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, September 16, 2020

my story revisited #57-how it all started


two years after i did the adni initial evaluation i looked back at that day when i went to dallas to do the evaluation to see if i would qualify to be in the research study 

i mentioned my long term care insurance i had bought a few years before
i had passed a memory test in order to qualify for the insurance 

my goal was to be followed long term via the research study so that somewhere along the way if i had memory issues i would detect it early

little did i know that that day i went for the research study would be that day it was detected

this is how it all started
in november of 2010 i tried to enter an alzheimers research study
as a normal subject

this posting seems so innocent
little did i know what was coming

im reposting several of my blog entries to retell what happened
for my benefit and to some of the readers benefit who have
family members friends with this disease
thats all of you

here is the blog titled alzheirmers disease neuroimaging initiative

those of you who know me or my family know that
my mother had alzheimers and spent the last months of
her life in a nursing home before she died
we experienced the effects of alzheimers on a loved one
we saw the devastating effect it can have on a person and
their family
we saw the dwindling of our mother over time
we all dread this happening to us but know that it may
be coming to visit all of us eventually

our father before he died probably had early stages
of azheimers but his death from heart disease
occurred before the disease progressed too far

our close younger relative was diagnosed with azheimers in
the mid 50s

i am in an occupation where i can not afford to have any
cognitive difficulties as it could cause adverse effects on
my patients
this has been one of my fears for several years
should there be signs or evidence of impairment then i would
want to discontinue working
so far i have not noticed any problems that would cause me
any concern

i have wanted to get involved in a study so that i could be
monitored over time so that when the early stages occur then
i will know and can start planning my life appropriately and
can start medications that can slow the progress of the disease

for example i have purchased a long term care insurance policy
so that when the time comes in the future that i need more
care we have a safety net financially that will provide care
for me
usually in our family this occurs in the late 70s and 80s
but it can occur younger as we have seen in our family

today i start that journey on being monitored
my wife she and i are going on a 3 hour trip to a teaching
university so that i can be involved in a study they are doing
on early mild cognitive impairment  called the adni study

i will undergo 5 hours of testing today
i will undergo neuropsychological testing (hope they dont
ask me to remember names or spell correctly)

i will have blood tests done to make sure my baseline health is
ok     tests will also be done on dna and rna to measure
markers that may be monitored in people with alzheimers

i will undergo a mri of the brain today that will look for any
changes to the brain

i will undergo a pet scan of the brain today that will be looking
for deposition of a protein and carbohydrate in the brain that
occurs in alzheimers patients

i will undergo a lumbar puncture
(the only sucky part of the visit) to test for the protein
and the carbohydrate in my spinal fluid

after all of this done if i qualify i will be entered in the study
hopefully as a volunteer normal control  but if i were to have
mild cognitive impairment which i dont think i have then i
would be put into the study as a study subject

they are picking 5 people from this location to be part of a
200 patient study nationwide

i will have to go there several times over the next 18 months
to do the same tests
i will continue to be monitored there after the study for as long
as i live

what benefit do i get from this
i feel like i am contributing my small part to help figure out this
terrible disease that will some way affect everyone who is
reading this blog
i hope that things i learn about myself may help my siblings
and my children and their children and....
i will know where i am with this disease as i continue to age
so that my wife and i can plan our  lives for the future

tomorrow i will blog on what it was like being tested
well on our drive home that day almost 10 years ago after that visit it was fairly quiet as we both thought about what had just happened
there was some denial going on
i knew that my time had arrived

the organicgreen doctor

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