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 23, 2022

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #159-im quite thankful

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #159-im quite thankful: MY STORY REVISITED #159-IM QUITE THANKFUL when i wrote the blog below 8 years ago i was 4 years out from my diagnosis my memory had dropped ...

my story revisited #159-im quite thankful

MY STORY REVISITED #159-IM QUITE THANKFUL

when i wrote the blog below 8 years ago i was 4 years out from my diagnosis
my memory had dropped off but was starting to rise back to normal
i was active working on the country n and doing gardening
i was volunteering at habitat for humanity building homes
i did the landscaping for each house
i also was delivering meals on wheels to folks along a 20 mile mostly rural delivery route
i also had done several projects helping put veggie gardens at schools
i also had helped a few schools to add rainwater harvesting tanks to their gardens
so
i was busy
i was still in the alzheimers neuroimaging initiative adni in the mild cognitive impairment mci portion portion of the study
we were traveling frequently to visit family in california and arkansas as well as taking vacations elsewhere

except for my diagnosis things were good
i spent time that day remembering my younger brother who had died a year earlier with alzheimers

i considered my self lucky on that day that year and was quite thankful to be alive

now 8 years later
i am quite thankful this thanksgiving for being in relatively good health for my age
since i wrote this blog i have now 4 grandkids and weve moved half the country away to california

i am busy volunteering mostly at our community garden which i frequently write about
i am in the biogen aduhelm study at ucla called embark where i receive monthly infusions
my memory seems to be intact as my latest memory tests show
we stay busy being grandparents

we have little to complain about
we are contented
we are thankful this thanksgiving for where we are at physically and emotionally


the picture below in the old blog is looking up our driveway towards the highway
i chose to not pave this driveway but leave it as it was when we bought the place
along the driveway there would be lots of wildflowers during wildflower seasons
those red trees are called flameleaf sumac
they turn this beautiful red color that pops out in the photograph
during the spring there are large cream colored flowers on the trees that are swarmed with honeybees
when you walked among these trees you felt like you were inside a beehive the bees were so loud

yes we had and have a lot to be thankful for then and now
_________

11-26-2014
IM THANKFUL

i would like to wish those of you who read
my blog
a happy thanksgiving

i am quite thankful of your readership
have a good one
__________
we my wife she and i would like to wish each of you a 
happy happy thanksgiving day this year

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

organicgreendoctor: garden news-how i plant garlic

organicgreendoctor: garden news-how i plant garlic: GARDEN NEWS-HOW I PLANT GARLIC   i have grown garlic for about 20 years in texas i usually had a good crop i planted them in the late fall o...

garden news-how i plant garlic

GARDEN NEWS-HOW I PLANT GARLIC 

i have grown garlic for about 20 years
in texas i usually had a good crop
i planted them in the late fall or early winter
then
harvested them in the late spring usually around late may or early june

i then took the bulbs and let them dry 
i usually also braided them and hung them from our barn or garage
cutting off what we needed

at the country n we would have around a 100 in those braids
they would last almost a year before we used them all up

now here in santa barbara its been a struggle to grow garlic in our garden
in april may june when the garlic needs to be drying out
we get this marine layer that wreck havoc on the garlic
they get fungal diseases and can rot

eg
last year we had a good harvest but there was so much marine layer that they eventually 
mostly all rotted since they could not dry out or cure

now
if we have less marine layer during those 3 months the garlic do ok
my first year i had a good crop that stored well in our garage
but
ive not had a good crop since

the last two years i didnt store what garlic i got
i just peeled them and then chopped them up in the blender and stored them in ziplock bags in the freezer
we broke off what garlic we needed for soups stews and cooking

here in this area everywhere is a microclimate
a mile away towards the mountains may be drier and they do better
we tend to fight the marine layer at the garden
its worse closer to the beach which is about 2 miles away
this also affects our onions and tomatoes and squash

this year ive decided to do a small planting of about 20 garlics to see how i do this year

how you plant them is the same no matter where you live
when you plant them is different

the most important is the soil
i add a layer of 3-4 inches of compost plus a sprinkling of organic fertilizer per the bags recommendation
i then fork this in well then rake the bed out smooth
my beds are 3ft x 7ft
i plant my garlic 6 inches apart 
the bed looks like this with five lines of garlic
. . . . . . . 
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
some folks do just a long row and do rows about 18 inches apart
ive always done mine in raised beds like above


