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 31, 2013

determine that


each year i list my new years resolutions
since i do a blog and have done so the last 3 years
this is my fourth resolution day
since i blog them they are on the internet for everyone to see
and im surprised my wife she hasnt gone back and said
you resolved last year that you would do this
and you havent
you resolved the year before that you would do the same
you resolved the year before that also
so this year maybe ill resolve again and get it done

so i went to google and found a synonym for resolve
its determine
this year i will determine that ill do these things
seems i have a way out if i used this synonym instead

i can determine not to do it if i want to

so i determined

1  to be happy
so far so good
some melancholy occurs when my annual diagnosis date hits
and when i think of my younger brothers final year
and when i think of my future prospects
but overall im happy and resolve to stay that way

2  to stay as healthy as i can doing all those things that i
need to do to stave off the alzheimers thing
and i might add its the same you should do to stay healthy
shall i list them
be happy control your blood pressure cholesterol diabetes weight
exercise control depression and anxiety eat healthy get restful
sleep stay mentally active dont smoke drink litely
be at peace with yourself and your life

3  exercise regularly
i do this working here at the country n and at habitat
i do need more aerobic exercise
i have a 1 mile path mowed in my pastures i like to walk in
as do our dogs
this one ill determine it

4  volunteer
i will continue to do habitat for humanity work
im doing a landscape job today as a matter of fact
at one of the new houses
ill resolve that one
ill will also do meals on wheels and try to do more to get
people to donate to this cause since the government has
cut so much of their funds
what a great use of our tax money to feed some of these
needy folks
heck we waste so much elsewhere cant we throw some
their way

5  to continue to preach the organic and green gospel to
folks and get as many to do things this way as possible
im determined on this one

6  to continue to talk about alzheimers disease
i will do my walks again this year all four of them
volunteer for the alzheimers association
i also will continue to talk to anyone who will listen
about alzheimers disease
i have at least two or more talks scheduled this winter spring
i also plan to enter a treatment study hopefully not as a control
this year receiving treatment i hope that will slow things down

7  and i noticed each year one of the last things i list is to
lose 5 lbs well now i think its 10 lbs
amazing what rupturing a disk will do to your activity level
and consequently do to you weight
this year ill determine it

8  i looked at the list from previous years of the projects i
want to finish here at the country n and it looks like i havent
done any of them yet
i did start some of them and have them halfway done
i dont want to run out of things to do that why
ill resolve this one

9   maybe travel more
since my ruptured disk this has been more uncomfortable
to do but its getting better
ill resolve this one

10  then last i want to keep my wife she happy
that may be the most  important one
im not sure how happy she was in this picture
or if she was just thinking
i both resolve and determine this one

have a happy and prosperous new year

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 30, 2013

what was this year like

as we reach the end of this year
i look back with most of the year fresh in my mind
i got to thinking what was life like in the year i was born
when i was reading kim komandos webposting this morning
on what was happening the year you were born
i went to the link
clicked on it
and typed in my year

who in the heck were the talking heads
sounds like a punk rock band doesnt it
but we know there wasnt punk rock back then
heck no elvis or beatles either

the number one song was chattanoogie shoeshine boy
certainly dont know those lyrics
the best movie of the year was all about eve
the most popular movie was cinderella

the first credit card was used
that may have been the worst thing thats happened to us

snoopy was born
a good thing

the cold war was just starting
the korean war was just gaining traction
then the viet nam war would starting up in a few years
neither of which we actually won
the last one divided the country

my oh my how this world has changed since then
go to this link


to see what was new the year you were born

then here are my thoughts on the cowboys
year that they had
the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 27, 2013



one of my best friends name is gene
one of those forever friends
i could write a lot about him and things we did
but then he would have to write about things i did
then i would write about things he did
well you can see where thats going
nothing good might come of that

im writing about another gene
thats the apoe4 gene and i guess this all could apply to
other genes like eg huntingtons disease

