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"Well, did you find anything?" asked Charlton, nervously.

"Was I supposed to find something?" asked the doctor, raising his eyebrows.

"Didn't you find something wrong with me?" Charlton asked.

"Chuck, I did a general examination of you. You passed with flying colors." Dr. Estrada looked at his clipboard. "You are forty-two years old and exercise more than most on a regular basis. Did I leave out anything?" Charlton rose up from his chair, and then sat down again.

"It's probably nothing," he began, "but I've been having a few memory problems."

"Over how long a period?" asked the doctor.

"Just the last few months." In actuality, Charlton's memory lapses had been occurring much earlier than this, but he hadn't been aware of it until recently.

"What kind of memory problems? Are you misplacing keys and forgetting appointments?" smiled Dr. Estrada. "This is perfectly normal." Then Charlton told the doctor, in detail, the events of the prior night.

"And you don't remember driving to that location," asked the doctor, "at all?" Charlton shook his head.

"From five in the evening to about ten at night is a total blank. I don't remember a thing. I remember that I was on my way home from work and the next thing I know, I'm in an unfamiliar place, late at night." Dr. Estrada leaned back in his chair.

"Have you been under stress lately? Maybe at work?" asked the doctor.

"Yes, exactly!" exclaimed Charlton. "That's exactly what I thought! I knew there was nothing to be concerned about!" Charlton was about to get up from his seat when Dr. Estrada stopped him.

"Well, are you?" the doctor repeated.

"Am I what?" Charlton asked, his voice overcome with frustration.

"Chuck, calm down. Are you under stress at work?" Charlton slowly shook his head.

"I've never had a better job than this one. I talk to the customers about things I enjoy talking about. And just about every month I go camping, and get paid for it."

"You came in here expecting me to find something wrong with you. Why don't you tell me what you think it might be, and I'll tell you whether your worries are unfounded or not." Charlton explained that his family history was the source of his concern.

"My grandfather died of Alzheimer's when he was eighty-two. My father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's when he was fifty-two," said Charlton. "I'm forty-two."

"So, you think it's your turn next?" asked Dr. Estrada.

"Alzheimer's is hereditary, isn't it?"

"Yes, it is. But that doesn't mean you have to have it also. It just means that you are at a greater risk. I have a rule," explained the doctor, "always to look for the easy solution first. There are many things that could have triggered these memory lapses, including stress."

"But how can I know for sure that it isn't Alzheimer's," asked Charlton. "Isn't there a test I can take?"

"Alzheimer's can only be diagnosed by a series of medical, neurological and psychological tests to rule out other possibilities. I would like to schedule you for the first of the tests sometime tomorrow," said the doctor. "Make an appointment with my secretary." Charlton went to the door, his face betraying the anxiety he was feeling. "Try to relax, Chuck. Forty-two is a very early age to have Alzheimer's. The odds are against it."

"Yet [he] hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined [his] ear, but hardened [his] neck: [he] did worse than [his] fathers."
~ Jeremiah 7:26 ~

"Notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto Me."
~ Jeremiah 35:14 ~

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