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

Friday, December 22, 2017

alzheimers news.its been seven years since...

Image result for organicgreendoctor
ten years ago i applied for long term insurance and got it
after passing a mental status exam
i got all of the questions correct
7 years ago i contacted the alzheimers center at ut southwestern in dallas
to be followed annually as i aged so i would know if i developed
memory issues
if i did i had decided that i would stop practicing medicine

i underwent a neuropsychological exam to get into the normal control
group of a large study called the adni 3
being in this study would allow me to be monitored long term
i was also added to a state run study doing the same thing

as a normal control you are what those with memory issues are
compared to

as i sat in that chair in that room answering those questions
many the same as i answered correctly 3 years before
for my long term care insurance
i felt like i was in a fog
got real sweaty
as i couldnt answer the questions
i knew then
my time like with my mom and my brother
it was my time

when i got the official report
memory loss greater than you should have for your age and education
you need to see a neurologist they said
i made a neurology appointment in a month
i started my month long slow down of my practice
not letting anyone know except my wife she
my nurse and our clinic supervisor sensed it
they knew
my last day she the supervisor said
you arent coming back are you

i said to myself
i knew that was it
i had promised myself i wouldnt stay too long
when the time arrived

my last patient i saw in practice was an employees son
who needed a two year check up
i contacted her to bring him in at the end of the day
he was the last patient i ever saw

the next day i got my diagnosis
mild cognitive impairment probably due to alzheimers diseas
i got a new drug
aricept (donepezil) to slow things down
it slows the symptoms but not the disease

i must say i felt devastated
as did most of my coworkers and patients

i couldnt go back
mentally emotionally i coudnt
legally with this diagnosis
medically legally i was now a high high risk physician
i retired my license
that was it

lucky for me
hundreds of patients reached out to me
ive maintained contact with many of my patients via social media
i have got to see the kids grow up
many now having kids
that all helps a lot

i reentered the study having been placed in the
mild cognitive impairment branch of the adni 2 study for 5 years

today i am receiving monthly infusions for another
3 plus years if not longer of aducanumab
which will probably slow down the disease
hopefully until even more new treatments become available

Image result for organicgreendoctor school garden
my goal is to see my granddaughter graduate from high school
she is 2 1/2

Image result for pat summitt
since my diagnosis
pat summit the tennessee womens basketball coach was diagnosed
with early alzheimers
she died over this 7 year span

Image result for organicgreendoctor.com joe nash
my younger brother joe
the mirror i looked into when i saw him
died also from alzheimers disease during this 7 years

7 years ago
i really expected to be further along in this disease
at least where my brother joe was and pat summit was when
they were diagnosed

why am i better or why am i not worse than i was 7 years ago
aricept (donepezil)
healthy living
aggressively controlling my diet weight exercise blood pressure stress
i take a boatload of supplements that may possibly help
i think i was also really early in the disease
earlier than most are when they are diagnosed
having been diagnosed almost by accident

my diagnosis has been confirmed by several neurologists
diagnostic studies like spinal tap analysis and the amvid amyloid scans

so as i sit here typing this blog
i am so thankful to be here today
cognitively here
to be able to enjoy our family
our new life
still doing all the things i was doing before i was diagnosed
and since then

im lucky to be alive
im lucky to be this healthy
physically and mentally

thats my new years resolution
let this all continue

fire update
were done
the fire on this side is stopped
folks are being let back in their houses
the air is crisp and clear
thank you thank you thank you firefighters
you are the greatest

have a happy holidays
for those who celebrate
merry christmas

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, December 21, 2017

i know why they were all smiling

Image result for tax bill
now i have always been an advocate for tax reform
i say do a consumption tax so that we all pay our fair share
with no tax breaks to save on taxes

everyone pay the same tax
a flat tax

make it real simple like other countries do
it just takes a few minutes to do your taxes there
in some countries

so after the tax bill was passed
i ran our taxes to see how much we would be paying
more or less
it didnt change
my social security check went down a hundred bucks
because of the increase in premiums on our medicare
i gess they will get you one way or the other

i was hoping that folks who have small businesses
a restaurant
a beauty shop owner
a small company with just a few employees
what would happen to them
would all those tax breaks help them out
the small businesses are really the backbone of our economy

who really made out like a bandit
im afraid it all shifted way towards the top
how can you drop the corporate tax rate that much
oh i understand
they were the ones that supported all this
used their money and influence to make a killing off our backs
not my back or many of your backs
heck for about 10 years many of you will bring home
more money each month
then that will go away
youll pay more most of you
they those top guys
they will keep on making a killing

our kid our grandkids and our greatkids
they are the ones that will suffer the most from all this
they will be paying all this money back that we are borrowing
that deficit money has to come from somewhere