i buy my garlic from a local nursery 
its a garlic that grows well around here
its a soft neck garlic 
you can use garlic from the grocery store but if you do try to use organic garlic since on some veggies that are not organic they spray stuff to keep it from spouting

i break the garlic bulbs apart like in the picture above
i plant these cloves pointed end up about 1.5 inches deep
i try to use the largest cloves
i then cover them and water them in well with a fish emulsion seaweed molasses mixture

i put mine on a dripper system thats watered every 3 days for about 30 minutes
this will vary based on how much rain we get

when the garlic green stalks turn brown they are ready to harvest
be sure and stop irrigating them a month before you harvest
i usually pull them and leave them out in the sun to dry for 2-3 weeks
then 

i will braid them in braids like in the video below


here if its been a heavy foggy spring
i will lose a lot of garlic to rotting

so
im hoping for a good garlic crop this year
hoping the weather will cooperate

i know in texas if we had a dry june the harvest and curing would go well
not so here
but
as ive found each year is different

try garlic where you live
talk to farmers market folks or local nursery folks or friend who grows garlic

ive chosen not to plant a large crop in the community gardens since we didnt get a good harvest the last two years that didnt cure well

tis the life of a gardener
you are at the mercy of the weather and climate

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, November 18, 2022

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-what does chris hemsworths labs mean

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-what does chris hemsworths labs mean: A LZHEIMERS NEWS-WHAT DOES CHRIS HEMSWORTHS LABS MEAN folks are always asking me questions about alzheimers disease eg yesterday a lady aske...

alzheimers news-what does chris hemsworths labs mean

ALZHEIMERS NEWS-WHAT DOES CHRIS HEMSWORTHS LABS MEAN

folks are always asking me questions about alzheimers disease
eg
yesterday a lady asked me about her two relatives
one she said had early onset alzheimers disease
he was in his mid 70s and was on aricept or donepezil

early onset alzheimers is a genetic disease that represents around 1% of all the cases of alzheimers disease
if you get the gene you are going to get the disease 
the symptoms start usually in the 40s or 50s
folks with the disease die in their 50s or early 60s

i think she meant he had early or mild alzheimers disease
very few if any early onset alzheimers disease patients are alive in their mid 70s

then there is the late onset alzheimers disease gene
late onset alzheimers occurs in the mid 60s and beyond
its associated with the late onset alzheimers gene called apoe 4
if you get one version your risk is increased by about 5 times
if you get two versions apoe 4 apoe 4 then your risk is increased about 20 times

it doesnt mean you will get alzheimers disease but you are at increased risk

if you are vigilant and control your blood pressure your cholesterol your diabetes control you anxiety and depression get adequate sleep dont smoke control you weight stay active physically mentally and socially avoid excessive alcohol use dont smoke you might be able to prevent or slow down the risk of getting alzheimers disease

this lady had another elderly relative who has alzheimers disease
he is on aricept or donepezil and is also doing well
he probably has the apoe 4 gene 

then i saw this article linked here on chris hemsworth
who is he i thought
so i googled him
i know i know some of your females know who he is
he is thor
he is doing a series for disney plus national geographic doucseries called limitless
you can read the article or watch the trailer to find out all the dangerous things he does in that series

here is the link to the trailer for the docuseries limitless
one dangerous thing he did was do his genetic testing for alzheimers disease
the results was read to him live on his limitless program
note im not sure if its aired yet on disney plus

so 
i am looking forward to seeing that program to see how he reacts and how they explain what his labs all mean

my advice to thor
is
since you are 39 years old you have time left to counterbalance the fact you have the double version or homozygous apoe 4 apoe 4 late onset alzheimers gene

just do those things that are listed above
watch the alzheimers clinical trials closely
keep your eye on the drug studies that start treating folks who are prealzheimers or prodromal alzheimers

prealzheimers or prodromal means you have changes in the brain for amyloid and tau that can be detected soon with blood tests but now with spinal taps for amyloid and tau and now with amyloid pet scans and tau pet scans
but you dont have symptoms 

sorry to tell you its possible that in 10 years if you are going to get alzheimers those blood tests and spinal fluid tests and pet scans will be positive

thats when you will be called prealzheimers if you are having no symptoms
thats 
when
you want to get in a clinical trial with a drug that will remove the amyloid and maybe the tau tangles before they can do too much damage
its also possible that by 10 years those drugs will probably be available outside clinical trials

