Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's All Making Sense

In case I haven’t mentioned it, I’m half McCoy and half bastard. Over the years, my bastard half has morphed into my “Italian” half, because I don’t know…it sounded good at the time…and I have dark hair. But, since we’re all being honest here, I’m not Italian at all. I’m half McCoy and half McGrath, which makes me a certified Mick. And according to this article, 100% fucked.

Usually I avoid divulging my McCoy heritage in an attempt to avoid the smirks, tasteless jokes and association with the Hatfields. But apparently, I have more reasons to avoid the name than I realized. The infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud is now being blamed on an inherited rage disease carried by yours truly…

Von Hippel-Lindau disease, which afflicts many [McCoy] family members, can cause tumors in the eyes, ears, pancreas, kidney, brain (my brother) and spine. Roughly three-fourths of the affected McCoys have pheochromocytomas — tumors of the adrenal gland…[which causes] high blood pressure (me), pounding headaches (me), heart palpitations (me), facial flushing (totally me), nausea and vomiting (me, especially after a twelve pack of Guinness).

The Hatfields never stood a chance.

I’m making an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I knew there was something wrong with my kidney.


Lacy said...

break the generational curse Leila! Break it! ;)

Barbora said...

That’s wild!

I read an article on Von Hippel-Lindau disease several days ago, and thought to myself at the time “How Bizarre!” Like X-files or Lovecraft bizarre. So, you’re a McCoy! That’s wild. Are you prone to fits of violence and/or rage?

It sounds like they’re pretty successful treating VL-H. I would definitely share this information with my doctor! Odds are you DON’T have it.

I don’t mean this in ANY WAY racist, but I wonder if it’s limited to certain family populations, or is more prevalent among the Irish in general? It would explain terms like “the fighting Irish.” If it’s any consolation, among the Balts (Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians), Lithuanians have the reputation of being the hotheads. I’m Lithuanian, of course.

I thought you were Italian. In the photo you used to have posted, you looked just like the daughter of a friend of mine. She’s 100% Italian.

Sean said...

Peculiar. I mean, you'd figure, what with all the Guinness and all, you'd be the poster child for perfect health. Maybe you should try MORE Guinness.

Barbora said...

Haha! That’s funny, Sean.

Several years ago, when I was still in CA, I treated myself (as a birthday present) to a visit to the diet and nutrition guru who wrote a book I liked.

After submitting an honest, week-long food diary, in addition to blood and urine samples, I returned to his office for the results. He seemed annoyed that I was as healthy as my tests seemed to indicate! I asked what could account for my great cholesterol, etc. levels. “Wells it’s obviously all the cigarettes you smoke” he proclaimed with a sneer. What an ass-hole.

For this, I could have had EIGHT PAIR of $79 Ann Taylor shoes! What a rip.

Leila V. said...

More Guinness? What a great idea!

I guess it all depends on your interpretation of rage and violence. I would say no. Rey on the other hand, would say maybe. Although he’s never dealt with a Lithuanian, so what does he know!

jgraff said...

I'm glad you're seeing your doctor. And VHL is NOT a "rage disease." Pheos cause the headaches, palpitations, etc, which are usually perceived as a panic attack, not as rage.

The good news is that they are quite treatable, and once they are taken care of the symptoms go away.

You will find great information on how to manage your health at www.vhl.org

Best wishes,
Joyce Graff
Cancer Research Fund / VHL Family Alliance
www.vhl.org / 800-767-4845

Anonymous said...

yeah man,Lthuanians are potheads..we fight irish to here in celbridge,near dublin...they are scared of us...keep it real my Lithuanian bro!!!nu jo Lietuviai valdo airija :)