Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Genetic Quirks

Two of my four goddaughters recently gave birth to their first baby - a little girl for each of them.  As always happens when a new baby enters a family, everyone is intent on seeing just WHO the baby resembles.  Does she have her mother's nose, her father's ears, her grandmother's eyes, etc?  I am sure my family did the same when I was born as well.  For as long as I can remember, and even today, people are forever telling me how much I resemble my father.  I always hated that!!

I wanted to resemble my mother.  She is small and petite, 5' 2", 120#, attractive, friendly, bubbly, self confident, interested in others and very outgoing.  I, on the other hand, am truly more like my father was - heavier, struggling with weight, reserved and have inherited the medical ailments that plagued my dad.  I have had digestive problems since I was a teenager - he did as well as did his mother and her father - direct line in that Wellhausen to Schulte family to me!  I struggle with blood pressure as he did, struggle with weight as he did and tend to be hard on myself as he was.  

Finally, though, I have come across something that I HAVE inherited from my mother and it makes me laugh in a way - my bad teeth.  Yesterday I had to have a tooth pulled; not the first time either but the first time in years.  I couldn't even remember what I had gone through before with the teeth but this time was quite different, not as bad as I had anticipated but not exactly something I want to do every day.  And it took a bite (oops) out of my wallet, too, to the tune of $307.00.  It would appear that my teeth are falling apart.  My mother reminded me though that these teeth have carried me to my 60's when HER teeth were all removed when she was 18.  Imagine!

She was working at the time, at the end of her day's work she went to the dentist, had ALL her teeth pulled that day and had the dentures put right in, she went home and back to work the next day and nobody at work knew she had dentures.  I asked her yesterday if she remembered how much that cost and, of course, this was 1943 so she did not.  Obviously different procedures for the time!

Recently I had another insight when I read an article on Kelly Ripa.  Everyone probably is familiar with Kelly and her career.  The headline of this article stated that "Kelly Ripa has a rare disorder".  I thought it would be interesting to read the article and my eyes popped open.  This rare disorder is just what my father had and another thing I have inherited from him.

The disorder has been identified for years and years and is called Misophonia though I had never heard of the title before.  Basically it is the "hatred of sound" such as gum chewing, snapping of fingers, slurping while eating, clinking teeth against silverware and an array of other sounds that cause the person to have heavy anxiety.  I remember only too well as a child sitting at the dinner table eating and having my father scream at my brother and me not to hit our teeth on the silverware, not to slurp and definitely we did NOT chew gum.  When reading about this disorder now I have to say that my father's case was probably mild but it was a very nervous household that I grew up in.

I find some characteristics of misophonia in myself as well namely gum chewing.  Yesterday while waiting at my dentist's office there was an elderly man in the waiting room chewing up a storm to the point I had to get up and walk across the room to sit.  While it may sound funny or humorous it really isn't and it was a tense time in my life over the years.  I think it added to my digestive distress.

I even have my father's situation documented in none other than his baby book.  Who wouldn't love to get a hold of a parent's baby book from 1923 and to even find that there was one.  I have my father's baby book and a copy of my uncle's (his brother) as well.  Evidently my grandparents were big on baby books and both my grandmother and grandfather wrote in them.

When my father was 15, my grandfather wrote the following which we always thought was so funny when we read it but obviously his Misophonia tendencies were starting then:

At the age of 15 yrs he took a notion to eat away from the table as 
he says he could not stand any one smack their lips when eating
so he'd eat by himself.  We hope he will outgrow this as if he 
ever marries his wife will have to eat alone.  

Written in 1938 by Elmer M. Schulte 
regarding son, Mylen Schulte


Who knows what can be found in a baby book that is of genealogical value!  It would appear there is a name and description for everything that could "ail you" and the Internet brings it all to us in glorious verbiage.  Perhaps before long there won't be any need for doctors; everyone can diagnose themselves from Google!!

Above photos personal collection of Cheryl Schulte


Copyright (c) 2012, Cheryl J. Schulte

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