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teachent

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PostSubject: family history   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:24 am

Most people take for granted that their family history is something they KNOW. You know you go to the doctor and fill out a long form - is there heart disease in your family (and you stop and think hmm yes gma, gpa, etc), is there cancer in your family (again you stop and think add names and mark yes) etc.

UNLESS you are adopted, OR come from a dysfunctional family. My own family is the later. My parents BOTH were married and had kids (she had 1 he had 2) when they met. And they decided to leave the families leave the kids and the spouses and leave. They got divorced, signed off rights to the kids and moved on. Pretending like those folks had never existed.

It is interesting the health stuff that comes up and out later as folks age; because they can then go and ASK people hey I have a question. They know where the family is, even if they are un-sure if people will help them, especially when some secrets can be kept for many, many years. So it is easier then it is for folks that are adopted and have no idea where to start to ask.

Well this came up again yesterday in my own family and life. Being asked the basics of history and health. It is a good reminder that if you do NOT know in your own life - you should find out. That information can be valuable.

The other thing is if you have kids, to make sure they know how to fill out such forms. Does the kid know if it had I dunno Chicken Pox, or something else,. Does the kid know if it is allergic to something? Often parents will tell kids they are allergic to say peanuts - because that is something the kid can find on their own and eat etc. BUT they never tell the kid "oh yeah when you were 3 you had a horrible reaction to amoxicillan (sp?) and ..... "

Just a reminder because 80% of your health is in your control, with the choices you make - but it is good to KNOW the other 20%!


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PostSubject: Re: family history   Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:28 am

As much as I gripe at times about other family issues, I have always been grateful that people (more so, granted, on my mom's side than my dad's) have been reasonably open about health issues in the family. Particularly women's health related issues...though that could have something to do with the fact that my great grandma had eight children, five of which were girls.
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teachent

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PostSubject: Re: family history   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:38 am

It is good to have folks that understand the importance -- also for things like mental health and birth defects, etc ..

For example a family I work with has a history of mental health issues. To the point that one side of the family calls the other side cursed - and when one goes off the deep end they say - oh he has the curse.

(and trust me as messed up as my family is I would admit if it was my own, it really is a family I work with lol - some of you know the twins situation)


Well a) not a curse DUH and b) treatable once out of denial of issue but c) when the young generation got pregnant, she had NO IDEA what she could be passing on - the one gal ended up pregnant and in a psych ward - with help and honest communication she was able to get better - BUT was very angry when she found out all her elders in her family could have been honest with her and helped her know BEFORE, and not put her and her unborn babe at risk.


Now that is an extreme but it goes to show it can be HUGE stuff, like breast cancer in all the women, or mental illness or babies born with an intestinal disorder etc ...


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PostSubject: Re: family history   Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:04 pm

*Nods*

It was listening to family gossip in part (and partly, admittedly a phobia on my part, and a few other practical reasons that had to do with discontinuance of insurance on graduation), that made me choose not to go on medication when I was having my mental health issues a few years ago.

At the time I was living away from home, and basically no support network, no one to check in on me.

I knew that several relatives have gone on various medications in the past. A good psychotherapist will warn you, and you see it as a warning on the bottle, that the first two weeks, as your body adjusts, there might be an increased likelihood of suicidal thoughts or anger or violence.

Therapist I was talking to tried to downplay those issues. Said they happened in very few people.

Thing is, during that two week phase, I've had two relatives succeed in committing suicide, two others attempt it, and one more who had rage issues. So, it would seem there is a predisposition for family members to react that way. The ones that weathered the storm eventually did adjust, so I know that in the long run it can be helpful, but I was afraid to go on medication without any kind of fall-back support network if anything did go wrong.

(Likewise, in three months I was to graduate, and my health insurance to stop until I found a new job that covered it...so then comes trying to figure out how quickly to wean myself off, etc, around that time and it just seemed too complicated).

So, forewarned. I think I made the right decision, based on family history and practical circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: family history   Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:20 pm

Another awesome practical example!


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