Contagious!

A few days ago, I came across the quote below on the net. When I first starting to read, I though it was one of those sick “jokes” about DS, or another piece of tripe written by people who have negative opinions on everything they fear and yet know nothing about.

But I kept reading… I leave it to you all to judge for yourselves...

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by a triplication of the genetic material on the 21st chromosome. This trisomy occurs with the first division of the developing zygote, as a result there is extra genetic material present in every cell of the individual.

Recently, science has discovered that this cellular abnormality is highly contagious.

As a result, family members (and even friends) of individuals with Down syndrome often find themselves exhibiting dramatic changes due to this "something extra" permeating their bodies at the cellular level.

These changes manifest themselves in a number of ways. Something extra in the visual cortex results in parents who view the world differently.

In addition to seeing things in an entirely new light, these parents also report having an increased ability to focus on what is important.

Spontaneous appearance of tears of joy have also been confirmed. The section of the brain used in logical thought undergoes dramatic changes.

Parents suddenly find themselves able to comprehend and discuss complex medical procedures. The ability to decipher long strings of acronyms appears almost immediately and it is not uncommon for affected parents of newborns to be able to differentiate between ASD,VSD and PDA. Familiarity with G-tubes, Pic lines and the NICU is another side effect.

Over time, the entire nervous system is transformed, enabling parents to perform tasks previously thought impossible. These changes result in individuals finding the nerve to advocate before large crowds, speak to classrooms of medical students and educate the population at large about issues they are passionate about. These changes are closely tied in to dysfunctions in the verbal abilities, which makes it virtually impossible for parents to bite their tongue. Often, individuals who previously considered themselves reserved will find themselves outspoken and effective communicators.

The pulmonary system is altered to a dramatic extent. Parents report having their breath taken away at the slightest prompting. The cardiovascular system develops similar vulnerabilities and reports of hearts pounding loudly and swelling unexpectedly are not uncommon.

One mother reported that her heart skipped a beat when her son smiled at her for the first time.

The extremities are also altered. Arms reach out to strangers for support, and in turn, hands comfort and nurture those in need. Legs strengthen and balance improves, allowing parents to stand firm in their convictions and walk without faltering, even when shouldering a heavy load.

Scientists are baffled by the widespread scope of these symptoms. Equally perplexing is the response of those afflicted. Parents readily acknowledge fundamental changes in their being, however, almost universally declare a preference for their new, altered level of functioning. "I wouldn't change a thing" is a common refrain.

Apparently, the presence of a little "something extra" enhances the lives of individuals fortunate enough to be infected.

Originally written by Wendy Holden (the British journalist…? I am not sure!)



Jeffrey Goble said...

Cough, cough.

Anonymous said...

well, if it's contagious then I have definitly caught it. Very cheeky article, I like it!

Mel said...

I love it!

Thanks, do you mind if I borrow it?

PS loo fixed now, kids not yet!

jazzygal said...

Fabulous! I love it!

And isn't it the absolute antidote to the article about Autism written by Carol Sarler? As reported by Hammie in her post "Another Day in Paradise"

Maybe we should forwsrd Wendy's article to Carol!!

Well done...thanks for sharing. xx J

Clive said...

Excellent article!

Am going to share that with several people I think will really appreciate it!

Nan P. said...

Elbog and Martin, I am coughing too, big time! So apparently grandmothers can also be affected...

Mel, quote, borrow, copy all you like, that is exactly what I did!

Jazzy, I did think of quite a few people I would love to call "stupid" but may call "ignorant" just to try and be kind and not appear jugemental, including this Ms Sarler... Antidote is the right world. Thank you.

Blogdog, Woof Woof!(= in human terms, "share again!")

Lisamaree said...

That's lovely, antidote indeed.

Nick McGivney said...

Hahahah! I got it! Everyone in my house got it!

Adam's Mama said...

I think we've caught it too :)

Shelley said...

A lovely link - complements HBSyndrome that Rick Hodges wrote about.