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, August 7, 2019

my story revisited 15

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when i was first diagnosed with mci due to alzheimers disease my symptoms were more subtle and really only showed up on my neuropsychological testing and initially on the moca test the one sometimes done in the office

after my diagnosis i decided that one of my goals would be to educate folks as many as i could about alzheimers disease
one of the things i did was list the 10 signs of alzheimers disease listed on the alzheimers associations website www.alz.org

i have none of these signs
you have to be further along that i am to start showing some of these signs
although the one thing i have noticed is some spatial things in my peripheral vision
i notice it more since i had my cataract surgery in my left eye
some think that the spatial vision is the first sign or symptom one notices
it will affect ones driving eventually

driving when one shouldnt be driving is probably the biggest risk to bodily harm and death to someone with memory loos and also to innocent other drivers and pedestrians and bikers
another risk is the wandering that can happen to alzheimers patients as they worsen
ive vowed not to be one of these statistics
when its my time to stop driving i will stop driving

the goal of  research now is to find folks before these signs show up then develop medications and treatments to stop the disease before it gets this far
we are close but arent there yet
what researchers are realizing is once signs show up the disease may not be able to be stopped but maybe it can be slowed down some

the first thing you do is to maximize your health
do all those healthy things we all should be doing
maybe more aggressively
exercise eat a diet like the mind diet maintain a normal weight get adequate sleep avoid meds that can affect the memory control blood pressure cholesterol and diabetes avoid excessive alcohol dont smoke eg


i will post these warnings signs for early alzheimers each day

i dont have any of these signs yet
as i have early mild cognitive impairment amnesic type that is
thought to be the precursor to early alzheimers

my findings only show up on more elaborate neuropsychological testing 
however i do notice some of them but others dont yet

#1    memory changes that disrupt daily life.   

one of the most common signs of alzheimers, especially in the early stages is
forgetting recently learned information     
also including forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over and relying on memory aides( eg reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

whats typical or 'normal'
sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering
them later

this is from the alzheimers association website www,alz.org


from the alzheimers association website
on knowing the 10 signs of early alzheimers

2     challenges in planning and solving problems   

some people may experience changes in their ability to develop
and follow a plan or work with numbers     
they may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of
monthly bills     
they may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do some things that they did before

whats normal     
making occasional errors when balancing a check book

im thankful that i dont have this problem but my wife she does
with the checkbook


3   difficulty in completing  familiar tasks at home, at work,
or at leisure.

people with alzheimers often find it hard to complete daily tasks     
sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work
or remembering the rules of a favorite game

whats typical or normal
occasionally needing help to use the settings on a
microwave or to record a television show
im glad thats typical    
my wife she has to do all of that for me but thats been for years

from www.alz.org 


4   confusion with time and place    

people with alzheimers can loose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time
they may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately     
sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there

whats typical   
getting confused about the day of the week
but figuring it out later
(whew that one had me worried at first)


5     trouble understanding visual and spatial relationships

for some people having visual problems is a sign of alzheimers     
they may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast     
in terms of perception they may pass a mirror and think someone
else is in the room
they may not recognize their own reflection

whats typical
vision changes related to cataracts

as i read these and write these signs each day i reflect
back on my moms journey with this disease and see
things that we did not recognize as a problem early on

later on in her disease these were very obvious to everyone


6     new problems with words in speaking or writing

people with alzheimers may have trouble following or
joining a conversation    
they may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they
may repeat themselves    
they may struggle with vocabulary,
have trouble finding the right words or call things by the wrong
name (eg. a watch a hand clock)

whats typical or normal
sometimes  having trouble finding the right word


7     misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

a person with alzheimers disease may put things in unusual places
they may lose things and be unable to go back over the steps to
find them again    
sometimes they may accuse others of stealing   
this may occur more frequently over time

whats typical or normal
misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses (my
wife she has this problem) or the remote control (thats a man thing)
now where is my shovel

from www.alz.org


8     decreased or poor judgement

people with alzheimers may experience changes in judgement
or decision-making
for example they may use poor judgement when dealing with
money, giving large sums to telemarketers
they may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean

whats typical or normal
making a bad decision once in a while

my mom had a real problem with giving excessive money to
charities and to telemarketers
its obscene how they take advantage of the elderly
no one does anything about it
we put her on a do not call list, added caller identifier to her phone,
and put her on a no junk mail list
i even did a change of address to a lot of them to send her junk
mail to my house
she died almost 3 years ago and i still get requests from charities
etc for donations

9    withdrawal from work or social activities

a person with alzlheimers may start to remove themselves from
hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports

they may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team
or remember how to complete a favorite hobby
they may also avoid being social because of the changes
they experienced

whats typical or normal
sometimes feeling weary of work, family, and social obligations

weve all been there right


9    withdrawal from work or social activities

a person with alzheimers may start to remove themselves from
hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports

they may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team
or remember how to complete a favorite hobby
they may also avoid being social because of the changes
they experienced

whats typical or normal
sometimes feeling weary of work, family, and social obligations

weve all been there right

my mom loved to go to church every sunday even as she
progressed in her disease        
in the nursing home even when more advanced she still enjoyed the church services and singing

one problem with patients with alzheimers and other diseases is
that people dont go and visit the patients as they worsen
this is true of a lot of diseases-terminal cancer, huntingtons, als,
hiv etc
this sometimes is when patients need the visits the most
i think most of us are afraid because we see ourselves and
dont want to face the inevitable end of life

from www.alz.org/10 signs


10      changes in mood and personality

the mood and personalities of people with alzheimers can
they can be confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious     
they may be typically upset at home, at work, with friends, or in places where they are out of their comfort zones

whats typical or normal
developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming
irritable when a routine is disrupted

now that sounds familiar

from the alzheimers association website- www.alz.org
its a wealth of information about this disease

the organicgreen doctor

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