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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

organicgreendoctor: the 3 of us

organicgreendoctor: the 3 of us: THE 3 OF US during the holidays we made a quick trip to southern arkansas for my poet writer carver witty brotherinlaws 80th birthday i m...

the 3 of us

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during the holidays we made a quick trip to southern arkansas for my poet writer carver witty brotherinlaws 80th birthday
i must say i hope i make it that far and am intact mentally and physically like he is

on our way to the austin airport we had a few hours to meet up with friends and family at chuys to get our chuys fix a must for any visit to the area
we like one of the first two original chuys locations

there were twelve of us all sitting together outside since the weather was so nice
we visited for over 3 hours
yes i gave the waiter extra tips for taking care of us all

in that group there were 3 of us
all with different neurological diseases that are known to be fatal

one of course is me with my mci due to alzheimers disease
i know what the course of the disease is since i watched my mother and younger brother die with it
i have also seen others with the disease over the years end up the same way

another of the folks there this day has huntingtons disease
its a genetic disease that is a dominant gene
if you get that gene you get the disease
thats what you will probably die from
like me with my alzheimers disease who lost family with the disease
her father and sister died from huntingtons disease

the other person has a rare disease thats similar to multiple sclerosis but slightly different
sadly im sure the result will be the same as with all 3 of us

i was and will be in the biogen aducanumab study starting hopefully in march receiving monthly infusions of a drug that at higher doses has been shown to at least slow the disease down

all 3 of us will accept slowing down our diseases
cure we would like
slowing down it we will accept

i also am aggressively doing all the healthy things one does to take care of your health
i also take several supplements from bredesens reversal of cognitive decline protocol
something im doing has helped

the person with huntingtons is also doing the same things i am doing
she is in a study where she receives infusions via spinal tap every few months
this drug decreases the abnormal protein thats made in huntingtons disease in the brain
not a cure but it may slow things down
she also has a fitbit like wrist watch with an accompanying smartphone that monitors her movements
she also once or twice a day does a protocol of activity on the smartphone that monitors her movements
if you have ever seen someone with huntingtons progress you understand what i am talking about

my good friend greg died a few years with this disease
the neuromuscular systems fails them so eventually their body fails them
but cruelly the brain function usually remains intact
greg was that way
he couldnt swallow or eat or breathe normally and his arms and legs wiggled and moved around a lot
but he was as sharp as he was when he was in his medical practice
this one is a cruel disease

they are on the cusp of having an actual cure for huntingtons disease using genetic manipulation
she may miss out on it though or she might make it in time

as compared to the other two of my neurological disease buddies mine may be the most merciful for the patient as our mind goes and we dont understand or know what happens to us in the end
theirs doesnt work that way
their body fails them but their mind may be in intact

the other person with the ms like disease is scheduled to go to mayo clinic for aggressive treatment and therapy the first part of 2020

i have known them both now for over 15 years
this is the first time ive seen them in over 2 years
i must say i really thought they would have been more progressed in their disease but they werent
i could tell a difference but was expecting things to be worse

the mayo clinic one i thought looked much better than since the last time i saw her
i remember the first time i met her several years ago she came into the restaurant in a wheel chair
she freely walked into this restaurant this last week
something she is doing has made her better

now i know of course with ms that folks can have good days and bad days
i would say this was a good day for her

i do know that 9 years ago when i was diagnosed if you had asked me what would we all 3 of us be like in 2020
i would say that a person with hungtingtons at her stage would be all bedridden needing total care
well she is not there
i would say that a person with an ms like illness in a wheelchair would carry a poor prognosis 9 years later
well she looks better to me
i would have said that in 2020 i would probably be mentally incompetent and probably would have been in a memory care center
im not
my memory is in the normal range and except for complaints a normal 70 year old would have i am doing just fine

my new years resolution or hope is that the 3 of us continue with our neurological recoveries at the same level we are now this year

we are all working hard to make it happen

i was in my garden this week after i returned standing in that big space all by myself looking up at the mountains in the distance with the wisp of clouds floating by listening to the birds chirping and the chickens happily clucking when i thought about the 3 of us

us neurological cousins all 3 of us sitting at that chuys restaurant visiting all involved in research for a cure and treatment of our diseases but still living our lives
feeling lucky we are

we are kin forever

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 30, 2019

organicgreendoctor: what to recycle what to trash im confused

organicgreendoctor: what to recycle what to trash im confused: WHAT TO RECYCLE WHAT TO TRASH IM CONFUSED i use to think i knew what to recycle and what to put in the trash now im all confused we ha...

what to recycle what to trash im confused

i use to think i knew what to recycle and what to put in the trash
now im all confused

we have been recyclers for years
when we lived at the country n we would produce only about a small grocery plastic bag of trash a week with the rest of the stuff going to the recycle place which was about 5 miles away
it seemed easy when we did it
it seems they say no this ones ok and this ones not
read this npr article linked here
its a good one with pictures and explanations in it
after reading it and going through our recycle container
i now have a better idea of what to trash and what to recycle
i think i do
here is a picture of our recycle container that was full
we take it to our condos trash area and dump it in the recycle container

the ones i was most confuse about was the clam containers the plastic bags the smaller plastics the plastic tubs the bottles and containers that hold things like cleaners sprayers etc

after digging through our stuff here is what i found in our recycle bin that shouldnt be there
well i dug through all of that stuff and couldnt find anything that shouldnt be in there

is my simple version of what to recycle and what not to recycle based on this npr article

plastic wraps nope
plastic bags nope
note we take our bread bags and reuse them like you would a ziplock bag then eventually trashing it
seems such a waste these plastic bags
we also use our reusable shopping bags our favorite being the one we got as a christmas present last year

