What Life Is Really Like As A Conjoined Twin
When you are super tight with your bestie, people might say you’re “joined at the hip” and were “separated at birth.” Those are metaphors, of course. At the end of the day, you get to go home, take a nice shower by yourself and chillax with a little peace and quiet. After all, no two people want to spend every waking moment together.
But in rare cases, certain people don’t have those luxuries. They are literally the opposite of separated at birth, and are literally joined at the hip … “and twins,” to quote that cursed Coors Light commercial.
According to All That’s Interesting, the chances of being conjoined twins are about 1 in 200,000, roughly the same odds the Atlanta Falcons had of losing to the Patriots in the 2017 Super Bowl. But as we all know, these things inevitably happen, and when they happen, we must live with the consequences. Such is the life of conjoined twins — inextricably bound to one another through thick and thin, shower and shave; love and war.
Every action is a compromise and team effort — a lifelong three-legged race, so to speak. It requires saintly patience, empathy and communication skills that Dr. Phil could only dream about.
Hip to be conjoined
There are around 12 pairs of conjoined twins alive today, and most of them are female. Some are joined at the hip, but it’s possible to be joined elsewhere, like the head. Often, these conjoined twins share organs, like hearts, or even brains. In those rare cases, they may even share thoughts, feelings, and vision, but most conjoined twins report being able to finish each other’s sentences. However, they are still individuals.
For example, twins “Tatiana and Krista Hogan, born joined at the head in 2006,” share opposing views on ketchup. Apparently, “Tatiana hates it when Krista eats ketchup.”
But that’s small potatoes when it comes to more intimate matters like love and sex. Take Chang and Eng Bunker, better known as “the original Siamese twins”. Amazingly, they married sisters and agreed to build separate houses, one for each twin and wife combo. Using what was descried as “alternate mastery,” the twins would take turns relinquishing control of the body, allowing one of the twins three days of relative autonomy. “Then the other would take his turn, living in his own house and sleeping beside his own wife.”
Cheng and Eng fathered a total of 21 children and “experienced happy, loving relationships with their wives.” Clearly. The famed conjoined Hilton sisters (not those Hilton sisters) had a similar situation — one would just “check out” if the other was getting frisky.
But what about death? Apparently, when one goes, so too does the other, unless risky, time consuming surgery is performed immediately. Still, odds are low.
In the end, while it may seem weird to “normal” people, conjoined twins are just like us, they just handle a bigger set of challenges. Their ability to overcome them is something we can all get together on.
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