81 and still sane--I think!
Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:49 pm
Although neither of my parents had dementia, they may have died too early to tell. My dad had a fatal MI at 63, and my mom died of metastatic liver disease at 80. One of my maternal great-grandmothers did have dementia in her early 80s. I was a scientist (PhD in microbiology and immunology 1968) and did cancer research for 26 years and then worked in peer review administration for 15 years full time and then for another 15 years part-time, retiring last April at age 80. The computer software kept changing and I was having more difficulty learning new systems each year. My second husband had mild cognitive impairment from vascular dementia, and died of a stroke 5 years ago--I only hope I am so lucky. I had my DNA sequenced at 23andMe early on, and I do carry one copy of ApoE-4. My first husband has what my psych nurse daughter believes is Lewy Body Dementia, and he is in a nursing home. I moved back to the city where she and my son (he has family of wife and two daughters; she is single, no kids) live after my second husband died. I live in a penthouse in a high rise apartment building that caters to seniors, but I have no close friends here anymore. I have been traveling a lot, usually in small groups; I just returned from Central Mexico. I was the oldest person in the group, but I was able to keep up with the rest of them physically. ..I even climbed 240 steps of the Pyramid of the Moon! However, I was very afraid of getting lost and that probably motivated me a lot. I have exercised several times a week--aerobic and weight machines--since the mid 70s, so that may explain why I haven't been institutionalized yet! I just got Dr. Bredesen's book, it seems like the diets are very complicated, and living alone I don't have any incentive to cook much and usually buy frozen single meals. I developed microcolitis about three years ago and finally last summer discovered I was gluten sensitive, so I also try to eat gluten free. But giving up ice cream will be very hard, and I also like Irish potatoes! After reading Bredesen I decided to stop with the statins--although as I recall my cholesterol was over 300 without them. I quit blood pressure drugs after I lost 25 lbs (which returned my blood pressure to normal) during the initial stages of colitis and never regained it. I really want to die before I develop dementia but am afraid I won't.