small plastics like caps chapsticks straws spoons that would all be a nope

flexible packages like chips food pouches thats a nope also

deodorants thats a nope

plastic bottles well thats why recycle was started to recycle them
some places are ok the caps left on some dont
we leave ours on
if i can i squeeze the air out and screw on the lid so that they wont explode when squished
so thats a yes

other plastic bottles like ketchup and mustard and peanut butter and spray bottles and cleaning stuff
be sure and wash them out good
thats a yes on those

plastic clam shells thats a maybe
some places like them some dont since some machines get gummed up processing them
they are similar plastic to the plastic bottles
you can see a clam shell in the picture above that held tomatoes
i say yes

yogurt or butter tubs
wash them good
i say yes although some places dont want them

polystyrene or styrofoam
thats a definite no
although some places have a separate place for these
if not dump in trash

plastic bags and wrappers
some grocery stores will take back the grocery plastic bags
thats a nope

paper glass metal cardboard
thats a yes

batteries is a definite no
our facility takes them and recycles them separately

i went through our refrigerator our cabinets our trash can and our recycle bin this morning before and after writing this blog

i now have a good understanding of what to recycle and what to trash

i do worry that as time goes on in this old world that plastics will eventually make it into our dna and destroy us

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

organicgreendoctor: december 22nd 2010 when my life changed

organicgreendoctor: december 22nd 2010 when my life changed: DECEMBER 22nd 2010 WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED last year i wrote this blog with the same date on it i wont repeat a lot of what i wrote that da...

december 22nd 2010 when my life changed

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last year i wrote this blog with the same date on it
i wont repeat a lot of what i wrote that day
click here to read it
its a nice summary of the last 8 years until this year
ill update this last year in todays blog

have you ever rolled a ball down an incline
when it hits a rock it just changes directions
just goes off to one side in another path
thats what happened to me and us almost 9 years ago

i went from a full steamed busy practice one day to a full retirement mode the next
i had a month to prepare for it
i had taken that memory test and knew i didnt pass it
i prepped for that day over that last month
you can read last years blog to get the full story

i have been doing all those things mentioned in that blog that has got me to this point almost a decade later
where im cognitively normal on memory tests and my health seems to be doing well

so when i look back in the near future while i can and i ask myself
what things did you do and what do you attribute to how well you have done
better than expected i must add
so far

i was speaking with an elder attorney this week and she asked me that same question
i answered her as below and as i wrote in last years blog

of course i would mention aggressively doing all the healthy things that one should be doing anyway and taking supplements and being active as i can be mentally socially and physically
if i when i look back
5 years from now
what one thing would i pick out that will make the most difference
i would say
it was
getting into the biogens aducanumab research study getting monthly infusions
it may be the icing on our cake

so far i only got 18 months of placebo and then got 7 months of the real drug when they cancelled it
hopefully in march i will start on the high dose the 10 mgm/kgm dose that has shown to do these things ill briefly list here

after getting the high dose for the max amount of time
these folks
had most of the amyloid removed from the brain so the amyvid amyloid pet scans are read as negative

they also had a reduction in tau protein in the brain
tau being what follows when the amyloid accumulates
where the tau goes determines what part of the brain gets damaged by alzheimers
their tau got reduced and its spread slowed down
their mmse which is one of the gold standard memory tests got better by a significant amount
their activities of daily living or adl also got better
thats things like driving remembering things cooking getting dressed and other functional things
they all got better

i really just got started on this stuff
these folks who showed the benefit are almost 5 years ahead of me
i have a lot of catching up to do
im cognitively normal to begin with now
9 years ago i was not

i will be one of over 3000 folks in the world am i ever lucky who will have the opportunity to be on this stuff
i will be on it in this study until it goes on the market
that could be as early as the end of 2020 at the earliest but my guess is it will be later than that

so when i reach my 5 years in 2024 and i sit down and write my annual anniversary blog around christmas time that year i sure hope i still am this positive
the fact in 5 years that i can write a blog is quite significant if it happens

last week i watched a podcast from the site being patient
it was an interview with one of the researchers for the biogen study from canada who had 29 people in her portion of the study
eg ucla had 8 utsw dallas had 8 also
she does an excellent job of explaining how aducanumab works and what the results meant to her patients
she is a researcher but she is also a practicing neurologist who takes care of these patients and can see the benefits that they have had being on the drug
her group was about 3 years ahead of the ucla and utsw dallas groups

if you want to know more about this drug and if it would help you and your family i suggest you click on the link here to watch the podcast
this is the best explanation that i have seen

her thoughts
yes it will help people get better or at least not decline as much and as fast
it will eventually be used in folks with minimal symptoms or even no symptoms to slow down the disease
this drug is just the beginning of more drugs to come
eg there are drugs that will remove the tau that are on the way
you could easily be on one to remove amyloid and one to remove tau and another to fight inflammation in the brain
we do with hiv or high blood pressure or even diabetes
use a multidrug approach

here is the link to the podcast

my wife she
asked me
what do you want for christmas this year
i said
i dont want anything else
i am getting the best present ever march 2020

have a happy holiday

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

organicgreendoctor: get them pretend toys for christmas

organicgreendoctor: get them pretend toys for christmas: GET THEM PRETEND TOYS FOR CHRISTMAS each thursday during the school year i volunteer at a local kindergarten spending about 5-10 minutes ...

