Unexpected gift of medical history

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Juloo, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I've been fighting CFS for about 6 years. I know a bit about my family's medical history -- for example, my maternal grandmother had thyroid problems when she was young and had surgery in the 1920's. Low blood pressure runs in that side of the family, as does osteoporosis (grandmother, mother, both maternal uncles).

    But my father was adopted, so I never thought I would know anything from his side. In this past year, I've gotten serious about genealogy (seriously obsessed) and have finally uncovered my dad's biological mom's side of the family. Unexpectedly, I found that a distant cousin wrote an (unpublished) manuscript about our shared ancestor, my gg-grandmother. I got a copy from the university library that it had been donated to about 50 years ago. It is about 400 pages long and was based on information told to the author from the subject herself.

    I was completely floored when several times in the text, the author mentions the subject's recurring debilitating body pain, especially shoulder and arm pain -- the exact problem I'm dealing with at the moment (and I mean mentioned several times -- several times over an entire life in an otherwise-action-packed recounting). In one incident, she was in the midst of a flare (my word) when an advancing Civil War army caused her to evacuate on horseback. In another, she was married and mom of 5 children in the wilderness of wintry Montana and her husband was gone off working.

    I'm not suggesting there is necessarily a biological link, although I suppose there is a possibility. It just somehow made me feel better, and more brave about the possibilities, knowing that someone back in my family had experienced this, lived with it, and kept on living -- throughout a very full, long life (she was 89, I think, when she died). It also made me feel better that in the case of Montana, her husband recognized her discomfort and moved the family chiefly because of the difficulties she was having.

    She lived with this, no massage therapists, no help, no message board! And to think that when she was in her 80s, recounting this to a daughter-in-law, she *remembered* the debilitating pain in her life at many stages enough to factor it into her stories. But she got through, doing what she had to. For some reason, when I'm having a particularly bad day, I just think of her and remember that it is worth it to keep trying, and that I'm never alone doing it.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/31/2003]
  2. Debrat

    Debrat New Member

    What a wonderful gift for you to uncover! I to am a geneolgist.............obsessive........yes.........i believe that fms & cfs are passed down.........my mom, 3 sisters and a brother have fms/cfs.....I am in the same boat as you. I can't seem to find anything out about him I have his name on mommmas birthcert......but gramma said that was not his real name.........so we don't know any history for medical purposes on that side......But your news was GREAT. Thanks for sharing.....
    Debra.........