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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

dear ms b-not another charlie brown christmas tree

DEAR MS B-NOT ANOTHER CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS TREE
Image result for organicgreendoctor school garden
i have included a picture below from amazon.com
if you dont know what a charlie
brown christmas tree looks like
well
if you have been to our old country n in texas the last few years
you have seen a charlie brown tree
Charlie Brown Christmas Tree--24 in.
we sort of gradually downsized to the charlie tree
it took just a few  minutes
ok so it was just a minute to set up
then
add presents you were done
all the christmas colors were there
red green white

it all started several years ago
i dont think i have pictures
but
ill try to describe it the best i can

we got a tree like most folks have
my wife she found this disney snow slope thing
that i would say was 3-4 feet tall
it had all the disney folks like donald mickey minnie goofy etc
that sat at the top of the slide or snow slope
a mechanism snagged each underneath
carried them forward to the edge of the slope
then
down the slope they would go
at the end of the slope the mechanism picked them up
carried them to the top of the slide
then they were released again
it managed to keep them spaced out

well
in theory if it worked
which it never really did
they would slide down that slope all day long

they always seemed to get stuck
right before the mechanism reappeared
i tried all kind of things to make them slide further
like
wd40
graphite
cursing
releveling the slide over and over and over again

it became my christmas story that slide

thank goodness when we moved this summer
that slide didnt make the cut
so
i told my wife she
can we just go back to the charlie brown tree again
it was so simple
since
we are now minimalist

so
this week after i awoke from my nap
this is what showed up in front of our west window
my oh my i said
that sure looks different
sort of
eclectic i would say

it looks like a regular christmas tree got a bad haircut
it has an almost tropical look to it
sorry
i made the picture blurry on purpose

now its been in place for a couple of days
im looking at it now
thinking
you know
its sort of like an ugly dog or cat that you get
they are so ugly they are cute
they sort of start to grow on you

well
thats what this eclectic christmas tree is doing on me

however
the true test will be
does ms b like it

if she does
well
its here to stay

fire update
evacuations are about 25 miles away
the odds are it wont reach us
the hwy 101 around ventura between us and los angeles as i write
is closed down both ways

the winds kicked up last night
thousands are evacuated
as of now homes and business and at least one hospital
are destroyed
but luckily no known lives have been lost

our thoughts are for those who have and are losing
their homes and are being displaced some permanently

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

the fires

THE FIRES
Image result for ventura fires today
usatoday.com

as i sit here this morning during sunrise
i look out my condo
hear the cars in the distance
hear the birds chirping a lot this morning
i wonder if they are sending out warning signals to
each other

as i sit here
well
the sun may be rising
i just dont see it
what i thought yesterday was early morning fog
off the ocean
it was early more smoke clouds coming up from
those fires you see on the national news

they are about 40 miles south of us via the hwy 101
less if you come over the mountains

i guess the electric lines run through the area of
the fires since our electricity just clicks off and on
yesterday it was off for awhile
i guess the wind blew the lines or they just
got all melted
im amazed at how the electric company can get
it back on so fast

i told my wife she
im sure glad we went to ucla last tuesday
and not this tuesday

our path there takes us right along the edge of the fire
i read this morning the fire had jumped the freeeway
in ventura and was now on that space
between the freeway and the beach

i also read this  morning that there is now a fire
on the notorious 405 freeway that has it shut down
across from the getty museum
a freeway we have to traverse each month

we have a niece that lives near the area
and other relatives who live up where the fire
just burned through
the niece is ok
the other relatives we are waiting to hear from

to make things worse
the winds were calmer yesterday
containment was listed at zero containment
the last i read

today and tonight the santa ana winds will pick up
if you have ever been here you know what they are
usually they occur in hotter weather
these may reach 50+ mph

the devastation will only get worse in the next 24 hours
im afraid

where we live we are somewhat protected from this event
i hope
the winds will not be blowing towards us
if they were they have lots of vegetation between us
and the fire
thanks to a heavy rainfall last winter then a no rainfall
this fall
making all that vegetation like dry kindling

it must suck to have asthma or emyphysema or other
respiratory disease and have to breath all this air
this must what its like to live in china or india
and have all that pollution

a wind shift this way
would bring all that fire coming this way
these santa ana wind seem to be heading
straight out to sea
thank goodness

like with tornadoes and earthquakes and hurricanes
we are at times at the mercy of mother nature

she always wins

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

are you nomophobic

ARE YOU NOMOPHOBIC
i wondered that to myself as i read this article
on nomophobia

now i know myself well
i thought
nope
im no nomophobic
but
i think my wife she 
might be a moderate nomophobic person

just last week we were with a group that included
3 teenagers 1 middle ager 4 baby boomers
i must say 
nomophobia knows no age limit

many say these young folks these millennials are 
all nomophobic
my observation was that a lot of old folks are infected also

