Sharing Your Medical History With Your Family

In Breast Cancer, Creating Happiness, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

I recently had a conversation with my sister about a medical matter regarding a prescription that we had both been using for years. As the discussion progressed, I found out that she was no longer taking this drug as her primary care physician had determined that the source of her issue was not as originally diagnosed and she has not been on that medication for almost a year. What I learned from our talk was that I may very well be in the exact same situation as she is and that our parents also dealt with the same issue and may very well have been misdiagnosed as well. Therefore, I am looking forward to sharing this information with my doctor when I see her the next time.

I am urging everyone to share their family’s medical history with one another. It may make a huge difference to a family member with regard to the quality of life that they are currently experiencing and could ultimately save another person’s life.Barbara Jacoby

This brought to my mind that I have often thought about how private most people are when it comes to their personal health and medical situations and as a result, when I was asked to fill out the paperwork at the doctor’s office that included information about my family’s medical history, I really didn’t know much. I knew about the big things like my dad’s cancer and my brother’s cancer because they were the ultimate causes of their deaths. I knew about the women on my mother’s side of the family who also had cancer but that was it. I had absolutely no idea about anything else on my mother’s side of the family and absolutely nothing about my father’s side of the family at all. That was rather alarming to me.

I am not saying that I want to know about everyone’s personal medical history but I know that while many adults in a family do not want to share this information with their children because they don’t want to frighten them or have them worry, I think that we may do our family members a big disservice by not sharing. I know that I would appreciate knowing the diseases or problems that are a part of my family’s history, not because I am afraid that I will get these diseases but because I want to be educated with this information so that I can share it with my medical professionals to better help them to manage my healthcare.

What better gift could I give to my sister or my other family members than to share with them the medical situations that I encountered? It may cause them to stop and think about their own situations and perhaps alert them to the fact that they are also experiencing the same symptoms, etc. themselves and that they may want to alert their own doctors. An alert may help to bring about an early diagnosis of a problem that left unchecked might cause greater consequences on down the line. I personally feel that the more information that I have the better I can do to take care of myself and not depend solely on my doctor and an annual physical. So I am urging everyone to share their family’s medical history with one another. It may make a huge difference to a family member with regard to the quality of life that they are currently experiencing and could ultimately save another person’s life.

Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.