I went for a checkup for the first time in a very long time, now that I have this thing called “health insurance” because I’m living and working in Canada. Honestly I was extremely worried; I hadn’t had a proper checkup in ages. There came the moment we all know and dread when my doctor asked me about family history. “I know a half-brother recently passed away from lung cancer”, I said. And although there was a bit of comfort in being able to say this as opposed to “I have no idea, I’m adopted”, it really didn’t come as any kind of relief.
Later when my bloodwork came back, I was told I have marginally high cholesterol, which I can work on with diet and exercise. I stared at the doctor for a minute and then said, “You’re kidding me, right?” I said: “I mean, I was vegetarian for 23 years from the age of 15; I’ve been on a more or less Mediterranean diet for the last 15. You’re telling my I have an issue with cholesterol after all that?” He was sympathetic, and related a battle of his own with a cancer that “came out of nowhere”. He said: “It’s genetics. Think what it would be if you hadn’t done all that.”
Again, small comfort. Also small comfort is the fact that my a-siblings, with a variety of such illnesses, are endlessly able to share information about treatments, diets, approaches, feedback from medical professionals, etc. The government has a whole section of a web site devoted to the topic [link]:
Families have many factors in common, including their genes, environment, and lifestyle. Together, these factors can give clues to medical conditions that may run in a family. By noticing patterns of disorders among relatives, healthcare professionals can determine whether an individual, other family members, or future generations may be at an increased risk of developing a particular condition.
This is not news to us, of course. My questions here are:
- How has knowing/not knowing your medical history affected your physical and mental well-being?
- How has the very stress of adoption and/or not knowing this information affected your health?
- If I shift my focus from a putative salvation via adoption to a genocidal act that continues even after the adoption is completed (the topic of a presentation I’ll be giving at the ASAC/AI Conference in Oakland in October [link]), what sense does it make to argue about what is “due” us along these lines?
- How then do we really challenge the class of adoptive parents, their profiteers and enablers, as to the criminality of depriving someone of this knowledge—of “medical dispossession” as it were?
Feel free to elaborate at will.