Tag Archives: Genetic Testing

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I Had To Know: Why I Had My Genes Tested

Science was not my thing in high school. I barely passed biology, which was the only science requirement for graduation at my school at the time. We had a brief and extremely painful unit on genetics as part of that class. Here’s the only thing I took away from it: Those DNA strings would make pretty bracelets.

But when my mom made the decision a few years ago to get tested for the Alzheimer’s gene, jewelry was the last thing on my mind.

We had spent many slow, sad years watching her father shed his conscious life like a snake skin, leaving behind a new man, for sure.

Did you know that when a snake is shedding, its eyesight is also affected? According to Wikipedia, the skin over its eye can become milky, which impairs its vision. This leaves the snake feeling more vulnerable (like, duh!), which flips the aggressive switch in its brain.

And that’s exactly what happened to my grandfather. Everyone was the enemy and out to harm him in some way. It was after he pushed my grandmother when she tried to stop him from going out for a drive in the middle of the night that we knew something was seriously wrong.

Luckily, my mom doesn’t have the gene. But it’s the comforting words of her medical provider that stick with her: Not having the gene doesn’t mean you won’t get Alzheimer’s.

Thanks for nothing. Keep reading for more awesomeness…