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

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #205-would i could i will i

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #205-would i could i will i: MY STORY REVISITED #205-WOULD I COULD I WILL I we have an acquaintance who had a terminal neurological disease that left them with an intact...

my story revisited #205-would i could i will i

MY STORY REVISITED #205-WOULD I COULD I WILL I

we have an acquaintance who had a terminal neurological disease that left them with an intact brain but with a falling body
they were falling a lot even causing harm
their food was pureed since they were choking on regular food
the discussion was to add a feeding tube
they didnt want to let things go that far
i dont want a feeding tube

they were at the point of making a decision
while they could
wait awhile and they might not be able to since others may have to make the decision of what to do

their disease would have left them trapped inside a nonfunctioning body unable to eat or care for themselves but mostly intact mentally

a position they didnt want to be in in
neither would i

our good friend from medical school had huntington's disease that left him mentally intact but unable to feed himself and left him completely bedridden
he died unable to eat and choking all the time

i always wondered if he had it to do over again if he would have chosen our acquaintance's path

i think he would have so he could have spared himself and his loved ones those last few weeks of suffering

our acquaintance chose to end their misery in their life last week
using euthanasia at a time and place of their choosing with their loved ones at their side
doing it their way
avoiding all the misery the last few weeks to months would have entailed
they sent a letter to be sent after it was over explaining why they did it
they
it seems 
they were peaceful in their last moments
probably sensing a peacefulness they hadnt felt in a long long time
__________
08-21-2015
ALZHEIMERS NEWS-WOULD YOU
would i
yes
if i could

here is an article  from the ny times
titled
the last day of her life
about a person who planned her death
early in her course of the disease
then carried forward with the plan
when the time came

read and weep and think
would i

in the movie still alice
alice planned her suicide
even had all the drugs ready to use
the problem was she couldnt follow the instructions
and
find the drugs she had sat aside for this event

my thoughts are
yes i would like to do this
but
only after i had extracted every bit of cognitive time
i can from this life
then
when there was no more to extract
then
it would be the time

would you
_________
this was all surreal since last week i was thinking about end of life stuff for alzheimers patients and for me specifically
then
i ran across this old blog
then
i got this email with their last letter to friends and family

it was surreal

so would i
yes
could i
yes
will i
probably not

why
my neurological fatal disease is different than our acquaintance or my friend
they could choose the time since their brain would still be working ok to make decisions for themselves

for me with my disease
my brain will fell me first
before
my body fails me

my goal is to extract as much out of my memory stores as i can
so i can enjoy life and my family and friends

when my time comes like theirs i wont be able to make that decision
i dont want to ask others to make it for me

so 
will i
probably not
but i would if i could

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, April 11, 2024

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #204-do this

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #204-do this: MY STORY REVISITED #204-DO THIS over the last 14 years since i was diagnosed i have had folks reach out to me for advice on what to do my ad...

my story revisited #204-do this

MY STORY REVISITED #204-DO THIS

over the last 14 years since i was diagnosed i have had folks reach out to me for advice on what to do
my advice hasnt really changed much in the last 14 years
i would maybe emphasize trying to find clinical trials for new medications to prevent alzheimers or to slow it down
one drug leqembi is available now in most states 
its a cousin to my drug aduhelm
it may slow down memory loss by 30%+-
it is covered mostly by medicare but maybe not by private insurance

another thing i would add to a work up is an amyloid pet scan that can give you a definitive diagnosis of alzheimers
if you have it and you qualify you might consider getting treatment with leqembi as long as you understand the risks and how effective it is

soon there will be blood tests probably in less than 5 years that will be used to screen folks instead of doing the amyloid pet scan

there is even better meds in clinical trial

so make sure you or your loved one has had a thorough evaluation
then maximize your health
_________
08-28-2015

ALZHEIMERS NEWS-WHAT TO DO
thats what they ask me
via facebook email phone calls this blog
or
via friends and family

i try to take the knowledge and experience i have
accumulated over the last 5 years

from dealing with this in my family
mother father two brothers and myself
from reading several articles a day on alzheimers
from doing presentations and answering countless
questions from folks seeking answers
from following closely the research thats going on
from being involved in that research as a study subject
from being involved with the alzheimers association
from being involved on a statewide committee
on how to properly evaluate a patients memory loss
from being a family doctor for years caring for patients
when i say caring i mean really caring for their well being

Image result for memory loss
its with all this combined together
i try to help them figure out what to do for themselves
or
their love ones to get the treatment evaluation
and
knowledge to care for the person

so in comes a series of questions
my husband cant remember where he is going
he forgets important things
he gets lost when he is driving
he is in is early 50s
these are not good symptoms to have at this age

he apparently had a stroke that left him with speech problems
and
use of one side and numbness and tingling
but
most of this has resolved over time
but
these symptoms above are interfering with his ability
to work

he
is morbidly obese
has high blood pressure not completely controlled
has high cholesterol that takes high doses 4x what i take
has sleep problems with what is probably sleep apnea
does not exercise
doesnt eat right
definitely not a blue zone person-see last blog

