The thoughts in this post will be nothing new to all the adoptees out there, but dang it, I thought I’d throw my two cents in as a parent to a child with no medical history.
Access to your family’s medical history should be a human right. Full stop. I always thought that at a theoretical level, but it became very real to me this weekend.
Bug started a new medication this weekend. That should be no real cause for concern, but this certain med is contraindicated for children with a strong family history of heart disease. Of course we have no idea whether she has a family history of heart disease. I should have been able to leave it at that and just start the med and watch, but I know that the heart issue is a serious one — the medication would have been contraindicated for me, and rightly so. I had multiple episodes of cortisol-induced angina as a young adult. In fact, my reaction to meds that can spike cortisol mimics a heart attack, as I found out when I used a self-injector of Imitrex for an acute migraine. Not pretty. I wish I’d had nitro pills on me that day. So I’m a little over aware of the risks.
I get the same sense of unease every time Bug is on an antibiotic too, also because of my own hyper-awareness of the problem. I’m allergic to two separate classes of antibiotics. So I hold my breath any time we use a new class of antibiotics on Bug. I’m much more prepared to deal with an allergic reaction than a heart attack in a six-year-old though, so was a right basket case on Saturday when we started the new meds.
This is what my child has in store for her life. It’s not just about the annoyance of having to tell the intake nurse 50 times “yes, that’s right, I have no info.” I know that will get old, but it’s not life threatening. How many times will Bug start a new medication and wonder what will happen?
Access to basic family medical history should be a human right. Just one more way adoptees have to suffer in our society.