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, September 28, 2018

alzheimers news-to answer their questions

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in the morning my wife she and i will hop in our car and make the pleasant trip down to santa monica as i am on a panel of people with early memory loss at the ucla medical center in santa monica for the early memory loss conference sponsored by the alzheimers greater los angeles and the mary easton center for alzheimers research center at ucla 

the conference will run from 9am to 3pm
here is the link to the conference 

on the panel i am on there will be 4 people with early memory loss
some will have their wives with them
as you hear them answer questions you can easily tell they need their partners there to help them answer and remember what to say

last time i did this
it was obvious when comparing me to the other 3 people that my symptoms are mild and early
really not obvious to others
thats not the case with the other folks on the panel

ive never seen a panel like this where patients answered the questions from the moderator and from the audience
many of the answers came from deep inside
they were answers that you dont hear from those affected with this disease very often
well no one asked

all said treat me like a regular person
dont talk down to me

here are some of the questions that will be asked of us by the moderator
the best questions though come from the audience
folks want answers to questions that arent getting answered
these questions from the audience go on until the moderate stops them due to time limitations
last time we ran over 30 minutes because of the audience questions

i will provide a shortened version of my answers to the moderators questions

what were your early symptoms
i did not know i was having symptoms until i had my memory tests
after it was abnormal i did a look back and realized i was having trouble with my memory
it was things i noticed but not others

did you have difficulty getting a diagnosis
no i volunteered for a research study and the memory testing showed i had memory issues

what was your initial response to the diagnosis
did you tell others
i felt overwhelmed when i realized that my moment had arrived
yes i told everyone i could
my wife was with me when i was tested 
i later told my two sons
i did a lot of crying since i had seen my mother and my younger brother struggle with alzheimers
i knew what was coming for me
8 years ago when i was diagnosed i really didnt think i would be able to sit here today and write the answers much less be on a panel talking about it or giving talks on alzheimers disease to groups

what in your life was impacted the most
i went from seeing 30 +- patients a day to not working
to needing to find things to do
luckily we had moved to the country n and i had the 10 acres and the property to care for
i entered a research study and began volunteering 

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deseret news article on my story

what changes did you make in your life
i began to do healthy things more aggressively
like controlling my blood pressure my cholesterol my weight exercising more eating better learned to relax and stayed busy mentally and physically and socially

where do you find support
what helps you cope with the new changes
my family
my gardening and other volunteering efforts like the school garden and the alzheimers organizations and doing seminars like this one and other alzheimers talks

have there been positives
i know what i have so i can deal with it
knowing early has allowed me to be aggressive with my health
my wife she and i have been able to plan out our financial and legal documents
my family knows whats going on and we can just move forward to enjoy our lives while we can

do you have any advice to professionals working with early memory loss patients
listen to your patients

usually on the way back to santa barbara we drive the highway one through malibu and along the coast until it meets the hwy 101 below santa barbara

its a beautiful relaxing drive that im sure tomorrow i will be doing a lot of reflections on my story and what was said at the conference
yes i will cry some on the way home

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here is the information on our team for the walk to end alzheimers next month

my team in the santa barbara walk to end alzheimers on saturday november 3rd is called

click the link above and donate and or walk with us

the organicgreen doctor

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