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, November 18, 2020

my story revisited #66-my friend greg


my friend greg died in the final stages of huntingtons disease
its a progressive neurological disease that eventually leads to death usually in the awful final stages 
when greg died his brain was intact but his body wasnt
with alzheimers the brain is not intact and usually neither is the body

both are progressive diseases with no cure or treatment to stop it

they are getting close to finding a treatment for huntingtons

we are getting closer to finding one for alzheimers

i was asked to read  this blog i wrote about greg at his celebration of life
i knew that wouldnt be able to make it through reading it
i was right as i only made it halfway thorough the reading
a friend finished it for me

i had seen greg a few months before he died
his brain was as sharp as ever
he was bedridden with the jerking movements of huntingtons and with the difficulty of breathing and swallowing and talking that comes near the end

we had a good visit
as i left i patted him on the foot 
said my goodbyes

i knew as i left i would never see him again

which disease would i rather have

i guess alzheimers would be better since there is some hope a treatment may happen in time 
at least at the end of alzheimers you dont know whats going on 
but your family does

i would choose neither

i wrote this blog on a visit to see greg last year
i knew then and i think he knew that would be
the last time we would see each other

it was a hard blog to write and is a hard blog
to read even now
ive been asked to read this blog at his memorial service
ill do it but may not be able to finish it
so someone will finish it for me if i cant
my wife she cant do it either as she cries
every time she reads it also

greg died in the final stages of huntingtons disease
this last weekend
its a terrible progressive genetic neurological disease
thats passed from parent to child

he knew he definitely had it for several years as there
is a genetic test that can be done to accurately diagnose
if you have the disease

if you get the gene you will get the disease
and if one of your parents had it then you know whats
going to happen to you

i may have alzheimers disease
i say i might have it as i cant be 100% sure that it will happen
all the lab studies point to that as being the cause of my mild
short term memory
greg he knew 100%
maybe i have some hope while he didnt have hope
he was going to develop the terrible symptoms of huntingtons
i may not develop alzheimers

not sure which is worse or better
knowing for sure or having a little sliver of hope

greg and his wife made the most of the years after he knew
for sure
with travel and generally enjoying life
they were lucky to get to prepare themselves for what has
eventually happened
others who dont want to know dont get to prepare as well
they did as good a job as anyone could do
and i think it made things better for them
because they were prepared
although it was been difficult for them

if i could choose alzheimers vs huntingtons disease
which would i choose
having a progressive disease and knowing all the way through what
happens to you as you deteriorate or
having a progressive disease and not knowing as things get worse as
you deteriorate
i think i would choose alzheimers every time
although both are hard on the family and the caretaker

sometimes life isnt fair and  just sucks doesnt it

for more information on huntingtons disease go to www.hdsa.org

for more information on alzheimers disease go to www.alz.org

greg my friend
you will be missed but i know your suffering is over
since i wrote this i had an amvid pet scan which shows amyloid
this verifies that i have alzheimers disease
i still would chose neither if i had to chose a disease
maybe i would chose alzheimers over huntingtons since when i get bad i wont really know that im bad

the sad thing is the family knows though with both of these diseases

the organicgreen doctor

No comments:

Post a Comment