when the market crashes
which it will
i hope it goes down slowly and not in big junks
we are living in a bubble im afraid
that is going to burst

i do worry about my granddaughter and her generation
did our country just sell our soul to the devil

i know why they were smiling
most of them those congress people are multimillionaires
they are about to make a killing
it seemed may have sold theirselves to the devil
the greed devil
to get what they wanted

someones kids will make a billion dollars saved in taxes
when that someone dies
who pays for all this
we do
it the tax and the national debt doesnt care what your politics are

no i dont like the tax plan
like 2/3 of the us
we all know what it means
it pays us now we pay uncle sam more later
they the wealthy amongst us get paid now also and forever it seems

it just doesnt feel right
it even smells a little

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

thomas fire-calm before the storm


yesterday i stood looking out towards the mountains
watching one of those helicopters that scoop up the water
then dumps it on the fires
i watched it go from the western part of my visual field
slowly in a solo flight
across the middle of my visual field
it slowly dropped down out of view
popped out into my eastern visual field

the sky above the mountains is this brilliant blue
azure i think is what i read once in a novel
its azure

there is no smoke that i could see up in the moutains
above here
there are  no clouds
there is no wind at all

it is amazing that just a few days ago this area was like
a war zone

the roads are still blocked to the north
folks arent allowed back in
the voluntary evacuation extends down to our street

it all seems like
everything is normal around here

the air feels and breathes like mountain air
i hardly see anyone with a mask on
it just feels good to breath good air

one thing ive noticed
is that i havent seen many kids anywhere since this started
they are all being kept inside
daycares and preschools are closed
the schools and universities closed a week or so
early for the holidays
local businesses are being devastated financially

its so calm
so peaceful around here
it just feels idealic
we thought it would be when we moved here

lets not get to complacent here

today is the day of reckoning for the thomas fire
270,000+ acres burned
55% contained
almost 1000 homes destroyed
thousands displaced
millions of dollars lost in business for local businesses
well over $100 million spent to fight this fire
one fireman died
our family friend lost his house
our relatives house was spared
i got a good case of the what i call fire bronchitis
its now the #2 largest fire in california history
soon to be #1
estimated confinement january 7th

so here we are today
sitting and waiting
they have been clearing the south edge of the fireline above us
with water drops and flame retardent
clearing hot spots
even the new map shows hardly any red spots now
apparently the firefighters have been here before
it just takes one spark to get over that line
it all takes off again

here we all sit today
waiting for the winds to start up this evening
those sundowner winds
like when you wait for the hurricane winds to start
or a tornado wind to get close
its sort of like being in the eye of the storm
the calm before a tornado hits
the calm before a war battle begins

the winds will pick up
blow hard
throwing limbs and trash and leaves all around
there will be no sparking going on

if we get through tonight
the thinking is
this fight those firefighters have been fighting
the battle will be won
the war will be amost over

they go home most of them for christmas
folks can move back in their homes before christmas

what a relief this will be

that this devastation financially and emotionally will be over

the oganicgreen doctor

Monday, December 18, 2017

thomas fire an update

it is called the thomas fire because it started in santa paula
approximately >40 miles from here two weeks or so ago
near the st thomas aquinas college
the cause hasnt been determined yet
this starting point is well over 40+ miles away from here
it is mostly moving northward and westernly
when its moving on the western edge it can drop southernly
that means it drops on top of us
thats what it did on saturday morning

i felt like for those who live in the south or the midwest
that feeling you get when the tornado warnings go off
you know its about to hit you
you dont have a storm cellar to go to
if it misses you
you are relieved

since it started it has burned around 270,000 acres
it will before it is all put out become the largest fire
ever in california
so far it as cost over $100 million dollars to fight the fire
using over 8500 firefighters from all over the country
you see them sleeping in their firetrucks parked all over
the place
in the parking lot where i garden it was mostly full of these
firetrucks on saturday morning full of firefighters
some were still asleep sitting up as i went to check on my
garden just at dawn
thats when i took the above picture from the garden area
you could see the worried look on their faces
they knew they were in for a fight that day
the calm before the storm
it was like looking at the faces of soldiers right before
they went into battle

as of today the fire is 40%+ contained
expected containment is in january maybe in february

saturday morning i started watching the news on the local station
about 500 am
the reporter was standing above montecito
giving a report about the glow way up the mountain
little wind was blowing
the next time they came back to him
the wind was blowing
a sundowner its called
usually coming as the sun goes down
this one should have been called the sunriser wind
you could see the leaves and the branches starting to
move above his head
the fire just popped up in the mountains
it started moving down the hill
he evacuated and set up down the hillside

from there it only got worse

at day break i went to water my garden as i wrote above
it was calm
looking back towards the montecito hills i could see this
the kind you see when an atomic bomb was dropped
thats all i could think of when i saw the plume
i quickly watered my garden well