Image result for stroke mri
so when i heard the story and got the medical history
eg there is evidence of the stroke on mri
he probably has already had most of the labs that are needed
i made some recommendations for the spouse and the patient

first
he is sort of lucky that this will not probably due to alzheimers
disease
its probably vascular caused memory issues
which
if he gets real aggressive he might be able to stop the progression
or at least slow it down significantly
for if he doesnt
his fall into the dementia abyss will be rapid and disturbing
for him and his family

he needs to see a neurologist which he has an appointment
for a good complete evaluation
to include all the labs he hasnt had
like cbc metabolic profile-electrolytes kidney test liver test sugar
vit d level vit b12 level folate probably homocysteine level etc
a good baseline in office memory test with maybe a
full neuropsychological test to complete define his memory issues
a complete sleep evaluation
his wife going with him to the appointment with a list of
the specific things he is having memory problems
warning dont let them go alone
fill out the 21 question questionnaire about what he is doing
then score it and take it to his appointment

i warned them that he might be a candidate for aricept even
though this may not be alzheimers disease
each neurologist thinks differently on using it in these cases

let the neurologist do the evaluation and monitor and treat
his memory loss
then
the treatment that really will make a difference
is in the hands of the patient
he is lucky in that what he does for his health
will determine if this is stopped or improved

control aggressively his blood pressure
his cholesterol
his weight
move and move and move as much as possible
aggressively do his speech therapy and physical therapy
get on the  mind diet
correct any sleep issues since sleep is where the toxins
in the brain are removed each night

so
his future for himself and with his family
is in his hands
get a grip is what my advice to him is

Image result for walk to end alzheimer's logo

here are the walk to end alzheimers we are participating in
click the links to donate and or join our team
or
one in a walk to end alzheimers in your area

september 26   williamson county in georgetown
team organicgreendoctor

october 10   travis county in austin 
team austin regional clinic

october 17   little rock
team #joe nash

october 31   hays county in san marcos
team organicgreendoctor

november 7   bell county in temple
team organicgreendoctor
i will be the honorary chair for this event

future speaking engagement
senior expo belton texas
september 22 at 1030am
i will be speaking and answering questions on alzheimers

we need your help
we are close to a treatment and cure
its in your hands
_________
now i only do one alzheimers walk a year
the one here in santa barbara
its nice to walk and be able to look out over the ocean as you walk

if i could start over 
when i was in my 30s and 40s i would go on the mind diet
start a statin for my cholesterol 
watch my blood pressure and if it was not under 120/80 get on meds
middle age blood pressure control is important
exercise regularly which i usually did
get adequate sleep
avoid more than one drink a day
stay active mentally physically and socially
luckily my job kept me mentally and socially active
had a baseline b12 vitamin d3 and homocysteine level
since i am not sure when mine became abnormal 
i discovered these were abnormal at 60
i have treated these with replacement treatment since then

an extremely low b12 can cause memory issues and other health problems
a low vitamin d3 may be involved in memory issues
a high homocysteine may be associated with heart disease stroke and alzheimers

so 
do this 
get evaluated if you have memory issues
get a good evaluation
then
do all these healthy things
consider treatment if you have alzheimers
keep a close eye on alzheimers research

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

organicgreendoctor: happy birthday

organicgreendoctor: happy birthday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY  yesterday would have been his 73rd birthday he died in the final stages of alzheimers when he was 62 he died in 2013 this wa...

happy birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 

yesterday would have been his 73rd birthday
he died in the final stages of alzheimers when he was 62
he died in 2013
this was 3 years after i was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment due to alzheimers disease

the last time i saw him was in the early morning the day after our family reunion which he was able to attend
thanks to his family for doing that since it was probably the last time many of his siblings and relatives saw him 
he wasnt there but i think he knew us as we talked to him and hugged and patted him on the shoulder or kissed his forehead
that for many was their last memory of him

my last memory was that morning by myself and just him
i patted his shoulder
said good bye
i knew it would be the last time i saw him
i cried a lot that day and the next morning sitting by myself
he died surrounded by his family a few weeks later

i realized looking at him that that was where i would be in a few years
in fact
if you would have asked me where i would be in 2024 i would say 
like he was that day
but im not
im the lucky one

his journey a painful one was the mirror at which i see myself
knowing thats what would happen to me
knowing i couldnt slow things down
luckily for me though
i have been able to slow things downs some
but
i know 
this is whats in store for me

eventually
i just dont know when i will fall off that alzheimers cliff like he did
i just hope my fall is a slow gradual one
my infusions of aduhelm may have bought me some time
how much i dont know