first the apoe4 gene
if you have a double version or
a homozygous version ie the apoe4/apoe4 version
you have an increased chance of developing alzheimers
a 30 times chance of developing the disease the late onset
version of alzheimers disease
10% of us have this combo
up to 60% of you have the singe version of apoe4

so theres a lot of you 6 of the 10 of you who read this have
this apoe4 gene
fairly common gene wouldnt you say

some of you with the apoe4/apoe4 gene will not get alzheimers

so its not one of those 100% genes
like huntingtons disease
like the dominant genes for alzheimers that some get
you get the gene you get the disease
100% guaranteed
(see the colombian alzheimers study)

with eg cystic fibrosis if both parents have a cystic fibrosis gene
then the child has a 25% chance of getting the gene
if the child gets the double gene they have a 100% chance of getting the disease
1 in 30 white folks carry this gene

with the apoe4 gene the double gene apoe4/apoe4 you have a
30% chance of maybe getting late onset alzheimers disease

why am i writing about this

i had a lengthy conversation with someone a young someone in
their thirties who got tested you know those things you see on tv
where they swab your cheek and its sent in and then
back comes results that has no real good accompanying explanation
of what that means what it really really means for that particular person

i felt ready when i was tested
i was mentally ready to be tested
i was 60 and had just been told i had mild cognitive impairment amnestic
type that could turn out to be alzhiemers disease
based on changes on mental status evaluation over a 3-5 year time period
things i had noticed in my daily life
a strong strong family history of alzheimers disease
so i wanted as much information as possible to help me make decisions
on my personal situation moving forward

i was ready so i was tested
it was though one of those surreal moments when i opened that
letter and read the results
even then i didnt understand what it really all meant like i do now

positive test with the history above is not a good thing

now move to this person i had the talk with

thirty some family history in grandparents and uncles
now i was tested by a real reputable lab that my neurologists used
this person was tested by that lab that advertises on tv that the fda
is trying to shut down

but i dont doubt though that this persons apoe4 test wasnt correct
what was missing was what does it really really mean
the lab where i was tested will not test cause you want it tested
it has to be ordered by someone who feels its necessary and can
appropriately counsel you on what it really really means

so what does this mean for this thirty year old
it means that this person has a 70% chance that this person will not get
alzheimers disease
but im sure this person is locked in on the 30% risk the person was given

the odds are
1 in 1 you will die of something
1 in 7 you will die of heart disease
1in 7 cancer
1 in 28 chronic lower respiratory disease
1 in 108 moving vehicle accident
1 in 340 assault by firearm

1 in 5 is the lifetime risk of developing alzheimers disease in women
1 in 10 for men
(women live much longer than men so they are more likely to get it)

so in summary for this person
i wouldnt have been tested without counseling first
this person could have a 1 in 5 chance of getting alzheimers without the
apoe4 gene
the apoe4/apoe4 gene increases this some
that xx gene a female has increases the chance almost as much as the apoe4 gene

there are so many things that factor in to someone getting this disease
it appears that for the apoe4/apoe4 gene combo it may not be
as important eg as

controlling ones blood pressure
getting exercise
not smoking
having moderate alcohol intake
sleeping normal
controlling anxiety and depression
being happy
staying mentally active
eating a mediterranean diet of less red meat  eat fish fruits nuts veggies
olive oil and whole cereal foods

so be careful of being tested for these different diseases
make sure you are ready if you are going to be tested
make sure you get the appropriate counseling
if you are positive for things like huntingtons or the dominant gene
for alzheimers eg
make sure you have your life planned out
with life insurance disability insruance and maybe long term care insurance
thanks to obamacare health insurance wont be an issue

you wont be able to get any of these after these diagnoses are on
your official medical records
that includes the apoe4/apoe4 gene results

so testing for those gene things should  not be taken lightly
do genetic counseling first
the only gene i want to have to be associated with in the future
is my old friend

