Thursday, September 20, 2007

Primordial Dwarfism

Dwarfism is defined as "… a condition characterized by short stature. Technically, that means an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, according to the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA)." In most cases short stature is caused by skeletal or endocrine disorders. The most common type, which accounts for 70% of all cases of short stature, is called Achondroplasia. Currently there are more than 200 identified types of dwarfism in the world, and one of them is "Primordial Dwarfism".

This condition, primordial dwarfism is defined as, “…a diagnostic category including specific types of profoundly proportionate dwarfism, in which individuals are extremely small for their age, beginning from their conception.” It is a rare form of dwarfism, which results in a smaller body size in all stages of life, beginning from before birth. So this makes it possible to identify the condition even in when in the womb. There are only about 100 estimated individuals in the world with this particular type of disorder, which makes it one of the rarest forms of dwarfism. It’s is also unlikely that sufferers will live past the age of 30.

The first recorded case of primordial dwarfism was a girl named Caroline Crachami, who was born in 1815 in Palermo, Italy. Her measurements were published by a journalist named William Jordan, shortly before her death in 1824, aged nine. Her height was 19 ½ inches. That is just a few inches more than the height of your average computer casing. Length of her foot 3 1/8 inches and the length of her forefinger 1 7/8 inches. Her head circumference was 12 3/8 inches and waist 11 ¼ inches.

William Jordan described her as follows, "Only imagine a creature about half as large as a new-born infant; perfect in all its parts and lineaments, uttering words in a strange, unearthly voice, understanding what you say and replying to your questions. Imagine I say, this figure of about 19 ½ inches in height and 5 pounds in weight, and you will have some idea of this most extraordinary phenomenon."

I first came across this on an episode of the Tyra show. (Ok Ok so I watch the Tyra show when I get a chance, so sue me :P). All her guests were people suffering from primordial dwarfism and their families. The great things about all of them was that they hadn’t let there condition keep them from succeeding in life. One of them was a 25 year old named Kristin who is 42 inches tall and weighs 38 pounds. She works as a consultant while studying towards an associate degree. She even has a driver’s permit and a specially modified car with higher seats, a smaller steering wheel and pedal extensions.

The reason I wrote about this is that after watching how these people have succeeded in life overcoming their problems, you kinda wonder about your own life. Most of us are of sound mind (Although I seriously doubt that…) and health, but we take that for granted. Are we thankful for them? Oh no, all we do is bitch and moan about the things we don’t have. A little bit taller, little bit thinner, more fairer and many other things. It’s not just about your body, it’s about you life, your job, your relationship and whatever. We are never satisfied. I too am part of this group. I guess it’s a part of human nature and it’s a habit that is difficult to break.

There are many people in the world who are not as lucky as we are. Many people suffer from various disorders and disabilities that prevent them from leading a normal life. Do they complain about it? I don’t think so. No matter what the hardships, they have overcome them and succeeded in leading a full life. It seems to me that it is the people who have everything that is never happy with their lot and cry over what they don’t have. Differently able people put us to shame and we should admire the strength and courage they have.

For those who are interested, visit the following links

Dwarfism

Primordial Dwarfism

Tyra show episode on Primordial Dwarfism

Kenadie Jourdin-Bromley's Official Site

Tyler White’s Website

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
Anais Nin (1903 - 1977), The Diary of Anais Nin, volume 3, 1939-1944

Cheers!!!

7 comments:

Lady divine said...

That was yet another good post from you and very informative too...
One thing I totally agree with you and I've also blogged about it earlier.. we're never grateful for a lot of things that we have and we tend to take a lot of things for granted...

A little more attention to what we've got and being thankful for them can actually change out perspectives in life...

We're indeed very lucky compared to many others in the universe.. Yet we are never thankful for who we're and what we've got...

R said...

I've visited the school at Chithra Lane and the Sunera Foundation, and as you say it's amazing how these people deal with their troubles. And the irony is that you find the most enthusiastic and courages people in this group.

Nadiyya said...

Vey true and a wake up call for all of us!!

pissu perera said...

very true. problem is that we all nod our heads and agree when we see or hear something like this, but forget about it and start complaining the minute things stop being hunky-dory.

Azrael said...

Lady D - Thanky kind lady :D

R - We lose enthusiasm coz we take things for granted a lot

Nadiyya - yep

Pissu - That's why i said that it's not an easy thing to do :D. Changing is not also a one step thing. Have to start small and work on it i guess...

niroshinie said...

woah i felt like listening to Scully in that first half of this entry! :D
On a serious note, I was reminded of this song by Nanda Malini about a girl who cried for a pair of shoes until she sees a man without legs...

Darwin said...

I saw this post just now hence the delayed comment. I read this excellent book a while back called 'Mendel's Dwarf'. It's about a scientist that suffers from Achondroplasia. I won't tell you the rest as I'd spoil it if you do read the book:)