Sunday, March 07, 2010

Parkinson's brothers

Disclaimer: My family can be weird. Shut up. So can yours. Yes, I'm about to tell you that I read important family news on my mother's blog. It's better than when I read it on her Facebook page.

This morning I was catching up on some blog reading, including my momma's blog. It's a good thing I did, because I learned some big news. My uncle has Parkinson's. My father's little brother has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Just like my father.

My first thought was how horrible that is for him. Just in general.

Then I jumped to how horrible it is that he has watched my father's plummeting decline for the past six years. He has a good idea of what is in store for himself, and it isn't pretty. I think this would be a case of ignorance being bliss.

Finally, I jumped to the selfish thoughts. About heredity and genetics. Two brothers hit with the same disease at almost the exact same time in their lives? My mind jumps to my twitching leg and my recently diagnosed depression. Is the anxiety I battle a precursor? Because I know my father battled it. I fight many of the same battles I watched him succumb to as I grew up. The temper, the nervousness, the paranoia. I see myself in him so very much.

I had been convinced that my dad's illness was tied up to his chemical exposure in Vietnam. That it was completely environment that made this happen to his body. I guess we know now that's not the case. The obvious answer would be genetics, but then again, it could be toxins from when they were children. They have never lived in the same place as adults though.

I want my husband, who works in genetics research, to figure this out. Ironically, he'll probably be the first to tell me that trying to find a genetic link will just give us more questions rather than answers. Or something like that. Stupid science. Dumb genetic research.

Is there prevention? I guess that's the question that I really should be seeking an answer. It's worth a shot at the very least, and more than likely, any prevention is tied up tight within a healthy lifestyle that I should be living anyway.