it will be like keeping you cholesterol levels in the normal range so you wont get a heart attack or stroke later in life

i dont think i would test your younger kids though
let them make that decision themselves later in life

i did notice though that he is doing some real dangerous filming for his docuseries called limitless
if he is not careful he wont have to worry about having the apoe 4 gene

for the rest of you i wouldnt get the apoe 4 gene testing unless you understand what it all means
im sure and i look forward to watching the show where he is told the results
hopefully they did some genetic counselling before hand

there is a nice paragraph in the article i linked where he says
“Most of us, we like to avoid speaking about death,” he explained. “Then to all of a sudden be told some big indicators are actually pointing to this as the route which is going to happen, the reality of it sinks in. Your own mortality.”

i know when i did my memory testing 12 years ago i remember the overwhelming sinking feeling i felt when i couldnt remember things 
i had that same feeling again when i got my positive apoe 4 apoe 4 results
i again had that same feeling when i got my positive spinal fluid results
i really had that same feeling maybe worse when i got my positive amyloid pet scan results
its the one that verified
man you definitely have it

my approach has been his approach he described in the article

so
dont do it if you dont think you can deal with it

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, November 17, 2022

organicgreendoctor: garden news-only a gardener understands

organicgreendoctor: garden news-only a gardener understands: GARDEN NEWS-ONLY A GARDENER UNDERSTANDS this is a pano view of my garden it is about 400 square feet it is made up of 8 beds that are about ...

garden news-only a gardener understands

GARDEN NEWS-ONLY A GARDENER UNDERSTANDS

this is a pano view of my garden
it is about 400 square feet
it is made up of 8 beds that are about 3x7 feet
there is a fence along the left side that i use to run beans peas malabar spinach or squash on
this winter i am not using the fence 
the bed below the fence is about 18 inches wide and 18 feet long
i have planted swiss chard lettuces spinach in this bed
i do a cut and come method in this bed trimming the plants for salads and cooking but leaving enough for the plant to regrow more veggies

this is a picture from the end of the summer crops 
the tomatoes peppers kale squash basil are all gone
recently i prepped the beds with compost and organic fertilizer and have replanted winter crops
curly kale
broccoli
cauliflower romenesco broccoli and broccolini 
snap peas and sweet peas on a trellis
a 7 foot single row of garlic
strawberries
soon about 60 onions and about 60 leeks
usually i sneak in other plants as the year progresses like radishes maybe carrots 

in about 6 weeks this garden will be full grown and little bare ground will be visible
yes
we eat all of it ourselves

this week i saw a posting on 
you know you are a gardener if

1 if you consider well aged feces a good gift
manures are great fertilizer
we use some chicken manures and bat guano and steer manure in our garden

2 when you see someone cutting or trimming a tree you ask if you can have some
i usually ask can i have some of that for our composter
we have a chipper that trims the branches

3 you have taken peoples leaves or other trash to use for mulch
yes im real guilty of that
at the country n i use to get about 100 bags of leaves for my compost pile and to use at mulch

4 you have saved seeds or pits for use in your landscape
i dont save pits since sometimes they dont grow well
but yes i save seeds sometimes

5 you hoard yogurt containers water bottles and egg cartons
yes on egg cartons since we have chickens at our garden
the containers or bottles get recycled

6 you sometimes forget your to do list since the plants need staring at
i will say im going to go to the garden to water wink wink
i come back 3 hours later all sweaty and dirty from compost and garden soil
now i do have a to do list for the garden
it gets done though 

7 you think store bought tomatoes are disgusting
i told my wife she this the other day when i had to buy those awful store tomatoes

8 a sale at the nursery is better than a sale at a department store
absolutely true

9 when you meet someone who gardens you feel an immediate bond with them
absolutely true also

10 you woulnt be reading al; this if you werent a gardener

soon i will leave to go to the garden after the sun burst through our living room window to give me my dopamine surge
i will have a pale of food scraps egg cartons and my garden to do list with me

today i will be working with several volunteers in our main garden to prep several garden beds harvest veggies and herbs for donations harvest bananas from our banana grove harvest citrus from our orchard water plants pull weeds and more

so
yes 
i understand

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #158-im glad i didnt qualify

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #158-im glad i didnt qualify: MY STORY REVISITED #158-IM GLAD I DIDNT QUALIFY when i wrote the blog below i was at the tail end of the adni2 study i was in it was a lot o...

