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 1, 2023

my story revisited #192-have i been spared


this is a picture of me when i was about 60 years old
the picture below of my younger brother was when he was about in his early 50s maybe late 40s
we are 13 months apart
almost like twins

we were different though
i was more studious
he was more an outdoors person
he love hunting and fishing
i did it but not like he did

he was a captain in the fire department then became a deputy sheriff for several years
he went to the fire academy and police academy
i went to college and medical school
we werent identical twin brothers
sadly we both got hit with the same disease

i was diagnosed with mci or mild cognitive impairment not long after this picture was taken
i had no symptoms that anyone noticed but mild memory loss showed up on a neuropsychological exam when i entered an alzheimers research study to be in the normal control group at 60
i saw a neurologist after that and was given my present diagnosis and i was placed on aricept

in that picture below my brother was 5-7 years away from his diagnosis of alzheimers disease

me at 60
him at 50
we both were probably at about the same stage of the disease
he getting hit early in his early 50s
when he was diagnosed he was probably in late mild or early moderate alzheimers
his disease progressed until he died in the final stages at 63

when he died at 63 i was 64
why him so early 
why me so late

when he died i still wasnt where he was when he was diagnosed
im still not there 8 years later

he was started on aricpet or donepezil and it probably slowed his symptoms some
later namenda or memantine was added to his regimen as the disease progressed
he died in the last stage of alzheimers

i was started on aricept or donepezil as soon as i was diagnosed which probably is one of the reasons my symptoms have progressed more slowly

my guess is that where i was at 64 was probably where he was around 50

i was lucky to get diagnosed much earlier than him
i was then able to get aggressive with my health especially controlling my blood pressure and cholesterol as well as all the other healthy things one should be doing

if he had known what i know now back when he was 45-50 could it made a difference like it seems to have in me
more than likely 

we didn't know back then what we know now though
plus i got 35 months of aduhelm infusions that will probably slow mine down some since i  was stared on it so early 

this blog below was written in memory of him on what would have been his 64th birthday

below there is a picture of a wrench he used in his water meter reading and repair he did
i asked his wife to give me something he used a lot for me to keep to remember him
among other things she gave me this blue wrench
10 years later i carry it in my pocket when i am in the garden
all those water drip lines and controllers in the garden have had that wrench applied to them
i always pause when i pick it up
work its jaws through the four settings
thinking about him as i do it

when i use to see him i felt like i was looking in the mirror at what i would be like soon
i feel lucky

today he would have been 64
he was struck down too soon
the devastating effects of alzheimers disease
having been diagnosed with it in his early 50s
too young much too young everyone said

we are making strides in alzheimers treatments
there are lots of new potential game changing ones
on the horizon

they are too late for him
probably too late for me
too late for my recently diagnosed older brother

i read this morning an article where they are finding
the bad stuff the amyloid in folks as young as the early 20s
the treatment and preventative measures may have to be
started younger than we realize

Image result for joe nash organicgreendoctor.com
my younger brother was struck at the peak of his career
now he had retired as a fireman captain
was working as a deputy sheriff
going strong every day
working and enjoying life
hunting and his grandkids
i know they really miss him a lot

as ive written before
everyone remembers him for his smile
his blue eyes

his wife gave me a small wrench he carried in his pocket
i carry it around all the time when im working here at
the country n
turning my water valves on and off to my garden and landscape
im reminded of him every day that i use this wrench
it hangs in the kitchen with all our keys

i pause for a minute every time i see the wrench
think of him
like him i smile
yes like him i have blue eyes

his illness and death bothered me a lot
i think
because it seems i was looking in a mirror when i saw him
as he progressed
my last visit with him a few weeks before he died was especially
knowing that this could be me in a few years
our family had seen this before
he had too
does that make it worse

i realize that his kids and grandkids
my kids and my future grandchildren
may be spared all this if research ongoing now
works to stop or slow down the disease

i think he would accept that
i know i do

we just realize we were born a generation too late

yes ill think of him all day today
his wife
his kids
his grandkids

a real nice friendly likable guy he was
we all miss him
yesterday as i did my exit interview for the biogens aduhelm research study called embark
i thought about him a lot
why him
why am i getting spared some

when i get up early the next day after this testings
i pause what i am doing
i think of his story 
my moms story
my story 

they all need to be told
maybe someone will read about it and do things in their life that may allow them to have a story like mine and not like his and hers

it seems unfair im enjoying my grand kids whom i love
he is not getting to enjoy the grandkids he loved so much

we do have some hope now that our next generation may not have to go through this
heres hoping

the organicgreen doctor

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