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

holiday wish


i would like to wish you
merry christmas
happy new year

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 23, 2013

hes right but hes wrong


if you are from the south you have to love the
duck dynasty folks
even if you arent
many of you folks still like them

i dont agree with all of their beliefs but i sure
like them

so that said
the head dynaster has a right as we all do to believe
what he wants and to say what he wants

thats said
i think i would have rather have a gay couple next door
than some guy thats drinking and beating his wife

we all have friends teachers doctors neighbors and relatives
that are gay
thats not my thing but the fact that they are gay doesnt bother me
eg my sons barber when he was young was a gay male
his pediatrician was gay and was male
never really thought about it at all
didnt bother me at all
several of the doctors i worked with were gay
some of the best ones
i had a lot of gay patients teachers professionals laborers etc
and even some ministers
didnt see a difference in the work they did or how they treated
other people
its been interesting to see some of the comments from ministers
i know about all this

sometimes they gay people seem to be better human beings that the rest of us
especially after i listened to the head duck guy

then the other thing
besides the he has a right to say what he wants
he is in the public eye a real public eye
hes a sitting duck
being a southerner that looks hicky like he has strong religious beliefs
he is sitting there waiting to be picked off

you have to be careful
tactful at time
at what you say

maybe just say i dont believe in gayness and think its a sin
stop and say no more

remember the media are never your friend
im sure the head duck knows this now
hes a smart guy
dont let that beard and countriness fool you
they all are
those duck guys

then the black thing
sorry hes totally wrong there
im sure those black folks singing while they picked cotton
werent happy then and werent happy during the slave days

maybe he should go watch that 12 years a slave movie

granted the blacks probably used music and gospel singing
as some solace for their social situation

and without the civil rights movement this country would
have really been torn apart
scars that would never be healed

so i can sort of give him a pass on the gay thing
based on his religious beliefs
its doubtful that he would ever be acceptive of
a person being gay
thats his right i guess
i dont agree with him though

but i cant give him a pass though on the black thing
no excuse
not understanding what it was like to be black in
no excuse at all

he has rights but he is not right

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 20, 2013

the anniversary


its that anniversary time
its been 3 years since i was diagnosed
had to discontinue practice

it was a few weeks earlier than that i knew that the
time was coming
when i had my testing done and got that phone call that
i needed to see a neurologist
teach me to volunteer to be in that normal control group
of the alzheimers disease neuroimaging initiative study

it was a life changer
volunteering for that study and getting blindsided by my
early mild cognitive impairment amnestic type
thats probably due to alzheimers disease

wonder what i would be doing if i had not decided to
volunteer for that study

well i probably would be officially retiring about now
which was the date i had planned a few years ago

i wonder if i had continued to practice if i would have
had problems
i think i would
not routine stuff but as things got hectic eg like in
after hours clinic when you are real busy and have
to keep up with several sick persons at one time
i wonder i would have had problems doing it
i think so based on what i have noticed personally with
some memory issues that probably no one else notices

my most read blog ive written was this one
written at that time
last day-thanks
and the ones that follow that one for a few days

like a bullet that hits a metal object and careens off in
another direction
thats what happened to my life that day

so for the last three years i have stayed busy
being involved with the alzheimers association
talking about alzheimers disease to anyone who will listen
telling people what they can do to slow down the chances
of getting this disease

since all this has happened ive watched my younger brother
deteriorate and die from this terrible disease
alzheimers disease

a real sobering event for me as he was the mirror i looked in
as i know that im somewhere behind him

i have given several talks telling my story with possible alzheimers
disease letting people know how i was accidentally diagnosed
what medications are used in this disease
remember none of them stops or treats the disease
what research stuff is going on and what treatments are on
the horizon and what they can do themselves to maybe
prevent the disease or really slow it down

i am still taking aricept (donepezil) that slows down symptoms
but again not the disease
i control my blood pressure cholesterol weight diet and stay
active mentally and physically

i volunteer at habitat for humanity building houses and do
most of the landscaping now for the houses
something that was mostly ignored in the past

i also run a 30 mile meals on wheels route each week

i also do a lot of gardening here at the country n
and try to encourage as many people as possible
to do their own organic gardens

i do this blog almost every day monday through friday
about these things above and other things that interest me

