I was 13 years old when I found out that I was glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient. Before then my mother thought I was just “extremely lazy” because I dodged chores, reading in my room. I could only play football for a few minutes, after which I would have to leave the pitch for a tachypnoeic retreat, followed by three days of general muscle weakness and pain.
I did not understand what G6PD deficiency meant. I was told my red blood cells were easily destroyed and that drugs were their greatest enemy. I had a long list of drugs that would cause me jaundice.
One day I was brought home from boarding school with classical cola coloured urine and yellow eyes, and I couldn't walk four steps. I had been ill with malaria for about a week and had been taking pyrimethamine with sulfadoxine.
My mother explained what had happened to