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, June 28, 2013

if you only knew


this is an ad that appeared in parade magazine on a recent sunday in june

take a minute to read the line between the two images

then think about what you know now
to help you then

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, June 27, 2013

who is on top now

in the cellphone market verizon is starting to dominate
and gradually take over
i read that that may start affecting some of their personal
service that they have been famous for

att and sprint have been slipping some in their customer base

here at the country n we are in a rural area where the line
of cell phone towers seem to stop

when you live in a rural area you have trade offs
you have to decide what things are important to you
having to drive 30 miles to go anywhere like the grocery store
poor cell service poor tv coverage no dsl or cable
no one wants to come this far like plumbers electricians etc
having your neighbors 1/2 mile away where you never hear
them except on a very quiet still day
visitors really want to come see you before they make that drive
an abundance of wild life

recently my two brothers were here at the country n
where in the last few months we have noticed a lot more
dropped calls on our cell phones
and since we use a verizon card for our computer service
we really notice the speed when the bars drop down to 1
we never ever have 5 bar service here

the closest we get is if we go upstairs on our porch where
we can momentarily get 4glte service on our card
the computer just zips across the internet when we are up
i cant imagine what the new google internet connection would
be like in austin when its all hooked up

my historian brother has sprint service and my rainwater brother
has att service
so we did an experiment while they were here to see who had
the best service
none of us did

no its not good since i cant hear you now

the nearest tower is three miles away on the highway
as you drive to our house the terrain gradually drops
as you are getting near the river
you can watch as the service drops down from a 5 near
the tower down to a 2-3 in our driveway
then it drops down again as you drive down to our house

we live in a bowl so the signal gets lost as you progress down
the sides of the bowl

so we called verizon
there was nothing they could do but they would allow us to
get out of our contract without penalties
so they put that on our account
guess well save that one for a rainy day since
verizon actually has more cell service here at the country n
than att and sprint proven by our brother experiment

our neighbor who has att called att who said yes you are in a
bowl and dont get good service
no new towers are planned in this area
but they told her
you can get a booster that will pick up the signal outside your
home and send it inside the house
they have to go outside by the barn next to their boat to get
the best reception

knowing what i know now thats because they have a more
direct sight of the nearest att tower

then att  told them what to buy and then offered
to pay for the $200 cell phone booster

it was the same one that i had found by researching the internet
to find how to boost our signal
but no help from verizon on that one

so sometimes being in second place makes a company want to
try harder
sure hope this is not a trend for verizon

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

is this homesteading

well not really
its quasi homesteading

in our garden we grow just enough that we consume
most of it and only a little is left over to save
especially after we give some of it away

i planned it that way so we would not become overwhelmed
by the production
like what almost happened when all our tomatoes came in this year
we were eating tomatoes for breakfast lunch supper and snacks
and still had left overs
so we put most up in the freezer to be used later for cooking

the rest of our veggies we can usually eat up as we go
except of course the potatoes onions and garlic which we store
when we harvest them in the late spring

here eg is our garlic chimes
i wove all our garlic together and have them hanging in our
bbq area
when we need garlic we just cut it off these woven garlic chimes
these will last us well into this time next year
its hard to use a hundred garlics in a year but we try anyway

here is a picture of my lunch sandwich i have every day
thats fresh tomatoes fresh squash fresh onions and usually
we will add cucumber and malabar spinach to it
what a delicious meal this is
it will be sad when this hot weather shuts down the cuke
squash and tomato production

this is an eggplant dish from mollies primi platti cookbook

the last two weeks or so we have been pretty much eating
a vegetarian diet by eating only out of our garden
since we are producing cukes beans tomatoes squash
okra bell peppers poblano peppers jalapeno peppers egg plant
malabar spinach arugula swiss chard pursalane and soon to be peas

yes this is best time of the year for our diet here at the country n
and our pocket book
garlic $2-3 a head
onion $2-4 a piece
tomatoes $3-5 a piece
eggplant $3-4 a piece
squash $3 a piece
lots of small tomatoes okra beans
all organic of course
the garlic is worth close to $300
the onions are worth close to $900
so yes this is the favorite time of the year here at the country n

oh this is a mother in law melon
i call it that because my mother in law comes to visit every
summer so i plant her a couple of cantaloupe plants just
for her

reminder if you want fall tomatoes
the next 2 weeks is when you plant them
some nurseries have them
you plant them mulch them well and put shade cloth over them
this protects them from the hot summer sun
keep them watered well this summer
for a good fall crop
if we have a warm fall late winter you can have tomatoes late
into december

