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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

our friend susan

OUR FRIEND SUSAN
a few years ago this thing above showed up at our house
it was from susan
she and her husband were best friends forever type of friends
she was always giving us stuff
that maybe others wouldnt like but she just knew we would
we always did

this sound thingamajig thing
when the wind blows it around
or
if you bag into the wire thing it made this sound
almost like an african drum might make

it was a gourd painted with chickens on it with
this long spring coiled wire hanging out the bottom

once when a wind storm came through
not long after we received this thingamajig
i kept hearing this sound
like drums in the distance
i finally located it
it was susans gift to us

we thought enough of this thingamajig to allow it
to make the cut when we culled things to carry with us
to california
this one did

in fact when we read that she died
i went out
banged that thing
making it make those twanging drum sounds
as a honor sound to susan and her life

her husband greg died 5 years ago in the final stages of
huntingtons
here are two blogs i wrote about him
myfriend gf
my friend greg
i tried to read them at his memorial service
but couldnt do it

now susan was what i would call an energizing bunny
she couldnt sit still very long
usually when we visited we always had to take some long
hike with her or go somewhere to see something

an avid walker she prepped for a half marathon walk run
building up her stamina to do the walk
during the walk she got real real short of breath
enough that she ended up in the emergency room

sadly a chest xray showed almost total whiteout of her lungs
followup testing showed she had metastatic cancer

it slowed her down
but not by much
when her energy level got better
off she went to another adventure

after her diagnosis
she extracted a lot from the last months she had left
europe trips visits with friends including us ship tours
wine tours
heck you name it she did it

our last visit with her was last summer
we spent a good three days with her
ok she made me work on this spinning monument thing in her
front yard that wouldnt spin right

we probably had one of best visits we have had with her
i think all three knew that would be our last

although she was mostly bedridden on her recent birthday
she took the time to talk with us
it seemed to perk her up some
we got to hear that laugh of hers
im sure she was smiling

she received our recent christmas card of my wife she and i
at our anniversary meal at a restaurant on the beach
her and greg loved the beach
she kept it by her bed on a shelf
it was there when she died

now she and greg knew he would die from huntingtons
so they got all their legal stuff done early on
then lived the good life
both of them

we all thought with susans genetics she would live
to be 100
but thats not the way it worked out

now she had gone through the terminal disease thing
with greg
she knew how to do it
so
she when the time came signed up for hospice
she never looked back

the end was peaceful
the way she would have wanted it
she died at home not in some hospital

we miss greg
we really miss susan

ill think of her
every time i bump my head on that thingamajig
making that distinctive sound
we will hear her voice her laugh each time it twangs

rip
susan

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 11, 2017

fire update

FIRE UPDATE
Image result for thomas fire evacuation map
at around 230am on sunday morning
my cell phone went off
what the heck i said to myself

all blurry eyed i read the text
which i somehow deleted after i read it

it said i think there is a mandatory evacuation for the thomas fire
at least thats what i thought it read
i was blurry eyed after all

so into the living room i went
off went the lights
off went the wifi
all i had was cell service
and
for some reason it was real slow
what i call
country living slow

blinking off and on the wifi and tv would never have a
chance to come on to full power
i would have to rely on the country slow cellphone

now this was at 230am
eventually
the lights quit blinking and going off
the tv came on long enough an hour or so later
to see the local station doing live coverage
which they continued all day into last night

then
another text
oops that was a mistake text we sent out
the mandatory evacuation was just for
the eastern part of the county
which includes montecito where folks like rob lowe
ellen jeff bridges oprah julie dreyfus etc live
they had to evacuate

as my relative described the fire map
it looked like a pac man
with the open mouth with santa barbara in its mouth
it just hadnt chomped down on it yet

later in the day another warning came out
the evacuation mandatory and volunteer had been extended
all away across santa barbara on the northern part
along the foothills of the mountains
santa barbara sits between the ocean and the mountains

so i got on google maps where the evacuation map was
there on the southwest corner was the santa barbara mission
something my wife she and i walk to from our condo
about 5 blocks away

thats when i told my wife she
well i guess its time for us to pack our bags
to be ready to go if they drop the evacuation on top of our place

