Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Klinefelter's Syndrome

  My wife and I were watching one of those murder investigation TV shows and there was a case of two brothers who killed an old man.  The older brother was in a wheelchair and the other brother was developmentally challenged.  The older brother got 100 years without possibility of parole while the other brother eventually became free.
  The circumstance of his case is that the younger brother was diagnosed with Klinefelter's Syndrome aka 47 or XXY.  This is a syndrome that affects men who have an extra X chromosome.  One of the symptoms is that you are highly suggestible.  His defense attorney put forth that the younger brother was medically inclined to do as his brother said.  This made enough of a case for there to be no culpability on the part of the younger brother.
  After watching that episode, I looked up Klinefelter's syndrome on wikipedia.  Kayla and I were surprised by how many of the symptoms fit patterns in my own life.  Lanky build, slow mental development, slow development of motor skills, suggestibility, forgetfulness and being in touch with my feminine side.  I mean, I've never thought I was gay, but I have always enjoyed the arts, music and nature while not being interested in things like sports, cars, tools, etc.
  I've got an appointment with a psychiatrist that has been provided to me by the VA.  I will ask to be tested for this.  I think that this may be why the Depakote may not be working as well as it did when I started taking it.  The treatment for Klinefelter's is testosterone therapy.  The younger brother in that TV show underwent that therapy and became a lot more mentally competent.  If there's even a chance of that for me, I would love to give it a shot.  If I am diagnosed with Klinefelter's Syndrome, I will humbly become a spokesperson to bring about awareness of this affliction.  It affects 1 in every 650 men, yet somehow I've never heard of it.  People need to know that there is help out there and they're not alone.
  When I think about it, I think the song 'Nothing As It Seems' by Pearl Jam from their album, 'Binaural' is about a man who has Klinefelter's Syndrome.  The man can't connect with the world in the ways that he wants to and lives a lonely life.  It contains the line, "One uninvited chromosome, a blanket like the ozone".  Give it a listen and judge for yourself if you like.

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