you can also if you have an indeterminate tomato take the vine
and cut it off and bury part of it in the garden bed still attached to
the original stalk
when new roots have started then cut the vine away from the original
then care for this with watering mulching and shade cloth

yes i love this quasi homesteading here at the country n

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the two best are

this is about the two best male athletes in the world
of course one of them is lebron james

imagine what he would be like if he had chosen football
as his sport of choice
apparently he was an unstoppable wide receiver
what kind of quarterback would he have been if he
had chosen to put the emphasis on that sport and that
can you imagine tackling him
think ben roethlisberger in a rg3 body
wow sure would have loved to see him play
what if he played defensive end
he would be the nemesis of all the qbs in the nfl

however he chose basketball and im sure glad
after watching him in the nba playoffs against the spurs
point guard
he did it all and did it better than the other players
he shut down tony parker the spurs point guard
it was almost unfair watching him guard parker

he is michael jordan magic johnson larrybird all rolled into one

the best male athlete in the world
lebron james

the second one i had barely heard of until this sunday
as he was on tv doing his sport
on discovery channel

ive been to the grand canyon and i cant imagine doing what he did
with the heat and the wind and the height he was above the river

granted he sounded like someone having a religious experience at
a old time revival meeting as he walked across the canyon on that
either that or he sounded like someone in a bedroom

actually he apparently is very religious and this was a way he
calmed himself down

i know what i would have done
i wouldnt even have thought of doing that walking across that wire
never ever

as i watched him walk the wire with his shirt and pants legs whipping
in the wind i realized
he is a precision fine tuned athlete on lebron jamess level
there is no one better at what he does in the world or maybe ever

i do hope that he does not ever do this again
just take the money and run
youve got your wife and your kids
stop now please while you are ahead

im sorry but i can not ever watch you do this again
i cant take it

i watched every step and as you were doing it i said ill finish this
one but i will never ever do it again

his name is nik wallenda
he ranks with lebron james as the best in the world
except unlike lebron he needs to retire now

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, June 24, 2013

the word according to paula


in 2013 the n word you cant use it paula
its not acceptable anymore

i listen to her talk on tv and she has that nice southern
accent that i grew up with
and she cooks good although not as healthy as what i
but it is a way of cooking that i dont mind occasionally
but its definitely not the mediteranean diet that we all
should be on

her cooking has changed some since she publicly
talked about having diabetes
so she changed her cooking

so now she needs to change something else
thats using the n word and even thinking about using the
n word to others in public or private

i know its ok for black people to use it
i understand that
but i dont even think they should be using it either

im not sure when i last used the word
i actually dont ever recall using that word before
i grew up in the deep south where it was freely used
so im sure in my teenage years i might have used it
i just dont remember ever using it

i know when i was in high school there was a book in our
small library in our all white rural school
about a black writer who moved to vermont
you know theres no black people there
reading that book made me think a lot about racism
thanks to my open minded english teacher for allowing me
to read this book and to do a report on it
she was the best teacher i had even through college and medical school

it was also the 60s with its war protests martin luther kings marches
and woodstock
so things were changing and this was all discussed more openly

i now live in an environment where i never hear the n word in
people i associate with

if i did i would find it very offensive

i think everyone now a days understands that this is a word you
dont use in public or private
if you do as paula is finding out you can get fired
say it to the wrong person and more than that can happen

so what can paula do
learn from this
talk about this and be contrite
dont use the n word evenly privately
dont even think it

only the black population can  forgive her
i cant
i always liked her but i and the white americans cant help her

she should talk to the black people that she knows well eg
like oprah
ask for forgiveness
and move forward in a way that shows she learned her lesson
if she is forgiven
really mean it when she talks about it

i understand this all
since i grew up in the deep south
this all gets ingrained inside
and it takes a lot of work to get it out of you

i hope paula does
because i know that she is a very good kind  person
that means well

i hope that others can learn from what happened to her
we have too many problems in this world and in this country
to deal with
racism should not be one of them

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, June 21, 2013

its going to be a long day


today is going to be the longest day of the year
and its going to be the hottest day of the year
here where we live in central texas

its the summer solstice
wish we were in santa barbara today at the summer solstice
celebration there
its a real quirky parade thats all green in that all the floats are
ran by man or woman power only
lots of funky outfits
think mardi gras on a smaller scale
well miss it this year but mc and dc will be there enjoying it
for us

today is also the longest day fundraiser with lots of activities
throughout the us

one of my teammates from my organcigreendoctor team in 
the williamson county walk to end alzheimers on september
28 2013 is in florida visiting her relatives and enjoying
the beach disney world etc

they will be walking taking turns all day until near sunset
then will all meet at i think a local bar for a final celebration
their mother jo died with alzheimers disease
and they will be honoring her
and others who have and had this devastating disease

this is going on all over the country and will be a significant
fundraiser for the alzheimers association 

it will be the longest day not as much for those who have
alzheimers as much as for those caregivers many of who
do 24/7 care
those are the ones we should be thinking of today along
with those affected with the disease

i will be thinking personally about my brother joe who has
been strickened with this disease
and my mother and father who also had the disease

it will be a long day for many of us affected personally by
this disease
lets pause and take our time to think of them
since there is plenty of time in this longest day

