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, November 26, 2014

im thankful


i would like to wish those of you who read
my blog
a happy thanksgiving

i am quite thankful of your readership
have a good one

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

obamacare year 2

its interesting if people are asked
do you like obamacare
they say no

if asked
do you like the affordable care act
they say yes

excuse me they are they same

could we just call it something like
american healthcare insurance plan

for those of you in these two red states
kentucky and arkansas
if your income level is low enough
then you are lucky to live in these two states
you get a private insurance plan instead of a
medicaid plan
we all know which of these you get better care from

these two states are an example of what could happen
if the democrats and republicans would really work
together to compromise on an issue

however if you are in that income level in texas
you are simply screwed
you cant get medicaid
you make too less yes thats right you make too less
to qualify for subsidies
you get screwed
in texas
we are number one in not providing health care to folks
leading the nation with 25%+_ in uninsured folks
that number will climb if the supreme court votes
against subsidies to those who qualify

now for me
i am
on medicare
a medicare supplement plan with bcbs
a medicare d plan for my drugs with bcbs
it costs me about $300 a month
i am quite pleased with the coverage
its ease of use
its website
why dont they run the healthcare.gov website
i think that all providers and hospitals should be
required to accept assignment
no opting out
then give us all a chance to get medicare
medicare for all

recently i got a shingles shot
now my drug plan covers the shingles shot
it has a deductible equal to the cost of the shot
so when i got it at my provider i knew i would
have to pay for it
$250+ but i figured it was worth it
i have seen too many old folks get shingles
then dwindled away from the severe pain
i watched my wife get it on her face with the marked
tooth pain jaw pain facial pain as the nerves got
she got her shingle shot later as she dont want
that pain again
just a side bar for getting the shingles shot sorry

now last year i helped folks in 5 different states decide
what american healthcare insurance plan to get
arkansas texas utah california colorado

so i revisited the sites again
the hardest to navigate was the texas site as it had so
many choices
many of them were bad choices

i found a blue cross blue shield policy ppo that was similar
to what you could buy on the private market and had
the same providers also
eg if you use the austin regional clinic for your care
then this is a good one for you to choose

some of the plans had very restrictive providers
well one in particular didnt have many specialist on the list

the other i looked at was the scott and white health plan
an hmo plan in an organization known for providing
overall quality care
much like the kaiser permanente in california

the best site to use was the california website
covered california
they make it so easy
maybe they could run the federal site
remember if you qualify for subsidies you need to pick
a silver plan

there are so many people who qualify for subsidies who
dont realize it
eg if you are married with two kids and make $90,000
you qualify for a subsidy
if you can get insurance through an employer you
dont qualify for a subsidy

what i like is that california
rates the insurance companies like medicare d does
eg where my sons live in california
kaiser gets 5 stars
blue shield of california gets 3 stars

they only have 3-4 choices of insurance companies

i also noted on all the sites that the premiums for the plans
i recommended to folks last year really didnt change much

in summary
remember if you dont qualify for a subsidy you can either
buy your insurance through the exchanges
go to a private companies website and buy it yourself

one policy a friend bought last year was actually cheaper
on the exchange as on the private website

weed out the bad guys
its hard if you dont know they are bad
watch out for names of companies you have never heard of
and hmo or pos or epo
unless the hmo is like scott and whites or kaiser permanente
or mayo clinic

they do make it hard to sort through the options though
they need to standardize things like they do with medicare d plans
or medicare supplement policies
they all have to be the same really
they are star rated
i chose blue cross because i wanted all mine ran through the same
bcbs has a good reputation in the state

we just need it to be like medicare
with just one choice medicare
not the medicare disadvantage plans
then choose a supplement plan
then chose a drug plan
oh lets just put them all together so we have
just one choice
the american healthcare insurance plan

then you have a better plan than most of you have now
most of you get on the exchanges
via private sources

yes lets start calling it the american healthcare insurance plan

thats the solution i think

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, November 24, 2014

i worry



this has bode me well over the years
being a worrier
many a patient of mine benefited from my worrying
about them
well sometimes it was mixed with intuition or 6th sense
eg for no good reason i ordered a test that came back
positive which saved their lives or shortened their illness

