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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

produce bounty

yesterday i went out to my garden to check on it
since we had been gone for 5 days to san francisco
it was hot there they all said
my wife she and i just smiled when we heard that
yall dont know jack
this weather feels so good
as i recall working in my yard at 900am with sweat pouring
out of every pore in my body
my shirt was soaked so it looked like i had just jumped
in the shower
even my floppy hat i wear was soaked to the bone
we enjoyed every hot day there and really enjoyed those days
and nights when it dipped lower into the upper 50s

so back to my garden
i strolled down there
the first thing you see when you walk up is these okra stalks that
are 8 ft high
they look like 10 ft like you could dunk a basketball on top of them

these are the red german peppers that we got from malcom becks
garden the guru of organic gardening in texas
he also started gardenville years ago

these okra are thicker in diameter and have more of a
rib to them
ive noticed are softer than the clemson spineless we have

we have a volunteer sweet 100s tomato that has wound its way
up the okra plant using it as a stalk

i then proceeded to pick things looking for veggies to grill
tomatoes lots of juliette small ones
bell peppers
poblano peppers
egg plant
french beans

note the white stuff on the tomatoes is kaolin clay which is sprinkled
over my tomato plants
as the grasshoppers chop on the plants the clay clogs up their mouth parts
and they die
you can also use white flour

the rest of the garden has slowed down a lot
most of the tomatoes have shut down
they will soon be removed
the beans have appeared to have made their last crop
as well as the cucumbers
the empty beds are all growing blackeyed peas as a cover crop

the pea plants will eventually be cut off at the ground
leaving the roots in the soil
the stalks will be fed to the hungry country n chickens
who also yesterday got to enjoy those big ole okra sliced open
as well as several tomatoes that were grasshopper chewed on

we have the new fall tomatoes growing well under shade cloth
in about a month we will uncover them

so i gathered all the crops to make my veggies for the night
using only stuff grown in my garden
heres the ingredients
potatoes red
egg plant
bell pepper
poblano pepper
green beans
small tomatoes
topped with rosemary and basil
seasoned with olive oil crushed black pepper and sea salt
sips of red merlot wine

this folks is what a mediterranean diet is like
but ill call it the country n diet
home grown

the organicgreen gardener

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


it seems to be everywhere
this lack of water
the life blood of us all

it was interesting to read an article on straws that are put
down into the lakes from homeowners to suck the water
out of the lakes
these lakes supply the water for several cities around this area
the amount sucked out by these straws is 1.6 billion gallons
enough to empty out the smallest of these highland lakes that
sevices austin and the surrounding cities

the regulators only have one person to try to catch these folks
skimming off the water

they are thinking of putting meters on these straws

seems ok to me

we will be in trouble around here waterwise until
this sometimes island in lake travis disappers again
soon i hope

while in san francisco last weekend i read an interesting
article about the drought there in california
after reading it i realized the drought there is going to
affect us big time when it comes to our food we buy
in the near future
thats where most of our food comes from

san francisco usually gets 20+ inches
last year they got less than 4 inches
its the same all over the state
you would think with all those roofs in sf they could
do a heck of a job of collecting rainwater
it just all goes down the drains into the ocean
theres very little uncemented asphalted land there

whats those farmers out there doing to water their
when i went to the farmers market i talked to some of the
organic gardeners
their usual sources the rivers and reservoirs are drying up
they are sucking it out of the ground
like those homeowners here
there sucking it up in giant straws to use it on
their fields
the problem is the aquifers are getting depleted
as they get depleted
the ground collapses so that
in some places the levels drop 3 feet
which of course crushes those straws

what they gonna do when the aquifers are gone
they are doing a lot of planning
water conservation
shutting down production
using rainwater collection techniques to keep the water
on their properties
like swells tanks areas to soak the water in to the soil
not planting part of their fields to act as a sink to soak up water
heck we do that in texas already
especially in austin and san antonio where its all encouraged
rainwater conservation methods

their crisis is our crisis
they grow our food
we hope they figure it out
well help if we can

no straws please is what we should be saying around here

at your level
conserve water at home like dont run faucets
use first run shower water in the yard
consider reuse of sink and wash water
shorten shower time
do a rain garden
collect rainwater off the roof
build berms in the landscape to slow down rain runoff
xericise your yard
dont waste any water

we are all in this together
the goal
is to survive

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, July 28, 2014

my own

thats what she said 
when she was interviewed

her mother died when she was 8
she was a foster child after that
many of you know what that is like
it can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing

as a doctor ive seen both sides of the story
the good and the bad

lucky ones get a good home 
and even more lucky ones get adopted into 
this new home

many dont fair as well

this mother a school nurse 
my guess not a rn or a lvn but probably an aide but i dont
know the full story on that one
had their home she and her young son was living in burn to 
the ground
the next months were spent living in motels friends and family homes
even a period of homelessness
their remaining material things were scattered in different places
across the county

