For the past week, I have been sick with what began as a mild version of the flu and turned into a nasty head cold. I have been run down and utterly exhausted. But, that wasn’t my main concern of the week. Each time I am sick, I am reminded of a constant thought.
As most of you know, I was adopted from a foreign country. Therefore, I don’t know much about my health records or my family history. Quite frankly, I know nothing about my family history. The little I do know about my health records I have to have translated because all of my records are in Russian.
Living with the understanding that I know nothing about my family health history can be comforting and absolutely terrifying. It can make weeks where I have a cold or anything more severe somewhat frightening.
I cannot trace back any sicknesses I have had or may have in the future to genetics. I don’t know what possibilities lie ahead. I don’t know if I may get cancer. I don’t know if I may get diabetes. I don’t know if I may have heart issues. I don’t know anything.
It makes filling out health information paperwork a breeze. Usually, the section with family is the longest. All I have to do is say I was adopted, initial it or sign it, and move on. It makes conversations with the doctor fairly quick, too.
It can be comforting, though, for I have no future possibilities to fret about. I cannot become anxious about the maybe or the probably. In some ways, I can be at peace knowing I have nothing to possibly look forward to.
My radar is one sickness at a time. And the human in me who desires control and assurance frets like crazy sometimes. I used to really struggle to know that God is in control of my health, regardless of if I know my family history.
As I get older, I fret not because I wonder if God is in control. I fret because I want to be informed. I don’t necessarily want to know what could happen. I simply want to know if what happens to me is a common genetic factor. In other words, I would like to know if what I am experiencing is common, not alarming.
Because I know I will never have the ability to be fully informed as I wish, I will do what I know I can do. Trust God and unravel my health one sickness at a time. I want to show people what I have learned in my constant health limbo.
I want people to realize the blessings I myself and they have. It can be daunting to have no idea. If I have learned anything from my experiences of being sick, it is that regardless of one’s health circumstance it all comes down to trusting God. Just because my husband knows his health history and I don’t know mine doesn’t mean we have to trust God on a different level than the other.
Regardless, we both have our fair share of health struggles. No one is the same, yet no one is completely different. As unique human beings created in God’s image, we can be individuals and a support system for each other all in one.
My challenge to you is simple. If you have the option to find out your family health history, learn about it. Don’t just wait for life to make you know. Be curious. Be informed. God has you in His hands.
And if you are like me and you don’t know, it’s okay. God has you in His hands as well. He’ll make the scary, daunting health limbo not so frightening.