one goal is to write down whats happening inside my brain
as this disease progresses and takes off
this has not been done much in the past as people werent being
diagnosed until things were much worse
and doing writing for a blog like this would not be possible

my disease hasnt progressed much in the last three years
but it has progressed in ways i notice but others probably
dont notice but its there if they are real observant

the disease starts slow real slow then picks up speed
everyones speed is different
and the degree of destruction along the way is different also

i read blogs and am contact with others who are early like i am
except they are farther down the journey than i am
they are excellent writers and are able to put their thoughts
down in an eloquent way

i hope to do as well as long as possible

so its my anniversary
my 3rd one
the slope for now appears to be a slow one
thats ok with me since i have a lot i want to do

follow me along this slope

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, December 19, 2013

its a house

a house really has a few functions when you get
down to the basics
shelter from rain cold heat
a place to sleep
a place to cook and eat
a place to store some things

thats the basic needs of a house

ive lived in a trailer house twice in my lifetime
once in california with my historian brother
another time in northwest arkansas in the ozarks
when my wife she was in graduate school

these trailers provided those basic needs
in an efficient manner and with an efficient design
it seems all the space was well utilized

i sit here at our country n house and look at all the
wasted space that we purchased and really dont use
that often
and we have to heat and cool it  and pay taxes on it

im always telling my wife she we just need to chop off
half of this house and live in the other half
heck theres even been books written about smaller houses

after katrina an architect designed a small house that could
be quickly built at a small cost and had a lot of things we
really needed with some extras in it
they even now can be bought from lowes

in larger cities now they are producing small real small apartments
with all those efficient designs like in trailers
to accommodate the demand in cities like san francisco seattle new york
for young workers many professionals who dont demand much
but these basics

then this lady did her own house on a flat bed truck
heres the link to her story
i must say though when i looked at that house
i thought you know that really looks like a trailer house
whats that story about the king who didnt wear any clothes
in that parade
thought of that
looks like a trailer functions like a trailer must be a trailer

but seriously we in american when compared to other countries
have bigger and bigger homes with more and more stuff
in them that we really dont need and have to pay more to
maintain them and insure them and of course pay more taxes
on them

this trailer trend thats taking over the apartments i hope
extends to our homes

at the habitat the houses that are built arent that large but
when i look at them i see how functional they all are
well designed energy efficient with not a lot of wasted
or unneeded space

we in america have a lot to learn about a lot of things
we could look to other countries for some things
we could look back in time to just a few years ago when
houses were built like the habitats for the functions that
a home was intended for

after all a house is really meant to be just a home

maybe we all should consider downsizing
we probably would be happier and more wealthy

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

where did it go


the other day when i was cleaning out our barn
the room where all that junk was stored
stored is of course not the right word
it looked like one of those pictures you see in
new york when the garbage folks go on strike

as i was looking at some of the bags contents
i started wondering
where do these tshirts go

i know ive been watching tv sometimes and there on
tv in some far corner of africa is someone with a
tshirt on that make you wonder
well at least makes me wonder
how did they get that tshirt

i mentioned this to my wife she that night
when she got home
note her ears were still bright red from burning
from my going through all that stuff in the barn

she said she had just heard an npr story on tshirts and
what happened to them
so i went online and watched it

so here could be the journey for one of the tshirts that we
donated to goodwill today

the tshirt goes to goodwill
if its a good one like here a ut shirt in good condition
it will go to the goodwill store to be sold
if it eventually doesnt sell it may go to a place
called the blue hanger in south austin
it use to be in a building that was blue so thats what its called
it will be sold by the lb

someone i know real well will spend hours there digging for that
bargain that find kinda like if you go to the diamond place in
arkansas to find that one diamond thats still in there

i will admit i have a ranch jacket that she found and paid for
the weight of the jacket
it looks brand new and is the warmest one ive ever owned
even warmer than old  blue
i call it old marron

