We’ve talked about doing a family medical history when we organized our medical records. But that was enough to do without the family history aspect, and I want to make sure we don’t miss this, because it’s important.
You’ll want to especially consider parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and great-grandparents. Try making a spreadsheet with this basic information:
- Date of birth
- For deceased relatives, age at death, date and cause of death
- Diet and exercise habits
- Relation to you
Now, obviously, you’ll be interested in medical information. Here are some things you’ll want to focus on, particularly as a migraine/cluster headache/chronic daily headache/etc sufferer.
- Heart Disease
- Migraine/Cluster etc (any kind of headache – remember, headaches were understood differently even 20 years ago)
- Mental illness
- High blood pressure/high cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Substance abuse (alcoholism, smoking, drugs)
- Vision/hearing loss
- Infertility or miscarriaged
In many cases, finding out this information can be challenging. I highly suggest you read the Mayo Clinic’s article Medical history: Compiling your medical family tree to get you thinking before you start talking to family members.
As challenging as it may be, it’s very worth it to have an organized medical family tree. Not just for your benefit, but for your other family members as well!
What is 1% Thursday?
Every Thursday at Headache and Migraine News (weather permitting) we’ll talk about one measurable, practical thing we can do to make our lives just 1% better. Usually it will be something very easy, sometimes it will be a challenge. Let us know if you try it, or share an idea of your own – and maybe a year from now we’ll see that things have really changed for the better!