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 27, 2021

my story #109-i still have aricept dreams


when i get ready to go to bed i turn to my wife she and say
well i wonder what my aricept dreams have in store for me tonight
each night is different
commonly they are made of things that have happened recently or are about to happen
my aricept affected brain makes some story out of it
it sometimes makes no sense 
it sometimes though seems real
it usually involves me somewhere in the dream being a doctor
it usually is not disturbing
sometimes they wake  me up if i act them out

as my wife describes them its like watching your dog sleeping and they bark or whine and thrash about
we always say they were chasing rabbitts

i dont ever chase rabbits but i do other things

i was visiting someone who is a retired physician and has parkinson disease
he has dreams at night and sometimes acts them out
his is not aricept influenced like mine is
mine is probably influenced by the progression of my disease in my brain
his is probably influenced by the progression of his disease in his brain

he also like me doesnt sleep as much as he needs to at night
ive been that way since starting aricpet (donepezil) 11 years ago
ive learned to just live with it
thankfully i compensate each day with a nap
how long i nap is based on how little i sleep the night before 
usually its 1-1 1/2 hours
more if its been a bad night before

it seems my dreams are getting more frustrating but still not disturbing
i do sometimes wake up in the middle of them and it takes me a while to discern its a dream and not real
that happens more often now

interesting is if i fall asleep watching tv i commonly incorporate whats on the tv into my dream

it not unusual as the disease progresses that this will all get worse
hopefully that will be awhile

when i had the dream below i was about to talk to about 50+ family doctors that were in my medical group about my diagnosis and how i was diagnosed and how they should evaluate their patients with memory loss
many of them i had not seen since i left my practice a year and a half before

just like with all my presentations i do the hardest part is talking about my family members that have been affected by alzheimers
yes i am usually asked how i felt when it was diagnosed

so did they that day 

there you go again those aricept dreams
the medication i take aricept (donepezil) for possible
alzheimers disease has the side effect of very vivid dreams
i mean real vivid dreams
that when you wake up you feel like you just stepped out
of the room and closed the door
that you could just open the door again and walk into the room
and start the dream back up where you left it off

sometimes i wake up suddenly in the middle of the dream
go back to sleep
and finish it
something i never could do before i started taking the aricept

this sunday night was one of those dreams
a weird one
it incorporated events in my life into the dreams

my cowgirl sister in law is a principal in a elementary
school near here
this year the kids are going to start gardens in raised beds
of course she asked me for advice
a mistake
i gave her a lot of it
probably more than she wanted

then this week and next month im talking briefly to doctors
meeting where i use to work about the upcoming walk to
end alzheimers in austin next month
since they are one of the event sponsors this year

i guess all that and that aricept got together and created
a real weird dream
i had planted along with a neighbor a nice raised bed garden
with peppers tomatoes broccoli egg plant etc
that were growing great
all nice and landscaped

then my wife she and i
remember  now this is only a dream
invited a group of doctors and their families over for
a meal and for a garden tour

you know doctors kids are like preachers kids
they can be an unruly group
these doctor kids pulled up all the plants
fed the neighbors birds to the cat
but the cat only had them in their mouths
they didnt chew them or swallow them
so the birds eventually got away

the doctors wanted me to do intensive care nursery care
and my wife she to work there also
we met the two of us while working together in a hospital
while in college

thank goodness i woke up after i told the doctors and their
families they had to leave and take their kids with them

oh with that dream i didnt try to go back and finish it

please dont try to analyze and interpret this dream
it was produced under the influence of a drug

this is as disturbing as my dreams ever get
thank goodness

i wonder if i should help those kids plant that garden
at the school
just in case
if you have a loved one or if you are placed on aricept (donepezil) be aware of the effect it has on sleep and on dreams
also be aware as the disease progresses the dreams may get worse
usually patients dont have to stop the aricept because of the disturbed dreams
there are medications that are used sometimes to control the acting out of dreams while asleep if the behavior becomes too disturbing or violent

so for now
i mostly just enjoy my dreams
they are like watching a movie or reading a book that makes you wonder what it all meant

i have set up my team for the walk to end alzheimers in santa barbara named
organicgreendoctor at this link

because of the pandemic we will not be walking at the walk site but my wife she and i will walk a route up to the santa barbara mission by ourselves wearing our alzheimers walk shirts and carrying our alzheimers flags

we will be thinking of our lived ones who had alzheimers 
mom nell
brother joe
probably dad charles

i seem to be the lucky one to have gotten a temporary reprieve

please feel free to donate to and or join our team to help raise funds to fight this awful disease

the organicgreen doctor

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