Wow. Before now I really hadn't thought about how being mixed might lead to medical misdiagnosis and other doctor-patient miscommunications and problems obtaining medical care. It really is discouraging to think about.
, wintyreeve@... wrote:
That is fascinating!
I joined a medical research study....I have to do breathing tests, which measure how much air your lungs push out and how much oxygen is in the blood.
I told the doctor I am Mixed but she put my race as "White". LOL* I obviously don't look White! Anyways, the doctor told me an average Black person has a 12% decreased numbers in the spirometer tests (the volume of air inhaled and exhaled from the lungs). And this is their average. Since I am part White, the doctor decided to err on the side of caution.
I also like the idea of human vision glasses, Rosanna! I had an interesting experience at the optometrist recently, as well, where race played into the discussion and a possible diagnosis of glaucoma.
I didn't know this before, but it turns out _African-Americans _
have a higher rate of glaucoma because of the shape of the socket that holds the optic nerve (glaucoma is a problem where a lack of drainage of fluids creates pressure in the eye disrupting the function of the optic nerve).
Anyway, I had taken a test that showed a likely glaucoma diagnosis, but the optometrist was clearly confused why I (who am on the younger side--for glaucoma--and don't look obviously black) would have this problem. As she listed the risk factors, I was able to clear up for her that I am in fact African-American
on one side of my family.
To see my blackness you have to look deep inside me (or my eyes), literally!
Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It (Delacorte/Random House 2007) Winner, Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award (American Librarian Association)
The Other Half of My Heart (coming June 2010)