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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

getting old

GETTING OLD
these are the words that i dont want to utter
im getting old

over the last week i have thought about it a lot
its been a week since i started this cataract journey
its made me think a lot about
am i getting old

now
ive been fighting getting old since i retired 8 years old
so far
i think ive been winning
until
this last week

after the second surgery last week to remove the dislocated lens
i started thinking
im getting old

my day starts with a 2-3 hour bout of computer time
its the only time i get on the computer the rest of the day
i know after i get my 3 cups of coffee and take my aricept (donnepezil) that i will have a burst of energy that will usually last until 100pm
then i start fading some
so
i take a nap
usually about an hour or so
i also take that time to watch my favorite news show and to watch my favorite sports show
then
after the nap i get up and do some busy work inside or outside until our evening meal
having lost some of that busy energetic self

now i will have a good 8-12 hrs of good energy
enough to do what i like to do
it rarely ever involves sitting still except for my computer time and my nap time
that is
until this last week
half my day is spent putting those 5 eye drops in my eye four times a day with five minutes between the drops
you can do the math to see how much time gets eaten up by those drops
cutting into my getting things done time

then
i developed double vision if i tried to not use a lens on my surgerized eye side since its starting to approach normal
so i popped my old lens for someone with real bad vision back in to stop my double vision
so right now my vision is right where i was when i started before the surgery

now
the plan is to pop a contact in the non surgerized eye tomorrow so i can then use the improving surgerized eye without glasses on
which will eliminate the double vision
yes i tripped over a lot of cracks in the sidewalk when we went walking holding onto my wife she as i went along
this is a place i dont want to be in
also going up and down the stairs was hard since i couldnt tell which stair was real and which was an illusion
i took my time
held onto the rail
held onto my wife she
like some little old elderly man with my bernie glasses on

you can forget driving
but
once i put my old glasses on all that went away
i just couldnt see as well out of the surgerized eye looking through the old lens
for now that will have to do

i was even able to drive with my old glasses

hopefully tomorrow will bring a better day on the eye front
i realized that i might not be wearing glasses again after 56 years of wearing glasses
i realized that i have never owned a pair of sunglasses
only clipons or bernie over the glasses sunglasses or those tinted lens that made it hard to see since my prescription was so strong

i dont know i might have to just pop out both lenses or have fake lenses put in my glasses so i can wear them
wearing glasses seems to be embedded in my dna since ive worn them for so long

yep
a new world tomorrow
for the better if i can get the surgerized eye to 20/20

now
someone asked me yesterday at the ucla research center
are you going to get the other one done
i dont think so i said
ill decide after all this trauma is over with
probably not i thought later

ill just may have to accept being a one eyed willie forever

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

alzheimers news-make it last longer

ALZHEIMERS NEWS-MAKE IT LAST LONGER
Image result for organicgreendoctor
the research person emailed me last week
she said
can you bring my wife she with you to your mri scan on tuesday
why i emailed her back
she said
the aducanumab study the long term extension part just got extended to 5 years
we need yall to sign the paper work tuesday to continue you in the extension
well be there

now i had planned to drive down myself to ucla today to get my mri
zoom down and zoom back
the brain mri is being done every so often to make sure i dont have microbleeding in the brain

however
if you have read my last two blogs you know that i got a little waylaid with my recovery from my two cataract surgeries
only one was planned
i got the special
i got two
so i cant drive today anyway

my wife she had planned to help out with grandbaby duty with ms b and mr h
maybe later today

then
it seems floods may occur sometime today in the montecito area
its been about a year since the floods happened
oprah and the rest of the montecitians are asked to evacuate
she could stay at our place if she wants

then
the recent fires along the 101 in the thousand oaks area are going to be prone to mudslides today and tomorrow
our plan
get there then get back home

normally i would reschedule all this since there is so much happening today
but
we have decided that only death will keep me from keeping my appointments for this study

the biogen aducanumab biib037 study that i am in may be the partial answer to slowing this disease down for me and the other 1600+ of us in the study
then
if it does work some it may be available some day for you and your family

briefly
the aducanumab an antibody obtained from older folks who dont get alzheimers is made in large amounts in the lab
when given intravenously it goes to the brain and removes the amyloid plaques from the brain removes any amyloid floating around and stimulates the garbage guys microglia to clean up and also fight the inflammatory response that happens

if removing the amyloid and cleaning things up makes a difference it will show up in better memory tests and delayed disease
already in those who get the drug the amyloid gets mostly cleared out as shown on amyloid scans called the amyvid pet scans
if it does all this it will be on the market

i did 18 months initially of either the placebo or the real drug
i had a 67% chance of getting the real drug
i think that i got the real drug since i had headaches a week after my first dose
headaches being the number one side effect thats seen
headaches were more common in folks like me who carrying the apoe 4 gene known as the late alzheimers gene
then in october of 2018 i started another 18-24 months of for real getting the real stuff
all placebo folks were started on the drug
this part of the study is called the long term extension

today
i and my wife she will be signing the permits to be part of the new long term extention of another 3 years
which means if i got the real drug in the beginning  then i will get a total of at least 6-7 years of the real drug

this if this stuff really works this could be a life changer for me

i have said my goal is to make it to ms bs high school graduation
i have 15 more years to go
at the end of this study i will be halfway there

if i dont make it well i really cant complain since 8 years ago i really didnt think would be able to sit here today and write this blog

yep i cant complain
a little inconvenience is not going to waylay me at all today

