What Ailments Did My Ancestors Suffer From?

Last weekend was not very enjoyable.  I spent the weekend in a opioid induced haze at my local hospital suffering from kidney stones.  Luckily, I had a great Urologist who performed surgery on Monday and removed those painful boulders.

One of the first questions my doctor asked was “Do other members of your family suffer from kidney stones?”  Luckily, for my immediate family members, they do not.

The question stuck with me this week.  I thought a lot about my ancestors and what types of ailments stopped them in their tracks.  Most of the medical history I have about my family has come from death certificates.  It is interesting to see what a wide range of reasons my family listed as cause of death but this is a very limited picture into their medical lives.

I wonder what else happened while they were alive.  Any broken bones? How did they cope when they had a cold or the flu.  Kidney stones?  Heart attacks that they survived?  Bad knees?  Cancer?

I will probably never know these kinds of details about my ancestors lives.  The best I can do is to document the medical histories of the living to pass their stories on to future generations.

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