So Much Happening


I know I haven’t posted a new article for some time now, my life became quite complicated suddenly.  I say I’m sorry to all of my faithful readers.  This is an account of what has gone on:

In October of 2012, well actually it was in 2011, God had put on my heart that I needed to return to Illinois and help my mother and her church.  I had ignored the first prompting in 2011 but decided I would listen to the prompting in October.  My marriage had come to an end long before that when my husband told me that he had married me because he felt sorry for me.  He was sober when he made this announcement.  I had known that blamed me and all my aliments for his life being in the toilet but I guess I wasn’t expecting the news that he didn’t love me when he married me.  Not a big deal to me any more I had learned to do what I had to do long ago.

I started paying down bills and packing my belongings to get ready for the move.  In January I announced to my husband I wanted a divorce and that I was going back to Illinois.  His response floored me because he was in agreement that is what I should do.  I guess it was surprising to me because when I told him I was leaving the year before he didn’t believe me and continued his pattern of behavior.  He is an alcoholic who knows he’s an alcoholic but doesn’t want to do anything about it.  It doesn’t matter to him that he will die a lonely old man.  Enough of that, I contacted my brother to see if he would drive the U-Haul truck for me and we would tow my van, which my husband had signed over to me the week before I left.  He came in on the Sunday before we were to leave and a day after I had gotten the truck and my husband had literally thrown my belongings into a 16 ft truck.  Unfortunately because of the way he loaded the truck I had to leave most of my belongings there with him.

I left Savannah, GA on the 27th of January and arrived in Cooksville, IL on the 28th.  The trip was pretty much uneventful and we took our time.  My brother tried to convince me that our mother needed to be put into a home because as he said it “She’s losing it.  She can’t remember names”.  I was stunned!!  It seems that my mother, in order to protect her home from being taken by the State in the event she was put into a nursing home, had given it to my brother using a Quit Claim Deed.  No one thought he would try to take over the house and kick my mother out.  There is a stipulation that states that my mother can live here until she dies and that was the reason why he was trying to convince me that our mother had dementia and needed to be put away.  It didn’t work!!!!  He has since tried and failed to do other things as well.

Next, my great-great-nephew was killed because of domestic abuse from a friend of the family and his mother is in jail, as well as the person who actually killed him.  The prosecution contends that she knew the abuse was going on and that it was going on for months which couldn’t be because his grandmother was the one who watched him up till two weeks before his death.  We are doing the best we can to get her the defense she deserves and to do what we can to raise the $50,000 for her bond.  Her attorney is going to be another $15,000 as well.  I don’t give up easily and I’ve contacted the Illinois Justice Project for their help and praying for God to help with the funds.  He has never let me down and I know he won’t start now.

These are the events that have transpired and has been occupying my mind recently and well over a year (the move and marriage).  I hope you can forgive me because I don’t know when I will start writing articles again but I will write again because I believe I was put on earth to serve and I serve you by giving you the information you need to live your life on your terms.

 

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2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Arthritis Foundation Ambassadors Testify before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee about Arthritis Research!


English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, Long Island, NY, Arthritis Ambassadors Mark Haubner and Erin O’Rourke testified in an open public hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee‘s Subcommittee on Defense about the critical importance of funding arthritis research. This is the first time the Arthritis Foundation has testified before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee! Watch the recorded webcast video of Mark’s historic testimony! (Go to minutes 125:59)

Current research suggests that stresses placed on joints during military training activities, increased rates of injury, and increased weight of military packs have led active duty soldiers and veterans to have twice the rate of osteoarthritis when compared to non-military populations. Please join Mark and Erin and request that your Member of Congress support arthritis research funded by the Department of Defense (DOD),by including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) in the Defense Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013. Take action today!

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Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012


This is the full text of this bill and it is sitting in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  It has about 4% chance of being enacted.

 

HR 4209 IH

 112th CONGRESS

 2d Session

H. R. 4209

 To amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to limit co-payment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a specialty drug tier to the dollar amount (or its equivalent) of such requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a non-preferred brand drug tier, and for other purposes.

 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 March 19, 2012

Mr. MCKINLEY (for himself, Mrs. CAPPS, Mr. YOUNG of Florida, Mr. CUELLAR, and Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

A BILL

To amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to limit co-payment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a specialty drug tier to the dollar amount (or its equivalent) of such requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a non-preferred brand drug tier, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012’.

SEC. 2. CO-PAYMENT, COINSURANCE, AND OTHER COST-SHARING REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN A SPECIALTY DRUG TIER.

(a) In General- Subpart II of part A of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 2719B. CO-PAYMENT, COINSURANCE, AND OTHER COST-SHARING REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN A SPECIALTY DRUG TIER.

  • (a) Requirement- A group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance, that provides coverage for prescription drugs and uses a formulary or other tiered cost-sharing structure shall not impose co-payment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a specialty drug tier that exceed the dollar amount (or its equivalent) of co-payment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing requirements applicable to prescription drugs in a non-preferred brand drug tier (or prescription drugs in a brand drug tier if there is no non-preferred brand drug tier).
  • (b) Special Rule- If a formulary used by a group health plan or a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance contains more than one non-preferred brand drug tier, then the requirements of subsection (a) shall be applied with respect to the non-preferred brand drug tier for which beneficiary cost-sharing is lowest.
  • (c) Definitions- In this section:

(1)  The term ‘prescription drug’ means–

  • (A) a drug subject to section 503(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, or Cosmetic Act; and
  • ‘(B) includes a drug described in subparagraph (A) that is a biological product (as defined in section 351(i) of this Act).

