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November 19th, 2009

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03:52 pm - Physiological Privilege
One thing that's odd for me is dealing with illness, especially in other people. I'm exceedingly healthy. I got to thinking about this because teaotter is still recovering from a moderately bad H1N1 flu, while amberite had a mild but lingering flu, and predictably, I didn't get sick at all. Most people I know get minor illnesses far more often than I do. On those few occasions that I have gotten the flu, it rarely lasts for more than 4 days, and it's often over in 3 (except for a cough that lasts a few additional days), & (very thankfully from my PoV) both I and my parents seem to be in the approximately 20% of the population who is immune to the stomach flu (none of us have ever gotten it). Also, until I was an adult, I though that the entire phenomena of "sugar highs" and "sugar crashes" was some sort of puzzling cultural myth, since I've never experienced either one and neither has either of my parents – to my knowledge no relative has ever had either diabetes or hypoglycemia.

My general health is similarly excellent, with the sort of blood pressure normally found in athletes and equally good cholesterol levels. I'm certain that diet and exercise have something to do with my health, but mostly I'm fairly certain that most my health is genetic. On both sides of my family, I have grandparents and other older relatives who lived into their mid 80s or older (mostly older, including a relative on each side of the family who lived to be slightly more than 100). I also recently learned that the only relative who has ever had cancer almost certainly got it because she worked as a dental x-ray technician in the 1930s & 40s, and got breast cancer where she held the poorly shielded x-ray source to her chest to position it. I have a few minor health problems, but they are all inherently very minor. I know a number of people my own age and younger who already have significant health problems and I worry about them, in large part because the entire concept of illness is so alien to me.

Of course, none of this stops me from being a hypochondriac (which I suspect comes at least partly, if not mostly from the fact that I am so healthy).
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Susan recently had what I suspect was the H1N1 flu, and I didn't get sick at all. She gets sick fairly often, and as a result, her doctor has mentioned her that the latest research suggests that the majority of unexplained differences in people's tendencies to get sick frequently are correlated with differences in (all types of) vitamin B.
Date:November 20th, 2009 11:33 am (UTC)
Clearly, we should harvest your organs.
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
I guess in a way, I'm pretty lucky health wise. I get a lot of little illnesses but have never really had anything major except once in high school. I suspect my susceptibility to some of the smaller colds and flus has more to do with the fact that my father was stationed on Kwajaleen Island during the Bikini Atoll tests and routinely worked on contaminated aircraft for several months than genetics. (They gave the soldiers a badge to monitor the radiation but wouldn't tell them what the badges read or even meant so it's hard to say how much exposure he had, but it was definitely some.)

I have read that second generation exposure to radiation can lead to a slightly suppressed immune system. That having been said, my dad has been quite lucky since the only cancer he has gotten was prostate cancer. Considering his exposure and the fact that he smoked for about 20 years I'd say he's done remarkably well (he's 75). Whatever the exposure did or didn't do to my immune system doesn't apparently follow on to the third generation because my son is amazingly healthy, although it could be that breastfeeding him more than made up for it.
[User Picture]
Date:November 21st, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
I have amazing health. When I was 23, I did all kinds of self-destructive things every single weekend - the kind of stuff you're not supposed to do because it will permanently damage your mind and body. I got sick every three months or so during that time, but recovered as soon as I stopped.

I do need to do sanity checks on myself almost daily to make sure I'm not sounding batshit insane, but I think that is a hazard of being Otherkin in many cases.

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