the other direction the tshirt can go is to a large warehouse
eg on the east coast where sorters put it into one of three
stacks based on its condition
good ones go in one pile
semi good ones go into a pile for use as rags that you might
buy eg at home depot or lowes
real bad ones go into a pile and get ground up to be used
as stuffing in things like pillows and toys

then the good pile gets bundled up in large bales and are
shipped overseas
eg to africa where a middle person buys bales and
bales of them

the middle person in the example given has a bale opening where
local vendors come and as the bale is opened they attack
it like sharks and pull out the ones they want
they pay a few pennies for each shirts

the middle person makes a good  living in this foreign
africa country
the vendors also make a good living

the vendors take the tshirts and sell them to shop owners
who look for good clean ones with bright colors
who then sell them to the local folks

the xl tshirts dont fit people in africa
they dont eat all the bad stuff we eat you know
so these xl tshirts get altered
the sides are slit opened
the bottoms cut off
then colorful or unusual pieces off other tshirts are then
sewn onto these tshirts and the size will then fit
the african population

if you stop and take stock on how many jobs and how
much money is generated by that tshirt thats donated
you realize its an economy to itself

one reporters friend had a old soccer jersey with his
name on the back that he donated to goodwill
a unique one of a kind tshirt
saw someone wearing it in africa one day when he was
visiting there
a surreal moment im sure

so i guess some good a lot of good may come of our
donating that tshirt to goodwill
the possibility of helping people get work here in the us
and in africa makes it worthwhile
my wife she goes to that blue hanger place that place
where some goodwill stuff that wont sell goes
and finds that gem of a deal that diamond in the rough
oh look yall heres a perfectly good ut thirt

the circle begins

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

old blue, marron


years ago i use to have this old big smith blue jean
jacket that i got from an old country store where i
grew up
if you are from where im from you know the one im
talking about

i wore that old jacket during medical school residency
and beyond
it got tattered and faded and holey not in a religious sense
if i wore it in a large city they probably would have thought
i was a homeless person

well it disappeared one day
alone with these below

well these did have holes everywhere but at least not in the
wrong places
i always wondered what happened to them
did they just run off together
get recycled or something

it was a devastating loss
it just felt good to wear these out in the yard
and to the feed store and to home depot
and occasionally to the grocery store

maybe thats why they disappeared

i sure miss those guys
they kept me in touch with my roots

then years later i got a blue jacket
one of those down ones but think it may
have had fake down stuff inside
i know whatever was in there
it was real warm

as it got older and when we moved to the country n
i started to wear it outside in the cold
it sure kept you warm
heck it wasnt long before i would have to remove it
i got so hot
but it was nice wearing it outside in the cold weather

then one winter i coudnt find it anywhere
i asked my wife she she said i think it could be in the closet
at the back of it
i thought this sounds real familiar
after that i never got to see that jacket again
i called her old blue

i fully expected to drive up to a stop light in austin one day
and to see my old blue jacket on someone with a sign
asking for a job or for money
i think if i did id probably would have gotten out and  just
taken it away from him
or maybe just bought it off him

then this winter
we have a barn with a large room that is used for storage
its a black hole for things
never to be seen again
the storage inside there was not done using my organizational
so now that im retired i decided i would put it all back together
like it should be

it was tough clearing out that barn
i looked like i had been in a cotton manufacturing plant when
i finished phase 1 of the reorganization

the biggest benefactors were goodwill salvation army
the recycle place and metal collectors
bags and bags of stuff
some ended up in the trash can

then in one bag
it had a small tear in it
was a sleeve of clothing
it was dark blue
could it be
old blue

the bag was opened and there she was old blue
what perfect timing in this cold cold weather
old blue to the rescue

she was washed and hung out in the sun on the clothes line
she sort of looks like a deer or animal that has been dressed
and left hanging there
doesnt she

old blue im so glad youre back
we have to figure out how to protect her from
disappearing again

for those who couldnt figure out the name of  my blog yesterday
marron is spanish for brown

