Since childhood, I’ve known about the fact that inheriting alzheimer’s could be a reality for me. For nearly 30ish years I’ve pushed the knowledge that alzheimer’s was rampant on my biological mother’s side of the family out of my head as best I could. She had it, a few of her siblings had it, her mother had it. In an act of willful ignorance, I refused to even entertain the idea that I too could have it one day. . . that was until she passed away last year.
That’s when I began wondering ‘Is Alzheimer’s inherited?‘ I agonized over the knowledge that “Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.”
I will say that reading that statistic made my heart sink. Coming to terms with the possibility that I may inherit it (no,I have not been diagnosed), has made me reevaluate my priorities in life. I’m incredibly selective who I choose to share my time with, thoughtful as to what I spend my time doing and investing what time I do have as wisely as I possibly can. Now, I’m not wallowing in self pity – but I am making some necessary changes so that I can live a life I won’t ever forget.
Awareness does change you.
Since the traumatic conclusion to my biological mothers life, there were days that I would forget seemingly simple things and burst into tears – I couldn’t bear the thought of eventually forgetting my husband, the love of my life. I look at him a little longer now. I linger on the sound of his voice. I am committed to memorizing his every laugh.
Brandon comforts me and continues to encourage me to face the possibility head on. The more I know the better. He shares new research articles and comforts me when I get a little choked up. It’s up to me to come to terms with and understand the probability of my unlikely inheritance.
I hope this video and the links I’ve shared below help you and your family. If you find any articles on Alzheimer’s treatment or news – Please give me a tweet. I’d love to read them.
Okay – so you’re still here. GREAT!
If you are concerned about a family member or yourself having Alzheimer’s, there are 10 warning signs you should look for. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you can search by state and join a support group in your area thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s Association is an amazing resource and shares the following helpful information:
“Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”
Visit http://alz.org for tons more information.
You may also want to listen to the RadioLab podcast Vanishing Words.