welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, April 28, 2017

alzheimers news-dont wait too long

Image result for organicgreendoctor
as a person advances with alzheimers disease
they can become a handful to deal with
a single caregiver can have a difficult time
doing it by themselves
it make take a village to care for them both
many caregivers develop poor health and get burned out

today i will be giving a talk at the alzheimers symposium
on clinical trials and my story with alzheimers
every time i give these talks
some caregiver will come up to me and ask
i dont know what to do
my loved one has advanced
so that i cant leave them along anymore
i have no family around
they all live miles away states away
i wish that i would have moved back to where our
relatives are and our kids are

i wished that i would have done it sooner
when my loved one could help me make all these

i agree it would have been good to move
but since you didnt
if it was me i said knowing how i feel about things
i would do it even now before things gets worse

i am sure i will get a question like this today

now i am as sure as a person can be that i have
the early stages of alzheimers disease
the official diagnosis
mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers disease

i am doing all i can to slow things down
living healthy
taking aricept (donepezil)
being in a new treatment trial the aducanumab study that has great
promise to slow things down or if we are all lucky
stop the disease
i realize that after doing this study that it may not work
you just dont know what will happen when the larger studies
get done on these promising drugs

if 2-5 years i could be progressed like i would had i not got treatment
if this stuff works i will be better or heck ill take where i am now
i dont know
as my wife she and i look into the future
there is no crystal ball to find answers

i just know
if i stay here at the country n we will both enjoy every day we live
here and probably wont regret staying
if i worsen
living out here away from support mainly for my wife she
she will probably get isolated and overwhelmed like all those
spouses that come up and ask me what to do

i decided that we are not going to let that happen to us

we are looking to sell our lovely peaceful country n place
with it being just like we envisioned 15 years ago
to move to the next stage of our lives
we plan to never look back
will look forward to the next chapter in our lives

my wife shes family all live in southern california
sisters mother our two sons our niece and most important
our granddaughter
when the time comes
there will be folks around that can give her support
when she needs it
now lucky we have long term care insurance to cover costs
its that emotional care for her thats the most important

her mom if you know this spunk of energy
is in early early 80s
as i told her
you will never regret spending the last years of her life
with your mom

we have been thinking and planning all this for months
not rushing into the decision
we spent several weeks there looking at places
looking at what will keep me especially busy
i have found the same things i do here
volunteering at meals on wheels and habitat for humanity
and school and youth gardens and the alzheimers movement
i will have two large garden plots in community gardens
i will continue to give my alzheimers talks like the one i will
do in a few hours from now
answering questions and hopefully giving them much needed
i will also continue doing this blog like i am doing now
on the same topics

please continue to join us on our new life adventure

our country n place will be going on the market soon
probably next week
for some lucky person to have and enjoy what we have
i will post the link when it does

one of the biggest things we will miss
something we cant duplicate in southern california
drinking rainwater
it will be missed
will all of our friends we have made over the years

i will be commuting back to dallas every month for my
infusions for the next 18 months to 4.5 years
we will be around this area off and on for months to come

yes we will miss this place
we are at peace with our decision

Alzheimer's Texas Symposium

the alzheimers texas symposium in temple starts today
at the mayborn center
it starts at 900 am with my talk
there will be 3 others after that
there will be lunch provided
walk ups are usually welcomed

thanks for all the support the last 6 years

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, April 27, 2017

country n news-the country n story


back in the 90s we knew we wanted to live in the country
have a large garden
have chickens
maybe other animals
collect rainwater
use solar power
maybe wind power
be almost self sufficient
i guess thats called a homestead

i started collecting in a large file articles on all of this
i subscribed to mother earth news
texas gardener magazine

this folder got thick
real thick

i attended seminars and seminars and seminars
on rainwater collection and solar power
did rainwater tours
did solar power tours
did green tours
did the annual funky chicken austin tours for years

 when our youngest son graduated from high school
we started looking at property in the hill country
we wanted to be north of austin
in the country
easily accessible to austin my work my wife shes work
we looked and looked
we even had a 13 acre tract sold that we wanted the weekend
before we made an offer
the guy just wrote a check for all of the land

i had accumulated architectural plans for these things
called envelope houses
using a double wall system to act as an envelope to insulate
and make it energy efficient

one sunday my wife she was looking in the newspaper
in the ads
there was this ad
that just jumped out at her

it started out
an artisan built house with the feel of a hunting lodge
well that got her attention

she called the next day
went out to look at it
video taped it
came to my office showed me the video
we drove out that evening to look at it

when i saw it
i knew that it was the one
we made an offer the next day

we moved in a few weeks later
well we had two homes for awhile since at that time the market was slow

we gradually moved in to the country n full time in a few weeks
since we found we were no longer staying in town very often
having gravitated to the country n every chance we got

after a year i added a rainwater collection system with one tank
but since then it has grown to a system with 22000 gallons for the
house and 8000 gallons for irrigation

the water that no well or city system can duplicate

when the well died we quit using it for irrigation
we opted not to reactivate it

we added an organic garden with its on drip irrigation from the
rainwater irrigation tanks

we added a 400 sq ft chicken coop
these girls provided us with lots and lots of eggs
made yards and yards of compost from leaves some of
you gave us
this compost was used in the garden to make all our
organic veggies
our infamous rooster larry appeared one birthday as a
baby chicken that never laid an egg
he was just mean
especially to my wife she

