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, January 31, 2020

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-my best ever 70th birthday present...

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-my best ever 70th birthday present...: ALZHEIMERS NEWS-MY BEST EVER 70TH BIRTHDAY PRESENTS i told my wife she no big presents or big event for my upcoming 70th birthday well y...

alzheimers news-my best ever 70th birthday presents

Image result for organicgreendoctor
i told my wife she no big presents or big event for my upcoming 70th birthday

well yesterday a few weeks before my 70th birthday i received the two best presents i could ever get

these presents are now my two top priorities in my life going forward

as those who read this blog know i have mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers disease
i take the alzheimers drug aricept (donepezil) which slows the symptoms down
its been 9+ years since i was diagnosed and started the aricept

i also have been aggressive with taking care of my health that combined with the aricept is probably the reason i am still here able to write this blog

about 3 years ago i added another treatment to my regimen
after months of reviewing all the potential treatment studies i settled on the biogen aducanumab study which uses aducanumab monthly infusions to remove the accumulated amyoid plaques from the brain hoping by doing this to make the disease process slow down

Image result for aducanumab
in preliminary studies folks about 100 of them took it for a year
they had all the measurable amyloid removed from the brain as shown on amyvid pet scans
they also noticed a decrease in memory decline
the phase 3 treatment studies were started
there were 3 of them started using different doses including placebo
eventually 3 years ago
i was accepted after several step wise evaluations that took several months ending with my positive amyvid pet scan for amyloid
thats the red stuff in the amyvid scan above
i want my like the one on the right with all the red stuff ie amyloid removed

i received my firsts infusion on my birthday in 2017
here is my blog about that day
the next days blog about the experience
little did i know that day that i wouldnt have 48 more infusions
i only got 25 infusions

i then did 18 months of monthly infusions of aducanumab not knowing if i got the placebo or the real drug
then i did 7 months of monthly infusions of the real drug
the biogen aducanumab study was abruptly stopped
it may not reach its futility end point they said
oh by the way
sucks for you you got the placebo for 18 months
i did get the real drug aducanumab for 7 months

knowing that had i done at least 7 months means that much of the measurable amyloid was removed
so my amyvid pet scan had it been done would be much less positive
ie it would still have some red left on the amyvid pet scan

bummed like hell i was along with the other 3000+ folks throughout the world on this drug

this winter biogen released more data that showed that the folks who got the higher dose for at least 14 months had most of the amyloid removed visible on the amyvid pet scans plus their memory tests were better plus their activities of daily living were better

they await fda approval now to restart the studies and also await fda approval for this to go to market

yesterday was the day my birthday presents day arrived

starting in march the fda has approved the biogen folks to restart the treatment studies on 2400 folks

if you were in those 3 studies yes thats me you will be offered to receive the monthly infusions for at least 100 weeks

so for me i would restart the infusions of the higher dose aducanuma hopefully as soon as next month at ucla and do so for at least almost 2 years
if it seems to be doing what its suppose to be doing the amyloid in my brain over that time period at least the measurable amyloid on the amyvid pet scan will be gone
the amount of tau protein thats the second bad protein of alzheimers will also decrease in that time period
any memory decline or activities of daily living (adl) decline will be slowed during that time
if it works it will be on the market if the fda approves it
i will continue it long term either in research or at my neurologists office

this the reason its important is it may be the only chance i will ever have to receive a new drug that will truly help

the other potential treatment stuff is too far out to help me

i guessed right about 5 years ago

thats a big ole birthday present for me next month
i dont need anymore presents please
except for this other one below

we got the word yesterday that a final approval was done to ok the live donor of a kidney for mr hudson
i got to meet her
yes i cried
its interesting she has no blood kin to mr hudson but she is the best match of those who volunteered to donate their kidney
the other donors are still being processed since if something goes awry there are backups
mr h needs to gain about 2/3 of a lb to be ready
they will wait until his kidney functions worsen just short of him being symptomatic from his kidney failure
now we just wait but we are all ready

i got the two best ever birthday presents yesterday that i could ever get or have ever gotten

you could say
im having a very happy birthday already this year

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, January 30, 2020

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-from seed to their ta...