get them pretend toys for christmas

each thursday during the school year i volunteer at a local kindergarten spending about 5-10 minutes with groups of 3-4 kids at at time doing some type of gardening
last week we harvested lettuce that they planted a few weeks ago in 6 packs
when the lettuce got big enough they planted it in their raised garden beds
they now twice have harvested a leaf of lettuce
yes they know how to pinch off the leaf without pulling up the plant
they take the leaf and double wash it
we have set out veggies like tomatoes shredded carrots green beans celery that they place on their lettuce leaf and roll it up like a taco
they call it their lettuce tacos
seconds are encouraged

after the session with me they go back and play in the area shown in the picture

on the days i am there they see me for 5-10 minutes then they play in the play area for 20 minutes

if you ask most of them they will say that that 30 minutes outside in the garden and in the play area is the highlight of the day

in the play area are old tires lots of loose limbs and logs old metal rings off whiskey barrels a long black french drain flexible pipe old black plastic nursery pots old tree stumps lose pieces off the palm trees old buckets pitchers spoons and cups and kitchen utensils and numerous scattered pieces of other throw away things

during the time they are there you see them doing all kinds of creative things with all that junk
i doubt they get to do this anywhere else
it reminds me of how we played when i was growing up
we didnt have all that commercial play stuff
youll see them digging in the dirt or digging in the worm bin
yes they have to wash their hands good at the end of the session

those old stumps standing up in the play area have been used for making chef meals fairy gardens cooking stoves a base for making castles a place to jump off onto the soft dirt sand that covers the area and as stepping stones like you were walking across a creek

all creative things seem to happen
one rule is things you pick up cant be pointed at others or used as a weapon
doing so loses your play privileges

my guess is that they enjoy playing with all this junk more than any toy they have at home

so it was with interest that i read this article from the american academy of pediatrics on what kind of toys you should buy for your kids this christmas

if it makes a noise consider something that will stimulate more creative juices

mr hudson has this old cardboard box taped together with duct tape that has one side that opens
which provides a garage for parking his cars and trucks and tractors etc
he also uses that side as a ramp for his vehicles

you might read that article and think about what you are buying them for christmas and birthdays
will they be playing with them in a few weeks

we need to stimulate creativity encourage independent playing without all the bells and whistles
that i must say can get annoying
i have removed many a battery from these toys in years past

let them pretend and be creative with the right christmas gifts

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 16, 2019

organicgreendoctor: my last will and testament

organicgreendoctor: my last will and testament: MY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT i dug this out of our will folder this morning i opened it up and read the date oops i said im not practici...

my last will and testament

i dug this out of our will folder this morning
i opened it up and read the date
oops i said
im not practicing what i preach

the date on this will is 1994
it was written in texas
our kids were in their teenage years
two of my patients were attorneys and did these for us

luckily so far i have never had to use the will
i want to be ready if its needed

i talked to my rainwater brother who is a financial planner who recommended that i wait until we were settled in california and then have a will and those other papers redone

i used this workbook he gave to me to fill out
it asks a lot of questions that well you should be thinking about as you head to that final exit
i also filled out the five wishes booklet which you can obtain for free from the website you can see in the picture above
i filled the booklet out as did my wife she
it has the questions you need to answer so we answered them including the advance health care directive and the physician orders for life sustaining treatment (POLST)
trust me
do these and your family will appreciate it one day
some of these things will make it into our final papers

i was just going to do a online will or just handwrite one out since those are legal then do the workbook and the five wishes

i also listened to an elder lawyer give a talk at one of the alzheimers conference i was at
i realized that our estate may be just large enough that whoever ends up with what we have will have to pay some fees and taxes
i and my wife she have decided to meet with a lawyer actually that lawyer i mentioned above
to make sure all our paperwork is done and done right
so our transition to the next stage or our final stage is a uneventful one for those descendants left behind

over the years i have read about and listened to folks and yes experienced some of those horror stories that can happen if things arent done right
we want ours done right so there will be no misunderstanding or doubt about how we want things done

one of the important things is our living will and accommodating papers like the power of attorney for health care and how i want to be handle as i go into the alzheimers final stages

my instructions will be to let me go when the time comes
please dont hesitate
make that final journey as pleasant and painless as possible
i suggest you read the final wishes stuff

if we are lucky we will age well together slowly use up our assets so that there wont be much left

we have slowly over the last several years unloaded and simplified our assets holdings so that this transition should be as smooth as possible

i hope when they read that final will folks will say
hey they spent it all and left us nothing
that just means we had a good time at the end
whats left will be apportioned and handled as we deem the way we wanted it to be

stop a minute yes if you are middle age or older age and make sure your will and final wishes are done right
done the way you want them to be

i hope that when we are gone our family will say
thank you
for doing this right

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 13, 2019

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-what causes alzheimers disease

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-what causes alzheimers disease: ALZHEIMERS NEWS-WHAT CAUSES ALZHEIMERS DISEASE this fall i was on an alzheimers panel answering questions at a early alzheimers disease co...

alzheimers news-what causes alzheimers disease

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this fall i was on an alzheimers panel answering questions at a early alzheimers disease conference in the los angeles area

one of the lectures following the panel i was on was a researcher from ucla
she discussed the different causes of alzheimers disease

the risk factors and contributions on her slide as they were labeled are
note the comments are mine

aging-as you age your risk increases

the environment-who knows what we get into our brains over our lifetime from what we dump into the environment

social interactions-social interactions especially as one ages are important

mental health-things like anxiety and depression can contribute

education/brain resilience-the higher your education level the lower your risk

innate immunity-this one you get born with and protects you
some folks immune systems just work better than others

inflammatory pathways-the big area for inflammation is in the gut this inflammation may get transferred to the brain

hormonal regulation-the lack of testosterone and or estrogen and progesterone may contribute

oral health-inflammation in the gums can be transferred into the brain as well as possibly gum infections

gut microbiome-gut germs determine a lot of our nutrition and if disrupted can lead to an inflammatory response that can reach the brain

pathogens/toxins-maybe viral infections or gum infections or gut inflammation may reach the brain


vascular health ie blood pressure diabetes cholesterol

diet-this is a biggie try the mediterranean diet or mind diet

exercise -is another biggie

genetics-well you cant alter this one well now you cant but maybe in the future they will be able to alter your genetics to slow down or prevent the disease from starting

all these things or some of them going on at the same time leads to the accumulation of the amyloid in the brain and later the tau protein tangles accumulation and then the inflammation that occurs in the brain
all three destroy the brain in alzheimers

the goal should be to alter as many of these things as you can
some like genetics you cant do anything about but many of them you can
so many can be altered by life style changes

it is predicted that 35% of our dementia risk is modifiable

whether you get it or not may be in your hands

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, December 12, 2019

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-winterizing the garde...

