Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Beat the Odds!

For some reason everything I've looked up this evening leads to something about meningitis. Seriously. There's this three word phrase comic: http://www.threewordphrase.com/forsure.htm

An article about the shooting up at Johns Hopkins today (a terrible event) led to this article, http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-meningitis-stevenson-20100915,0,6722783.story, which has this surprising statistic.

There have been 10 such cases so far this year of meningitis in Maryland, according to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There were 12 cases last year, but an annual average of 21 this decade.

Really? That few?

I looked up the population of Maryland in 2003 and found this:

In 2000, Maryland's population was 5296486, according to the federal census conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau
http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/pop.html

which means the odds of me catching meningitis was less than 1 in 211,859.44. (I say less than because Maryland's population has been growing each year, so in 2003 there were more people, making it less likely for me to one of the chosen ones.

You'd think with those kinds of numbers I'd have at least won the lottery, which I should mention I did do in 2001. I won a thousand dollars matching six out of seven numbers in an online lottery that was free to play. My seventh number was one digit away; I think I had 14 and the number chosen was 13. Oh fickle fate.

So I've been at both ends of the spectrum, beating the odds for good and for bad.

In addition the intracranial hypertension I have hits something like one in 100,000 people and the blood clot I had when I was pregnant with Cam was millions to one, according to my doctor.

On the other hand a friend says I never have to worry about getting say breast cancer, because I never catch anything ordinary. It's all rare and odd diseases.

On a completely unrelated and hopefully lighter note, here's an article about how dinosaurs had sex. Apparently it was quite charming. Who knew? http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/639

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