You know me, I’m a bit of a DNA nut. I’ve tested with every DNA company that you can test with.
It all started with Family Tree DNA (they were the only company to allow testing in Canada at the time I tested) next it was an AncestryDNA kit which I purchased at RootsTech and spit in before heading home to Canada (that was one year before AncestryDNA could ship to Canada). I completed a Living DNA kit in 2016. I’ve transferred my results to MyHeritage and to Gedmatch so the only test I hadn’t done by 2016 was 23andMe.
One of the reasons I hadn’t done a 23andMe kit was because they provide health information. You might think it’s odd that I didn’t want to learn about my health but I’ll tell you why. One of the things 23andMe tests for is late-onset Alzheimer’s. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that my mom died from complication from Alzheimer’s.
My mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s started many years before she was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s in 2011.
I traveled with my parents yearly to Las Vegas and on other trips, so I’d seen the steady decline in my mom. At the time I didn’t realize what was happening I just started to notice that when she was telling me things she didn’t get things quite right. That when I’d talk about genealogy and family relations she didn’t seem to care as much anymore. And she stopped crocheting her dish clothes.
She used to crochet every night while watching TV. At one point I asked her why she wasn’t crocheting anymore and she just told me that “she’d lost interest”. I didn’t realize she probably didn’t recall “how” to do it anymore. One of the most heartbreaking things I remember, once she was diagnosed in 2011, was when she went with me to the Edmonton Woman’s Show and she told me that she couldn’t remember how to write her name anymore. At that point her decline was swift. She went from this woman who loved and did for her family her whole life to someone so troubled and pacing the hallways of the care facility she was in, then forgetting the people who loved her, forgetting how to talk and ultimately forgetting how to breath.
So when I purchased my DNA kit in 2016, I again bought it at RootsTech , because at that time, only in the US did 23andMe offered two types of kits. The Ancestry and the Ancestry and Health. They now offer both types in Canada but that was back when I bought it. So I purchased the 23andMe Ancestry kit and I was happy with learning what they saw as my ethnicity and who my cousins were. When I first completed the test, especially at the beginning, they would send me offers to upgrade my kit to add the health for $125. I was happy to ignore those emails.
But then the other day I received an email from 23andMe saying that they were making me a special offer. For two days only I could upgrade and add the health portion for not $125 US but for $49. Yesterday was the last day of the offer and as you can imagine from the title of this blog, you know what I did. Why did I do it? Well, I swear I can’t pass up a deal but I’ve also worked with a few clients that have the full 23andMe and I know that you have to actually select the health portion to go see the reports. But the real reason is that I’ve been thinking more recently that I may want to know.
Because you see I’ve been going through this tennis match in my head for the past few months. On one side I think if I checked I might be surprised and I’m not going to get Alzheimer’s. Then I would have been worrying for all these years for nothing. Worrying about every time you forget why you went to the pantry and every time you couldn’t remember someone’s name. Heck, I didn’t always remember people’s names when I was 20. Or on the other hand, if I found out I was going to get Alzheimer’s then I could go to my Dr. and see what I could do to delay the onset of it if it was possible. On the downside, I don’t know how I’d feel emotionally about that information. Would I just be happier in my ignorance?
So that’s where I sit today. I have an email in my inbox that says I can now see my results. Will I look at it today? I doubt it. Will I look at it next week? Maybe and maybe not. But when and if I’m ever ready the results will be there.
Why am I tell you this? Well, it’s because if you haven’t tested at 23andMe, either because you don’t want the health information or because you didn’t want the expense, then you could consider taking just the Ancestry portion of the 23andMe kit. Then when your ready or maybe it’s the day you get an offer you can’t refuse, then you can decide. In the meantime, you’ll have all those cousins, to look at, that only tested at 23andMe and wanted to share their DNA with you. Because if you’re like me you’re “always looking for new cousins”.
Note: This blog contains affiliate marketing links where you will be taken to a vendor’s site and you can purchase things. You won’t pay anything additional for your purchase and I receive a small amount of money. I use this money to support The DNA Angel Project and I make monthly donations to the Alzheimer’s Society in Canada. Or if you’d like info about the Alzheimer’s Society in the USA click HERE.