now i worry about
our future
when i write our i mean our kids and our grand kids
our great grand kids etc
what will their financial future be like when they
all get to our age

dim is what im afraid it will be
not all of them if any will read dave ramsey and follow
his steps to financial success

first it seems they and i guess all of us need more to live
on now
cable tv cell phones smart ones bigger more expensive
vacations bigger more expensive hobbies etc
now my hobby is gardening so i at least will break even
on that one
bigger more expensive vehicles
more bigger food bills since we eat out more

when they do reach retirement
their expenses are higher since we they need more

what will their source of income be

only 20% have them now
that number will drop
those that do are at risk of losing them
many of these pensions never increase ie no
col adjustments are done
my wife she retires in say 2 years
her retirement checks will never increase
since the school district doesnt pay into social security
she nor the other teachers will receive social security
since there is this thing called offset they do
whoever they is
which wipes out most if not all of the social security
they get from their spouses

my wife will get $200 a month from social security
then when i die she will get about 40% of my social
security instead of 100%
luckily we were able to invest over the years in her
403b to compensate for this loss of income  from
social security
many or most teachers cant afford to do this

i am sure the government will make this even worse
for folks who have government pensions

social security
we know this will still be there but it wont be as it is now
my guess is that it will be cut 25% or more
the col adjustment will get smaller
so the end result will be less income from this
source for our younger relatives

luckily for us we were able to put back enough in our
401ks and 403bs and iras to make ourselves comfortable
for our retirement
but it has taken
us downsizing
our life styles
our size of our house
our house is half the size of most physicians
our size of our cars
our cars are 5yrs 8 yrs and 17 years old
our vacations
our holiday spending
doing this a long time before we retired
now carrying that throughout our retirement

it appears that the amount of money left over for
inheritance to our younger relatives will diminish
even more
then they will have even less left over for their kids

now added on is a lifetime of school debt

so things im afraid will only get worse

the generation behind us
are not programmed to save at the rate they need to be
to be ready financially when they quit working

im sort of glad i wont be around to see what life will
be like for those generations

it seems the government isnt going to ever do anything
to help out
theyll just keep on fighting to get nothing done

so if you are a younger relative of mine and especially
if you have kids
you need to be thinking about this
your future will be dim

you cant really do anything much about social security
but plan on it being messed with

you if you have a pension realize it may not be there
for you when you retire or it will be reduced in some way

so it will be up to you
if you dont know who dave ramsey is then get acquainted with
i personally dont agree with some of  his religious and his political
i respect his beliefs but dont agree with many of them
his core message though is the one for all folks to follow

you need to know these terms
emergency fund
snowball debt reductions
no credit card debt

you must avoid debt and you must save starting as young
as you possibly can
the goal is eventually 15% of your earnings should be saved
you must downsize yourself
your cars your houses your vacations your expenses
to reach this goal
be happy when you do it

my wife she and i have done all this
we are happy
we do all those things we like to do

i see everyday when i work for habitat for humanity
meals on wheels
what poverty in retirement can look like

it aint purty

so yes i worry
please help me not to have to worry so much

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, November 21, 2014

it takes a volunteer

there are a lot of organizations that do good for other
they do it with mostly donations and volunteers
they probably do a better more cost efficient job
if it was run by the federal or state government

when i retired i looked for volunteer opportunities
that fit me and what i felt was important for folks

thats why i chose
the meal on wheels programs
the habitat for humanity
of course since i am so personally affected
the alzheimers association

all good organizations
mostly privately funded by you and me

the one i put the most effort and time into
is the
alzheimers associaton
without this organization and its political and social
not much would be happening in the alzheimers world
they just wont let the politicians off the hook

when i volunteer
i like to volunteer and not be on some big old
committee that just sits and talks and really
doesnt get out there and do
the blue collar work

so with the alzheimers association
i am on three committees that organize the
walk to end alzheimers
we also do all the work
setting up the walk
help the walk happen
clean up the mess afterward
blue collar stuff

we also help raise funds that will be used
for research caregiver education etc

i am on a state wide committee to promote
alzheimers education
i dont enjoy it as much
as the alzheimers committees for the walks
one you just talk a lot and the other
you do the work

