Not surprisingly, a lot of people dread going to the doctor. They live in fear of being told they are sick or, even worse, dying. Though one man got news he never expected after seeking medical help for abdominal pains. The 66-year-old man was told he was genetically a woman.
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Raised a male in Korea his entire life, the man is able to grow a beard and has a penis (though doctor's described it as a micro-penis and he had no detectable testicles). I suppose those would be warning signs for many people, but this man had always lived and functioned as male.
After an examination, they determined he had internal female organs and the stomach pain was caused by an ovarian cyst. Apparently, he suffers from a rare combo of Turner syndrome (when a woman lacks two X chromosomes) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (which affects cortisol production). Both disorders can impede the development of reproductive organs.
It's a bizarre situation, to be sure. My heart goes out to this man. He may have had some developmental abnormalities, but that doesn't negate the fact that he believed he was a man. I can't imagine the shock of being told that everything you knew about yourself was essentially a lie. It must be devastating. Though, perhaps this will explain certain things he has experienced but never understood. It's such an interesting topic given the growing number of people who feel as though they were born into the wrong sex and want to have sexual reassignment surgery.
All this makes me wonder if his parents had an inkling. Or perhaps they made the choice for him and decided he would live as a boy. So many questions -- many I am sure he also has. For now, doctors say he wants to continue living as a man and plans to take hormone replacement therapy. I just hope he is at peace with who he is -- whoever that ultimately turns out to be.
How would you react if you learned that you were really the opposite sex?
Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr