Family health history unimportant???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I love my mom so much, but I disagree with her on one point. I just discussed it with her: family health history.

    She doesn't see why I would want to know, you have what you have, she said.

    I beg to disagree. If I didn't know there is a history of bad BP and stroke, i wouldn't work so hard on keeping track on my BP. She had 3 strokes, and has an enlarged heart. All because she didn't handle it in the past.

    I also think it's important for my children to know what's in their history. And if nothing else, if my kids show signs of BP, fibro, RA I can talk to them if they are adults, or take them to a doc. if they are minors.

    Please help me out with some other reasons it is good to know your family history. I was surprised to find that my mom who had so much health suffering in her life couldn't understand that I want to knwo those things,if nothing else to understand the possible reasons for my own ill health.

    I am also still young and have to raise 2 children by myself, I can't afford to be sick if I can help it.

    Any input, or experience in what ignoring your health history can do?

  2. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I don't know how my story can help, but I'll put it here. I dabble in genealogy (OK, I'm completely obsessed).

    I have birth/marriage/death information going back several generations EXCEPT for my father's biological information. He was adopted. So right there -- half my health history (past my father) has been unknown most of my life.

    In a run of luck, I found my dad's biological mother's information a couple of years ago. In it, I found that both my father AND my paternal grandmother died of heart attacks at the age of 61. Maybe if my dad would've known this, he would have taken the early warning signs more seriously.

    I think patterns are very, very important. Obviously this is an area that I'd want to be very careful with -- especially as my CRP is starting to rise.

    Is your mother using her disagreement w/you on this matter to withhold information? Or do you know everything you want to know about your family and this is just a philosophical disagreement on your mom's part?

    Does it seem strange to you that she disagrees? Do you think she's withholding information?
    [This Message was Edited on 04/24/2006]
  3. KelB

    KelB New Member

    I know from personal experience that some health problems can be carried in families. Even ones that aren't directly "inheritable" can appear as a predisposition in the next generation that make you more susceptible to the triggers.

    A predisposition for breast cancer can be carried from mother to daughter. It can also skip a generation, so it's important to know whether your grandmothers, aunts or great aunts suffered from it.

    It's one of the markers that flags up for your doctor if you find a breast lump. A family history of breast cancer should help fast track you through the system.

    You can also inherit a predisposition for epilepsy (my mother and my grandmother on my father's side both had epidodes in their teens).

    You can also inherit a predisposition for blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis. My mother and her mother have both had one in the last five years. It's important for me to be careful around the triggers for DVT and take precautions accordingly. e.g. flying is a risk for DVT, so I make sure I wear compression socks, move around the plane as much as possible, drink water, avoid alcohol and exercise my feet when in my seat.
  4. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    If your mother is withholding information from you, you could take her with you to your next doctor's appointment and have your doc explain the importance of family health history to her.
  5. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    My grand father and Dad both had heart desease my brother did not tell doctors about it.He died last june 3days befor his 50th birthday.If he had said something he would be alive today.My Dad let his doctors know at 40 and had his first heart attack at 46 and Doctors knew what was wrong and he lived to be 79.

    I feel for my brothers children.

    I also have told my doctors all my family history.My grandmother one day had stopped talking to anyone when I was in my twenties.I spoke to my aunt about a year ago about my FM. She told me that must have been what was wrong with mem.

    Aunt said that when she did start to talk again that she had stopped due to pain it hurt her so much that her jaw could not move.I never knew this.

    I have since informed my doctors.

  6. MtnDews

    MtnDews New Member

    I had the same issue with my in-laws. They used to keep their medical history to themselves. I printed off a copy of an article from Mayo Clinic's website that talked about the importance of a good medical family tree. Maybe you could do the same for your mom. It worked for me!
  7. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Great replies, thanks! I find the history on moms side even more important since my dad (although he wish not to EVER speak about it)was born out of wedlock.

    The contact with his real father was never held and grandma quietly married my "grandpa", his step father. In other words, a big piece of history is missing already.

    After I wrote her my point of view, she wrote back that she finally understand where I'm coming from.

    My oldest son's dad never told me there was a history of bipolar in his family, I found out later. My son is now showing signs of it, and it's hard to see the suffering that comes with this. he is 14 years old.
  8. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    For the past 2.5 years I've been slowly gathering info from my mother regarding my familly. she's OK about talking about some things, asking about some family members is like stepping in a cow pie. She totally clams up about my Dad, for example.

    Anyhow, in the midst of discussions my brother related that my Dad had a brother who died before I was born. Now, I'd never heard that uncle's name mentioned, nor his wife, nor his children. Never.

    Families are so odd & both living & dead family members are treated as saints or sinners.

    I think it's very importantt to have health history to pass down to the next generation. Even though I've never had children myself I think my history will be important for my 3 nieces & any future generations.

    Sometimes, I think how a question is asked is even more important than what is asked. How it is phrased & couched in terms that are not pointing any fingers at anyone. We are all just searching for answers.

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