as i left i told the firefighters
thinking as i talked to them
of my younger brother joe and my three nephews
all who were or are now firemen
is this what they had to deal with in their careers
they seemed relaxed those firefighters
ready for the day they were
just with a worried look on their faces

on the way back
the winds hit
almost blowing me off the road
the gusts were up to 60 plus mph

for the fire
it was like if you have made the mistake of
pouring gas on a fire
it just exploded that fire and it took off

when i left our condo except for the plume
it was almost crystal clear
when i arrived back to the condo
i was only gone about 20 minutes
it was like a thick fog everywhere
i didnt have my mask on
i could feel it deep down in my lungs
whenever i took a deep breath

when i got inside the news reports came on
the voluntary evacuation area had dropped down
to our street
we had already decided
voluntary meant manditory

so we grabbed our packed bags
which we packed over a week ago
grabbed a satchel of records
my grandmothers handmade pillow
my electronic stuff bag
my wife she
my motherinlaw
off we went to the los angeles area

our older son and his family ie ms b evacuated
with us

my wife she looked at me and we both said
arent we glad we did that minimalist thing
months ago when we moved here
giving away all that stuff to folks that we would
have tried to save

this fire just took off
it raced down the hills above montecito and santa barbara
like a drag racer taking off or a down hill avalanche
you could see it in the eyes and voice of the commander
as he was interviewed
we are in a fight
he said

fought they did
hundreds of firefighters
hundreds of firetrucks
thousands of gallons of water and retardent
miles and miles of water hose had been laid over the last week
it was like
a war battle
well over a thousand homes were saved
like oprahs and ellens and rob lowes and thankful my
sisterinlaws place
a family friend though sadly lost his home
in the hills of montecito
so did a few others
17000 were evacuated
30000 were placed in voluntary evacuation

the fire in 12 hours burned through over 11,000 acres

so here we are on monday morning
the winds are calm
they will be that way for 2 1/2 days
then on wednesday night they are scheduled to take off again

it almost feels like we are in this war zone
we are in the calm before the storm
just before the troops go out for the last battle
that will determine the war

thats where we are today
our bags are packed
we plan to leave again
maybe not as far
but to a place nearby that should not burn

as i told relatives
im use to dealing with thunder storms and tornadoes
this fire thing feels different
it more like being in war
we dont like it at all

one firefighter was killed
his group was doing a back fire burning when the fire
jumped back on top of him
he died from burns and  smoke inhalation
his name was corey iverson
he was 32 years old
he has a wife
a small child
his wife is pregnant

here is a go fund me page for donations for his family
and unborn child
i plan to use some of our christmas gift money to donate to them
i rather my gift be to them than to my wife she or me
link to the cory iverson gofundme page

i also was thinking about all that tax fight stuff in washington
all that other garbage thats going on
this is where i want my tax money spent
where it directly affects folks lives
this is money well spent fighting these fires
i would hate to see what his place would look like
right now if our state local federal government didint support
fighting these fires

we all have two days to regroup

to answer those who asked
would you still move here if you had to do it again
as we played with ms b
safe in a friends home in the los angeles area
you betcha

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 15, 2017

alzheimers disease-is this the answer to their disease

Image result for organicgreendoctor
there are several neurological diseases that have a lot in common
when you get the disease
there is no cure
it probably will be the cause of your death

alzheimers disease
huntingtons disease

my friend greg had huntingtons
his mom and brothers had it
the result is the same for all of them

huntingtons sort of is a combo of als parkinsons and alzheimers
having the worse symptoms of each

its a cruel disease
sometimes even at the end the mind is still intact
the body is not

i remember seeing greg a few weeks before he died
we were all sitting around
he was lying in bed
hardly if at all able to move any muscle
the fasciulations controlled with meds
he barely could swallow
when he talked you had to get close to him
to hear what he said

we were trying to all think of  a famous scupturer
out of his low voice came the answer

its one of the cruelest disease

there may be a breakthrough in the disease
heres an article on the new breakthrough treatment

in huntingtons
the huntingtin gene on chromosome 4 has a defective gene
there is a messenger rna that makes a defective protein version of
the huntingtin protein
this defective protein kills the brain cells

the new drug goes in and attaches itself to the rna
shuts off the rna from signaling the making of the bad protein

the result is no brain cell destruction occurs
in animal studies the damaged brain cells even repair themselves

in the phase 1 human studies the huntingtons disease is slowed
maybe stopped

this is the hope for all those with the disease and those who
carry the gene

oh if something like that could happen with alzheimers disease

heres hoping  my aducanumab study provides something like that

theres hope now

fire update
the thomas fire is now the 4th largest ever in california
900+structures destroyed
243,000 acres burned
35%  contained
full containment expected maybe in janury
there have been two deaths so far
a retired lawyer crashed and burned while escaping the fire
a young san diego fireman died fighting the blaze
as i was outside working in the school garden yesterday
it sounded like a war zone with all the helicopters and planes
flying overhead to drop water on the flames
tonight and tomorrow the winds will pick up again
these winds may decide whether the fire drops down on us
from the foothills and the mountains
if it does we plan to evacuate north or to the south to la
i have gained a lot of respect for the firefighting folks working
on this fire

