We love to jot down family marriages and births. However, when life or relationships come to an end, it can be difficult to record those events. It’s much the same when we’re forced to consider our medical history. Yet, it’s all part of the family tree.
Years ago, when my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law took several pictures of her at the funeral home. It tore at my heart when he sent us duplicate photos. He knew it was hard and simply stated, “Death is a part of life. We have to admit it.”
He also suggested that we needed to pay closer attention to our family medical history and tend to its details like we did birth weights, lengths and time of delivery.
As time went on, we understood the importance of his words and I’ve become the keeper of the family medical records. And I ‘d like to share my tips with you.
Start as far back as you can on your mother’s side and then your father’s. Do the same with your spouse’s parents. List any of the common ailments or diseases from all lines. Jot down the age at which each person passed away. If living, record the age of onset of their medical problems.
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Next, list any uncommon diseases, birth disorders, or unusual effects from childhood illnesses. Make your way down the family tree to your youngest grandchild then add anything you know about those who have married into the family.
Leaving Behind Hope, Health, and Happiness
I was the first one in my family to be diagnosed with breast cancer. I certainly didn’t relish adding that to the family log but having the knowledge has been helpful for my sister and daughters.
When I think of my grandkids, I think of a world where cures are found, people live longer and their quality of life is ever-improved. When they go into a doctor’s office, they can carry a page of family medical history to help facilitate proper diagnosis and treatment.
In that way, and others, I will have helped to preserve their futures.