she did the lengthy application process 
and won out over several applicants

remember these homes are not just given to them
they have to do 300+ hours of sweat equity
i mean sweating a lot sometimes
do several classes on finances home care yard care life care
then they pay for the house at 0%  interest rate for 20 yrs
the total amount they pay is based on how much is donated 
and how much volunteer help is used
we those who volunteer reduce the labor costs down to only the
special contractors like plumbing electrical or concrete work
we do the rest

they are assigned a mentor who follows them for months

in this area you can not get a decent apartment for the amount
her monthly payments would be which includes mortgage insurance 
and taxes

pretty darn good deal thanks to the generosity of others

eg my contribution will be i plan and supervise the landscaping
using what money is left over and what landscape supplies i 
can get folks to donate
trying to do this xerically and in such  way that they dont have to pay 
so much for upkeep

what landscaping we do on each house is based on the dollars we have
the wishes of the owners

my wife she also works helping me with the landscaping some
i also do some of the construction work based on what bothers
my back from last years ruptured disk
putting up tyvek putting up outside sheathing of the osb plywood
bothers me the most
the landscaping and most of the other work doesnt bother me much

my primary contribution is landscaping though
my new feature is to encourage more recycling from the job site
especially metal plastic cardboard rocks some wood like pallets
some of which can be sold to help fund things
plus its less habitat has to pay for dumping at the land field

shall we say a more green construction site

then ive added a new contribution to this build site
the one for this struggling mom and her son 
that is to make a home
that has a nice yard
that is easy to maintain 
a vegetable garden designed by the organicgreen doctor
that will be one of the best landscaped houses in the area

that where the readers of this blog can help
we need some donations to be able to reach our goals and the 
new homeowners of a yard and garden she can enjoy
something since her childhood she has wanted
for herself and her family
something she never had

you can help by clicking here and making a small contribution
to the cause
also volunteer sometimes at your local habitat for humanity

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, July 25, 2014

whats it like


i think about this all the time
whats it like to have alzheimers disease
early on
mid stage
later stage
whats it like in there
to be captured inside
i think about it a lot

huffington post

i know myself what its like early early on like i am
you pay attention to things that others dont even notice
a word you cant remember
recent things you cant remember mostly real short term things
just waiting to go to that next level

a friend sent me a link to a page where the question was

what does a person with alzheimers disease typically experience
on a daily basis

read this and you will get a better idea of what alzheimers
is like
what that loved one with this terrible disease is feeling

click here to read our story and donate

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, July 24, 2014

theyre too high

im reading this book about midwives in england in the 1950s
interesting novel but with a lot of history embedded in the story line

in one chapter one of the characters a midwife goes out with
a group of her friends to party
shes working and training with a chapter of nuns that train

(these things look like the rear end of a wasp dont they
that what it feels like if a women steps on your foot )

so she dresses up and wears these high heels with those long heels
she talks about cramming her toes down in the toe part
suffering all night
the worse was walking on the cobblestone sidewalks and streets
of london as they did the 1950 version of clubing
a night of misery she had
with her feet akilling her

she told the story of a well known female model at the time
that actually had some of her toes amputated so she could
fit into these high heels and walk down the runways with them
sees a little extreme to me

im sorry this can not i repeat can not be good for your
just looking i see potential for
ingrown toenails
bunions i mean bad bunions
long term problems with plantar fasciitis
if youve not had that one then youre lucky
i suffered withit with for years
and no
i didnt wear high heels
achilles tendonitis another curse that can rank up there
with plantar fasciitis
stress fractures just look at the picture and you can see
where that would occur
nerve damage
mortons neuroma that occurs in the nerve bundle at the
point of maximum pressure
the treatment is steroid shots surgery pad in shoes or
just dont wear those dang high heels

these high heels have made a lot of podiatrist wealthy

none of these things are good
they all are painful
the treatments are long term some are painful some have
significant side effects like the steroids and the nsaids to
take for the inflammation

i know when you research the history of high heels that
the only person that could have designed these things
is a man
no woman would ever think this up and inflict pain and
discomfort on so many women

the solution and best treatment for all these ailments
is to wear shoes that are more down to the earth
maybe the cave women did it the best
going barefoot and wearing sandals

if men had to wear these things they wouldnt be available

its time these shoes are brought back down to earth shoe levels

click here to read our story and donate

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

didnt make it, help us

yesterday i was looking forward to going to ut southwestern to
the alzheimers disease research center to do my annual
followup visit for the adni or alzheimers disease neuroimaging
i didnt make it
the night before i could not go to sleep
1000pm then 1100pm  then midnight then 100am then 200am
i mean 2 eyelid open not being able to go to sleep
i dozed off awakening
i mean wide awake at 400am
knowing we needed to leave in a hour at 500am to make
the long drive to dallas for the appointment

