You get to a point in life when all of your medical conditions are ‘age-related’.  Which, I suppose, is a neutral way to say “You’re old, what do you expect”

The cardiologist, who I have been seeing intermittently for close to 5 years, just got around to diagnosing me as having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and my most recent test results showing that any anomalies are age-related.

The interesting thing about this diagnosis is that it is genetic. The doctor keeps asking me about my family medical history and doesn’t quite seem to understand that I know nothing! Why would I? Adults did not discuss medical problems in front of children; adults barely spoke to children way back when  (Remember: Way back when = In the old days).  Quite frankly, even as an adult, it never occured to me to ask what someone died of.  My father’s answer to that was always “Shortness of breath”.

I have a female dominate family; the males married in. My father was an only son with 6 sisters. My mother was one of 5 sisters, no brothers. My paternal grandmother had more sisters than brothers; my paternal grandfather had one sister, no brothers that I know of,  and I know zilch about my maternal grandmother’s family or my maternal grandfather’s family.

My brother and I have jokes about what people in our family died of. In my father’s case, we say he died because that was the only way he could get away from my mother. As for all the Uncles, they all died fairly young of heart attacks, probably because they were married to the women in the family.

I don’t know what this all says about me, genetically I am more my father’s daughter than my mother’s. My father was probably genetically more his mother’s side of the family than his father’s. I say that because I look like my father who looked like his mother’s side of the family. I met a second cousin once, at a funeral, and it was like looking in a mirror. She was from my paternal grandmother’s side of the family.

As you probably have surmised by now, I do not come from a close-knit family.

8 thoughts on “Age-related

  1. My knowledge of family health history mostly comes my mom’s side of the family. My grandparents and their siblings all lived a ridiculously long time, and by the time they got older and sicker, it was recent enough that health was talked about. Also, my great aunt was a nurse, and she was up in everybody’s business.

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    1. It’s not just health history I am missing, it’s a lot of family history – and by the time you are old enough to know what you don’t know everyone is dead…at least that’s what it is like for my generation. My father died when I was 26 and it never occured to me to ask him why he moved us to Queens but then I never thought about such things when I was young…The women in my family all died very old, hell, my mother died last year, age 103!

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  2. I’ve run into the same sort of lack of medical information about my family, too. Like you said, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth [aka my childhood], adults didn’t talk about medical conditions in front of children. I find that older doctors understand this implicitly, but younger ones look at you like you might be addlepated. Not quite all there, even when you’re telling them the truth that you do. not. know.

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    1. Get to be a certain age and doctors automatically talk to you like you are 3 years old – ageism in the medical environment is rampant and it pisses me off and I tell them so then they say I am agitated and aggressive – which is also sexism because if I were a man they wouldn’t think me aggressive at all would they? don’t get me started….

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