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 16, 2013



i coached youth basketball for several years
first coaching one of my sons then later just
coaching because i liked doing it

it seems coaching like a lot of jobs people do
if they really enjoy doing what they do
the players know the parents know the fans know
well i think everyone knows

my sons played multiple spots growing up
basketball baseball soccer football swimming
if you ask them now years later
who was your favorite coach
which did you enjoy playing for

it will probably be that coach who loved doing what
he or she does and really truly cares about their

so thinking of this this last week as i watched the
mack brown saga unfold
i thought what a great man and coach and person to
have had your son play for

its going to be sad to see him go
he shows so much class in everything he does
im sure those parents who met him at the recruiting
visits felt good that their sons would be under his care
for the next 4 years

ive watched as have you over these years as these things
unfold that it all doesnt go well
there becomes complete dislike between the coach and the
school that just scars and ruins the memories of the past
good things that were done

at texas mack brown resurrected a program that had
been destroyed and built it back up to the heights that
the school wanted and expected

things the last few years have started to unwind some
it was time for him to resign
dont stay too long and ruin that legacy that respect we
all have for you

the next year would have been awful if you had stayed
and not had a good season
even i wouldnt be able to stand to watch the wolfs go after
you when they smell blood

its a business like a large corporation that has to show profits if
its ceo is going to remain
there havent been profits recently

but matt brown what a classy act you are
wish my sons could have had you as a coach sometime in their
athletic career

so move on to the next stage of your career
you have all our respect and admiration

tough shoes to fill for that next ceo

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 13, 2013

bbb bace



bbb for those not in the medical field
means blood brain barrier
its a protective barrier that keeps drugs medicines
viruses bacteria parasites and chemicals from reaching
the brain and causing havoc

a protective mechanism that has evolved to protect the brain

it also prevents however medicines sometimes from reaching
the brain that may be helpful eg in preventing and treating
alzheimers disease

in a study at the university of pennsylvania they used ctb (cholera toxin b)
that easily goes across the bbb
they then attached mbp (myelin basic protein) to the ctb
mbp degrades beta amyloid

they then attached fluorescence to the ctb-mbp and the
mbp appeared in the brain as seen by the fluorescence in the brain
and the level of that awful beta amyloid that is thought to be the
cause of alzheimers as it accumulates or the end result of
whatever the process is that causes alzheimers
went down as the mbp degraded the beta amyloid

so you could take a chemical that treats alzheimers and
attach it to ctb
give it to a patient by mouth
the drug would then cross the bbb and slow down the production
of the amyloid that may cause alzheimers disease

this was done in rats of course
next stop hopefully is humans

bace is the abbreviation for beta site app cleaving enzyme
the bace enzyme breaks off the protein that may be the culprit
in alzheimers disease
the beta amyloid protein
people who have a defect or mutation in the gene that makes
have a lower instance of alzheimers disease

in comes the drug companies
they have made eg merk a compound called mk-8931
that inhibits this bace enzyme

its an oral drug that has already gone through phase 1 studies
and is now entering phase 2 and phase 3 studies in patients
with mild to moderate alzheimers disease
the drug will lower the levels of beta amyloid in the brain and hopefully
by doing this will slow down or prevent alzheimers disease
thats the theory

now the mk-8931 will be used in prodromal or prealzheimers or
amnestic mild cognitive impairment in patients who may have
a positive beta amyloid pet scan and abnormal levels of beta
amyloid in the spinal fluids
two positive tests that are seen in alzheimers disease

hum that sounds familiar
oh wait thats me
i have all those things except i dont have my beta amyloid pet scan
yet but i will soon
the thinking is to attack this early on in the  process before
things get worse

if i qualify for this study then i would take this mk-8931 for a
period of time and they would follow cognitive tests and spinal
fluid levels of beta amyloid and pet scans of the brain for
beta amyloid
i would be in the placebo group
that would suck wouldnt it to be in the placebo group

there is progress being made it seems
there is this light in the end of the tunnel that is faint
but its starting to get a little brighter

Dr. Dewayne Nash, from the organicgreendoctor.com team
and his Walk buddy!

the organicgreen doctor