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, January 24, 2024

my story revisited #197-im not there yet


i find it hard to watch alzheimers movies like still alice or the one about glen campbell
i guess because it touches too close to home

in 2015 i had not started the aduhelm infusion study yet
it would be 2 more years before that happened
i sort of felt like i was looking down an abyss especially when i watched still alice and the campbell movie and listened to this song

my younger brother died about 2 years before i wrote this blog below
my older brother had been diagnosed with alzheimers disease and was placed on aricept and later nameda
he later was take off these meds and was told he didnt have alzheimers
his doctors fixed his heart issues and adjusted his medications and his memory and health improved
now 8 years later he does not have that diagnosis
i never write about family members unless i get their permission or their familys permission
like me
they feel like telling their stories may help others

when i was diagnosed in 2010 i really thought in 2024 i would be like glen campbell was in his video
i am not

last night my wife she and i watched the movie
about glen campbells farewell tour
ill be me

Image result for glen campbell's movie ill be me
there were parts
well lots of it that were difficult to watch

everyone needs to watch this movie
it shows you what its like to have this disease
how inside that brain there is still things that
functioned well
could be called up for use

over the last five years as ive learned more and more
about alzheimers disease
i have seen it first hand with my mother and my younger brother
and now with my older brother and to some degree with
my father
i was amazed at how well glen campbell was able to
perform on stage singing his songs
doing a decent job
yes it was a struggle on his last concert

so knowing what i know now
i realize he was in a more advanced stage
of the disease during the tour

that explains his rapid decline since the concerts
as he had hit that rapid decline
that fall off the cliff that occurs in the later stages

lucky for us he did his final concert and album
before he got to the cliffs edge

i watched with tears in my eyes
as i saw him record his last song
and doing it well

alzheimers disease does strange things
the music seemed to awake something in his brain
from some deep crevice
that defied the stage of the disease he was in

amazing is what i muttered under my breath
as he sang that final song
im not gonna miss you
even though he couldnt carry on a conversation
when the words came out they didnt always make sense
didnt know his family
couldnt dress himself
couldnt find the bath room
was inappropriate whatever that means when he ate

it was good to watch his family and friends
tolerate his behaviors
just going with the flow
not arguing with him
even during the concerts
as he sang a song twice
or sang a different song than planned

thats the way to handle patients
just go with the flow

i didnt find this movie as disturbing as
still alice
i was still misty eyed through much of the movie

especially as i watched him and his speech
and his behavior
it reminded me so much of my younger brother
as he progressed with the disease

it did bother me a lot
as i realized
itll be me
one day
so why am i not like glen campbell in that video now in 2024

i was diagnosed early
thats the number one reason i am better

i had a thorough medical workup
in 2024 in my opinion that includes a good medical exam and history
a good memory test like the moca or a full neuropsychological exam if indicated
labs like a cbc a metabolic profile thyroid level vitamin b12 and maybe vitamin d3
some would add a homocysteine  level
a mri to rule out other causes of memory loss like stroke tumor scar tissue etc
ai is now being used to read mris of the brain and can diagnose early mri changes in the brain

then if indicated one needs either a spinal tap for analysis for amyloid and tau
an amyloid pet scan 
if you have alzheimers these will be positive

soon within 5 years you can do blood work that will tell you if you have it

then you should know if you have it
here is what you do

maintain your health
eat a mind diet or equivalent one
maintain normal blood pressure cholesterol blood sugar and weight
stay active mentally socially and physically
avoid alcohol use or limit its use
dont smoke quit if you do
treat anxiety depression sleep issues
avoid stress
get adequate sleep
stay busy mentally physically socially 
most newly diagnosed with mci or alzheimers disease get put on medication like aricept or donepezil

so far all these healthy things mentioned above works better than any of the newer drugs to slow down and prevent alzheimers when you are younger

look for treatment studies or probably in the next few years they will treat folks before symptoms start
that is happening in studies now

if you are diagnosed with it consider taking leqembi or donanemab infusions as long as you understand its limitations and potential side effects

im not there yet
i know it will be me eventually

i have bought some time it seems

the organicgreen doctor

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your update. It is good to learn that your condition is stable. Sending love and hugs, Leslie and Paul