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, October 14, 2020

my story revisited #61-one should volunteer


10 years ago i went from seeing 20-30 patients a day in the office to one day i was done
just bam abruptly it all ended

over the next two years i had to find things to do to fill in all that free time

at the country n when i was in practice i would work on my weekends off and on my wednesdays off on our 10 acres doing farm ranch work like fencing and mowing and cutting down dead trees and gardening and reroofing my barn and rebuilding my garage etc

now i really had time to do other things 
i started a lot of projects at the country n 
i started hiking or walking 3-4 miles a day
i was in the alzheimers research study called adni 2 at ut southwestern in dallas and had to go up at least once a month for the study 
so i started looking around for things to volunteer at
i picked the alzheimers association to volunteer at by doing alzheimers talks for them by manning booths at events by being on their walk committee etc
later they separated from the alzheimers association to become alzheimers texas so i stayed with them doing volunteer work
i also started doing a meals on wheels route once a week that took about 3 hours to do
i had always wanted to build a house from scratch so i decided to volunteer with habitat for humanity 
i worked every time they did building
i watched the concrete slab being laid 
i helped with the framing
i helped put up the roof
i helped to put up the siding
i helped to put up the fascia
i helped to put down the flooring
i helped to put up the doors
i helped to paint the walls and ceiling  and the outside of the house
i helped put up the cabinets
i helped with the landscaping

so my volunteer schedule was full
i did this for the next 5 years until we made the move to santa barbara
i lost count of how many houses i helped build

here i volunteer some with the alzheimers association and did a kindergarten garden one day a week for three years and do volunteer work at the community garden where i have my garden plot

since covid 19 hit i now only do the community garden volunteering 
i do ms bs kindergarten class three days a week as her proctor
all that keeps me busy enough 

all the volunteer work i did made me feel good especially when you see the smiles on folks faces when they get needed help from others
that was my payment for the volunteer work i did

a part of the treatment and prevention of alzheimers is to be socially active
volunteering for me helped to provide some of these social connections and interactions
plus it made me feel good

you should try it sometime 

also here is a link to a newspaper article that was written about my volunteering a few years ago


after i retired i decided i wanted to do volunteer work 1-2 days
a week
since i was busy with my work here on the country n and with the
alzheimers association and the alzheimers research study and
with some travelling the 1-2 days would fit well into my weekly

we all need to give back in some way
since i had to give up my medical license and discontinue medicine
i couldnt do volunteer medical care
its a shame i spent all those years going to school and practicing
medicine and left medicine at the peak of my abilities as a practicing
family doctor and not be able to use that skill and knowledge to
help others by volunteering
but since the decision was made to discontinue medicine because of
my diagnosis my medical license dea number board certification, and
dps certificate as well as my medical malpractice were all discontinued
(i do have what they call a tail coverage on the medical malpractice
that covers me until i die and probably after i die)

thats done and i cant go back so
i volunteer in non medical ways
ive chosen the habitat as one source of my volunteerism

the way habitat for humanity works is it depends on donations and
volunteerism for it to survive
its an international organization that has branches everywhere
i just googled habitat for humanity and found the local branch
i contacted them and started volunteering when this latest
house was started

ok i also always wanted to watch a house be built from the beginning
to end
thats what i did on this house
from the walls being constructed to the landscaping being placed
i learned to use tools ive not used before
how to do cuts on boards and molding so they would fit right
a problem i always had when i did things at the country n
how to put up tyvek siding paint properly and put down flooring

i did use my influence as an organic green person and added a
keyhole square foot garden and recycled all the concrete that
was broken up and used it for the edging of flower beds and
beds around the house and recycled some of the cardboard

i also helped with doing the landscaping and made sure the
oak tree which my nurse she and her husband donated to the
land owner and other trees and landscape plants were properly
(the soil has clay under the topsoil so i made sure everything
was planted with small raised beds with good soil so the plants
would get a good start
the trees were also planted high enough so the root flares were
all visible-a big problem with a  lot of trees being planted)

this weekend we finished the house
all the landscaping was done
the closing ceremony was done on sunday
the house will be hers later this week
another good deed done

shes a single mom with a 10 year old she is raising on her own
she works and is active with her sons activities
the deal is she went through a lengthy screening process that
requires a lot of screening
when chosen she has to do a certain amount hours of work on the
house and after she moves in may have to do more to get all her
hours in
she gets a no interest loan for 20 years for an amount that is
probably 40% of what the house would cost if she had done
this on her own
(the labor was all donated except for some skilled persons like
plumbers and electricians and concrete work)

this house is in a good neighborhood and should only increase
in value over time
in fact it will increase in value by 60% the day she moves in
eg a $40000 note on a house that will be worth $100000 when
an assessment is done

not a bad deal is it
so yes there is good in this world
we just have to look for it and
hopefully we all will try to be a part of this good
yes there is hope for the future
and im getting to be part of that good and hope for the future
one of the reasons i think i have done well since my original diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers ten years ago is the fact that i have stayed busy every day since i was diagnosed
volunteering has helped me get better
along of course
controlling my blood pressure staying mentally active taking the biogen aducanumab infusions in the aducanumab study controlling my cholesterol staying physically active eating correctly keeping my weight under control
well since i was sick in march this year with maybe covid 19 and losing 40 lbs my weight is not an issue except maybe it got too low
eating a good healthy diet
doing all those healthy things we all really should be doing

i would add volunteering to your regimen that you do to stay healthy 
for sure
i would do that

the organicgreen doctor

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