Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The cost of your inheritance


As we get older,
we have an increasing awareness of the fragility of our human bodies.

Things are starting to stretch or shrivel,
degenerate or decompensate,
misfire or not work at all.

As you reach each birthday milestone,
you seem to hit the jackpot for another recommended
(and often uncomfortable or embarrassing) annual examination
of one of your body functions
or one of the pieces of your body,
designed to catch any nasty surprises early.

Some of these are thrust upon you
courtesy of your immediate family's medical history.

Suddenly we are looking to the health of our parents, our siblings, maybe even our grandparents
when the doctor works his or her way through the checklist.

My hubby and his siblings is already suffering from the dicky hip
that his dad has had replaced
while I am conscious of the increased risks of glaucoma and melanoma.

As a consequence, I have developed a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) obsession with UV exposure.
which I am thrusting that upon my kids,
trying to explain the health reasons without telling young kids about the big "C".

Now that I am a parent,
I find myself hoping that our kids inherit the best of our genes.
If they are lucky,
they will dodge the dicky hips, crappy eyesight and failing peripheral vision
that their parents' genes could have flung in their path.

If our kids are really unlucky,
they will be limping blindly around by the time they reach middle age,
unable to bend over to see their extremities to do their skin check.

Who knows what else they will be having to keep an eye on
as we, their parents, get older and start falling at the hurdles.

But there is one thing I know for sure:
 I can at least wake each and every morning,
secure in the knowledge that, because of me,
all 3 kids are able to roll their tongues
 in spite of their dad's dodgy genetics.

Come what may, I am sure that they will appreciate that.


Posie Patchwork said...

Oh yay, we're a tongue rolling family too. I can't wink, the children laugh at me as they cleverly flare their nostrils & wiggle their ears, all traits from their talented father.
My family, we're more into cardio vascular disease with the odd surprise stroke, my in-laws have mastered almost every possible cancer. Keep them as healthy as possible & here's to a cure for almost everything they can't quite prevent. I lost my mother-in-law while pregnant with my first a dozen years ago so they are all over the causes of cancer, love Posie

Ange Moore said...

We're tongue rollers here too!!

But there are also dodgy genetics like my husband carrying the cystic fibrosis (which he passed onto our daughter - not sure about the others), and cardiac issues that killed my father-in-law at 38 years old and his father in his late 50's, and the MS my mother-in-law suffers from. And my mum was only concerned about me not marrying into a family of asthmatics!!

My side, on the other hand, has issues with our thyroids but apart from that longevity seems to be our issue - with my great grandmother dying at 94 whilst still iving independently on her small farm and my grandmother doing alright for a 90 year old!

It'll be interesting to see what "mix" our children have ended up with.