so i went to the article to take the online test 
to see if i was nomophobic
nope 
i got a low nomophobic score
now
on the other hand
i answered the quiz for my wife she
not too surprised was i
but
shes a nomophobic person

why sometimes while she is nomphobicing
i say to her
did you see those dinosaurs eating those giraffes
as she is nomophobicing
she mutters
uh huh

there she was lost in her nomophobic world

so
are you a nomophobic

take the quiz at this link

ok
nomophobic
stands for
no mobile phone phobia

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 4, 2017

keep that level up

KEEP THAT LEVEL UP

the bmj @bmj_latest

when i first retired i wasnt on any blood pressure medications
i was looking for ways to lower my blood pressure without
taking drugs
one way was to drop my caffeine intake
i tried caffeine free coffee
that only lasted one day
i tired half caffeine and half no caffeine
that only lasted one day

then
i later read an article on drinking 2-3 cups of java a day
it helped it seem to clear the mind
make one sharper in the morning
it may help to slow the memory decline in dementia
so
thats all i needed to know right there
back to the caffeinated coffee
like
it should be
strong and black

so
i went back to my three cups a day
i felt better
i felt more alert
i felt more energized

now i only drink it the first thing in the morning
not drinking any after lunch
since i noticed it seemed to interfere with my sleep
at night
something i already have problems with from the
alzheimers drug aricept (donepezil)

then
after reestablishing my caffeine levels back to my
normal levels
i
then attacked my blood pressure
using a low dose blood pressure medication to keep it
down to the new recommend levels of less than
130/80

im happy
with my blood pressure and my caffeine levels now

then
last week i read this article
british medical journal coffee consumption and health...
on caffeine intake
well
it just reinforced what i already knew and felt

it seems drinking 3-4 cups a day of java
lowers the incidence of
premature death
cardiovascular disease
liver disease
dementia
several types of cancer
gall stones
type 2 diabetes
im sure theres more

thats all i need to know about keeping my levels up
of caffeine
im in

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 1, 2017

alzheimers news-i got a 10

ALZHEIMERS NEWS-I GOT A 10
Image result for organicgreendoctor
this week i got my 10th infusion of the
biogen aducanumab
well i think im getting the real stuff
but
i might be getting the placebo

im thinking the real stuff

our last trip took over 3 hours to get there
the last 2 hours was spent stuck a lot in traffic

this time we left at 5am
we mostly avoided the bad traffic on the 405
think austins 35 at its absolutely worse
thats the 405 during rush hour
maybe worse

we made it in over 2 hours
we arrived 2 hours or so before our appointment
which was ok with us
we decided we would rather zoom through traffic
than be stuck in that not moving traffic

we just went on a long hike around the campus
the first we have done
by the time im finished with this study
if i am ever finished
since
many times they will extend the study more long term
we will know the campus and the area real well

we also save our weekend grocery shopping
since there is a large grocery chain just
across the street from ucla
for those in texas think maybe nicer than
a real nice heb

so we shopped then took a lengthy hike
then on to the infusion center
it seems that every time i go now
things just get more streamlined

i arrive by 1000 am and i am out of there before 100pm

i am now at the point of the infusions where
i just get checked in
see the research doctor
wait on the infusion to be processed
they do the iv and hook it up
it runs in over a hour then they flush the iv with saline
for 15 minutes then im out of there
no labs or other testing
thats the way it will usually be from now on
usually
except for the annual visit coming up in march
and
the 6 month visits

in september 2018 i will have the final visit for the
first phase of this study
ill get the last infusion of the mystery stuff
is it real or not
then
if i opt to i can do another 42  months of infusions
of
the real guarantee you gonna get the real stuff infusions
i want those for sure

so
i see in the future this little dim light thats aflickering
i see the hope light way out there
ill know for sure im getting the real stuff

one thing i have noticed after this infusion on tuesday
is a persistent headache that is requiring acetaminophen
twice a day to control

remember
headache is a good thing
it means i might be getting the real stuff

being a apoe 4/apoe4 genotype i am more likely to have
small micro bleeds where the bad ass beta amyloid is removed
which is the usual cause of the headaches

heres hoping thats why

also if im getting the real stuff
in late 2018 when they do my amyvid pet scan
the pet scan for the bad ass beta amyoid
remember it had to be positive to get in this study
if i am getting the higher dose stuff
then my scan will be negative or almost negative
for the bad ass beta amyloid

of course like i have written before
i will never get to know if i was getting the real stuff
aducanumab the first 18 months of the study
and
i will never get to see any of my amyvid pet scan results

i can live with that
as
long as this stuff slows it down

as a reward on tuesday
we elected to leisurely drive the pacific coast highway
thats the hwy one from los angeles back to santa  barbara
it goes through the pacific palisades then malibu
then through mostly almost uninhabited areas

i found it relaxing as my wife she drove
so i could do all the sightseeing without running off the road

rank this visit
a 10 for sure

the organicgreen doctor