So much of your story is painfully relatable. Interestingly, individuals of Asian heritage who immigrate to America end up exhibiting the same risk of chronic diseases as the general American population upon settling down in the United States, suggesting that chronic diseases may largely be environmentally driven. Indeed, most gut microbial diversity is lost within a few months.

Managing multiple co-morbidities really is a full-time job with no days off. Coming to terms with loss of autonomy is an especially painful pill to swallow. Thank you for sharing your story so vulnerably.

--

--

This reminds me of the biological concept of functional redundancy. For example, different microbes in the same functional guild can perform the same function, i.e. produce a given metabolite like butyrate.

Some research groups like George Church's lab at Harvard have looked into DNA for information storage because of the built-in redundancy. In fact, your DNA is so tightly wound around histones that if you were to unravel it completely, from end to end, it would stretch to the moon and back 1500 times!

I sometimes joke that women are the superior sex since they have a backup X chromosome; it's just good sense! Usually one copy is inactivated and forms a Barr body to prevent double the number of proteins, but since every cell doesn't inactivate the same copy, you can sometimes observe mosaicism, which is responsible for the multicolored coats of calico cats.

--

--