KNOWING THE HEALTH HISTORY/STATUS BEFORE THE KNOT
(A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE)
We all want a smooth journey to our desired destination on a cushioned landing, such is same with knowing the medical records and status before going into the real deal of courtship and marriage.
WHEN TO KNOW
While some waste the essence of dating and talking stage doing all other unserious things, the essence of Dating is to get to talk about each other. Your likes and dislikes, hobbies and favorites, and most importantly, building friendly trusts enough to share deeper things about each other’s lives. In this stage, usually, both parties are just getting to familiarize with the other. So, the level of openness and trust will guide the progression of the relationship, especially if the two are ready to make things work progressively. This time also, at the later stage is the best time to know about their health, finance, and background.
WHY? How would you decide to give all commitment to a person who isn’t physically mature or ready? Who isn’t health-wisely compatible? Who isn’t financially available to proceed to courtship (planning the marriage/home)? Or would you want to proceed without knowing if he/she has a family health history or fundamental health stumbling blocks which may affect you two in the future?
I guess NO is your answer to these questions.
However, while the talking or dating period is the safest time to know their medical records and backgrounds, one may also take things calm and wait till just before you two want to take things further or more serious (that is in dating or courtship). Here is because, we all have different scenarios and personalities. While it takes some to trust easily, it takes others twice the time. We must really put these into workable considerations. The bottom line is just that, you don’t have to wait till you both have fallen head over heels, as we all fondly say, to know the very basic and important things about each other. In other news, give it time but don’t miss the timing.
NOW, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
We have heard severally that we should know their family histories, health records and statuses but we may be carried away with the very common ones, that we neglect the equally important ones. This doesn’t mean we don’t start from the known to unknown though.
Health questions you MUST ask before tying the knots;
- What are you sensitive/allergic to? While many people do not fell this is anything but it has ruined a lot of courtships, homes and marriages. You will be surprised to know that your partner is lactose intolerance but you go ahead assuming he’s just as same as you or otherwise. That is an example of many other allergies and immune-based sensitivities
- What health problems or challenges run in your family? Be comfortable enough to be specific with what you noticed and get clarification from them, be sure to ask directly and not be too sentimentally emotional about cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, measles, and other hereditary or recurring health problems you can think of. This is why you must have built trust enough to discuss these things, you know!
- What mental health challenges do you know of that runs in your family? Key problems here can be depression, suicide attempts, personality disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, e.t.c. if you ask anyone you intend to marry this or any other of these health questions, and they are reluctant or not willing to answer, you may give them time and let them know you are not against them but for them. These aren’t easy conversations and you must have proven yourself to be worth the trust too.
- What is your Blood group, Genotype and Phenotype? I’m sure Africans (Nigerians are very familiar with this), so, I know many there are aware of the consequences of choosing a less compatible partner-except something changes. This is as important as bothering to move forward with the decision to marry him or her but must still be asked. We understand (you can read about it if you do not) that the health of the parents, children, and peace of the home is at stake here. Even the possibility of procreation is also partly dependent on the blood group status. For your sake and greatness sake, these are important.
- Do you want kids? It is as simple as that, their reasons may wear you out or confuse you, clarify anyways. If there is a fear of something, you both can work things out and reach a consensus. Please, don’t leave this question till later after the knot is tied or assume you both want the same thing for some or any reason at all. If they want kids, ask how many. Ask what happens if they get genders opposite what they’d prefer. The questions matter and you get to know your partner more, I bet!
- Have you ever had an STD? Jim Hjort, a licensed psychotherapist said “Engaged couples should have full disclosure of health issues before marriage…STDs can cause problems with conceiving later in life. It’s important to discuss the desire to have children and the possible hurdles to overcome in order to make that dream a reality” please, know this and know some peace.
(If I have more questions, I would have added them but I’m sure these may have connections to other questions you may need to ask and if they come around to you, please, ask and you can get back to me to let me add to these)
HOW DO I KNOW?
Despite his/her flattery insistence that life started the day you two met (smiling here softly), you and your partner had an existence before you both came into each other’s picture. So, it does you no good at all to assume or think a question is too silly, dangerous, or too private to ASK.
Aside asking, spend time with his family and friends, do some bonding, observe things. Those family and friends of his or hers are aware of things before you even came along. Saves you more aches if not all aches than assumptions ever would.
Don’t forget that the plan that GOD has for you are of good and not evil, don’t let your plans ruin HIS. You will thank Him later.
Adebankemo O. Michael (DVM)
If you had any questions and or additions to this write-up, kindly leave a comment and or reach me on email@example.com