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

Monday, March 31, 2014



this is a picture of a bordetella bacteria
pretty huh
but boy can it cause us problems
luckily for us there is a vaccine for it
that is given the first year of life and beyond
like a lot of things in medicine though vaccines are not 100%
a lot of people dont vaccinate their kids now like
its recommended

this combo makes outbreaks happen frequently across
the united states

oh ths germ is the pertussis or whooping cough germ

easily prevented usually
easily treated with antibiotics to eradicate it
problem is
even when treated especially babies who have been infected
they will remain symptomatic with that cough
some get the barking whooping cough as they try to catch
their breath when they cough

most fatal cases occur in children under 1 year of age

the pertussis is now added to vaccines for all kids and adults
who get immunized for tetanus
in dtap or the tdap vaccines
the ap stands for acellular pertussis
the t for tetanus
the d for diptheria a third world disease

nowadays a third world person can be living or visiting
next door to you or working with you within 1 day of leaving
their country

although we americans are more riskier to each other than
foreign visitors for most of these diseases

my first exposure with bordetella pertussis or whooping cough
was in my residency program
an impressive exposure that i will probably remember even
when i get demented

i had delivered one of the first pregnant patients that i had followed
through out her pregnancy
the beautiful little baby at about 3-4 weeks of age
before the first pertussis shot was given
became ill with a runny nose and a cough that worsened and

she was eventually admitted to the childrens hopital where i trained
arkansas childrens hospital
because she would turn blue with the coughing fits her oxygen levels
would drop significantly and she couldnt feed well

once the diagnosis of whooping cough was made
not as easy at that time
now a nose swab or blood test can help make the diagnosis
she was treated with antibiotics
erythromycin at that time
now they use zithromax better known to adults as zpack
the most overused antibiotic in america
the erythromycin was tough to use as it made people nauseated
and vomit a lot

after discharge she coughed impressively for months
even at her 9 month old well child exam
she still coughed a lot
and her face would get these small petechiae on her that made
her face look red and bruised

i followed her for another 2 years and she turned into a cute
3 year old kiddo
her case left an impression on me
that lasted throughout my career
and made me such an advocate for vaccination especially the
pertussis one

i never had anyone with pertussis or whooping cough that bad
for the rest of my career
thank goodness
not sure how i would have handled it as a parent

so how can you not get pertussis or whooping cough
remember most people who get this disease do well
babies less than 1 year
adults over 60 years old
immunocompromised folks eg cancer patients hiv patients
transplant patients patients on immunosuppressive drugs
like those with rheumatoid lupus crohns etc

the number one thing to do is get immunized
get your child immunized with the childhood series that starts
at 2 months of age
get the 4 year old dtap
get the 10 year old tdap
then get the tdap every 10 years
i got my tdap 3 years ago

if you are pregnant yours should be up to date
anyone who will be around your baby a lot should get
immunized like grandparents neighbors siblings parents aunts
uncles etc

if those around the baby are immunized the chances are less
that your baby will get the whooping cough

if you are exposed you probably dont need antibiotics
if you become symptomatic and have the infection
a course of antibiotic will stop the infection to make you
less contagious
but more than likely will not stop your symptoms
that cough barking for some has to run its course

the time for us to get paranoid about this disease is before
it happens

another preventable disease that we should be seeing less of
in the united states
but we dont

a relative infant was admitted this weekend
at the same hospital where that impressive whooping cough
patient spent days 25 years ago
from reading the story of his illness and seeing pictures
he should do fine and recover without any long term effects
nothing anywhere close to what my first patient had

what is really going for this child my relative
is that the mom took care of herself during pregnancy
eating correctly and living correctly
breastfed her child and continued the good living while
this for infants is the same for adult
proper diet and healthy living keeps us from getting ill
but when we do we get a less severe illness and  recover faster

this is a good time to educate people about this disease
bordetella pertussis or whooping cough

the organicgreen doctor

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