Thursday 16 November 2006


That last post was just a distraction from what I'm really thinking about, which is my answer to Raven's challenge:

A fun challenge — not so much fun for the doing as funny that it is unintuitively quite challenging: come up with three good examples of irony as quickly as you can. Examples from real life or made up are fine, but famous examples, eg. from Shakespeare, are not. Sarcasm is not.

Usually, I think I'd agree that that is surprisingly difficult. Right now, though, for me, it's a piece of piss. My answer is just one word: thrombophilia.

Thrombophilia's great. It's a genetic condition that causes your blood to clot unusually quickly, which causes you to heal freakishly quickly. In extreme cases, that extra-fast healing could actually save your life. Cool.

Except, if you're female, thrombophilia makes you far more prone to miscarriage. Excessive blood clotting tends to kill foetuses, depressingly. So the very condition that, if you pass it on, will help your child get healthy more quickly after an injury also makes it far less likely that that child will ever exist in the first place.

So, once diagnosed, you take Clexane during pregnancy. Clexane thins the blood, dissolves clots, and doesn't cross the placenta. The injections are painful, but the treatment is highly likely to succeed.

However, all pregnancies bring with them a danger of injury or emergency surgery or both, so the last thing you want to be on during the delivery is any type of blood-thinner. So you stop taking the Clexane two or three days before the birth. In order to do that, of course, you need to know exactly when the birth is, so you get booked in for an induced delivery. Trouble is, inductions are long drawn-out processes that involve lots of lying around in bed not moving; they also tend to involve epidurals, leading to even less moving. Inductions also tend not to work, so attempted inductions often end with caesarians, which lead to even less moving. And thrombophilia makes you especially prone to deep-vein thrombosis, which is triggered by long periods of not moving. In other words, the fact that you're being treated for thrombophilia makes you far more likely to be put into a situation where the thrombophilia is particularly dangerous to you, and the treatment has to be suspended at exactly the time the thrombophilia is most dangerous.

And then the same condition that puts you in such extreme danger will cause your caesarian scar to heal incredibly fast.

Vic is still in hospital, with multiple blood clots in both lungs. Thrombophilia has caused her injuries to heal super-fast her entire life, and now it's nearly killed her. She should be out of hospital (for the third time) in a few days, but a full recovery is expected to take months.

Daisy is very likely to have inherited the condition, which, if she's anything like as accident-prone as I was when I was a kid, will be a blessing.

I think that was more than three examples.

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