first thing in the morning i moved both cars out of the garage
into the street since the electricity was going off and on
all day as the fire damaged the electric lines in the mountains

it seemed during the night the santa ana winds somehow shifted our
way and the thomas fire took off
fast
real fast

as of this morning
it has burned over 230000 acres and will soon be the largest fire
ever in the history of california
it will be a few weeks before it is fully contained
yesterday it lost containmenet
going from 15% to 10%
the schools are closed until after january 1st
the universities have delayed finals until then
a lot of folks have left going south or north

our plan is to go either north or south if we have to evacuate
which we plan to do if the voluntary evacuation area drops
down on us

the worst part right now is the poor air quality
it looks like we have had an austin snow fall everywhere

i have learned how to properly fit a n95 mask to keep it out of
my lungs
now ive worn masks for surgeries and deliveries hundreds of times
but
this mask needs to be sealed in a 360 degree circle around the
mouth and nose

we all look like we are about to do surgery
we look like china at its worse air pollution
i notice
the almost constant burning of the eyes
burning in the throat
some mild wheezing with an occasional cough

if thats all i have to deal with its ok with me

the winds are suppose to pick up again
so
when that happens the fire will take off again
its like its taking a breather
before it races up and down the hills around here

i must say
folks around here sort of take this in stride
they seemed to know what to do and are prepared
like
if you live in tornado alley
or in a hurricane area

we have developed a high respect for the fire services
i think often of my younger brother and my nephews
who are or were fireman

i dont know
this may be something i cant get used to
a tornado or a thunder storm just sails right over
then you are done
thats
not the way this fire stuff works

we feel safe
we will leave if we have to

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 8, 2017

alzheimers news-do you match

ALZHEIMERS NEWS-DO YOU MATCH
Image result for organicgreendoctor
recently i was contacted by the alzheimers association for
an interview
they wanted to know more about the trial match program

i was contacted by a writer from the los angeles area who wanted
to interview me about the trial match program and other ways
folks could get involved with the research studies

what was to be a 30 minute interview turned into an hour interview
with a later call back for more information
we discussed the trial match program and the nih clinical trial program
then
he asked a lot of questions about my story and how i was diagnosed
and how i am doing now

an aside
here are some links i gave him that were about my story
here is a clinical trials link to a short paragraph about my involvement
its the 3rd one on the page
here is an article from the austin paper 
here is a video on my story from ut southwestern
here is a newsletter from the ut southwestern alzheimers center

Image result for trialmatch alzheimer's
since it had been over 7 years since i had entered my information
in the alzheimers association trial match program
i signed my wife she up to review how it was done
the link is www.alz.org you click on research
there is the trial match tab
which i clicked on and entered her information

now she doesnt have any risk really for alzheimers disease
however
she matched with close to 40 studies in the california area

yes
they need  healthy volunteers
many are used as the controls for some of the studies
they need caregivers or potential caregivers for studies
they need folks for healthy living studies

as i discussed with the writer this week
the two big limits on alzheimers research
that is slowing down our discovery of a treatment and or cure
are
money
volunteers

who would have thought that not having enough volunteers
would keep us from finding a treatment or cure

yea
who would have thought

no matter where you live
there is a study that you will qualify for that will be nearby

eg
some of the drug companies that have a drug similar to the one
i am on (aducanumab)
have spread their study sites almost uniformly across the us
so that most of you are near a treatment site

if you are over 50 and share my dna you may qualify for these studies
where people will be treated before the disease shows up
many of you are 10-20 years away from the symptoms showing up
then
sorry to say if you wait until then its really probably too late

without volunteers the research will not be done fast enough

the study i am in hasnt filled up yet
even after a year
and
this is the most promising study that has the potential to be the
first drug that will actually slow the disease down
whats the limitation
getting folks to volunteer

this is the point i hope he makes when he writes about the
interview
is that we need folks to volunteer via trial match
or clinicaltrials.gov to help us in our fight to find a cure

yes
it takes a commitment to do this
but
it wont get done if you and others dont get involved

so
even if you are in doubt
got to trial match and sign yourself up
even if all you do is see what studies you qualify for
here is the direct link to trial match

i can say that
when i die
folks will look at my obituary
and
say he did his part
he contributed to finding the cure for alzheimers diease

we need your help

the organicgreen doctor