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, December 22, 2021

my story revisited #117 -last day thanks revisited


yesterday we made the always beautiful drive from santa barbara to ucla for a day of testing
sadly its all memory testing
it was like taking a 4 hour final exam or national board exam
mine was complicated some by my lack of sleep the night before since i woke up at 2am
by 3pm when i finished i was toast
i think i did ok on all the memory testing
in the testing i did at least one mmse exam and 1 moca exam and did several other memory testings required by the clinical trial ie biogens aduhelm study called embark
for those who know how to score the mmse and the moca i got one point off on both
so my scores were in the normal range
my moca would be 29
ive given the moca test to several people and have taken it numerous times so i score it as i go along

my original moca when i wrote the blog below 11 years ago was either 25 or 26
which is in the mci or mild cognitive impairment range
later over the next years my moca scores dropped even lower then gradually rose over time

once they laid out all by moca scores over several years for me to see how it dropped and then rose back up
i have remained in the normal range since around 2015

if you had asked me when i was diagnosed and wrote this blog below 11 years ago i would have said my scores would be well down below 20

they arent
im glad
im hoping they remain up

this blog i wrote below is one of my most read blogs
it was one my patients were routed to after i abruptly had to stop working because of my diagnosis
it also is the one with the most comments on it
also at that time i wasnt on facebook or twitter and hadnt started giving any alzheimers presentations

occasionally i will see a spike in readership of the old blog
like last week where a lot of folks read this old blog
this spike usually occurs after a do a presentation or after i do an interview like the ny times one and the local newspaper one and the being patient interview this year

i must say today is the first time i think that i havent cried when i read this old blog and wrote about it
i sure cried when i wrote it originally

for those who dont know my story
my mother and brother died with alzheimers 
i volunteered to be in a normal control group for the alzheimers research study called adni2
it was discovered when doing my memory testing that i had memory loss greater than it should be for my age and my degree of education
i saw a neurologist who diagnosed me with mild cognitive impairment thats now known to be due to alzheimers disease
i was placed on the alzheimers drug aricept or donepezil to slow down symptoms
i never returned to practice after that office visit

this my last day to work as a physician
i always considered myself lucky to have been able to
do in life what i wanted to do since i was a middle schooler

in high school i was able to work in a local hospital in the
summer on weekends and during holidays
our family was poor so not only did i get financial benefit from
working but i also was exposed to a lot in the hospital setting
it made me know that i wanted to be a family physician

during college i worked as a emergency room technician
on weekends, weeknights, and holidays
this also gave me financial support but also exposed me to
different doctors and different emergency situations

i was accepted to medical school but never wavered on what
kind of doctor i wanted to be
a family physician

i was accepted to a family practice residency
after completing my residency i owed the federal government
three years to work at an approved federal underserved area

i was able to create with some help a site in  the small
town near where i grew up      
i  worked there for three years
although traumatic at times it was a learning experience that i
carried through out my career

after fulfilling my three year obligation and after sustaining a
large financial hit from my involvement with the local clinic
i was recruited to the area where i am working now
thanks to my medical school friend for helping me out in
my time of need

i have worked for 25 years as a family physician
i always wanted to be one

now it is time i have to quit not because i want to but
because a genetic health problem has risen its nasty head
and because of this will have to discontinue what i like to do

i do not ever dread going to work every day
i feel like i have now just gotten good at what i do

i realize that patients dont necessarily need all of the new
medications we have the new tests we can do or need
the newest treatments available

they do better if you just listen to them, pat them on the
shoulder, be kind to them and be their advocate when
they need it

i have honed my skills in taking care of kids over my career so
that many of the kids have felt comfortable seeing me and look
forward to seeing me to get a sticker or sucker hear my
duck voice or have me joke with them
that part i will miss a lot

thanks to all my patients in the past for allowing me to fulfill
my dream of being a family physician
i hope i have done you a good job

thanks to my wife she for putting up with me during
my quest for my career
i know she found hers

love yall
the organicgreen doctor
i notice some subtle memory issues but they are just normal aging memory issues

here is hoping next years report will be the same

i do enjoy staying in contact with many of my patients over the last few years
yes some still seek me out for information on medical topics

thanks for the support over the last 11 years

the organicgreen doctor

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