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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Living with Heredity

Maureen Pratt Author PicWell, I’m nearly 15 years into my diagnosis of lupus, and “they” still don’t know what causes it, really. Sunlight can trigger it in some people, and certain medications can bring on drug-induced lupus. But beyond that, well, it’s pretty much a mysterious “combination” of environmental and “other” factors and, perhaps, heredity.

This last factor is particularly problematic in some families. I’ve heard parents argue about “whose side” their child  “got lupus” from. I’ve also heard people talk about worrying that, maybe, they might “get” lupus because a relative has/had it. And, too, I’ve heard people worry about whether they might “pass along” lupus to one or more of their children (or, potential children).

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Generally, it is important to know as much as you can about your family’s health history. There are some diseases that have definitive genetic links, and you and your doctors can be more vigilant and proactive the more you know. But when it comes to lupus…

I approach the heredity issue in a slightly different way than many people do. Rather than dwell on the “did I get it from him/her/them?” I think of the strong, admirable traits that people in my family actually exhibited, lived, were. Even if they had illnesses, I think of the way they coped  and the resilience of their faith.

Rather than think of what I “might” get, I think of the characteristics of familial character that I want to have. And I emphasize that aspect of inherited traits, leaving the physical illnesses and mystery conditions up to God.

To me, illness just “is” in my life. It’s the attitude toward it, the way I live with and through it that truly matters.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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