This post from “Not Your Grandfather’s Disease” describes my similar feelings but I wouldn’t describe them as guilt.
I also undertake lengthy explanations when they aren’t necessary (just looking at me should say it all).
However, my genes are not on show, so I feel compelled to distance myself from those who don’t take care of themselves.
In the end, it’s just not fair. But then why should it be?
One thing I noticed, after we discovered my coronary artery disease, was my need to tell people how unlikely it is that I should have it. Whenever I mentioned my diagnosis I was compelled to point out that I am 34, take care of my heath, and have no family history of heart disease. I wanted people to know that I am an anomaly.
Wanting people to know that your medical condition makes you a statistical outlier does not make for polite social exchange. Someone I barely knew would ask me about a bruise on my legs. I would begin by telling her that I’m on blood thinners and five minutes later I’d gratuitously detailed my past exercise regime, my commitment to cruciferous vegetables, and the non-heart diseases that killed my grandparents. And as the listener slowly backed away, sorry she asked, I would think to myself, “where did that
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