my story revisited #158-im glad i didnt qualify

MY STORY REVISITED #158-IM GLAD I DIDNT QUALIFY

when i wrote the blog below i was at the tail end of the adni2 study i was in
it was a lot of diagnostic testing over a five year time period
like blood work mris memory testing spinal taps amyloid pet scans etc
i was looking for the next alzheimers study to participate in
i wanted one that used a drug that might help

one study described below was the a4 study
folks with no symptoms would be given a long term treatment with a drug called solanezumab
which removes amyloid from the brain

i would interview to get in the study
i was rejected since i had memory loss that showed up on memory testing

this a4 study will be reporting its results this year or the next
the drug removes amyloid plaques from the brain similarly but slightly different from the one im on now 
biogens aduhelm

when solanezumab was used to treat patients with early alzheimers it did not work
i expect thats what will be shown with the a4 study

also i decided to get on the reversal of cognitive decline protocol which i took for a couple of years but gradually weaned off some of the supplements that werent based on good evidence they worked or based on abnormal labs
eg
my vitamin b12 was below normal so i take vitamin b12 every day
my vitamin d3 was below normal so i take vitamin b 12 every day
the other things i do on the protocol are things we all should be doing like controlling blood pressure cholesterol diabetes weight getting adequate sleep controlling anxiety depression stress eg

i have been on this now for 8 years

i saw my neurologist that day to get a refill of aricept or donepezil 
taking this early in my diagnosis may be one of the things that has slowed down my symptoms

it was also about this time i was looking for a treatment study
since the a4 study rejected me
i started looking at the aducanumab now called aduhelm studies which were recruiting patients
it would take 2 more years to get in that study

i am due to get my #24 aduhelm infusion at ucla in 3 weeks
then
later next month i have an all day of testing for the study
__________
10-08-2014

IMPORTANT DAY
this is an important day today for me
in my fight against the possibility of having alzheimers disease

this morning i leave at 500am to make the 3 1/2 hr drive to
the alzheimers research center at ut southwestern in dallas
for my first of several appointments today


the first one is a follow up on my annual visit for the
adni study or alzheimers disease neuroimaging initiative study
where i have several annual tests done
i had mentioned two months ago that funding was delayed or
discontinued for this study long term
this is the largest and most important study thats ever been done
on alzheimers disease
hundreds of research articles have be published from the data
yes some of my data is in there from this adni study

so today i get to repeat a lot of what was done in august
lots of questions especially memory questions
lots of blood drawn for rna and dna analysis chemistry lab tests
alzheimers blood test etc
an examination by a neurologist
then
i am so lucky
i get to repeat the much dreaded torture test
the neuropsych test
the examiner and i have become friends she has given
me this test so often

then
on another date next month i get an mri scan of the brain to see
if any brain shrinkage has occurred or especially if the area
where alzheimers starts the hippocampus has shrunken at all


then sometime this morning i do an interview for a new research
study called the A4 study
AntiAmyloid in Asymptomatic Alzheimers study

basically they are looking for folks 65-85 yrs old
normal mental status
with positive biomarkers-abnormal pet scan for beta amyloid
(they do this scan on all volunteers)

then the selected folks will receive what i call the alzheimers
vaccine solanezumab as an infusion for 36 months
or a placebo
no placebo for me please

if it works it will remove beta amyloid from the brain and the
disease process will be slowed down or stopped
several other studies are going on similar to this all over the world

you would think folks would be jumping in line for this study
a potential game changer in alzheimers treatment and prevention
but
no they are having trouble finding folks to join the study

me im el numero uno in line for this study
up front i am

if you are even remotely kin to me you probably are a candidate
for this study

please if you know someone who may qualify
click on this link for more information on how to volunteer
we cant find an answer unless you volunteer
in texas its ut southwestern and baylor college of medicine houston
in california its ucd, uci, ucla usc, ucsd, ucsf etal
in okla its tulsa university
look your state up for the nearest locale
ark its ut southwestern in dallas or tulsa university in okla


then after lunch today i meet with the neurologist that sees me
at ut southwestern for my annual follow up visit
this is not a research visit
its the real deal like when you see your doctor
i chose to be followed there instead of in austin since it has
worked out better for me coordinating my care

i mainly go to get my refill for my aricept (donepezil) which
may be slowing down my symptoms i hope


examiner.com

then
i plan to discuss a new study from ucla
i mentioned it in last fridays blog
its called
reversal of cognitive decline a novel therapeutic regimen
by dr dale bredesen
i plan to do a longer more involved blog on this on friday

