The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Friday, April 3, 2015

From Surgery to Health

I typically try to release a blog post by Tuesday of each week and at least another post by the weekend. This past Tuesday I was having surgery and with the lingering effects of the anesthesia and the pain medication, I was in no condition to write anything. In a phone call with my mother, I was lamenting my condition and that I wasn't able to write a blog post and my brain was so foggy, what would I even write about. 

She suggested that I write about my surgery and tie it into family history. She made me promise to not post any pictures from my surgery. So, you get to miss out on the bruised incision and the awesome pictures from the laparoscope. My husband also missed taking pictures of me as I came out of surgery and was freezing in reaction from the anesthesia; I was bundled up in a big pile of blankets.

So, now that you have a mental picture of me in a big bundle of blankets, let me tell you a little bit about my surgery. I had laparoscopic surgery to remove ovarian cysts; 20-30 per ovary. I have PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is where a woman's hormones get out of balance for reasons that aren't well understood. One hormone change then triggers another hormone change, which can trigger more hormone changes. It can cause infertility, depression, irregular periods, extra facial hair, weight gain, trouble losing weight, insulin resistance, and over time it can lead to more serious issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but genetics may be a factor. I had a similar surgery ten years ago when we were struggling with infertility.

My mother suggested that I write in my journal about this operation and my condition. As I thought about some of my other health issues: asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, etc., I pondered over what health issues I may have received genetically, passed down through the generations and what health issues were environmental, based on my own poor choices.

That got me thinking about this blog and also what kind of medical information have I seen in my family history research. Occasionally in some journal/diary entries I have seen health information. But mostly I have seen health information on death certificates; as cause of death or contributory to death. I am intrigued by what my ancestors' died from. (Collecting death certificates ... another project to add to my list.)

How sad is it that a family learns about a health issue at death? My husband's father died of colon cancer just two months after diagnosis. Now my husband and his siblings have regular colonoscopies. Knowing about family health issues can help us to take better care of our own health. My mother, her mother, and her grandmother all have thyroid issues. Every time I have blood work done I request a checkup on my thyroid levels.

As I laid in bed this week thinking about my health issues, particularly the pictures of the fat the laparoscope revealed cushioning my organs; I resolved to take better care of myself. To get the help I need for nutrition and exercise and management of the illnesses I have. I also resolved to document my health for my family.

As I thought about documenting my health, I remembered a new software program from the RootsTech Innovator Summit. It is called TapGenes. Heather Holmes and Emily Chang have created a Family Health Tree. The software is still in Beta (as of the date of this post) and you can also help with the pre-launch beta test as I have been this past week.

TapGenes helps you:
1. Preserve family health information
2. Understand shared health traits & learn how to minimize risks
3. Share your family health history with loved ones

Check out this video introduction.

Please visit their website for more information and receive an invitation to beta test their software: 

For more information about the importance of family health history: 

Visit the home page of their website for healthy living topics and to subscribe to a health newsletter:

I have also liked them on Facebook:

Today they shared an article on Facebook about the healing affects of knowing your own medical data. Let me tell you, when you see inside your body and you see that your organs are surrounded by fat, it changes something inside you. For me, it inspires me take more control of my health; to get the help I need to make healthy changes that will prolong my life.

TapGenes can help me not only document my family health history but can empower me to take control of my health. 

I believe that living a healthy life can positively affect future generations! It is the best heirloom to share with my descendants!

#RootsTech    #InnovatorSummit    #TapGenes

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