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 Family medical history - why it's important

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1Anne Posted - Feb 04 2020 : 08:15:30 AM
John Andretti, 56, race car driver just died of stage 4 colon cancer. As a retired nurse practitioner (APRN), I asked myself, did he have a family history and if so, did he know. Early diagnosis equals early treatment of cancer and other chronic conditions. Ask about family history while the info is still available and record it for yourself and for each child to have when they become adults. With advances in medicine, this has become an important "to do." I speak on this topic encouraging folks to have these discussions. My new book, Personal Health Organizer, has a section for complete family history. Book launch is tomorrow and it's on sale. Ask the questions and keep your own record - health is our greatest commodity!

Yes, in God I trust.
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1Anne Posted - Mar 14 2021 : 12:23:09 PM
I am sorry, Nini, that I just noticed your response to my post. Thank you for sharing your story - it hits so many chords. So glad you are all right. Sad that your grandmother was not as fortunate. Your story should be a lesson for all medical professionals: Look and listen to the patient and not just the tests. Medical history is so important! :-)

Yes, in God I trust.
Ninibini Posted - Feb 06 2020 : 05:35:17 AM
Such a wonderful book and concept, Anne! Awesome!

When my husband became ill, the first thing they wanted to know was whether there was a family history, and did either of his parents or siblings have it. In the old days they didn't keep really good family records of this kind of thing, let alone know what it was and how to name it. Long story short, all we had to go on was family stories of his grandfather's decline and what our now elderly family members remember about it. His grandfather became so difficult that he would spend time with each of his many children's families. Those that do remember have very different memories, I am guessing because of what stage he was in when he stayed with them. The information we have is of very little help, but we chalk it up to then being a very different time, and AT that time, there was very poor understanding of what was happening and how to treat it.

In my situation, I had a grandmother who had complaints of all these strange cardiac symptoms. She would go to the hospital, they would run tests, tell her it was all in her head and send her home. The last trip she made, I had called the ER to see how serious it was because I didn't have time to run down right then. Could I come later in the evening? The nurse whispered into the phone, sounding very irritated that my grandmother had pulled this again. She said they would be sending her home within the hour. Heartbreakingly, she PASSED in that hour. Fast forward to today. I started going through the same thing. None of the ER tests showed anything. They would test me, keep me overnight for observation, then send me home as if it was all in my head. One doctor even told me it was a bunch of bunk that they kept me. There was nothing wrong, I was just a moneymaker for the hospital. (I kid you not.) But the last time I was there, after convincing the doctor to send me home should the tests came back fine, it happened: everything started to go dark, alarms went off, doctors and nurses and interns flooded my room. They found out I have an extremely rare heart condition. The doctors said if it hadn't happened while I was there, they would be kept sending me home and I surely would have perished. Many, many times since I have thought of my grandmother. I wish I had listened to her more and recorded what was happening, what the doctors said. I was lucky, but she wasn't. Keeping records going forward may help prevent this from happening to another family member in the future.

So, truly, I thank and applaud you for your book. God bless you for caring so deeply about this and creating this tool to help people! Memories fade, hindsight is 20/20, but good records may actually save a life!

Hugs -


Farmgirl Sister #1974

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

1Anne Posted - Feb 05 2020 : 07:42:15 AM
Thanks, Barbara. Health and happiness to you. Anne

Yes, in God I trust.
HollerGirl56 Posted - Feb 04 2020 : 1:13:18 PM
I agree---My family were diabetics---and sure enough I got it at age 62. They are all gone now---so I can't ask them questions, People should record all this and tell their children. Also there is bad heart disease in my family---but so far on and on I go. Good luck with your book.

Old Age Ain't No Place For Sissies!------Bette Davis

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