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-from seed to their ta...: SANTA BARBARA COUNTRY N NEWS-FROM SEED TO THEIR TABLE johnnyseeds.com several weeks ago the local santa barbara ace hardware donated a b...

santa barbara country n news-from seed to their table

Image result for spaghetti squash seed

several weeks ago the local santa barbara ace hardware donated a box of seeds for us to use in our community garden
we planted close to 100 pumpkins and gourds and winter squash for our fall fundraising sale
the funds going back into the garden
some of the produce was donated to food centers food pantries womens shelters the organic food kitchen etc

we took the spaghetti squash seeds and planted them in 4 inch pots
in a few weeks we got these beautiful squash plants that grew in our greenhouse to about 1-2 feet in length

if you dont know spaghetti squash you can click on the link under the picture to read about it
it is a winter squash
slice it in half like in the johnny seed picture above
take a fork and you can tease the insides so they look like long spaghetti noodles
a delicious quite nutritious way to eat this pasta like food

our plan is to donate these to the above organizations
from the seed to the time the squash reaches the organizations the operation is all donated or volunteer driven
the seeds are planted by folks like me who donate our time each week to do whatever needs to be done
the beds are prepared by the same volunteers
in fact this whole process is one that i did all the steps im describing here
the panels that the squash are planted on were put into place this week on my volunteer day
i like the rustic look of the wood and old rusted wire panels
like i told our garden manager it looks like it belongs on a farm somewhere
we planted about 20 spaghetti squashes along this 30 foot row
spaced about 2 foot apart on each side
the squash will trellis up the panels allowing the large spaghetti squash to hang off the ground

the plants were watered in well with a fish emulsion seaweed molasses solution to jump start them
i used our rainwater from our two rainwater tanks yes the ones i put in a few months ago
as the vines grow they will be slowly wound in and out the 6 inch panels

when they reach their peak
they will be harvested
donated to the lucky organizations that will receive them

these i will keep an eye on closely since i was involved from the ground prep the trellis setup planting the drip line placement seed planting and now vine planting
i will be one of those who will nurse these along with keeping them fertilized watered weeded and free of pests
all organically grown of course

hopefully we will deliver to those in need all these healthy large spaghetti squashes in a few weeks

this is how i spend my volunteer hours each week in the community garden
volunteering will make you live longer
be happier

the organicgreen doctor

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 34-social security disability c...

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 34-social security disability c...: MY STORY REVISITED 34-SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY COURT if you are diagnosed with alzheimers disease you can get fast tracked to get social...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

my story revisited 34-social security disability court

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if you are diagnosed with alzheimers disease you can get fast tracked to get social security disability in a few months
it use to be that folks would die from their diseases before they would get their first social security disability check
now thats changed for some diseases with alzheimers disease being one of them

mild cognitive impairment that may be due to alzheimers disease is not one of them
when i was diagnosed to the day i went to court was over 3 years

luckily for me i had a good long term disability policy that covered me no matter whehter the court ruled in my favor or not
many folks dont have that safety net
they suffer in poverty for those months and years it takes to get their first check
now it seems they are making cuts even to this program
dont let them mess with your medicare and social security no matter which party is in power

as i went through this process i thought this is a racket this isnt fair why does the government have to pay disability checks to the insurance companies
im sure its lobbying

now i didnt want to apply for social security disability
in the fine print of my disability policy there it said oh yes you will if you want to get your monthly checks
i applied as required
they social security rejected it
the insurance hired a lawyer paid them $6000 to handle my case
he came out to the house to interview me
he said at the end of the interview
you dont really want to do this do you
nope i said
it seems like a sham
for 6 years of doctor pay i will do it
to court i went
the judge was sitting on a big screen in his office in dallas
i was with the insurance companies lawyer like in a real case
there was somebody representing the government across the table
some social worker person was there too
everything seemed predetermined and arranged

they spent a lot of time spitting out codes and diagnoses that i thought thats not even really related to my mci diagnosis
i wonder if the reason i got the disability was because i had recently ruptured a disk in my lower back and was in a lot of discomfort from that

