Thanks to a friend, I found this great website that provides DNA mapping: 23andme.com. It sends you emails when it hits goals. “We’ve received your spit!” “We’ve played with your spit!” “Your health report is available!” Stuff like that. So I followed it closely, logged in daily, cheered with each email.
Then it finally happened. My health report was available! Squeeee – wait, no. Not really the interesting part to me. I was dying to know my ancestry, which was still two weeks away. But, meh, it was still pretty exciting. So I perused. I read anything that didn’t make sense. I did research. I talked to my friends about it.
A short side-note: Up until this time I’ve been told I’m: English, Irish, Welch, Dutch, German, French, and Scottish. I trusted I would find I have a hereditary autoimmune disorder. I was expecting nothing more or less. Kind of.
So I’m reading my test results and oops it seems I have two gene malformations that are indicative of a terminal illness. One is from my Irish heritage. The other comes from either Japanese, Swedish or Portuguese heritage. No hereditary autoimmune disorder though. Hum.
Let’s take a break here and I’ll share something personal with you about me: I’m not afraid to die. I have it all planned out in my sick little head, just how it’s going to go down: My demise that is. I’ve even broken it down into two different scenarios.
One: I’m perfectly healthy, I’ve survived my loving husband (translation – we didn’t kill each other), and I’ve been alive long enough to see my children lead happy lives. Maybe babysit a grandchild or two. (One at least will be adopted from some place exotic Little Bear assures me.) I hit the ripe age of 70 and I move way up to Northern Alaska, to a small town off the beaten path, where it get’s gawd awful cold for much of the year. It has to be big enough to have a lot of handsome men, but small enough that there isn’t even one McDonald’s. Here I’ll live happily with cute men to look at, until I can’t live happily anymore. The End. This plan only works if it’s winter in some areas, so, um I guess I need to keep working on this plan.
Two: I didn’t make it to Alaska because there were too many cute boys here in the Pacific North West, and I’ve done all the good stuff, and I’m now 80 and very sick. I’ve been given the “you’re dying we can’t help you… much. Here, have a cookie.” speech. This one’s a no brainer. I live in Washington after all, and I’d just hook me up with some death with dignity. Easy peasy.
And then I *finally* get back to the 23andme story. Geez.
What grabs my attention at first after reading the genetic malformation news?
Um, me? Japanese? What? Because you see most of my test results up to this point say that I am clearly European and Asian, with a possibility of Nigerian. Oh wait, what? Have you seen my light skin and green eyes? The what-was-once dark blonde hair? Uh, am I an albino?
It wasn’t until hours later that I went back and looked at that test result again and noticed the terminal part. Well, I *noticed* it before, I just hadn’t digested it. ‘Cause of that healthy attitude about death y’know. I was like “Yeah, whatever, we all die.”
Um, wait, what? When I’m 60? Or 50? Or two years from now? Wait a minute! No no, no, no, NO. My kids are too young. The husband doesn’t have high odds of living ’til he’s 80. I’m not ready yet. Wait! I have people to see and things to do!
Of course I started doing the “What’s important” thing. I’m going to stop dying my hair black to save money and time! Oh wait, I was already planning on doing that. I’m going to move into a house we can handle better with just one person’s sweat blood and tears! Oh yeah, on the to do list. I’m going to make my family go on a long vacation to Europe and Iceland and EVERYWHERE this summer! Oh yeah, also on the to do list. I’ll stop drinking wine and liquor. I’m seriously not even close to an alky and yet, this is NOT a possibility. Screw that idea. Next.
So you’re saying I’m already living like I’m dying? Well, except for the alcohol thing. What the hell? What kind of boring life do I lead after all?
Then I woke up the next morning and did my daily website drive-by. There’s FaceBook. There’s my Hotmail. There’s google+. There’s… oh wait, almost forgot 23andme. “Why should I even bother going there? I’m dying. Who gives a rats ass what my heritage is? I mean *really*,” I said to myself.
But I went there anyways. And there were updates! Look at that. Wait, where was that gene malformation again? What did it mean that they changed my results? What? I’m NOT dying? I don’t have a chance of passing this horrible illness off to my children? Holy hell!
What fantastic news!
**Update** I received my final report this morning. Woot!
I *am* mostly European – not just Northern for the record. But yes to the Japanese and though I’m not Nigerian, I *am* a tiny bit Sub-Saharan African and what? I’m also a slight bit more than that Native American.
What the F$%^?
Life is strange.