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, June 28, 2023

my story #179-how early is too early


that picture is of my wife she and i doing the walk to end alzheimers in santa barbara virtual style
it was in 2020  during the pandemic
a friend made this embroidery on the jacket for my wife she
those pants i was wearing that day were quite baggy as i was about 40 lbs lighter due to what i think was covid with the symptom of loss of appetite
i now fill out those shorts having gained back 30 of those lbs

in 2015 i was asked to watch the movie still alice at the alamo drafthouse in austin at a special viewing  for alzheimers texas
afterwards i was asked to answer questions about alzheimers along with a local neurologist

i cried throughout the movie
the moderator asked me a question first but i couldnt answer it since i teared up a lot but later i was able to answer them ok

i thought a lot about my mother and my younger brother during the movie
i also thought a lot about me and what i would do as i progressed in this disease

lucky so far now 8 years later i havent progressed with symptoms 
the disease is marching on upstairs im sure
hopefully the aduhelm infusions and the aricept or donepezil and healthy living have slowed things down some
it can hit early
this alzheimers disease

Image result for still alice
if you watch the new movie
still alice
thats what its about
alzheimers disease hitting at too young of an age
way too young

Image result for joe nash organicgreendoctor.com
my younger brother was stricken early
like still alice
he was still joe

but like still alice
he looked so healthy and alert
you really didnt notice it unless you were really around
him a lot
then over time it all got worse

i watched a video recently of my parents 50th anniversary
from the late 1980s
i looked closely at my mom and dad
dad died just a few years later he was probably stricken even then
my mom was my age i am now
she was just 10 years away
i looked at her closely for signs in the video
for the disease was rampant as she smiled
as she seized the moment
still joe
was there at 40 years old
laughing and joking pulling pranks on me
having a good time
it was sad to think that at that moment in time
he was just about 10 years away also
the disease had been working on him for several years now
i looked at my older brother
handing my parents their 50th anniversary plaque
thinking as i watched all of us
he also was affected even then
he didnt know it

then i looked at myself
wow it was just starting on me that year
i just didnt know it either

it was like with the movie
hard to believe  
still joe had alzheimers

he looked so healthy
look hes driving was working
doing a lot of the things he was doing before he was diagnosed
like alice
he got worse

tragic it is when it strikes so young
its not fair
cant life just let them live another 10 years or so
to finish up their productive years
no life is not fair is it
early onset alzheimers disease

i feel like if i do have alzheimers disease that i am lucky
i got to finish my career
enjoy some of my retirement
have a chance to squeeze all out of each day
i wouldnt be able to do if i was
still alice or still joe

when it strikes early like this
its more likely due to alzheimers disease
it also could be a disease called frontotemporal dementia
something happens to the frontal and temporal parts of the
they shrink
and that part of the brain its function quits working right
they loose inhibitions
then they dont live long just a few years and they are gone

Image result for dementia with lewy bodies robin williams
theres dementia of lewy bodies
probably the worst to have
it comes quick and can be and is i guess the worst to have
i call it alzheimers disease on steroids
paranoia hallucinations sometimes violent behavior
meds sometimes dont help
it seems when family members talk about their love ones
they seem so despondent
its the bad one
deposits form in the brain called lewy bodies thus its name

most will be alzheimers disease though

none are good ones

leaving friends and families all saying
they are so young
why so early

Image result for still alice
i hope that everyone will go see still alice when it
appears in your area
you if you have not had to experience what its like
the person with the disease
their families
then you need to feel it and see it
you will see why we all who are affected are so passionate
finding treatment
a cure

as soon as the special showing by the alzheimers association
link for buying tickets is available for this weekend
ill post it here and on facebook

come see the movie this saturday at 100pm
at the alamo drafthouse south lamar in austin
stay afterwards
ask me a question

see the movie
bring tissues
feel it
like those affected do
when i wrote this i still didnt have confirmation that what i had was alzheimers for sure
the next year i had my amyloid pet scan to get into the biogen aducanumab or aduhelm clinical trial
it was positive for amyloid plaques
thats when my medical diagnosis became
mci or mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers disease  

if you are in the alzheimers world still alice is a movie you should watch
you get some insight into the disease

soon you will be able to go to your primary care and get a blood test for amyloid and tau
if its positive you will more than likely develop alzheimers disease

what do you do
if it was me i would seek early treatment with the new antiamyloid drugs like aduhelm or leqembi or soon to be approved donanemab
its not approved yet for use this early but eventually it will be
clinical studies are ongoing now
early on in the disease i would get started on aricept or donepezil

i would also get quite aggressive with
maintaining a normal cholesterol even if it requires taking a statin drug
maintaining a normal blood pressure even if it requires taking a blood pressure medication
maintaining a normal weight
eating the mind diet
staying active physically mentally and socially
limiting alcohol intake
no smoking
treating any mental illnesses like anxiety or depression

also this all helps your heart 

hopefully doing this all before you develop symptoms will probably slowed down the disease

i say 
how early is too early to get alzheimers

any age is too early

the organicgreen doctor 

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