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, June 20, 2013

sleep,the leg, the game as i saw it


many of you who read this blog regularly know that
i have trouble sleeping
ive always been an early bird
in fact we have an alarm clock but we never use it
since everyone knows that ill be up

i need 7 hours of sleep to feel rested every day
when i was diagnosed and started on the
aricept (donepezil) it knocked 1-2 hours of my sleep
off at night
ive tried different medications to help but they dont work
well except for benadryl which adds back about an
hour of sleep each night
but benadryl interferes with the way the donepezil works so
im not really suppose to take it
but i do when i get on a several nights run of not sleeping
so i just take it anyway

luckily for me im retired so that if i dont get enough sleep
eg wednesday night i only slept 4 hours so
that afternoon i slept for 3 hours
so i usually can compensate
last night i slept for 6 hours
i think what helped is a medication im taking for the nerve
pain for my sciatica was adjusted so i take it at night
instead of twice a day
so last night i did it that way and i think that helped me

also since i ruptured that dang disc or is it disk
i like disk better but know its really suppose to be disc
the prednisone i was on and the night time pain has knocked
off another 1-2 hours of sleep at night
so some days i feel slightly zombeed
but again luckily i can take my compensatory nap

so between 1-3pm each day if you call me you wont
reach me
i dont schedule appointments or visitors during nap time
i understand why those preschool kids all take naps now
without them i would not make it


yesterday i went to the physical medicine doctor for a opinion on
my ruptured disc/disk since i worsened some as the steroids
wore off
he did a thorough physical evaluation of my back and leg
he found all the points i hurt multiple times
so much that after the visit the pain was worse than before
i think because he found those painful movements he put
me through

i have some mild nerve damage so i have some weakness to
the nerves that are affected by the compression of the protruding
i have noticed some subtle difficulties at times
but he was able to demonstrate exactly where the weakness was

the plan is to
consider physical therapy which i will probably do since they
will do some back educational stuff plus do some exercise
treatment also

continue the drugs-anti inflammatory and nerve pain pills and use
as needed hydrocodone which i dont use unless i get uncomfortable

let pain be my guide in my activities
thats working well now as i know what my limitations are since
it hurts like hell if i push too hard

consider another round of oral steroids
i like that since it sure helps except when they wear off

consider if the pain persists an epidermal steroid injections where the
nerve is being compressed by the ruptured disc/disk

if the nerve damage worsens surgery will be needed
this is the option i hope to avoid

all of this has made me appreciate the ability to be mobile and to
do all the things i do every day
i realize how active i was when i think about all that i cant do everyday


ok so i slept through the spurs and heat basketball game the other
but i had it dvred
i tried the next day to ovoid hearing about the game but that was near
impossible to do
so i listened to the talk shows and read about it online
then i watched the game myself yesterday and made my own interpretation
of the game
they didnt match what i heard and read
those blatant mistakes made by the coaches and players they talked about
didnt seem to be to be as blatant to me
i understood when i watched the game why player substitutions were done
we all understand the refs arent going to make certain calls in the last
few minutes-yes they were fouls

so like in life sometimes you need to read and watch things yourself
and make your own decision on how things really are or were
like listening only to fox news or only to msnbc news you will get
a distorted view of what things are really like

people really arent thinking for themselves nowadays
so ill be watching/dvring  the game tonight

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

food stamps

we live in central texas
where there is low unemployment
there is a building boom for both commercial and
residential real estate
there are a lot of people moving here because of this

there is a lot of poverty in texas
especially kids and the elderly

you would think that this would benefit all of society
all the way to the lower socioeconomic folks

not happening
if you are involved with meals on wheels or habitat for humanity
like i am
work in a soup kitchen or any place that provides meals to
people in need
work in shelters that provide places for people to sleep
live or work in places that provide needed clothing or
that gives out food to people
you know that there are a lot of people of all ages who
are falling through the cracks of our safety nets