he was known for his smile
his jokestering
he and i use to double up and pick on our older witty brother in law
it was something we always did at reunions
he was
a father
a grandfather
an uncle
a deputy sheriff
a fireman
an avid fisherman and hunter
a husband
a fun person to be with

he is missed
i dread his birthday every year
since it brings reality to me

we miss you

if you are in our family tree please take care of your health so you may not end up like him or like i will be
eat a mind diet
control your weight blood pressure cholesterol
stay active mentally physically socially
get adequate restful sleep
limit alcohol
dont smoke if you do quit
control stress anxiety depression
be happy 
seek clinical trials if you are in our family tree
there are studies now treating at risk folks before symptoms start

he and i if it had been available may have been able to be treated with new alzheimers drugs maybe twenty years before we were diagnosed
that is happening now in clinical trials

so if you are a generation or two behind us
be ready
prevention treatment will be available
in the mean time
do all those healthy things listed above

yes
we miss you
we were both born 20 years too soon

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, April 4, 2024

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #203-sleep makes the list

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited #203-sleep makes the list: MY STORY REVISITED #203-SLEEP MAKES THE LIST on the list of healthy things to do is to get adequate sleep to help prevent alzheimers disease...

my story revisited #203-sleep makes the list

MY STORY REVISITED #203-SLEEP MAKES THE LIST

on the list of healthy things to do is to get adequate sleep to help prevent alzheimers disease
for most folks thats 7-9 hours a night
during sleep is when the brain repairs itself
the microglia the garbage can guys go in at night while you sleep to clean up any debris left in the brain
its this debris that if its left to accumulate can lead to plaques and tangles that occurs in alzheimers disease
if you dont get enough sleep the garbage guys cant do their jobs
for most folks it takes that 7-9 hours for that to occur

for me i get 5 hours of sleep a night thanks to taking donepezil or aricept 
i compensate by taking a 1-2 hour nap each afternoon
the aricept or donepezil seems to interfere with my sleep at night
it does make for some good wild dreams
just ask my wife she

also some folks have a problem with sleep apnea or other issues
its important to control those to ensure adequate sleep
__________
08-14-2015
ALZHEIMERS NEWS-SLEEP HELPS
sleep helps if its good adequate sleep
to slow down the disease process
more later on

the last two weeks i have been to the alzheimers walk
meetings
Image result for walk to end alzheimer's logo 2015
for williamson county 
which will be september 26 2015
at san gabriel park in georgetown
donate or join my team organicgreendoctor
or form your own team

and
for travis county
which will be october 10 2015
at camp mabry in austin
a beautiful location for a walk
we will be walking with the austin regional clinic team
donate and or join the team

while at the meetings i can just feel the momentum that
seems to be forming
the momentum to do something about this awful disease
it seems to finally be gaining traction with our national
psyche
maybe because so many of us are affected by this disease

we can see it in the number of folks signing up for the walks
and the amount of donations both private and business

come join and help us
go to www.alz.org
to find the walk near you

now it seems that how you sleep position wise
may be important in slowing down alzheimers disease
 
now i have a bum left shoulder and use to get vertigo if
i laid on my left side
thanks to a steroid injection and i guess my aricept
i dont have problems laying on that side now
so i either sleep on the left or right side
unless
i fall asleep on my back
guaranteed to snore im told
like a whale my wife she says

so it seems from research that sleeping in the lateral position
on your side helps to clear waste from the brain
that may help in slowing down the progression of alzheimers
and other neurological diseases

there is a system in the brain called the glymphatic system
that allows spinal fluid to filter through the brain
removing wastes like the bad beta amyloid
and
damaged tau protein from the brain

its that accumulation in the brain that causes the damage
in alzheimers

laying on the back or stomach slows down that filtering system

wonder what effect that has on infants who are laid on their
backs
interesting huh

so in summary
get a good nights sleep around 7-8 hours
sleep on your side
not in your easy chair
punch that hubby if he lays over on his back and starts to snore
his memory may be the better for it
__________
when in texas i was on 3 alzheimers walk committees and usually talked in the opening ceremonies
here in santa barbara i did the committee for a couple of years but after the pandemic pause i didnt return to being on committee
i do though still talk at each walk here
yes each year i cry my family cries the audience cries when i talk

several years ago a journalist who did an article on my story and who follows my blog wrote me a message suggesting i write a book on my journey 
i didnt want to do a book so i decided to go back and review my old blogs on alzheimers in chronological order instead

like what i did today

the recommendation for adequate sleep in maintaining brain health has not changed nor will it ever change
remember the time to start getting adequate sleep starts the day you are born

also remember the best treatment to prevent alzheimers is maintaining your health

maybe we all should be taking siestas

the organicgreen doctor