Thursday, January 3, 2013

I am...

genetically mutated.  Or, perhaps better said, is I have a genetically mutated gene.  More specifically a MC1R mutation on the 16th gene.  This making me a...

well I'll let you guess.  A person with a MC1R mutation on the 16th gene are stereotypically known to be: fiery-tempered, opinionated, evil, crazy, ill tempered, sassy, ugly, strong willed, aggressive, smart, fun loving, free spirited and the list goes on.
  • As a child I was teased but never because of this, perhaps because the mutation isn't as strong on me as it is for my sister Leah.
  • Because society encourages it, I blame my temper on this mutation.
  • Having this genetic mutation makes it difficult for anesthetics to work
  • This genetic mutation is also related to those with fair skin giving them an increased risk of skin cancer.
  • This mutation happens naturally in less than 4% of the world population, and less than 2% of the US population
Some may question if having this mutation really affects anesthetics?  From my personal experiences I can say, "Yes, it does."  For example, during one dentist visit I informed the dentist that it seems to take more Novocain shots than most to get me numb.  To which he responded, "Oh this is a easy place to give a shot, it'll only take one or two."  Thirteen shots of alternating Novocain and Lidocaine later, he conceded and said, "I should have listened to you."  

Having now had more than 20 skin spots removed all of which are "atypical" or in some words precancerous, I can say, yes it is difficult for anesthetics to work with a person with this mutation.  Once while have four skin lesions removed the dermatologist suggested to the medical assistant that she numb all incision sites prior to her making the cuts.  The MA did as she was instructed.  The dermatologist waited a few minutes to return to the room to start the lesion removal.  She stated, "These areas look nice and numb."  As she started her first cut, I nearly knocked her over because, I FELT THE CUT!  After this incident she graciously explained to me that "there is research that suggests tall thin redheaded woman metabolism anesthetics much quicker than the regular population.  I guess this research was right."  From here on out she gave 3 times the amount of local anesthetics to each incision site.  I think it was the safest route for her so she didn't have to worry about getting the wind knocked out of her.

A MC1R mutation on the 16th gene = being a redhead.  I am, a redhead.  I do have: a temper. I am opinionated.  And, I am sassy amongst a list of other positive attributes.

I dare you to know me for who I am, rather than my hair color.

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