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Strategies for Starting Your Family History: Family Health History

    You might have wondered where I’ve been for the last month?  After I returned from my daughter’s wedding, I was scheduled for foot surgery.  It took a little longer for me to bounce back than I expected...I’ve only been able to spend a half hour at a time in my office as I’ve had to keep my foot elevated.  I won’t be walking for at least another month or two, but I’ve started getting around on my knee walker.  Since I’ve had similar surgery before, I can tell you that this is the greatest invention...it’s a small scooter I kneel on and it allows me to move much more easily than a walker or crutches.  

    My problem is osteo-arthritis, and yes, I do have a history of arthritis in my family, although mine was probably aggravated by a broken ankle in my teens.  It’s important to remember that life style and environment affect our health.  That’s one of the reasons that knowing our family health history can help us choose life styles that can intervene with early treatment to prevent more serious consequences.  Each year in November, I write on the importance of collecting health history information when you do your family research.  I’ve linked to my previous blogs below.  This morning I was reading the local paper and found an article by AP medical writer Lauren Neergaard titled “Family health history a powerful, underused tool.”  As genealogists and family historians, we collect much of this information during our research and it’s important to share it with family members.  The surgeon general has declared Thanksgiving Day to be Family Health History Day, so before you get together with your family, why not sit down and collect the information you already have to share.  It’s a great way to start the conversation and collect additional information that you might not already have.  An easy way to start is to go to the Surgeon General’s site for creating “My Family Health Portrait.”

    I hope you’ll do this, and encourage others as well. 

    Happy Hunting!


Previous Blogs

Happy Health History Day (2009)

Thanksgiving: Family Health History Day (2008)

Health History (2008)

Genealogy and Health History (2007)


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013