basically its using life style changes ive written about before
then based on evaluation and labs using vitamins and supplements
i counted 16 of them total

his results
9 out of 10 folks studied got better
the one that didnt was a more advanced alzheimers patient in a later
stage of the disease
the other folks were early like me or more advanced then i am

so i think it may be beneficial and worth trying
whats to lose right

i will discuss my getting on this regimen with her
even i think if it means i cant do the A4 study or the adni study
thats how important this may be

so today is an important day for me
a crossroads maybe
a cure probably not but more of a way to slow down
and delay things
__________
i am glad things worked out like they did
ie i didnt get in the a4 study
we will know in about 2 years how well aduhelm really works
its cousin lecanemab is lowering cognitive decline by 27%
it spossible aduhelm will get close to that wihen its results finally come out 

in the meantime
ill just keep getting infused each month

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

organicgreendoctor: mindfulness beats out anxiety depression pill

organicgreendoctor: mindfulness beats out anxiety depression pill: MINDFULNESS BEATS OUT ANXIETY DEPRESSION PILL this article linked here answers that question the answer yes mindfulness meditation works jus...

mindfulness beats out anxiety depression pill

MINDFULNESS BEATS OUT ANXIETY DEPRESSION PILL

this article linked here answers that question

the answer
yes mindfulness meditation works just as well as lexapro or escitalopram 20 mg in the treatment of the most common mental health diagnosis in the world
its anxiety

i think we all know what that means
most of us have experienced anxiety in some form or another

some folks have it so bad its debilitating

now ive treated anxiety with celexa or citalopram a cousin to escitalopram or lexapro
for some it works 
when it does like it does for depression 
its life changing

now in the last 3 years i have take several different meds for my debilitating stomach issues i had 3 years ago when i lost almost 50 lbs and got to where i could hardly eat much
i felt like i almost starved to death

i took cousins to lexapro or escitalopram 
it helped
but
the side effects i couldnt tolerate 

wouldnt it be nice if you have anxiety that you could control it without medicines and its side effects
i took 3 different meds and couldnt tolerate the side effects

i thought man im sorry if you got these meds from me and had these side effects

the effect i was after was not anxiety or depression it was their effects on the vagus nerve which controls how the stomach works

im not sure mindfulness would have worked for me

but for folks with anxiety or depression mindfulness mediation in this study seemed to work at least for anxiety as well as the medication did

there is no side effect to mindfulness except for it takes time each day
even if it doesnt totally control your anxiety or depression you will feel better for doing it

there are local mindfulness folks no matter where you live

i will link this one since i personally know this person
she is a radiation oncologist who developed this program for her cancer patients going through cancer treatments  and dealing with their diagnosis
she also has meditations for young moms working moms etc
she is one herself
it is available online

now i dont have cancer but my alzheimers diagnosis puts me sort of in that category 
i have a terminal diagnosis that will slowly win out
i have some of the same feelings a cancer patient does sometimes

i realize i personally use some mindfulness techniques its just not in an organized way

each morning i take a few minutes when the sun arises to pause what i am doing to watch the sun bursts over the condos across our courtyard
it is a sudden burst of light into our living room where i sit facing the sun feeling its warm just sitting there to let my mind wander

im sure my wife she sees me doing this and wanders if i had a stroke or something since im not moving and im deep down in my thought center in my brain

i commonly go to the garden early in the morning most days
im usually the only one there even on volunteer days for over an hour

i dont listen to music or podcasts while im in the garden
i just let my mind wander and soak up the sounds smells and scenery
i even read where getting your hands in the dirt absorbs things from the soil that also helps

thats my mindfulness i practice
its not organized but it works for me
i feel it if i dont do it every day

if you cant do your own version of mindfulness
find a local one
or
search out this one

she rotated through an honors class while in high school that would rotate through my clinic to follow me around for an hour or two
i was always looking for a student to work for me a few hours a week
someone who was interested in medicine

her senior year she worked for me 
we have kept in contact since she graduated from high school then college then medical school then residency and now in private practice

her website is called circle of hope and is linked here

if you have anxiety you might try mindfulness even if you are on medication
it may help you

even if you dont have anxiety or depression mindfulness mediation may help you also

mindfulness mediation is also something thats recommended you do all your life

it sure beats taking a pill

the organicgreen doctor