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-winterizing the garde...: SANTA BARBARA COUNTRY N-WINTERIZING THE GARDEN in the austin area my garden at the country n was about 900 sqft here my garden area is 40...

santa barbara country n news-winterizing the garden


in the austin area my garden at the country n was about 900 sqft
here my garden area is 400 sqft

in austin i had to mostly shut down the beds in the winter only growing plants that could withstand the deep freezes that would come through the area
i used row covers but sometimes if it got real cold it would wipe out most of what was in the garden
i would shut down a large portion of the garden to rest for the winter

the technique i would use is the same as what i do here in santa barbara

i would clear off my garden bed
add a generous real generous layer of compost on top striving for 4 inches
add a sprinkling of a good organic fertilizer
work that into the soil with a garden fork
rake it smooth
soak it with a mixture of fish emulsion sea weed molasses
cover it with either a layer of pine straw
cover it with a layer of cover crop which included bean peas hairy vetch and oats
letting it grow all winter long
when it was time to plant
i would cut the cover crop off at the soil level
feeding the tops to the chickens since it would all eventually end up in my chicken generated compost
some gardeners would just turn over the soil so the tops would be down into the bed
dumping its nutrition into the soil
these cover crops also fix nitrogen into the soil

in the spring all i had to do was just plant my plants like my tomatoes or peppers etc since the soil was allowed to enrich itself during the winter months

here in santa barbara it doesnt freeze
i still do the same thing i did in the country n to the soil
leaving about a fourth of my beds unplanted for the winter months
letting those beds rest and get richer

any bed that i am going to plant for the winter i do that compost fertilizer liquid fish emulsion seaweed molasses mixture before planting

i have several beds sitting empty growing cover crops with a light sprinkling of pine straw over them
in march or april i will start planting my spring crops in them
like tomatoes peppers beans okra basil egg plant etc

i know im doing the right thing for my garden since i am now at the point where i can garden with just my hands and hand tools
digging down in my beds reveal a deep dark rich soil with earthworms in there
when i started over two years ago it was mostly a gray clay dominated soil

a garden rule is if your worms like your soil your plants will also

in my beds in the pictures above i have planted
a bed of onions
a bed of garlic
a bed of broccoli which are huge
a bed of cabbage
a bed of carrots
a long bed of sweet peas a 3 ft version and an 8 ft version
a bed of dinosaur kale curly leaf kale red kale

in texas some of this would freeze
here they just grow big
providing us with produce all winter long
interspersed in these beds are lettuce cilantro spinach multiplying onions

over the years i have figured out how much to plant so that we usually eat all thats produced
we dont have a lot that we have to freeze or can
ie we eliminated all the work that can come with over producing in the garden

winterizing the garden here in santa barbara is easy to do
you just plant it and fertilize it and water it and harvest it
then eat it

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 30-how long will i live

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 30-how long will i live: MY STORY REVISITED 30-HOW LONG WILL I LIVE i think we all would like to know how long we will live 8 years ago i found this website where...

my story revisited 30-how long will i live

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i think we all would like to know how long we will live
8 years ago i found this website where you could enter these health calculations to see how long you were programmed to live

i plugged in all the answers and came up with 91
when i look at my relatives my mom died in her mid 80s as did all her brothers and sisters with alzheimers disease or dementia
my dad died in his mid 70s from heart disease
my younger brother died in his early 60s with alzheimers disease

so i expect that that 91 for me is probably accurate since you would expect each generation to live longer
well thats not going to happen now in the us since the life expectancy is now dropping for everyone

one question the website didnt ask was
do you have alzheimers disease

if that one had been on there my guess is that that life expectancy for me would be
today 8-10 years later

here i am writing about that 8 year old blog about life expectancy
when i wrote it i really didnt think i would be sitting here this morning writing about this old blog

in the final paragraphs of that blog i wrote

also doing these things may also slow down the progression of
the disease once you do get it

so maybe all that work over 20+ years may help after all
if not then ......

here i am 
almost 10 years later
feeling better and healthier and as alert maybe more so than i was back then
my memory tests scores are much better

i am going to make it to 91 after all

i would accept making it to my mid 80s intact both physically and mentally

i wonder if 10 years from now if i will be able to write a blog then about the one i wrote today

if that aducanumab really turns out to work and new stuff will come along later then 
ill write that blog 
when im 80


we all want to know how long we will live
this website will calculate this for you after you answer a
few questions
tell the truth now
it takes about 5 minutes to do
click www.livingto100.com to do the calculation

i did it this morning
first i answered all the questions correctly and honestly
i am on medicine to control both my hdl and ldl so i was able to
answer that my hdl is over 45 and my ldl is lower than 100

when the calculations were done my calculated age is 91 years old
then i went back and changed my hdl and ldl to abnormal levels like
they use to be before i took medication and changed my diet and
increased my exercise
luckily for me i hope is that i did this 25 years ago
hopefully that will help me live longer

i went back and changed my cholesterol levels to where they use to
be and some of the history of what i use to do with diet and exercise
and the calculation lost several years of life expectancy

i was feeling good about all this until i realized that os i probably
have alzheimers disease which is going to mess up all the work
i have been doing to take care of my health over the years
alzheimers disease will probably shorten that life span by
15-20 years

maybe i should have just enjoyed those jalapeno cheeseburgers
with extra cheese and dripping greasy fries and said the heck
with it

