Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Health Care Sites

Lisa Emrich highlighted my article to Trusted.MD and I found a couple of interesting new sites.

Trusted.MD is a network of medical and health care professionals and people who write about medicine and health care. There are blogs and columns written and submitted for public view, and a couple of sections accessible only to registered members. Check it out here.

The second site is Lisa's blog Brass and Ivory. Lisa is an MSer who also has rheumatoid arthritis. She is a musician by trade, but in the blogging world collects articles and writes about health care and health care policy. Check it out here.

And while you are reading these sites, take a look at my article on New Year's Resolutions.


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Friday, December 21, 2007

What Is That about Twelve Days?

Here is a traditional version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

For a different twist, look at the 12 Days of Disability Christmas. No drummers drumming, no golden rings, and not even a partridge in a pear tree. Instead, Ouch presents a 12-point view of Christmas traditions with a disability perspective.

Ouch also wishes us all a "merry cripmas."

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A World without MS

MS Research promises more treatment options in the coming decade.

There was no approved treatment for MS until about 12 years ago. Suddenly, in the last decade, building on the findings of the first medication, a choice of treatments is now available. Now there are more even more building blocks to help researchers develop new ideas and combinations for future treatments.

Among the prospects are oral medications to reduce or eliminate the need for injections. I vote for that one. There is finally an increase in studying progressive MS which currently has few options. Again, as a progressive MSer, I vote for that one.

Although there is concern of abuse, marijuana research is continuing. The National MS Society supported trial scheduled to complete in March of next year. A study in the UK is promoting Sativex, a currently unlicensed drug administered by spray. For years we have heard anecdotal evidence that cannibus-based drugs help reduce pain and spasms, but there was no research to validate that. Now there is.

One day we will live in a world without MS.
New directions and increased activity mean we are closer to that world.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Active with MS?

If you are an active MSer, or want to be, here is a site you should see -

Active MSers is a site designed to help MSers keep active physically, intellectually, and socially. It has outdoor gear reviews and travel tips, and the plan is to develop a network of sports and activity clubs across the country.

Dave Bexfield, an avid traveler and freelance writer, created the site soon after being diagnosed with MS and deciding to remain as active as he was before. Page down and read the link blurbs. There's even one telling how the war benefits MSers!

If you are a snowboarder, a horse rider, a trekker or hiker, or if you travel the world, take a look. If you would like to do these things - or if you have another active hobby - you might enjoy taking a look, too. Perhaps you'll even decide to join the Active MSers network.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sending Smiles to Soldiers

I suggested sending a Christmas card to a wounded soldier. I thought it would add a smile to his or her day.

I ran across an article that cautions sending letters to unnamed soldiers. Apparently the Pentagon is concerned a toxic substance or a hateful message will be sent. The hospitals lack the manpower to screen the cards, so they will be returned or discarded. How sad.

If you have names of specific soldiers, be sure to remember them this festive season.

Sorry to be the one to spread this information. It sounded good to me. Sorrier we have to worry about such things.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Are You Registered?

It seems early, but the primaries are scheduled sooner than ever, so time may be running out.

If you plan to vote and are not yet registered, it's time to take that step. Check for registration deadlines in your state.

You may need to give yourself extra time if you plan to vote by mail. After all, they need to mail your ballot and then you need to mail it back.

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Send a Smile to a Wounded Soldier

Here it is, Holiday Season again.

This year many of our young men and women are recovering from wounds and injuries in military hospitals. If you have an extra card or two, send them to recovering troops. With help from the U.S. Department of Defense, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Pitney Bowes Government Solutions, the Red Cross will gather and distribute the cards throughout the holiday season.

Please address your holiday cards to:

We Support You During Your Recovery!
c/o American Red Cross
P.O. Box 419
Savage, MD20763-0419

Sounds like a good idea to me.

12/12 note:

I ran across an article that cautions sending letters to unnamed soldiers. Apparently the Pentagon is concerned a toxic substance or a hateful message will be sent. The hospitals lack the manpower to screen the cards, so they will be returned or discarded. How sad.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

ADA, Working and Restoring

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is currently going through restoration to restore the original intent of removing barriers that confront disabled Americans.

Supreme Court rulings have made it clear that restructuring the act is necessary. Too often, the case focused on whether the condition qualifies as a protected disability rather than the question of discrimination.

So, what about the original act? The ADA Home Page provides all kinds of information and resources available for help in complying with the ADA, such as guides to the laws and standards for accessible design. If there is a question of non-compliance, there are investigative agencies, service providers, and other resources.

What's New
links to ADA judgments and settlements -- cases involving lodging, sports facilities, doctors, lawyers and more. The case is described from both points of view, and then concluded with dispensation. Towards the end of the list of settlements are links to status reports and briefs.

Very interesting.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Are You on Medicare?

If you are not on Medicare now, there is a good chance you will be sometime in the future, so you might want to pay attention.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a membership organization leading positive social change and delivering value to people 50 and over through information, advocacy and service. AARP has a project that supports legislation to strengthen Medicare.

Medicare premiums are rising to the point that some doctors are likely to limit the number of Medicare patients. AARP would like to preserve access to doctors and prevent premiums from skyrocketing. Prescription drugs are often quite expensive, and lower income citizens need help to pay for them.

With this in mind, AARP is asking Congress to pass legislation to ensure Medicare is accessible and affordable. Support this project and sign the petition.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

International Day of Disabled Persons

Today is our day.

The International Day of Disabled Persons, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons increases awareness of disability issues and promotes integration, equal opportunity and participation of disabled persons in society. Sounds good to me.
Congress acknowledged that society's accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment.
William Joseph Brennan, Jr. (1906 - 1997), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

The theme for 2007 is "Decent work for persons with disabilities," focusing on the problem of denial of opportunities to work in an accessible and accepting environment.

Read about the themes and observances in previous years.

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Ain't Technology Grand?

I have to agree. For those of us who live with disabilities, technology has helped level the playing field, at least where computers are concerned.

Apple tells us they have been working for accessibility since 1985. They describe how they have addressed vision, hearing, physical/motor skills and language. Just last year they partnered with the Blind Access Journal to prepare a presentation about Macintosh accessibility.

There is also an accessibility overview for using PC's. Registration is required for some content and reports.

Then there's a site that is set up specifically to guide MSers in technology use, My MS My Way. My MS My Way is a collaborative, consisting of the National MS Society, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, and Microsoft aided by a committee of MSers.

The collaborative commissioned research shows that technology is vital for many MSers managing daily life with the disease, however, relatively few take advantage of the technology that is available. MSers say they do not use the technology because they need better information, and most cite cost as the culprit. Read the research report.