Looking at my Family History

June 23, 2009 · 8 comments

I’m having a physical next Monday and this time I will finally be prepared to include some family history in my file, which they asked for the last time I was there but I neglected to bring in. Because I didn’t have it. This year I have it because I thought to remember to ask my mom about it on Father’s Day when we were over there. So today she emailed me the family history and let me just say: TMI! Okay, I do appreciate getting it but yowza, my mom really went into depth. Not that it isn’t important and I do appreciate it, but really, I think an aunt having sore knees is not the kind of family history the doctor is looking for. Although I could be wrong.

What was in there?

Well on my mom’s side everything looks pretty good. Must be the hearty Swedish blood. My mom and grandma are both doing great at 65 and 93. My mom’s dad, my grandpa, died of a heart attack at 67, and his mom also died of heart disease at 67. His dad died of congestive heart failure at 87.

My dad’s doing great at 65, but both of his parents died in their early 50s although the medical records are a little lacking they don’t appear to be heart related. Not too much else from my dad’s side, I guess that side was a little mysterious.

I did see a few different relatives with gallbladder issues and eye issues so I guess those are things I will have to look out for.

One thing I did note on my grandpa’s record, according to my mom he suffered from claudication during the last couple years of his life, saying he had poor leg blood circulation and pain in his legs. Reading a little about claudication makes it sound a little bit like the pain I recently had in my legs. DVT was ruled out, but maybe I have this? That’s a scary thought. I’d better be careful I don’t turn into a hypochondriac.

It’s easy to get depressed and sad when reading over this kind of history but it’s also a great reminder of why I need to get healthier. The extra 10, 20 or 30 years would mean so much to me and my family. I have to get that into my thick skull.

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Hanlie June 24, 2009 at 1:14 am

It’s good to have that kind of record… Now you know what you have to look out for.

Greg at Live Fit June 24, 2009 at 5:11 am

This is something I should definitely add to my list. The problem is, at least around here, records like that are so sketchy that it will probably be difficult to build if I go back much further than my parents history.

Jenks June 24, 2009 at 5:44 am

Reading this just brought back the reasons why I started to try to lose weight to begin with, it has nothing to do with the way I look or the number on the scale, it has everything to do with what’s going wrong on the inside that I need to fix.
Thanks for the reminder :o )

Mohamed June 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

I hate to see what’s happening on both sides of the family. Diabetes, heart problems - you name it. So losing the weight, keeping it off and positive lifestyle changes are a must.

So far I’ve escaped diabetes and heart issues.


Mary :: A Merry Life June 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm

It’s funny how depressing looking at your family history can be. But here is the thing - pretty much everyone has bad family histories. There are the few people who have parents and grandparents living to be 90 or 100 in relative good health, but those are the few. Most of us have family histories of disease, because there are soo many diseases and soo many ways not to take care of our bodies. Its hard to think about, but true. But I’m glad you are taking control of your health now so you can beat those diseases back and live a long healthy life!

Fat Daddy June 25, 2009 at 8:18 am

The extra 10,20 or 30 years would mean so much to my family. Ain’t that the truth. Too often, especially when we are younger, we make weight loss about fitting into a pair of pants or aspiring to a “six-pack”.

Now older (in my 40′s - OMG!!!) I see it as you do as a quest for more time and more quality time with those I love.

Great post, John. You always have a unique angle.

JoeyfromSC June 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

haha@the Aunt with sore knees!

Great that you at least know what to look out for now!

My Dad just died 2 wks. ago, and it’s really making me take a look at my own life health wise!

I mean cancer does run in our family, and that you can do nothing about, but I CAN do something! Thanks for inspiring me!

Steve v4.8 July 1, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Good reminder, John. The older I get the more concerned I am with my elders’ health histories. I always thought that I didn’t want to know- that one day I would just “crap-out” with an expression of ignorant disbelief on my face. Now I think I’d like a little heads-up.

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