no way i thought as i got up
there is no way i can make that drive and stay awake
there is no way i will be able to do my 2 hr neuropsych test at
1100am and be at my best
my most alert self
heck im already working at a deficit there 2 standard deviations below
what is normal for my age and degree of education

so to be accurate and to be fair to the study and to make sure
i didnt fall asleep driving
i canceled my appointment that morning
with the plans to return again in the next few weeks

why couldnt i go to sleep
wasnt nervous at all about going
didnt nap too much the day before in fact i cut back some on that
didnt drink a lot of coffee late or eat a lot of chocolate candy late
which would let the caffeine in all that do its thing

i take aricept (donepezil) each morning and i sometimes will
have the problem of insomnia but not this bad
it seems as if there is too much aricept in that pill that day
maybe the quality control sucked that day it was made
thats what it feels like
when i first started taking aricept (donepezil) this is the way it
made be feel only this was the worse

one thing is of course when you are in my shoes
is that one of the things that happens with alzheimers disease as
it progresses is that it begins to alter sleep patterns such that
sometimes a person with the disease cant sleep at all at night
i am afraid was what i was and am worrying about

i dont want to be one of those nighttime wondering folks you
read and hear about

this morning i read this article that said that 7 hrs is the sweet spot
on the amount of sleep you need to get each night
a recent memory test study showed that those who got 7 hrs
did better than those who got less than that and
those who got 8 hrs of sleep

for me 2 hours just didnt cut it last night

many of you know that i do volunteer work for the
williamson county habitat for humanity
i do the landscaping for the houses trying to do the best we can
with limited funds
we get some money left over at the end for landscaping but
sometimes that money gets siphoned off since the landscaping is
done last

so i have set up a crowd funding site just for the landscaping for the
next habitat build in jarrell texas
any money raised will be used only for this houses landscaping
our goal  is to  make the yard as xeric as possible but to make it
attractive to the eye and have it as the best yard in the neighborhood

so please go to my site at gofundme to read about it
and to make a donation if you are able to
so far we have raised $200 in rock donations and $100 in donations

click here to donate
landscape for habitat for humanity

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

its that time again

this will be the fourth time i go through all these tests
i did them when i started 3 years ago
then i do them every year

i am a study subject in the early mild cognitive impairment
group in the largest alzheimers disease research study ever
its called the adni or alzheimers disease neuroimaging initiative
its a multicenter center study that takes the data it collects and
once its all entered each year it is readily available to researchers
all over the world
hundreds of research studies have been written from this data

much of the newer stuff thats known on alzheimers disease
comes from this study
the new treatment studies that are starting up now uses the
information from the adni study to guide their studies

today i will have done
blood work like you usually will get at a doctors visit like a cbc
and a metabolic profile and a urinalysis
as part of another study they will run a new alzheimers blood test
they are working on that will identify folks who will get alzheimers
looking at protein markers and inflammatory markers comparing
what they find with the other tests and scans i have done
right now the test is about 90% accurate

a full neuropsychological test that takes about 2 hours to do
its the hardest test to do for the study and the one i dread the
i jokenly call it the torturre test
i dont even mind the spinal tap
this will be the 6th neuropsychological test that i have done for
this study
so i know when i take them if i have gotten worse or just stayed
the same
so far my results have been fairly stable
i know that if i have alzheimers disease that there is a point in the
future when a drop off will start to occur
they dont even have to look at my results
i can tell them the results when i walk out of the room

this year i dont get an mri
i have had 5 mris so far in this study
they all have been normal
they are looking at the under surface of the brain at the hypothalamus
to see if it has shrunken at all
thats where alzheimers disease all starts
right there

i also dont get the glucose metabolism test pet scan or the
amyvid pet scan this year
both these will show abnormalities in glucose metabolism or
in beta amyloid accumulation in the brain if alzhiemers is present
i dont get these pet scan results as they are protected by the study

then i dont get the spinal tap this year
they check for beta amyloid and tau protein accumulation in the
spinal fluid
abnormal levels of these two proteins occur in alzheimers disease
i had my fluid tested three years ago and its abnormal
last year when i had my tap done i donated the fluid to an ms study
that they desperately needed fluid for
forgoing a 2 year followup at a private lab which would have
given me another point on the curve to look at

this year i will discuss with them
about trying to qualify for one of the new treatment studies that
are starting up using one of the new alzheimers vaccines
called solanezumab or one using nasal insulin or one using bace inhibitors

these are three of the new ways that if they work a patient could
be treated early on in the disease or even before symptoms start
a lot of hope is put into these studies

plus i will always continue doing those things we all should be
doing to stay healthy
and keep taking my aricept (donepezil)

the organicgreen doctor