without all the volunteers the hundreds involved
in this area the monies wouldnt get raised
so here the stats for our team organicgreendoctor
in the 4 walks we walked in
total team members walked     50
total funds raised     $3200
totals for all the walks
total raised     $350,000
total walkers   2800
so we did our part to contribute to the numbers
feeling good as we walked
as hundreds of others did the same

my kind of people
volunteers them all
doing what it takes
most are personally affected
dont worry if you havent been you will
youll feel about these walks like we all do

we all need to find that thing that we want to make
be it cancer autism other diseases abuse social issues etc

the answer is in our hands

the oganicgreen doctor

Thursday, November 20, 2014

text neck

my wife she has been complaining a lot recently
about neck pain with pain radiating down both arms
you know
like when you hit your funny bone
not really funny
not sure why they call it funny bone

i thought maybe it was due to her work
as a teacher
i ran across this article from kim komando
and articles online
this picture below

Slumping over a phone adds extra pressure on the cervical spine- the part above the shoulders - researchers found. Bending the head to a 60 degree angle adds 60 lbs - or more than four stone- worth of pressure

apparently if you have the 60 degree angle while looking
at you electrical device
that would be my wife she looking at her smartphone

its like having a 60 lb weight forcing down on your spine
thats like a feedbag of chicken scratch or lay pellets
that hurts my back just lifting it

would that make it iphonitis

now i will admit that many times in the evening she sits
in her easy chair and does have a better angle while
viewing her my wife she phone

maybe only a  27 lb bag or a 40 lb bag on that neck
a bag of cat food or a big bag of dog food

so whats a wife she to do
stop looking at her my wife she phone
nah that aint happening
lay on her back and look straight up
maybe upstairs in the hammock

no funny bone pain there

so i watch kiddos and well all of you looking at
your devices
all hunched over
now all i will see are
feed bags and fertilizer bags and flour bags and sugar bags
sitting on you head
pressing down on you cervical spines

add this to the causes of neck pain
the cure and treatment is up to you

(disclaimer i made the story up about my wife shes
neck problems to make a point-shes a good sport)

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

use the old stuff

i remember my parents talking about making their own
soap in their rural homes in arkansas in the 30s
using wood ashes and fats
mixing them together outside
in an old iron pot on an open fire

they washed their clothes their dishes their bodies with
it and im sure had no concerns about it harming their
it was just pure ingredients wood ashes and animal fat

and add to that the fact that as we were growing up
we ran around
eating dirt
going barefoot
playing with cow dung
improved our immune systems is what we did
it seems from reports
no allergies or asmur in our family

now there was times that that lye soap was used
somewhere else
in our mouth
when we used a bad word
well most of those words they say on tv now
we told a lie
lye soap for a lie

never thought that lye soap would be toxic
it really wasnt
unless you swallowed too much of it
clean you out is what it did

now they puts this stuff called triclosan in soaps
to kill bacteria
if it says antibacterial or germ killing then
it probably has it in there

you have to be careful and not use it on mice and rats
since they can get cancers like in the liver
and have hormone problems

i was wondering about a young kiddo who uses that
stuff every day to wash their hands
wash their bodies
wear clothes and socks with it in the material
even brush their teeth with tooth paste that has
it in there
even use mouthwash that has it in there

wonder if all that exposure would affect that rapidly
growing baby as it goes to toddler to prek to elementary
you know they have to wash their hands all the time
spray that alcohol spray on their hands

some school have to lock up that spray since
the middle schoolers and up kids try to drink it

so i looked around my house looking for that
triclosan in the products and those antibacterial
and germ fighting words
didnt find any
i use pure ivory soap
since im cheap i use generic baby shampoo or dish washing
liquids as our liquid soap since its cheaper than
soft soap which may have triclosan in it

no triclosan at the country n

now im sure my wife she will look at me today real
close when i clean out our wood burning stove
shes gonna say
dont you go and make no soap out of that today

i would like to use that old stuff
since its fared so well for so long

heck even our septic tanks benefits from our
not using triclosan
thats where in all ends up in our septics and
sewer systems
then eventually into our water systems

we got to make our home grand baby safety proof

the organicgreen doctor