the meals on wheels programs have been cut of a lot in funding
so that they have laid off workers and have had to cut the
number of meals available
they have had to make the rules for qualifying more strict
so that a lot of people dont qualify now
now there is a long list of people waiting for inclusion on
the meals programs

so when i hear food stamp cuts that worries me a lot
as i see these people i deliver meals to and wonder
what would they do if they lost their meals they get

i know that my mom use to eat only half her meal and then
would eat the rest for her supper

losing that meal really affects those folks health

drug testing for food stamps
so does that mean a mom who is an addict doesnt get food stamps
for their kids
sometimes if you are not in a system that deals with all of this
you may not see or know about all these people

my wife she teaches school
if it werent for the lunch programs at school these kids wouldnt
many dont get breakfast at home and without these programs
they wouldnt eat at lunch

so when i hear about cuts in food stamps it bothers me
first lets drug test all congressman first if we are going to drug test
other people

is there abuse in the food stamp program
of course
just like there is in any federal or state program
agriculture abuse
military spending abuse
oil company subsidy abuse
financial bail outs of the financial industry
medicare and medicaid fraud by medical providers and patients

lets look at all these a little closer before we start taking kids
and those in need off the foods stamp program

maybe they should talk some to teachers who reach in their
pockets and buy lunches sometimes
maybe they should go to food shelters and work and talk
to people and not just do a photo op moment
maybe they should run a meals on wheels route and really
talk to people in need

yes cut out the fat out of any program
and go after those who abuse the program
but be careful
real careful
when you make those cuts

sometimes it helps to put a face on those who benefit from the
food stamp program
if there is abuse in the food stamp program and these other programs
then the congressmen should look in the mirror
to see who is responsible

please dont hurt those who need our help the most
churches and other volunteer groups cant fill the gap

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

growin stuff

ive written about the monkey pod vine
im really not sure what plant it is and what it
eventually looks like but
i was told it has a beautiful flower that grows on it
later on in the year

to review a family friend my med school friends friend
told me about it and gave me some monkey pods to plant
this is my third try to get them to grow
one year i got them to 6 feet but they died when the drought
hit and i had to reroute the water to the garden

this year i have added a dripper to the two i planted in my
garden so that when i water my okra this summer im
watering my monkey pod vine

here is what it looks like before i plant it

here it is early on
its climbing the white string in the bottom right of
the photograph

here its what it looks like now

i cant wait until the flowers bloom this summer
ill post a picture when it does

this is a three year project
ie the first two years failed

here is a picture of an okra bloom
you can see some okra starting to grow in
the background

this is a red heirloom german okra from seed my rainwater brother
got from the organic garden guru malcolm becks wife
in san antonio

these are a larger in diameter okra but are my favorite
okra ive planted
i saved seeds from last years crop

then here is my wife she holding one of our heirloom
i think its a brandywine
these things are so delicious and juicy
we call them sink tomatoes since you have to
eat them over the sink since they are so juicy
and so flavorful

thats what has been removed from a lot of the
tomatoes you buy at the food stores
we picked this one a little early so we will let it
ripen more to that juicy stage

then finally i want to write about that paper mulberry again
dont ever ever ever ever plant one in your yard
you may not ever be able to control the new
mulberry plants that pop up in your yard

most of the yard above was cleared of these trees by
now after the rains they had the paper mulberry
plants now cover all that yard
they are about 2-3 feet tall

it is probably one of the most invasive trees to plant
on your property
you will never ever get rid of it totally no matter how
hard you try to

there is no good way that is organic to really get rid of it
you dig up the stumps as much as possible then
carefully apply the r word to any shoots that appear
being very careful to only spot treat them

there ive confessed i used the r word stuff

i feel better now
dont you use the r stuff in your yard

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, June 17, 2013

it makes you think

this disk thing has altered my life a lot
it has prevented me from doing a lot of things that
i like to do
i realize now just how active a person i am since
i havent been able to do or lets say shouldnt have been doing
these things i do on a regular basis

first i can see how a person with chronic pain or a permanent
disability could get depressed knowing that this is what they
would have to face the rest of their lives

at least my pain is controlled mostly with medications and my
'disability' is gradually improving each day so that there is some
light at the end of the tunnel

my cousins husband before he died became a real advocate for
improving accessibility for the elderly in homes being built in eg
subdivisions especially if it looked like the elderly would be buying
some of these homes
he had the money and time and the political connections to help
make some changes
i remember a few years ago sitting with him at my moms going over
a list of the changes that he was presenting to his congressmen in

at  the time i was of course on his side but have really thought about
those changes a lot since this happened to me and
i was bedridden for two weeks
then had to figure out how to
go to the bathroom take a shower get up the stairs get out the door
to the car etc

