spiralngphoenix: (Family)
Good thoughts in the direction of my cousin Charlie would be appreciated. He's in the hospital in Boston with the combo of ruptured aorta and stroke.
spiralngphoenix: (healing hands)
Dear Parents,

I'm writing to you today on behalf of your children about something that I don't think a lot of people think about. WHY it is important to "worry" your children and make sure they know their family's medical history. All of it. Early.

As some of you know and others don't, I went to the ER last week with a Surprise!kidney stone. When I got there, the doctors asked me if I had any family history of them, and I realized that I had no idea. I mean, I think my mother used to get them, but I'm not 100% on that and she's been gone for almost 21 years now. This is important, as if she did, and this had been made clear to me I could have, oh, done something to lower my own risk. After being released a few hours later, heavily medicated, I realized that aside from the odd bits here and there I have no idea about my genetic inheritance.

This is not a good thing. As I have to go to see a urologist this week and then set up an appointment with a nutritionist to set me on a new diet plan to try and minimize more of the spiky little buggers, I needed to know more about what I've got lurking in the DNA closet so that can be taken into account for the New Life Plan. So, I emailed my father.

Turns out, in addition to the scattered bits I do know about, there is also a MASSIVE history of vascular issues in his family (multiple heart attacks, atherosclerosis, stroke, cerebral hemorrhages, angina, one pacemaker, and a bypass so far). Funny thing about a lot of these things? If you know that there is a higher risk factor in your family, you can start making the appropriate lifestyle choices EARLY in life. Instead, I'm finding out at 34, when much of the damage has potentially been done, and now I'm going to be scrambling to play Catch-Up and hope that I'm able to do something about it in time.

I know a lot of people don't like to talk about it. I've heard a number of excuses from various fronts for why they don't tell their kids. The most common one I've heard was "I didn't want to worry you."

Please. For their sake's, worry them. Don't let them find out when they have an avoidable condition because you "didn't want to worry them", or for any other excuse. You can save them more pain and suffering by letting them know what they are at risk for than by keeping silent. If they choose not to make the changes, that's their choice. Give them the choice, though, and tell them before it's too late.

*steps off soap-box*

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spiralngphoenix

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