A limerick a week #241

The sphere of influence

Spherocytosis, usually a hereditary condition, is one in which the proteins that are supposed to make your red blood cells (erythrocytes) form into biconcave discs are miscoded and, instead, ultimately result in smaller, spherical cells (spherocytes).

Erythrocyte (left) and spherocyte (right). The images are not to the same scale. The spherocyte is smaller than the erythrocyte. (Images from “Tabuk University Hematology – 1, MLT 205 Hereditary Spherocytosis” Mr. Waggas Ela’as)

Spherocytes are broken down by the spleen much more readily than erythrocytes and this may lead to various issues including a haemolytic anaemia.

All of which is why I’m giving a shout-out to The Tall Child who has non-hereditary spherocytosis (his was a spontaneous case). Although not anaemic, his blood haemoglobin is at the low end of normal. Spherocytes are also known to offload oxygen to cells less efficiently than erythrocytes so, coupled to low haemoglobin levels, one consequence can be to become fatigued more easily. Despite that, over the course of nine weeks he has followed the UK NHS structured ‘couch-to-5K’ programme and, last week, he successfully hit the thirty minute run on target.

Not the end of the final run in the programme, but an earlier one in which he out-sprinted me at the finish (he has youth and long legs on his side!)

Well done Ben, that’s brilliant!

A young man with odd-shaped corpuscles
Once ran from Dundee o’er to Brussels.
He trained for the fray
On the couch-to-5K
Though it gave him some very sore muscles!

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😎 Former scientist, now graduated to a life of leisure; Family man (which may surprise the family - it certainly surprises him); Likes cycling and old-fashioned B&W film photography; Dislikes greasy-pole-climbing 'yes men'; Thinks Afterlife (previously known as Thea Gilmore) should be much better known than she is; Values decency over achievement.

4 thoughts on “A limerick a week #241”

    1. Thanks. Typical, though. I set the pace and he out-sprinted me at the end!

  1. An awesome performance young fellah! I have done 250 parkruns and know what it takes, even with the most efficient shape of oxygen exchange equipment … and have always said that to run 5k in under 30 minutes officially qualifies you as an athlete. (And the auld git done good too).

    1. Thanks! We ran pretty evenly in general. I think Ben’s oxygen deficit was pretty well matched by my ‘excess baggage’!

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