the elderly or disabled have to do this every day of their lives
im so thankful that mine is a short term 'disability' and it has made
me think a lot about the changes he was recommending be done
especially as i age and get to where i may need some of these changes

i use to tell patients
park as far as you can from the front door when you go shopping
eg at the grocery store park in the farthest parking spot then walk
to the door and then back to the car
in a years time you can get a lot of exercise

ok i will admit that thats me at the grocery story that rides my
grocery cart like a skateboard through the parking lot to that
lonely car way up near the gas station near the entrance
but its usually on sunday am early so the lot is mostly empty and
i have a good clear shot to my car

add #grey haired bearded guy grocery cart skateboarder

now when i go to the store i look at my usual spot and say
no way
then i look at the disabled spot up near the front
and say
no way not yet
so i compromise and based on my pain level  i decide where
to park
eg today i would park about 1/4 of the way

but i do think a lot about the disabled
the friend in the wheelchair who was injured in high school and
has had to do this for thirty years
shaving cooking cleaning washing clothes driving shopping working
traveling bathing etc
i do have a lot of respect now for him and what his daily life is like

i lived there only for two weeks
and i didnt like it at all

so this all does
it makes you thnk

how lucky we and i am to be otherwise healthy

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, June 14, 2013

heart healthy?, does it or doesnt it


if you look at our family tree and trace back some medical history
youll see that there is a lot of strokes and heart attacks as the 
cause of death or disability 

this is because we have high cholesterol and have a tendency to have
hypertension and yes if you look at old photos youll see some degree
of obesity 
in fact my father had high blood pressure high cholesterol and had
a bypass graft done at 68 and was slightly overweight
in his last years he developed some issues that when i look back i 
think he probably had some dementia that was probably alzheimers 
knowing that vascular dementia and alzheimers disease gets intertwined

ive thought of his health and i have the same risk factors except for the 
now that im on aricept (donepezil) for possible alzheimers disease which
slows down symptoms of the disease but not the disease itself
and i have blood pressure and weight and cholesterol and exercise and 
diet under good control 
i think sometimes well im just making myself live longer so that the 
alzheimers can just reach its full effect

although in some studies not controlling your blood pressure can increase
production of that beta amyloid that may be the cause of alzheimers disease
which can make the disease occur earlier in life

my dad died in his mid 70s of a heart attack sparing us and my mom and 
himself the last years of a demented life
which is worse i wonder
dying early with a heart attack to get it over with or 
dying later with alzheimers allowing your family to suffer with you as the
alzheimers disease takes you away 

if i could chose i would go for early heart attack every time
i always tell my wife she if you ever come home and find me lying face
down here at the country n know that i died happy and died where i 
wanted to die and the way i wanted to go  

then this week i read about how aricept (donepezil) actually may be good 
for your heart
if i have alzheimers disease i could be on aricept (donepezil) for over
15-20 years if im  lucky?
it may decrease the heart attack and death rate by 35%
thats a significant number folks
it does somehow seem cruel if we cant at the same time come up 
with a prevention or treatment for alzhemers disease

so for now ill just take my aricept (donepezil) and keep everything under
control but when or if i get alzheimers disease and i get more advanced
my wife she has been instructed to take me off all my medications
so everything will speed up and get it over with 

im always being asked about coconut oil
does it help or not with alzheimers disease
my response had been probably not but it doesnt really hurt to 
take it 
my younger brother took it and it didnt help him any 

there is a medical food 

(thats a category thanks to good lobbying by
pharmaceutical companies to bypass the fda since their products arent
medicines but food-doesnt quite sound right does it)

thats called axona it a medium chain triglyceride that in some early studies
appeared to maybe help improve memory which have not
been able to be duplicated by followup non drug company sponsored 

i actually tried this for a month and decided to not take it 
i decided to put my efforts to controlling those things mentioned in the 
above section on heart healthy?

so coconut oil is similar to this stuff
the thinking is that by taking this stuff axona you get ketosis 
think acetone
which the body can use as an energy source so those alzheimers 
damaged cells can use this stuff for a food source instead of sugar which 
it cant seem to be handled well by these damaged cells

so thats the thinking

now a researcher has gotten money to do an actual 
controlled scientific study using placebos in one group and then using 
coconut oil in another group and then will follow them over time to see if 
it works

(you can go to this link also to get information to be in the study)

simple experiment thats not really ever been done
you can get this stuff cheap at walmart target your grocery store health food store
so no drug company can make millions off it 
so its never been scientifically tested 
just anecdote stories

so we should know soon does it or doesnt it

folks we just need a cure dont we

the organicgreen doctor