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

Monday, December 24, 2018

december 22nd 2010

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that day will always be important to me my family my friends my patients as it was the day that my life changed from where i was at that day to where i am now

not all folks can pick a day that deflected their life in another direction

its been 8 years since that day
a few weeks before as i volunteered to be in that normal control group of the alzheimers research study i was happy i was doing my part to advance alzheimers research even it meant being in the normal study group
the deflection came like a rock on an incline where a ball rolls down
hits the rock
careens off in another direction
it was that day

i sat there staring sweating almost woozy like as i couldnt answer their questions correctly
i knew it would be coming for me i just didnt think it would be this soon
my mom had just died with it a few months earlier
my younger brother was in the throes of it when i sat there in that chair
as a doctor and a family member of those affected i knew what it meant when i couldnt answer those questions correctly
yep i knew

yes the next morning as i sat at my computer i cried
i can remember the tears dropping down onto the computer keyboard
i didnt wipe them off my face or the keyboard
i just let them dry in place

i sat there and planned what i was to do
after receiving that phone call giving me my final report
i knew i had 3 weeks to plan what happened next
i slowed down my practice a lot
starting seeing folks early for med refills doing well child exams and physicals early
i said bye to a lot of folks they just didnt know it at the time

the last patient i saw in practice was an employees sons 2 year well child exam
i had called her a few days before and asked her to bring him in for his exam
i knew he would be the last patient i ever saw

that afternoon the clinic supervisor said
you arent coming back are you

i deflected like that rock did with my answer
i thought to myself as i drove home
thats it

i met the neurologist the next day
got my official diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment probably due to alzheimers disease
i got my prescription aricept (donepezil) which might slow down the disease maybe

i decided to not look back just forward
i never returned to work
i gave up my medical license
i entered a new world

as i look back over the last 8 years and look at where i thought i would be on december 22nd 2018 and now where i am on that date
i am pleasantly surprised and happy with my health and my life

since i had seen this disease up close and personal i thought i knew where i would be in those 8 years
i really expected a slow decline in my memory and physical symptoms over this time
so that i wouldnt be driving or writing or doing things independently today
here i am writing my blog for eight years
i just scheduled a 5 day vacation and trip to new orleans for my sons wedding
no my wife she lets me do all that
i just did our budget for the next year
i just reallocated our investments myself
i just did a preliminary assessment for our taxes next year
i think nothing of hopping in my car and driving to ucla for my infusions or scans by myself
granted my wife usually tags along
in the last few months i have done 3 alzheimers presentations to large groups and did an interview for the alzheimers grater los angeles to use in a day long seminar for doctors and nurses and health workers on what its like to be a patient and what they should do better
yes i spoke from the patient side and the doctor side
yes i like the doctor side much better

my life my status is so much better than what i expected i it to be back in 2010

if i have one health issue i could fix it would be my sleep
the aricept (donepezil) interferes with my ability to get enough sleep each day
luckily i am retired and can grab a daily nap when i can
an event i enjoy each day

as i have improved over the last 8 years i know that part of that improvement may be due to the aricept (donepezil)
i am willing to accept the side effects of lack of sleep and the blurred vision the nausea the dizziness it sometimes causes
i am afraid to discontinue it
i know if i stopped it my sleep would return to normal and those other symptoms would go away
if it is helping its just delaying symptoms since i know it doesnt really stop the disease
i understand that
im afraid if i stop it i will go down into the abyss
a place i want to avoid as long as i can

why am i better
why are my memory scores better
the aricept (donepezil)  i started it real early my mom and two brothers stared it much later
i take better care of my health than i did 8 years ago yes getting this diagnosis wakes you up some about your health another reason to get an early diagnosis
i discovered i had a low b12 level and a low vitamin d3 level and an abnormal homocysteine level
these are corrected with supplements
i take 12 supplements a day that may help slow down the disease  even though they havent been absolutely proven to help
i am willing to try them hoping that one or more might make a difference
i stay busy social mentally and physically
my real only issue i have is my sleep issue

when i look back
i am so thankful to be where i am today
being surrounded by my family
staying active
being able to receive the experimental drug aducanumab at ucla each month that might also be slowing down this disease

i really cant complain for where i am today
eight years later

i want to wish the readers of this blog my family my friends
a merry christmas
and or
a happy new year
and or
a happy holidays

i feel quite merry and happy today on my anniversary

the organicgreen doctor

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