(my medical school friend im sure remembers eating those at lunch
time when we rotated at the va hospital)

then i realized that maintaining your weight to normal, getting
exercise, eating properly, controlling your blood pressure,
controlling your cholesterol levels, avoiding excessive stress,
getting adequate sleep, not smoking, moderation of alcohol
intake, etc may turn out to be a way to delay or slow down
the onset of alzheimers and possibly prevent some causes of it

also doing these things may also slow down the progression of
the disease once you do get it

so maybe all that work over 20+ years may help after all
if not then ......


the questionnaire is easy to do and after you do a password you get your answer

i needed to decrease my coffee intake which i didnt and am not going to do
it said i was worried about my aging and health but i dont really feel like i do
i needed to lower my bp slightly since its running 130/80 and they recommend 120/70
doing that makes me dizzy during the day so im not going to do that either
they recommended i decrease my sweets but im not going to do that either
all the other healthy things they asked about i was doing already and i think is the real reason im doing ok now 8 years later

my expected life expectancy today was

click here to follow me on my facebook blog page organicgreendoctor

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

organicgreendoctor: update on mr hudson

organicgreendoctor: update on mr hudson: UPDATE ON MR HUDSON this is mr h using the raised garden at his home as a sandbox he loves to dig in the soil he loves being outside i...

update on mr hudson

this is mr h using the raised garden at his home as a sandbox
he loves to dig in the soil
he loves being outside
i think he must have gotten the gardening gene from me

mr h has chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease
he was born with an obstruction that permanently damaged most of his kidneys
the obstruction was easily opened up just after he was born
the damage was done

as he ages his body as it grows outgrows his kidneys ability to keep up with the growth
when they fail to a certain level it is time for a kidney transplant
if he can get to a large enough size

if they fail too far before transplant he will go on peritoneal dialysis until he is transplanted
he would then do home dialysis from a tube in his belly each night

right now his renal function measured as creatinine for those in the medical field is at around 5.9

when that goes higher and his bun climbs higher the decision will be made to do the transplant if he is big enough or if not he will start the dialysis

the thinking is he might have to have peritoneal dialysis for a short time before he is transplanted

his regimen now is that he gets daily doses of an antibiotic a saline solution a sodium bicarb solution calcium supplement an appetite stimulant called periactin an old antihistamine that has that as its side effect a daily shot of growth hormone a weekly shot of epigen to stimulate his bone marrow to make red cells

one of the hardest things is when i have to hold him down and give that growth hormone shot
he just looks at you with those sad eyes since he knows whats coming
after the shot and he has whimpered some
he just sits up and takes off playing again

he is 15 months old and weighs around 21 lbs and needs to gain over another pound or two to qualify for the kidney transplant

his little tummy has to be big enough to get the smallest adult kidney with the best match thats available

he has been on the national donor list for over a year now and it can to take over 2 years to get a kidney that way
you can get a live donor

he has at least 3 donors that have stepped forward
there may be more but due to hipaa laws the transplant team cant give us much info on them unless the donor contacts mom and dad themselves
sometimes laws are a little crazy

so what they are looking for is the best matched donor for a toddler
since this kidney is the most important one that he will receive
right now he doesnt have the antibodies against donors that he will have after this one is done
the best donor may not be his mother but might be one of the other donors
the goal of the transplant team is to have the mother held back in reservoir
sometimes the kidney doesnt take or something else happens and a second kidney needs to be used
otherwise he would be on dialysis until a second kidney is found

they like to be prepared for all possibilities
they know that he will always have that second kidney waiting for him into the future

a live kidney with a good match in a toddler like mr h has the potential to last 15-20 years
a donor kidney from a deceased person may only last 10-15 years

we are all hoping for new technologies in the future like growing your own kidneys from your stems cells technology to be developed etc

if you look back 20 years ago kids like mr h were sent home on hospice
now look where we are
he has the potential to live a long healthy life

after transplant he will be on 2 transplant medications forever and get eat a regular diet and do whatever he wants to except play football rugby and other activities that can damage that transplanted kidney
interesting enough the ok activities include baseball basketball soccer etc

we recently went to have a renal scan done which was traumatic for him since it was for some reason hard to get iv access to inject the scan material
it showed his kidneys to be functioning at about 50% with the left one being the best one if you can call it the best one

he had a test where he was put to sleep and his complete kidney ureter bladder were evaluated
commonly these kids have to have one or both kidneys removed as well as the ureters and have to have bladder surgery done

finally some good news he no longer has reflux into his ureters which sets him up for infection and his bladder doesnt have the permanent damage that these kids usually have
no kidney or ureter or bladder surgery will be necessary

have you ever sat in an exam room for 4 hours with an active 15 month old
we did
he saw the transplant coordinator the nurse coordinator the social worker the nutritionist the pediatric urologist the pediatric nephrologist the transplant surgeon all at different times

here is what was decided
one of the non mother donors may be the donor
mom will be held back for transplant two whenever that occurs
note thats a biggie for someone needing a transplant as they age the waiting list for a nonlive donor gets longer and longer
in adults it can be 10 years