they added thats to my list and all the other diagnoses i have ever had

he the judge voted
i got my disability
was i happy
i felt i was scammed as was the american people
folks needing this court slot some waiting for months were out there

so i got a check for 3 years social security
thats 3 years of near max amounts
i had to pay taxes on that increased amount
the insurance company subtracted my social security check each month from my insurance check

i calculated they saved around $180000 over 6 years
i calculated i paid about a third of that to the feds for income tax
remember my insurance checks were tax free since i paid my premiums originally from after tax dollars
remember that when you buy your disability policies

i guess i didnt have much faith in this system
those who needed help the most didnt have some insurance lawyer handling their case
with a reluctant client i might add

this blog below i wrote over 6 years ago 3 years after i was diagnosed
the justice system and court system move slow

this was also a time when i reached a low point as i mentioned in this old blog
i was recovering from a ruptured disk in my back still having some pain at times
i was not sleeping well at night
this dealing with the social security thing drug on for several months
i recovered and moved on

when i switched or redirected this blog some almost
three years ago when i was diagnosed with
mild cognitive impairment amnestic type ie short term
memory loss
i wanted to write about everything that happens to me in
relationship to this diagnosis

part of the journey is the business or money side of this

when i was working i had a long term disability policy that
lucky for me was paid for with after tax dollars so that
when the insurance claim was paid out the monies paid would
not be taxable
what this means for me is that im paid equal to what i was
making until im 66 years old

many people dont have these policies so they have to depend
on social security disability for their income replacement
which can be good but it will not usually replace the income
that was lost

you have to be disabled for 2 years before you get paid
sometimes the system for some people takes longer to work
so that they may go 2-3 years without any money

for them this can be a financial disaster
especially if their initial filing is denied and they have to
go through a hearing to get an administrative judge to make
a decision on their claim

some diseases are treated on a fast track plan so that if the
diagnosis is firm and advanced some they only wait 2-3 months
before they get on social security disability and also medicare

one of these diseases is alzheimers disease
thanks to the alzheimers associations lobbying efforts

so what does this have to do with me
im not officially diagnosed with alzheimers disease although i
probably am in the early early early stages of the disease

when i had to retire i pulled out my long term disability policy
and read it
you know the small print stuff
there it was
you must apply for social security disability in order to continue
to receive your private disability insurance checks

i dont need my social security checks until i reach 66 when this
policy coverage ends
too bad
you have to file
so i did
it was denied
sorry we hire a lawyer for you and you appeal it
so i did

so after 3 years since i quit work
yesterday i had to go before an administrative law judge
with a lawyer
a nice guy by the way as was the judge
both spouted out numbers like code 789.10 exemption
what the heck that meant i didnt know and actually didnt care
since i have little or nothing to gain from all of this

the insurance company if the case is won on appeal gets my
social security check each month until i reach the age of 66
of course i get multiple checks that come each month from them until
that time
then at age 66 my insurance disability check goes away and i
then start getting my social security checks monthly

i really feel sorry for those people who dont have private disability
insurance and would have waited
for those 3 years to get their first checks

you yes you reading this blog should check out your disability
insurance status
never thought i would ever have needed it
but am glad i had it in place when i did need it

the only good thing that comes of this is that when the decision
is made i will be on medicare
and sad to say wont be able to get the obamacare  policy that
i had spent time researching
i will just add a supplemental policy to the medicare for better

the attorney said after the hearing that he thought from knowing
the judge and the process that my social security disability claim
will probably be approved

during the last 3 years there are times not many when i get this
melancholic feeling that people must feel when they get depressed

yesterday during the hearing when i was being questioned
and had to talk about how i was diagnosed and how ive done
since then
this melancholic feeling almost like a flush you women would
call it a hot flash hit me
but like a flush or hot flash it passed and i went on

its this feeling i dont want to have during this period of my life

staying busy talking freely about it volunteering reading writing
makes i think a big difference in keeping
that melancholic fog at bay

now that this hearing is over
as i had to put a lot of time into it although i wouldnt gain much
from it
well i guess i would have lost my disability checks each month
if i hadnt gone along with all this

its over
im ready to move on

moved on is what i did

the organicgreen doctor