Monday, May 17, 2010

Would you want to know?

Science is at the stage where now they can promise all sorts of things by analyzing your DNA. (This always makes me think of a cross between Igor in Dr. Frankenstein's lab with bubbling beakers and a weird 1950's black and white sci fi movie where they are trying to find martians among the residents of a normal neighborhood. But I digress.) So do you want to know? Do you really want to know that you are more likely to get cancer or any number of other life threatening or changing ailments? Really? Are you sure?

To me its kind of like knowing that you are going to die in a car accident in a certain number of years. Wouldn't you live with a feeling of doom? I think we all know now that we are going to go at some point but I don't know that we want to know when or how ahead of time.

I was surprised to hear that Walgreen's was going to offer a DNA test for sale. They have since decided not to and the test is not yet FDA approved. But a $20 DNA test available over the counter in your corner drug store? Isn't that a bit much. By the way, its $20 for the test and then $79-$249 to get the results. Its not an instant test. You have to spit in a tube and send it to a lab.

Now, what if I had known how my medical life was going to turn out ahead of time? No thanks, I don't think I would have wanted to know. And at this point, I really don't want to know anything about my medical future other than everything would go away - which unfortunately it isn't. Some things will - my ankle should heal - but my arm and back aren't getting any better anytime soon unless there are some new medical breakthroughs.

Yesterday I did get up and meet my sister and friend in the Avon Walk but I did call them when I was on my way to make sure I could find them in the crowd. They declined my offer of donuts (a healthy treat to be sure but if you are walking 40 miles you can spoil yourself) but we did connect and I walked with them for a little bit. Overall $5.8 million was raised by 2500 walkers.

I did come home to attempt to do some gardening, attempt being the operative word. Most of my plants are not yet in the ground and my back hurts. Today more will go in the ground but my husband will do the work after he gets home (but don't tell him I have plans for heavy labor). Today I have a meeting for volunteer work, work, and an appointment. I will motivate and go for a walk first as it is a beautiful spring day.

1 comment:

linda said...

No, I wouldn't want to know unless there was something i could do to prevent whatever I was going to "get." On the other hand, maybe the future would be bright with long life and no illness. Then I'd want to know. I like the idea of pharmacies offering DNA testing. I'd like to see it that commonplace. People may look back from the future and wonder, "How did they live with such uncertainty?"