he will probably be transplanted later this year
when he needs it will happen suddenly as apparently kids have a lot of reserve unlike adults so that they do real good then they get worse real fast
so everything needs to be ready to go soon

he will have to have a pic line put in his upper shoulder area to have access for blood draws and ivs
this will happen near transplant time

he will have a g tube site placed on his tummy so he can get the larger amount of fluids he will have to take in each day
remember he has to hydrate this new adult kidney at adult fluid levels until it adjusts to his little body
eventually that g site will be closed

all of the donors are being processed now and should be completed soon
they will be lined up according to who is the best possible donor
if its mom it will be mom although they really want her saved as a standby

he will remain on his restricted diet and all the meds and all the shots he is getting now until the transplant is done
after transplant his medication management will get better
just two pills twice a day to prevent rejection
no more shots

we were looking at one or two surgeries to remove a kidney and ureter and do bladder repair
this would have also put him on dialysis
that is not going to have to be done

if you pick him up he looks like a normal 15 month old who if he knows you will hug you and smile at you and cuddle with you
he is a very active 15 month older who is about to take off walking and talking
he loves to explore the world

we are in this holding pattern
trying to fatten him up
he is still on breast milk from mom since it is the best formula for renal failure
he also takes it with a special renal formula that helps to give him more calories each day
he has frequent lab draws each month to watch his blood counts his sodium his potassium his kidney function ie his bun and creatinine his pth or parathyroid hormone his uric acid his bicarbonate level his calcium level iron level and a few others im forgetting

he just seems to take it in stride
he loves his stuffed doggy and really loves his sister ms b and his mommy and daddy
he likes my wife she and i also as well as his other grandparents

now its just waiting until its time
he and we are ready

here is hudsons facebook page
a kidney for hudson

the organicgreen doctor

organicgreendoctor: bad times can lead to good times

organicgreendoctor: bad times can lead to good times: BAD TIMES CAN LEAD TO GOOD TIMES sometime it takes adversity to make you successful you see it a lot in sports and business i saw it in ...

Monday, December 9, 2019

bad times can lead to good times

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sometime it takes adversity to make you successful
you see it a lot in sports and business
i saw it in my own life
it seemed to go in 20 year cycles

i attended a small school and was the valedictorian
i received a scholarship to attend the nearby college
i started the freshman year but didnt make it through the semester
my goal to be a physician got dashed that year

over the next two years i worked as an orderly then on a bag assembly line in a nearby plant then i worked a few months on a road crew making bridges
i found myself in the mud to my knees in the hot arkansas humid summer working with ex cons doing that manual labor

i thought ive reached the bottom of the barrel and may not make it out

that summer thanks to the encouragement of my historian brother and my rainwater brother and the realization that i had hit bottom in the job market i made a move to southern california where i eventually graduated from college there met my wife she and got married during our junior year

i never thought in that two years after high school that i would ever reach my goal
much less attend college
i was doomed it seemed to never reach my goal

i made it eventually and graduated from medical school and finished residency
a high point after a low point a few years before

after finishing residency i owed the federal government 3 years of medical practice
it was at this time that reagan cut the program and the promising financial incentives and guaranteed income went away just as i started my commitment

that plus a drop in the economy doomed the practice that had been established
when i finished my commitment the practice failed financially
i sustained a large financial hit that affected us for the next 10 plus years

this was another low point as low if not lower than the one that happened about 20 years before
i wasnt sure we would ever recover
thanks to the support of family and a close friend we were able to get ourselves reestablished in the central texas area
after several years we overcame that financial hit that occurred several years before

because of that experience and the help again of that friend and my two brothers giving me financial advice i was able to prepare myself for a long career that was successful
i must say my wife she and i had our doubts that that recovery would ever occur

i learned a lot about personal finance and was able to prepare ourselves for the distant future
its because of that second adversity and our reaction to it that made us and well me aggressive in preparing for our financial future
so that now we can retire and live a comfortable retirement
i am not sure that would have happened if that second event had not happened

this second event made me i think reach a lower point than the first one
but i we recovered

yes good can come out of bad times

so we were humming along
being successful in my practice
i was busy
maxing out all our retirements
moving out to the best place we have ever lived at the country n
our lives were just doing great

you got it
it had been 20 years
so here it comes

first my mother developed alzheimers and died in the final stages
then my younger brother was diagnosed and began a slow slide down the alzheimers slide
because of their diagnosis i entered a research alzheimers study to be in the normal control group so i could be monitored into the future
was i ever blindsided
my diagnosis mild cognitive impariment thats due to alzheimers disease

let say you are in your prime of your life and at the peak of your profession
you get this diagnosis of say untreatable cancer or als or ms or parkinsons or another untreatable fatal disease
it stops you in your tracks
thats what happened to me and my wife she

i must say after seeing my mother and my brother die with it then i get diagnosed
knowing how fast it can move
i was at a low point at times much like the last one maybe worse and definitely worse than the first low point

i decided i would attack this on all fronts
i entered the research study in the abnormal group then from there i entered the biogen aducanumab study getting monthly infusions
hopefully that turns out to be a good decision

i have done numerous presentations on my story and alzheimers disease that hopefully has raised some awareness of the disease and hopefully has helped folks deal with it

i have aggressively took care of my health so that i actually feel better than i have ever felt
we have reestablished ourselves here and we both stay busy
i still am putting out the word on alzheimers
will soon restart the aducanumab that hopefully will help slow down the disease

i 9 years ago was at a low point and never thought i we would be where we are today

these three episodes of adversity could have easily overwhelmed me and my life
each time this adversity lead to another chapter of my life that led to a better life

bad times can lead to good times

without these adverse events i would never had gone to college graduated from med school and residency and eventually had a successful medical career met my wife she and had our two sons and eventually our two grandkids and would not have gotten a grip on my health to improve it to where i am today

yes adversity sometimes leads to success

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, December 6, 2019

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-aducanumab will do for me

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-aducanumab will do for me: ALZHEIMERS NEWS-ADUCANUMAB WILL DO FOR ME this time about 9 years ago i got my diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment that since then has ...

