DNA-The Decision

I’ve finally found an unconventional doctor, one who listens and doesn’t necessarily allow himself to be constrained by current medical beliefs.

Many of us of all ages are going to Naturopathic, Integrative, Functional or Alternative doctors.  Many of us want answers.  We know that we, both men and women, are not going crazy.  Our problems are real whether it’s unexplained dizziness, food allergies, exhaustion or any number of complaints.  The good thing about the Internet age is that the public is more informed.  We know we are not alone with our complaints.  The medical world rolls its collective eye and snickers.  Older patients like me are no longer following doctor’s orders like zombies.  I’m one of the rebels.

When I complained to the new doctor about my health complaints he suggested some possible medications that my other doctor would not prescribe.  It was all I could do not to stand up in my chair and cheer.  But then he’d think I was really nuts so I simply smiled.

One of my complaints was a lack of taste.  Am I suddenly a bad cook?  Nothing I make tastes good, although I usually follow recipes to the letter.  I mentioned to the new doctor that perhaps it was a copper deficiency, a diagnosis I’d read online.  He simply shook his head, said no and changed the subject.  He then asked me about my family history: heart disease, cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s.  I told him about my mom dying from complications of Alzheimer’s.  Then the doctor dropped the bombshell.  His questions were a lead in to a possible diagnosis.  Loss of taste is one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s.  Shocker….  Well, that doctor visit didn’t go as planned.

He asked if I wanted to know if I could possibly have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s. It threw me off-balance.  My immediate answer was yes.  But the Amazon link to the 23andme DNA Ancestry test kit ($199.00) still sits on the first line of my phone’s search engine.  An answer, if it’s a high percentage of probability, would almost put a time stamp on the quality of my future life or at least my state of mind.  On the other hand the answer may push me to do all the things I want to do.  Now.  But the doctor advised me that there are things one can do to delay Alzheimer’s like exercise, diet, etc.

Calm down, I tell myself.  Breathe. Death is a consequence of living.  I had hoped that my death would come as a sudden surprise, not a long, slow drop to the end.  But who knows?  At least with Alzheimer’s I wouldn’t know I had it, I tell myself.  I’m joking…  In reality I could trip over the cat tomorrow and that would be The End.  So, again, who knows?

I’m a strong believer that things happen for a reason.  Is this why I feel so compelled to publish my books, get an Obedience Trial Championship on my dog, learn photography, sewing and knitting?  Is the clock ticking?

An interesting question and as of yet, I have not ordered the test.

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