Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lucas Genes

My best friends name is Jean. One time, back in high school I mentioned to my little sister Amy as I got into the car that I was going to go by Jean's. Amy looks at me with her big brown eyes and says "How're you going to go buy jeans? It's Sunday and everything is closed!" Ta dum dum.

All of my life I've been told that I have the Lucas genes. So many things about me take after the Lucas side of the family. I'm double jointed, like Grandma. Not as bad as she was but she always used to tell me that I was double jointed just like her. I'm short like her, shorter than my parents and both of my sisters. A lot shorter. I have huge feet and hands for my size, just like Grandma did. I have thin hair just like Grandma and Dad, don't let the curls fool you, it's thin. I have my Dad's dimples and I guess that my curly hair came from Grandpa. I have Grandma's insomnia, I can never sleep before a big event. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of Leroux traits too, such as the famous "Leroux thighs", the bane of my existence and that of countless other Leroux females but I seem to be primarily Lucas, a copy of Grandma.

This is a fact that I have always cherished. I loved my Grandma dearly and I was proud of every trait of hers that I inherited. I was with Grandma for most of her medical procedures from her second bypass on. Seems like she had hundreds, pace makers, valve repair jobs, on and on. I'm not sure what caused her heart problems or if she even had high blood pressure but I know that my Dad has had it since his 30's so that makes it a Lucas trait.

Last week I was staying with Mom after her lumpectomy (whole other story) and complaining to her about a headache that I'd had for about a week. I was in pretty bad shape all around, totally stressed out, sad and worried about money, the divorce, stuff at work etc. In fact, I don't know who was taking care of whom at that point as I was about two seconds away from tears at any moment. She suggested that I check my blood pressure. She had a wrist cuff so we checked it and it was high, about 147/90. For the next few days I really noticed how bad the headache was and made sure to check my pressure every day, it was running about 151/109 for about three days when I finally called the doc.

The first thing my doctor said to me was "you have gained a significant amount of weight" Thanks Doc, duhhh, what else ya got? Like I didn't notice that my clothes have all shrunk about two sizes. Besides, if you subscribe to the lyrical teachings of Queen (or "The Queens" as my daughter Jessie more accurately calls them) "Fat bottom girls make the rockin' world go 'round!" Anyway, after we established that I am indeed a fat pig he got down to looking at my blood pressure. He checked both arms and found it to be 157/110 in my left and 145/97 in my right. Go figure. Anyway the moral of the story is that I get to take blood pressure meds now! As of today I'm on Lisinopril.

He wanted to know if there was anything in particular that was bothering me, to which I replied " Yes, I'm very disturbed by the fact that I have to take high blood pressure medicine". I just didn't want to go into my problems with him. I knew I'd cry. He's also wants to do some tests to find out why I've been gaining weight, since I work out like a mad fool and just get bigger for my trouble. I'm down with that, anything to figure out the weight thing.

So life as a Lucas goes on and I continue to grow into my family heritage, pop knees, big feet, curly hair, dimples, shortness and now high blood pressure. I'll take my pills and be glad that I have had the example and experience of my family to help me take these steps. In the words of James Taylor "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time". I'll let you know when I really start to believe that.....


  1. Ahh, welcome to the world of Lucas hearts. You didn't mention cholesterol, but I assume this doc was smart enough to draw some blood to check. But then again my cholesterol was normal when I had my "first" coronary 4 years ago. And I've had my pacemaker for almost 10 years now too. So take those pills, keep up the excerising and try to avoid the path that Mom & I took. And you forgot one characteristic you also got. Mom was a real looker and you did get her looks.

  2. Juanita also had the most amazing capacity to love her family fiercely and without question and guess what sis? You got that too!

    And thank goodness I outgrew the idiocy of my youth. Wait. Did I? I can't remember.

  3. I always thought Lucas's were supposed to be tall! Glad to know that it's short like me (and not like my father and uncles?). I fear that my blood pressure may be leading down the same path, but I'm taking a daily dose of red wine, which is good for vascular health (and the blood pressure)!