alzheimers news-aducanumab will do for me

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this time about 9 years ago i got my diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment that since then has turned out to be due to alzheimers disease
i have had genetic tests that show i have apoe 4/apoe 4 which is known as the late onset alzheimers gene
i have positive biomarkers for alzheimers
spinal fluid for tau and amyloid
amyvid pet scans for amyloid
both are positive

so that where i stand today
i have a more definitive diagnosis
i should be on a 5-15 year course of the downward curve of alzheimers disease

here i am 9 years later
normal memory tests now ie my mmse the one done in the aducanumab study is normal
my score is a 30 now
the average mmse score in the study subjects was 26.3
mine was about that or lower when i was diagnosed
my moca test a more sensitive memory test has been normal now also
initially it was not

so i sit here
normal memory
feel good
enjoying life
dont feel affected at all
taking my supplements
staying busy socially mentally physically
doing all those healthy things one needs to do
taking my aricept (donepezil) to slow the symptoms down

what else could i do

what if there was something out there that would not cure me but might lets say might slow it down
it might cause a little bleeding in the brain and some edema but i probably wouldnt notice it but it would go away
if there was symptoms they would be headache dizziness blurred vision but it would go away
well i could accept that i could deal with that
if there was some hope it might help

right now there is nothing like that thats out there that is even close to being available for me to access
there is nothing else for me to do

what about that aducanumab

in march 2017 i started on the biogen aducanumab study
its an antibody that goes in and grabs the amyloid plaques and removes a lot of it from the brain
the true test is
does it make a persons memory better and therir activities of daily living called adl better
like driving cooking reading getting dressed remembering folks being able to work interacting ok with folks
you know
like those things that are important in ones life

i took the aducanumab infusions for 18 months
as it turned out those 18 months of monthly infusions were for me just plain ole saline
man was i big time bummed when i found that out
before they stopped the study
i started the long term extension part of the study where i got the real drug
i got a total of 7 treatments of the real drug with what i think at the end was the high dose aducanumab at 10 mg/kgm the dose they talk about in the studys results
after those 7 months it all stopped
bummer big time for the togd household

i can look at all the tables and diagrams in the presentations and project where my brains status is based on getting 7 doses of the high dose stuff
more please i say

now they plan to reactive the study

without getting too technical and getting lost in all the mumbo jumbo mix of scientific garbage
here is why

when they looked at folks who took the high dose of 10 mg/kgm of aducanumab for 18 months
here is what it showed
remember i was probably just starting that dose when i had to quit
there were a lot of folks who also hadnt reached that level yet
so there is a lot of data that will show up later if they restart it

in those folks
there was a lot of aria or bleeding and edema that resolved with minimal or no symptoms
i can accept that happening to me
option otherwise is there is not one

the mmse memory test got significantly better in those folks

the adl scores or activity of daily living scores got better
ie what you see in your loved ones or self as symptoms got better and or did not worsen as much as those not treated
remember some of these folks the lucky ones have been on this for almost 5 years
i only got 7 doses

the amyvid pet scans for the amyloid showed a significant amount of the amyloid was removed from the brain
they also looked at the tau protein in the brain and noted that it also decreased
remember amyloid shows up first does its plaque damage then tau protein unwinds forming tangles in the brain
the amount of tau also decreased in folks

the spinal fluid levels of tau proteins abnormal in these folks also got better

watching q and a afterwards neurologists who actually cared for some of these folks noticed the improvement in their patients
just not seeing people decline functionally over this time period is significant
for us of those in the alzheimers world 2-5 years is a long time in alzheimers time
some folks can go from diagnosis to dying from alzheimers in 5 years

it seems to help
it makes the amyloid and tau start to go away
will it over time if its continued make it even better

there eg for me is nothing else to do
i am lucky since hopefully in march i will be able to restart the aducanumab and probably take it long term
there are only 3000+ of us in the world that are going to be able to do this
i for one
consider myself quite the lucky one
i know that this one is the only hope left for slowing this down
for me
the aducanumab will do for me

here is the presentation by biogen
if you arent scientifically oriented you may get lost watching it
you have to type in your email then on the next page add your name and affiliation
i just wrote in self
you will also verify your email

here are a couple of articles on it that may be easier to interpret
quartz article
being patient article
wall street journal article may require subscription or payment for article
their articles on this subject are usually good ones

i dont listen to the naysayers

they arent looking at it through my glasses my and others viewpoints
this is our hope
we dont have another choice right now
they might when their time comes

there is a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel for us and we want to reach out and grab it

i think the fda will approve it eventually
i dont see how they can refuse to do it
there will be a lot of pressure on them to do it

it will be available but will be expensive
is the price worth it
we as a society will have to decide

for me
for us
it is

hope is priceless

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, December 5, 2019

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-these bunches arrive ...