he is the only chicken we had that got their own grave

we added well over 100 shrubs and trees to the 1 acre fenced yard
that the house sits on
10 of these are large shade trees like cedar elm monterey white oak
red oak hickory burr oak
there were already 10 large cedar elms
we added a solar system which two years ago we doubled its size
so we make about 60% of our electric power
some months we make all of it

we tore down the carport and built a garage
added a 10 ft square greenhouse on one side
to winter things over

we killed off all our st augustine grass
by covering it with black plastic
covering that up with 4 inches of mulch

after a year
i gradually relandscaped that area
with xeric plants
crushed granite walkways
leaving much of the area mulched

we added 3 water trough ponds to provide water for our
dogs and cats and the wildlife

i sowed native seeds in the pastures and just let them go
the turkey deer dove loved it
the quail returned two years ago

yes i sit out side and whistle bobwhite to them
no we dont hunt any of them
we just enjoy them

purple martins come home each april
they zoom around overhead like jet planes
im sure thats where the military got the idea
for their fighter jets

some years we have bluebirds return to their houses
so bright blue they are
a good sign we have a poison free property
two years ago
we added a beehive
harvesting several gallons a year
my wife she couldnt stand it
she gave most of it away
lucky you if you got any of it

several winters in a row
we kept two of our neighbor paint horses
just so we could watch them in the pastures
one spring
we even had a colt born here

a visitor here recently said as he got out of his car
this place is an oasis
as he left before he got back in his car
he said
its so pleasant here so quiet

if you have visited here
you know what he meant

we notice that folks dont want to leave
when they come out to visit

my rainwater brother has sat on our upper deck
from what seems like hours
just sitting there soaking it all in

another friend of my older brother came to visit
he loves turkey hunting
he sat on our upper deck for a long long time
just watching and listening to them

from that upper deck you can see cattle goats
longhorns deer turkey roaming around
in the spring you see acres of wildflowers

we have so enjoyed living here the last 15 years

all good things must come to an end though

tomorrow i will explain why

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, April 21, 2017

alzheimers news-there is more coming

Image result for organicgreendoctor
yesterday as i was sitting in the lounge chair
getting infusion #2
now its real comfortable and cozy in there
theres a nice large screen tv

i havent watched it much
theres folks in and out of the room
nurses and the research director
talking and asking me questions
sticking in an iv
adjusting the flow rates
adding the unknown stuff thats all hidden under this
dark aluminum looking cover

its a secret i guess whats in there

i may know this time if i get those week long headaches again
if i dont get them
then i dont know either
for those who dont know
folks getting the aducanumab who have the apoe4 apoe4 genes
have a high chance of getting manageable headaches
i want headaches i tell everyone

as i sat there
i thought
please dont ask me
please dont start me talking about alzheimers
about clinical trials
i cant help myself
if you ask me
i go into lecture mode and probably tell you more than
you really want to know
i do adjust what i say  based on who i am talking to
lay person vs medical person

yesterday it was the nurse who took care of me
he was asking about the medicine
i sort of ignored him
i thought
sir you are about to get told a lot more than you wanted to know

he asked again
just like a kid in kindergarten that cant help himself or herself
to answer the teachers question

i blurted it all out
told him the whole aducanumab story

you know he said we do other of these antibody infusions
for these diseases like ms and gastroenterology diseases and
ophthalmology diseases
some experimental some not
i dont think ive done any of these alzheimers one before

do you know about this one
no he said

my kindergarten brain and voice just let it roll out my mouth

well its an antibody against what i call the bad beta amyloid
that is thought to the cause of alzheimers disease
actually this drug may prove or disprove this theory

it removes all of it
yes i said all of it
in the phase 1 study
it removed all of it that showed on the pet brain scan for the
beta amyloid called the amyvid pet scan
zippo nada it was all gone after over a year
folks memory didnt worsen most got better
the goal of a good drug that works

in a year and half when they redo my amyvid pet scan
if i get the real drug aducanumab and not the placebo
my scan will go from being diffusely positive for all that
being all negative being like its all gone from up there

he just looked at me like
well i was lying or something
you arent telling me the truth
that aint so

he said
ive never heard of that before
he had this look of amazement in his face

i must say ive seen that amazement before
from alzheimers research neurologists that i have seen
they added a sparkle and smile to their face
as they talked about it

now we wait
18 months
then all of us will get the real thing
for another 42 months after that

hopefully it will become available for all who
need it

hopefully that is if it really works
it will remove the stuff
memory gets better
and or
at least memory doesnt worsen
that downward slide that occurs with alzheimers disease
get slowed down stretched out so that
we who have it die from something else
enjoying a more memorable life along the way

as i say
my two goals

see my granddaughter graduate from high school
to be one of the first alzheimers disease survivors

so yesterday as i sat there getting my infusion
looking at my alzheimers texas bracelet
i realized
there  just might be some hope now

join us at this alzheimers symposium
i speak first about my story and clinical trials
answer questions the more the merrier
then 3 other speakers will follow

Alzheimer's Texas Symposium

friday april 28th
the mayborn convention center
temple texas

join us
its free
breakfast and lunch are provided
registration is required
click here

the organicgreen doctor