It’s the ghost under the pillow of every baby boomer. Currently it affects 15% of the population, not counting caregivers and family members. I know because my mother is one of that 15%. It is a horrible disease because you have to face two deaths—one when the patient’s personality dies and one when the physical death mercifully comes. In between there is only grief and fear. I understand the fear, too, in a very special way, because my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother have all had the disease. It would be almost foolish on my part to think I shall escape it. Today I made the decision to find out if I have the gene that increases my chances of acquiring the disease.Tomorrow or the next day I will get a small test tube in a box in the mail. I will take that tube and have someone fill it with my blood and then return it to the company that does the testing. It will not tell me for sure whether I will get Alzheimer’s but only if I have a higher likelihood than most. On the one hand, I feel like I need to face and prepare for this possible eventuality, on the other hand, I am scared to death. No matter what, I will continue to exercise and eat well as these have been shown to be two major ways to possibly delay or ward off the illness. And then I will hope. I am currently taking two prescription food supplements for the disease. I try to remember than no one can predict the future. It is not suggested that people be routinely tested because the results in fact are not totally accurate as far as prediction is concerned. I will write again when I have results in hand.
Quilly, a brilliant new novel by Jan Strickland