Alzheimers Disease. It is becoming an epidemic with the baby-boom generation, my generation. I am a baby boomer and it the thought of it scares me. Everyone has a friend or family member that this disease has touched in some way, and it is a fearful thing for many of us to even contemplate. But with many of us getting older there is a chance that it will strike one of us, and if you have it in the family that can raise the risk.
Tonight I watched Terry Moran on Nightline. He's someone I personally respect for his compassion and ability as a journalist and he took a tough step - he took a DNA test because his mother suffered from this scourge of our time and he wanted to know the rick of him getting it.
I have to admit that I do not know if I would have the courage to take that test if I had a history of the disease...I might be almost too frightened to find out the results. To let the world know something like that with all the insurance companies denying coverage for preexisting conditions already could end up as a pretty disasterous piece of information. When you can put money aside for long care insurance and even pay for your own insurance makes it a bit difficult, but not the impoosible dream it does for us who live in the lower income bracket.
What answers are there? We are living through a financial mess that seems to be deepening and widening as we live each day. Here in the Midwest we're simply hanging on, and in our family we're looking more to the good things in our family, and sharing laughter as often as we can. But to add a looming monster called Alzheimers into the picture and I think I would be frightened...very frightened.
Is medicine and research the answer? I sure hope so!