Tuesday, March 24, 2009

strong genes aren't always a good thing

So I've had this random joint pain in my left ring finger. It'll render me useless when it happens-- this horrid, sudden, jolting pain that usually causes a naughty girl word to leave my mouth. I went through about a week last fall where I couldn't get through making dinner or doing dishes without having to stop a couple of times... and then it just stopped. Poof. Gone. I'd sort of forgotten about it. And then this week I was reminded of how annoying it is. Yesterday as I was attempting to find the acupressure point to relieve the pain (and the point I found made it MUCH worse, which is not typical for me) it occurred to me that my mom might have some insight. She has osteoarthritis. Her hands are covered in swollen joints, and it's probably gotten bad in the last 5ish years. She confirmed today that she started getting pain like this in her joints about 15-20 years ago.

My very limited understanding of genetics tells me osteoarthritis is a dominant trait. My great grandmother was afflicted, as well as my grandmother and my mom. At least one of my uncles. It does not surprise me that I carry the gene-- this many family members afflicted must mean it's dominant. Which means pretty good odds that at least one of us will have it, if not a majority. (If you're lucky, hoyden, you're able to dodge this bullet.)

I imagine I'll make an appointment with my dear friend whose Magic Hands have helped me through back pain and infertility (another family trait I inherited-- this one from my dad's mom. It's a miracle he exists, and a weird bit of genetics that such a trait would be passed on, but I digress) and I value his insight onto this chapter of my medical history. I'll ask my doc about it the next time I go in. I'll have to read up on this, and what I can do now to make things better in 20 years. It could certainly be worse. But as long as I'm able to hold my grandchildren someday I think I'll be ok. I'll certainly be reminded that this is how Grandmas in my family look :)

1 comment:

hoyden said...

I'm not holding my breath on missing this one. I figure pretty soon my fingers won't just hurt after a knitting jag.