Oh, and don’t edit it just because you don’t like what you find. Data is just data. You can analyze and cry about it later.
For my assigned genogram, I only went as far as my own grandparents — so just two generations before me and one after me (my and my sister’s own children) — and focused, primarily, on mental health since my assignment was for psychiatric nursing.
What I discovered was not, necessarily, surprising — because I already was aware — but it was telling to me when drawn out in genogram form. To wit: There were 22 people on my genogram, 16 of them presently adults (or dead, may they rest peacefully). Of those 16 people, SIX suffer or suffered from alcoholism or a seemingly related “substance” issue. If you like numbers, like I do, you translate that to nearly ONE in THREE. One in three adults in my family — including me — is or was alcoholic or something similar.
If I had not already known alcoholism was an issue, my genogram would have told me, then, what to pay attention to as I rear my own children. See the value of the family medical history?
With your genogram, you can look at any data you can get, and I’ll guarantee you you’ll learn something worthwhile.
I’ll be opportunistic and tell you maternal-age women that your midwives would LOVE you to be able to give them a thorough history of health and reproductive issues in your family.
You could write out a genogram noting everything from who had twins to who had premature births to who had stillborns to who had 10-pound babies. Oh, the usefulness of such information as your providers develop a plan of care for your childbearing years. Dreamy.
So there you have it, another project. Last thing you need, right? Like me? Truly, a genogram is one project worth taking the time to do.
Goshen News columnist Stephanie Price is a wife, mother, teacher, childbirth educator, doula, midwife’s assistant and student nurse pursuing a minor in complementary health. Contact her at email@example.com, 269-641-7249 or on Facebook at the page “Whole Family Column by Steph Price.”