I feel like I should apologize for neglecting the blog for the last week, so: I’m sorry that I have been neglectful. There are two very good reasons, though. First, I have been working more at the office, which is good, but it is far busier than working at home; and I have been busier at church, helping with our Christmas play and getting back into choir. Second, the last week was much easier emotionally, which means that I tend to forget to write as I have fewer issues to resolve. It’s nice to be able to focus on something other than merely surviving for a while.
After finding that I am a mutant a few weeks ago, last week we had the follow-up visit with the specialist to review the whole panel of blood tests. Everything except one gene mutation was normal. The short version of the mutation report is that I have a homozygous A1298C mutation of the MTHFR gene. (I will admit that the first thing I thought of when I saw the name of the gene printed on the report was, “I’d like to buy a vowel…”) There are five variations of this mutation, and I have the next-to-least serious of them, and one of the two versions that generally isn’t ever symptomatic. Also generally speaking, most doctors would not test for or even treat this mutation, and specifically not this variation of it. My doc says we are “way out there” in treating this, and we will not do heparin or anything stronger than baby aspirin unless we have another miscarriage while we’re on this course of action. According to the published research, we are no more or less likely to miscarry because of the treatment. However, any homozygous (just a fancy word for duplicate) mutation of the MTHFR gene has been linked to recurrent pregnancy loss, and it appears that the reasons are not completely clear.
I was a little frustrated after the doctor’s visit because it felt like I had been so excited about having an answer, and it turns out that it may just be a whole lot of nothing. On the other hand, anecdotally, it seems that there are quite a few women who have been able to carry to term after treating the very same variation of the mutation. And, since I’ve been taking the baby aspirin and folic acid, I have noticed some differences in how I feel, so maybe there’s something to the mutant thing, after all. I’m really not sure how that leaves me feeling about getting pregnant again, but I’ll keep you posted…
On a brighter note, I have started running again (it probably appears to anyone watching that I am merely limping at a quick pace) a few times a week, and that has helped ease my normal stress and the extra depression tremendously. And perpetually singing the Christmas music I need to learn for choir and ensemble in the car every day makes everything better; I think it’s a scientifically proven fact that one cannot both sing a Jingle Bell medley and be depressed at the same time. The biggest challenge for me right now is balance; this is the point at which I will bite off far more than I can chew because I finally feel better, and doing things (acts of service, if you will) make me feel useful, which makes me feel happy, which renews my vicious cycle of finding my value in the things I can accomplish or the ways I can serve others. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been aware of that as a problem for me, so I think I’m finally heading in the right direction, at least until the next mutation is discovered.