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, January 14, 2019

dislocated

DISLOCATED
these are my weekend at bernies glasses
if you saw the movie you understand
no i cant make myself wear them
plus when i do my wife she laughs at me and calls me bernie

in my medical career ive seen a lot of dislocated things like
fingers
ankles
knees
hips elbows
toes shoulders
clavicles
jaws
noses
necks
backs
so i have a visual and personal experience with dislocations
some i put back in place on the spot

so when he said it was dislocated
all i could think of was the ankle dislocation and knee one
those were painful and painful to watch

that right eye of mine has been my nemesis
in high school before i got my safety lenses i got hit with an elbow playing basketball shattering my lens with the fragments slicing my cornea and some embedding themselves there
all the glass was removed
after two weeks it was healed and i got to return to full activities after that

in the mid 90s my eye became red and quite painful
i developed a marked headache that took vicodin to relieve
then i developed marked fatigue for awhile
i had iritis or uveitis which is inflammation of the iris and the eye
over the years it would flare and unflare requiring pupil dilatation and long term steroid eye drops
it seemed to flare for no reason every 2-3 years

about 3 years ago it flared and i was put on steroids in that eye for 3 months then thats when that agave thorn poked in my eye braking off in the eye
in these blogs i wrote about my experience
yes i used a pair of tweezers to remove the thorn even though it was broken off at the corneal level
yes my wife she gets real squeamish when i retell the story

if you want to know more read these old blogs
and
have a good laugh at my expense
click on these three links in order
-a thorny situation
-dethorned
-the treatment

after that time 3 years ago i have been on steroid eye drops every day
if i miss them i develop fatigue first then get headaches then if i dont start the steroids my eye will turn red like the pink eye and i will have vicodin eye pain
thats eye pain that only vicodin will relieve
i dont let it get that far though

as i saw my favorite ophthalmologist in austin right before i left she said you know you have an early cataract in that right eye that will be need to be removed one day
youll know when she said

when i moved to santa barbara i made an appointment with an ophthalmologist here to get my steroid drops and to have someone to see when the need arrives
yep
he said
youll know when its time just call me

this brings me to where i am today

as in my last blog right above this one i write about needing my cataract removed
so i underwent a completely painless stressless procedure
during the procedure he says do you take flomax  well he asked me several times
i said through the versed fog no but ive ordered it a lot for patients

when i woke good it was like someone had smeared vaseline all over my glasses
i could see light and that was it
no i couldnt read the big big e on the eye chart

he said
for some reason your pupil wouldnt dilate like it should and the lens wouldnt sit right like it was suppose to back in the eye
do you take flomax
no i said
your lens has dislocated and needs to be replaced

dislocated i thought of all those joints i had put back in place
cant you just snap it back where it belongs
its not that simple he said
we need to remove it and put in a slightly different lens and suture it in good

ive seen this happen with flomax
flomax makes old men pee better
but it also affects the pupil
do you take flomax he said
so i was scheduled the next day for
an exchange of lens right eye
i thought
exchange seems like a funny word to use

so i read up on dislocated lenses after cataract surgery
it happens in 10% of cases
one of the top ten risk factors was
iritis

so under the versed influence i went
they sure do this surgery fast
it only took a few minutes
this time i saw the stitches being put it
the next day i saw the redness on both sides of the whites of the eyes that werent there after surgery one
i presume that had something to do with the stitches

then
i started having an increase in eye pressures in that eye
high enough i had headaches and got nauseated
i knew what that meant when i had the symptoms

so
i was given glaucoma eye drops
i got 5% sodium chloride drops to put in that eye that sucks fluid out of the eye
the normal saline you wash you eye with or that you get in an iv is 0.9%
all i know is it burns like hell when i put it in the eye
i also was given an oral diuretic called diamox to take for a few days to help relieve the eye pressure

lucky for me except for the iv stick ive not had much pain except when my eye pressure shot up

today as i sit here
i estimate my vision in my right eye to be 20/100
it is like im looking through a mild fog or froggy as ms b calls it
i have no pain
i am on 5 different eye drops
a steroid one
an anti inflammatory one
a glaucoma one
the burns like hell saline one
an antibiotic one
all these meds  prices are whats wrong with drug pricing in the united states

i need a computer to keep up with the dosing

my vision improves as the day progresses
it reminds me of when i would have the severe flare up of iritis
there is a lot of dead cells that slough off in the eye fluid leaving a froggy or cloudy vision
this stuff tends to settle down in the lower part of the eye during the day then get stirred up at night while you sleep

its expected that this will eventually all return to normal vision in that eye

i sure hope so

as i was leaving the office the other day i said you know you shouldnt treat a doctor and their family
bad things happen

he said with a smile
i know

the organicgreen doctor