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-these bunches arrive ...: SANTA BARBARA COUNTRY N NEWS-THESE BUNCHES ARRIVE IN THE MAIL for the last 20 years i have been planting texas 1015 onions into my garden...

santa barbara country n news-these bunches arrive in the mail

for the last 20 years i have been planting texas 1015 onions into my garden
including when i moved here over 2 years ago

i use to buy my onions at local feed stores or at some of the local nurseries in the austin area
my preferred location was the natural gardener in south austin
a nursery that i compare all nurseries to
i havent found an equivalent one in this area yet

one thing i noticed when i would get my onions at these locations that most of them got them from the same location
dixondale farms linked here

they as i have found since living here give good service and have good educational instructions and videos on how to plant and care for onions

they have a map where you put in your zip code and it tells you which types of onions you should plant
interesting is that the type we need here short day onions are the same ones that i use to plant in the austin area

here we are close to the intermediate day ones but the short day ones work the best here
although you can see both at some of the local nurseries

what i do is
i go to their dixondale website
verify the ones that work best here
order them

now onions wont get big here like they do in texas
things are bigger in texas
it doesnt get cold and since we have a lot of cloudy weather in the mid to late spring that hinders growth and promotes some onion fungal diseases
ive decided i would just learn how to deal with that
i ordered their short day sampler bunch linked here
which includes
the 1015y texas super sweet onion
the texas early white
the red creole

a little of each was in each bunch of 50-75 onions

in my community garden i selected the bed where three of my tomatoes grew this summer
several weeks ago i had cut off the tomatoes at the soil level
leaving the roots to rot in place leaving their root minerals in the soil
had the tomatoes had disease i would have removed the roots
i added 4 inches of good compost made in the garden
forked it in with a large pitch fork
added a dusting of good organic fertilizer
i then planted a mixture of green manure crops of peas beans oats and hairy vetch and let it grow until right before it was onion planting time
i also soaked the area with a mixture of liquid fertilizer seaweed molasses
when it was planting time i snipped them all off at the ground level and fed the tops to my worms
knowing that the worm poop would end up back in the soil
some would till the tops back into the soil but i do it this way
it helps to keep the worms happy

this year i added three drip lines with emitters spaced 6 inches apart
they were evenly spaced across the bed which is 3 feet x 9 feet
i planted the onions on ether side of the drip line and spaced then down the row every 4 inches
knowing i would be pulling up green onions as the season went on

each plant was planted 1 inch deep
watered in well with that liquid solution above

i planted around 110 onions in that bed

every two weeks i will do a good feeding with the liquid fertilizer solution
i also will probably add some organic dry fertilizer each month to boost the growth some since the onions are heavy feeders

in texas thats all i had to do plus add some watering and the end results were nice large onions
i have to do a little more to get good results
even then
the onions like the garlic do not get as big as in texas

the biggest issue is fungal stuff from all the foggy weather we get at the end of the growing season
so i will have to use serenade on them or an organic solution i got from dixondale that is hydrogen peroxide based

even last year when i let the fungus stuff sneak up on me
i still got a good crop of onions that lasted for several months

i had an extra bunch left over so i planted them at mr h and ms b house in their small raised garden bed which mr h has been using it as a sandbox after the summer garden was harvested

interesting was that the onions i grew there last year were bigger and disease free like the ones i grew in texas
must have been that extra cultivation that mr h and ms b did on the soil

two years ago i ordered my onions from a california based company but i noticed that they were getting them from dixondale out of texas
i just ordered them directly from dixondale last year and this year

here is hoping for a good crop of those sweet texas onions that dont burn your eyes

guess mr h needs a new sand box huh
santa are you listening

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, December 2, 2019

organicgreendoctor: we are not getting what we paid for

organicgreendoctor: we are not getting what we paid for: WE ARE NOT GETTING WHAT WE PAID FOR the original article in jama on life expectancy and here is an excellent review of the jama article ...

we are not getting what we paid for

Image result for jama journal article on life expectancy
the original article in jama on life expectancy
here is an excellent review of the jama article

i think you all should click on the links above and read them
for yourselves and your kids

we have the most expensive heath care system in the world
we as most agree have the best heath care facilities in the world
even world leaders seek out care here
we arent getting what we paid for

folks are uncovered
that are lots of gaps in care
except for maybe mental health care that doesnt completely explain all of this

the measure of the heath care system should be longevity
how long we all live
that number has continued to climb until recently so we are or should i say were living longer

it seems the last few years that number has peaked
that it now is going downward instead of upwards

alcohol abuse
mental health issues ie depression drug and alcohol addiction

some would argue all four of these things are mental health issues

opioid overdoses can partially be blamed on the drug companies who make them and the medical community that allowed themselves to be duped
mental health issues contributes to this also

obesity leads to heart disease stroke alzheimers disease diabetes kidney disease back and lower back diseases cancer which lowers the longevity curve
it also lowers the quality of life for those affected with this malady
this one is on us
we have no one else to blame for this one

its seems we are drinking ourselves to death
leading to cirrhosis fatty liver disease liver cancer

suicides are up
we are killing ourselves while we are young by suicides
alcohol and drugs and  mental health are behind it all
we have a bad mental health system in the united states

these are the things politicians should be addressing and fixing
we have to fix some of this ourselves
we need to look in the mirror and blame that person you see there

heres the numbers
71% of us are obese
life expectancy peaked in 2014 and has remained plateaued since then
the number dropped this year to 78.6 years
in 1959 it was 69.9
it is thought the number will only continue to drop over the next few years

texas california oregon new york has not had a drop in life expectancy
the worst states are in the ohio valley
pennsylvania and west virginia represent the worst places

liver disease from alcohol has increased 157%
liver cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in numbers as they are up 60%
suicide rates have increased
obesity rates are up just stop and look around you
opioid suicides are up 32.5%

all of this drop off in longevity affects those no matter their gender age or ethnicity

what are we going to do
fix the economy for those on the lower end
fix our health care delivery system
fix our mental health care system
redesign our approach to addiction and drug abuse
change our over use of alcohol
look in the mirror and do better on diet weight loss and exercise

it seems
are killing ourselves

the organicgreen doctor