It's about time...

Newcomer introductions, personal anecdotes, caregiver issues, lab results, and n=1 experimentation.
TelopeaBlue
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It's about time...

Postby TelopeaBlue » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:30 pm

...to introduce myself. I just checked my forum activity and have realized I have lurked for nearly a whole year. Too many times over that year I've wanted to jump in on a post but realized it would be butting in rudely without first saying hi.

I am a 58 y.o. E4/E4 female with (as far as I can tell) fully functioning cognitive abilities. My Apo E status I found out through 23&me, probably 2 years ago. I remember being unexpectedly shocked, since I thought I was pretty immune to the emotional impacts of the news as I was a biochemistry major (back in the pleistocene), have a PhD in molecular biology, and have spent my entire professional life in the biomedical sciences. Therefore, I have a very good toolkit for the intellectual understanding of the results; not so much the emotions. My first thoughts were "OMG, I'm going to be that lonley little old (demented) lady who is found alone dead in her house half eaten by her cats!!!"

I have since calmed down.

Thanks in part to this site, which I stumbled upon through the Wiki while searching for any links between E4/E4 and hypertension. Turns out that was one anomolous BP reading (it was 116F in the shade that day) and my BP is fine. I have browsed the Primer, which for me was more of a refresher of second year biochem (updated, of course a lot has happened since the pleistocene) than new material. But it does put it all in context.

My family history doesn't lean too much into dementia - there were a few instances, Mum's mum in her mid 80s - although it was never diagnosed as Alzheimers, but "senile dementia" and Dad's mum actually diagnosed with Alzheimers, again in her mid 80s. However, all the men for generations exited via strokes, and until modern medicine, in their mid 50s to mid 60s. My father and his father made it to their 80s. So I am more concerned with the cardiovascular implications of being E4/E4 having seen my father, who made it to age 82 running or biking every day, eating a Mediterranean-adjacent diet, never smoking, drinking very moderately, etc etc and still having a horrible last 2 years of strokes of varying intesities (and a constellation of cardiac problems). If he, who practically lived the textbook lifestyle couldn't make it to 85 in one piece, what hope was there for me, who spent 20 years ignoring the good lifestyle examples my parents set me?

A couple of thoughts sustain me. We are more than our DNA - we are complex organisms that probably are best understood wholistically. Much as my reductionist scientific training would love to latch onto a "single" causative agent. Secondly, knowledge is in constant flux, so fixating on the single causative agent du jour is doubly counterproductive.

So what I intend to do - and I'm paraphrasing here - eat well (in the healthy sense), play well, sleep well. And don't sweat the minutiae.

dscoachRN
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Re: It's about time...

Postby dscoachRN » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:20 pm

Hi TelopeaBlue and welcome!

Thank you for introducing yourself. Your response is very understandable & relatable. Oftentimes we in the medicine or scientific fields think logically then, like you, are a bit blindsided by the emotional impact of learning our genetic status. Please don't hesitate to ask questions of our ApoE4 community at any time they come up. As you've seen we have a shared passion in this community of ours to support one another as we learn everything we can to delay and hopefully prevent this disease.

Your intention is beautiful especially the ordering of play well! I see that you've found your way around the site but we highly recommend reading our site Primer written by a member practicing physician. In addition to being a great way to learn more about our community, it's truly a wonderful source of information about this ApoE4 gene of ours and offers clearly stated, prioritized lifestyle strategies focused on mitigating its effects. As you've discovered our site Wiki has more in-depth discussions on topics of interest to our members. For tips on how to get the most out of our website, check out our How-To-Guide. And to search our forums for topics of interest to you, just click on the magnifying glass along the upper right of this page.

I'm sure others will want to weigh in as well so once again welcome!
Warmly,
dscoachRN

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floramaria
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Location: Northern New Mexico

Re: It's about time...

Postby floramaria » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:38 pm

TelopeaBlue wrote:...to introduce myself. I just checked my forum activity and have realized I have lurked for nearly a whole year. Too many times over that year I've wanted to jump in on a post but realized it would be butting in rudely without first saying hi.

I am a 58 y.o. E4/E4 female with (as far as I can tell) fully functioning cognitive abilities. My Apo E status I found out through 23&me, probably 2 years ago. I remember being unexpectedly shocked, since I thought I was pretty immune to the emotional impacts of the news as I was a biochemistry major (back in the pleistocene), have a PhD in molecular biology, and have spent my entire professional life in the biomedical sciences. Therefore, I have a very good toolkit for the intellectual understanding of the results; not so much the emotions. My first thoughts were "OMG, I'm going to be that lonley little old (demented) lady who is found alone dead in her house half eaten by her cats!!!"

I have since calmed down.

Thanks in part to this site, which I stumbled upon through the Wiki while searching for any links between E4/E4 and hypertension. Turns out that was one anomolous BP reading (it was 116F in the shade that day) and my BP is fine. I have browsed the Primer, which for me was more of a refresher of second year biochem (updated, of course a lot has happened since the pleistocene) than new material. But it does put it all in context.

My family history doesn't lean too much into dementia - there were a few instances, Mum's mum in her mid 80s - although it was never diagnosed as Alzheimers, but "senile dementia" and Dad's mum actually diagnosed with Alzheimers, again in her mid 80s. However, all the men for generations exited via strokes, and until modern medicine, in their mid 50s to mid 60s. My father and his father made it to their 80s. So I am more concerned with the cardiovascular implications of being E4/E4 having seen my father, who made it to age 82 running or biking every day, eating a Mediterranean-adjacent diet, never smoking, drinking very moderately, etc etc and still having a horrible last 2 years of strokes of varying intesities (and a constellation of cardiac problems). If he, who practically lived the textbook lifestyle couldn't make it to 85 in one piece, what hope was there for me, who spent 20 years ignoring the good lifestyle examples my parents set me?

A couple of thoughts sustain me. We are more than our DNA - we are complex organisms that probably are best understood wholistically. Much as my reductionist scientific training would love to latch onto a "single" causative agent. Secondly, knowledge is in constant flux, so fixating on the single causative agent du jour is doubly counterproductive.

So what I intend to do - and I'm paraphrasing here - eat well (in the healthy sense), play well, sleep well. And don't sweat the minutiae.


HiTelopeaBlue~ Happy that you decided to jump in and join the conversation after your year of lurking. I look forward to hearing your perspective on many of the threads, With your PhD in molecular biology, your contributions to the discussions will be a welcome addition.
Thank you for sharing some of your family history, as well as your own. Sorry to hear about your dad, who in spite of doing everything known to reduce cardiovascular risk still had a horrible final two years of strokes. As you say, knowledge is in constant flux, and hopefully here in this community you will learn more that will reduce your own risk, and also share with us some of what you come across that you feel is of value. As your own knowledge advances, we’ll all be interested in hearing the specifics as to what steps you are taking as you proceed in your journey of eating sleeping and playing well!
Please jump in on any thread, anytime!
Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach
IFM/ Bredesen Training in Reversing Cognitive Decline (March 2017)


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