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, December 14, 2017

sb country n news-squirrels 9 togd 7

Image result for organicgreendoctor school garden
my wife she laughed real hard when i sent her the score
she texted me
this is like that caddyshack movie
isnt it

i didnt think that was real funny
so i chuckled some

i texted her back
i guess im going to have to rewatch that movie
now what did he use against those gophers
i dont golf

so for about a week the new structures i wrote about
in this blog titled
sb country n news-squirrels 6 togd 2
seemed to work
the veggies were all weedeated down to the ground
at least thats what it looked like

my goal
i decided to be persistant
until i get a good crop of veggies
for these kindergartners to eat
they have replanted the stuff themselves more than once
plus i replanted stuff when they werent looking

they just take it in stride
look at it
just move on to playing in the dirt making things
out of rocks and sticks and leaves etc
having a good time

my goal is
to light a little fire of interest in gardening
to get them eating healthy food ie veggies

i seem to be fighting these varmints in the garden
the general feeling among garden folks ive talked to
is its the drought here
there isnt much fresh stuff to eat right now
around the school
except for whats in our garden

varmints are
voles which are mice like varmints that also dig tunnels

i thought my cages i made would stop all them
something ate everything we planted

as i was working i just happened to look back at the bed
with the lettuce
there was this little bird sitting ie perched on the wire
opening in the chicken wire
with a piece of lettuce in its mouth
that explains a lot i thought to myself

thats not a snake its a gourd called a snake gourd

i decided to do what i should have done in the first place
use 1/2 inch hardware cloth instead of chicken wire

so i used this bed as a test bed
i dug all the dirt out of the bed to insure that the hardware cloth
was all intact underneath the frame
this keeps the voles and gophers from digging from
it was intact
in fact i could see where they were digging around
under the bed but couldnt break through the wire
i took off the chicken wire around the pvc frame
replaced it with hardware cloth
replanted a test plant
a sweet pea vine

my theory is
now none of these varmints can get inside this thing
no gophers no voles no mice or rats no squirrels
no little birds

so at 48 hours the little pea vine is reaching up towards
the sky looking for sunshine

heres hoping the score goes to

if this works
i will redo all the frames

so when the kids return in january
everything will be growing real good
they wont believe the story when i tell them
yes they will

fire update
A map of the fire's progression over the past few days.

this is the thomas fire
that reddest western edge is the one that we are worried about
it sits above montecito where ellen and oprah live
is moving ever so slowly
westward across the mountains and foothills
that stretches just above santa barbara

as it moves
if the winds change to blow from the north
the fire will move downward on top of santa barbara
which it is expected to do over the next two days

where we rented when we first moved here is in the
voluntary evacuation zone just above the foothill road
which is the dividing line for the evacuation zones

its expected they will have to evacuate the area soon
where we live will be changed to a voluntary evacuation zone
which for us is going to be the
we are out of here zone

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

sweet home alabama

State seal of Alabama
except for a twist of fate
my wife she and i would have moved to alabama
specifically near fair hope and gulf shores alabama
when i finished my resdiency

i owed the federal government three years in an undeserved area
since they helped finance my medical education

one of the approved sites was near gulf shores
a place we had been going to for several years for our vacations

our friends greg and susan first introduced us to the area
we fell in love with it

the person who was working at the federal site decided
that they wanted to stay another tour there
if they hadnt made that decision
we likely would be living there today
we would have voted in the alabama senatorial election yesterday

there is a time in politics
when folks have to do whats right
throw their politics aside

thats what happened yesterday
when moore lost the election

these two groups stepped up to do what was right
for our country

the people of color especially black alabamians
republicans like senator richard shelby who refused to vote for the nominee
but instead like 20,000+ decided to write in another candidate
which was really a vote against moore

how embarrassing it would have been to have him moore
as your senator

alabama should be proud
like they are for their football teams
that they did what was right

it was time for alabama to make that next step
to rid some of the shackles of their past

history will always look down on them with praise
for standing up to do what was right

its almost as if there has been some clearing of the air
so that most in politics will reach a civil point
where maybe there will be some working together to get
done what needs to be done
tax reform
less national debt
less racial discord
more civility
immigration reform
things that matter to all of us
no matter what are political beliefs are
granted its all being forced on the politicians

thank you alabama
sweet home alabama

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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
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
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
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


the organicgreen doctor