(2) The term ‘non-preferred brand drug tier’ means, with respect to a group health plan or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage that uses a formulary or other tiered cost-sharing structure, a category of drugs–

  • (A) within a tier in such formulary for which beneficiary cost-sharing is greater than tiers for generic drugs or preferred brand drugs in the plan’s formulary;
  • (B) that are prescription drugs; and
  • (C) that are not included within a specialty drug tier.

(3) The term ‘specialty drug tier’ means, with respect to a group health plan or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage that uses a formulary or other tiered cost-sharing structure, a category of drugs–

  • (A) within a tier in such formulary for which beneficiary cost-sharing is greater than tiers for generic drugs, preferred brand drugs, or non-preferred drugs in the plan’s formulary; and
  • (B) that are prescription drugs.

(b) Effective Date- Section 2719B of the Public Health Service Act, as added by subsection (a), applies to plan years beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

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Fighting a Fibromyalgia Flare with EFT


On the April 17 of this year, while I was in Washington, D. C. attending the Arthritis Foundation’s 2012 Summit, I came down with laryngitis.  It’s been a month now and I still haven’t gotten my voice back.  My husband loves it!!  I don’t, I can’t yell and no one can hear me when I have something important to say.  I figured out that this is and was the beginning of my fibromyalgia flare.

This is just how it works with me, sometimes I won’t have any pain whatsoever and instead my sinus will go nuts.  I tracked my symptoms for over 5 years and found that my symptoms would appear and disappear without any warning much like my pain levels did when I was having flare, not like a sinus infection or allergy attack.  Anyway, when there is an interruption in my sleep patterns, or a disruption in my routine I will have a fibromyalgia flare.  It’s been over a year since I have had a major flare and I guess it was time.  The Brain Wave Entertainment that I usually do wouldn’t cut all of my pain, although it did reduce it considerably, so I turned to something called Emotional Freedom Technique.

I’ve researched this alternative method for several years and decided to give it a try.  I bought several books on the subject and attended the 2012 Tapping Summit over the past several days to learn all I could about it.

EFT is based on the discovery that imbalances in the body’s energy system have profound effects on one’s personal psychology and that by correcting these imbalances, which is done by tapping on certain body locations, will often lead to rapid remedies.  I know, I know, it sounds kind of hooky, like Brain Wave Entertainment, but it’s better than taking 3 kinds of pain pills and then having to take several other pills to counteract the side effects of those pills.  Did that, been there, wrote the book on it!!

I am going to document my results on here for you so that you can see if it works or it doesn’t.  There are many reasons why we have pain and getting to the bottom of those reasons will some time.  How much time?  I really can’t say.  I do know that there are case histories where EFT has taken several hours to several days.  I will also give you more information on the process and techniques to use for yourself.

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2012 Arthritis Advocacy Summit List of Priorities for Congress


Category:Health economics

Category:Health economics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I attended the Arthritis Foundation‘s Advocacy Summit on April 16 – 18, 2012 because I am both an advocate and an ambassador to Congress.  I must say it was enlightening.  Before I went to Washington I did some research into each of my Senators and my Representative to see how they voted on health issues  and what their views were on health care reform.  I’m still new at this and really don’t have any idea of how our government works but I can say that the bills that would help us, the people of the United States, will sit in the Senate for years with no votes on them at all until they “die” or they are mixed in with other issues that have nothing to do with health care and again they “die” because they aren’t what these people think you and I want.  This is my opinion only.

The priorities of the Arthritis Foundation are as follows:

Access To Care                                                                                                         

House Key message:  Co-Sponsor the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012 (H.R. 4209)                                           Senate Key message:  Become a lead Senate sponsor of the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012

  • Improves access to medications, which can prevent disability.
  • Will end the discrimination and excessive cost-sharing of these arthritis medications.
  • H.R. 4209, the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2012 (PATA) is a bi-partisan legislation introduced by Representatives McKinley (R-WV) and Capps (D-CA).

Support $5 million for the Pediatric Sub-specialty Loan Repayment Program

  • Arthritis is a disabling and painful disease that affects 300,000 children.  That’s nearly 1 in 250 children are living with a form of arthritis known as Juvenile arthritis.  It is one of the most common childhood diseases, affecting more children than cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
  • Right now there are less than 250 pediatric rheumatologist in the US and about 90% of those are clustered in and around large cities.
  • The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budge is requesting $5 million to fund the Pediatric Sub-specialty Loan Repayment Program at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which would help ease the shortage and poor distribution of practicing pediatric rheumatologist.  We are asking Congress to support this budget.

RESEARCH

 Include “post traumatic osteoarthritis” and “rheumatoid arthritis” research at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD)

  • Supporting DoD research will help reduce the arthritis burden on our Nation’s soldiers, veterans and civilians.
  • Veterans have twice the rate of osteoarthritis as non-veterans.
  • OA is one of the leading causes of disability and medical discharge in active service members under the age of 40.

Increase research at NIH

  • Increased research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) holds the key to preventing, controlling and curing arthritis, the nation’s  leading cause of disability.
  • The critical research done at NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) improves the quality of life or people with arthritis and decreases the overall burden of the disease.
  • NIH funding should be allocated $32 billion for the Fiscal Year 2013 and $559 million to fund critical research on arthritis and other related diseases at the Institute.    (Right now there is about $2 million (give or take a few million) being spent on Fibromyalgia research)

PREVENTION

Support the CDC Arthritis program with an extra $10 million in funding

  • There are over 50 million Americans who are affected by arthritis, federal funding for programs that address the prevention and control of arthritis must stay a national public health priority.
  • Increased funding for the CDC Arthritis program to $23 million to expand the program to more states.

As of today the CDC Arthritis program is in 12 states and Georgia isn’t one of them.  I found this kind of strange because the CDC is in Atlanta, GA.

All of these priorities are extremely important in the fight to find a cure for Arthritis and I will go into greater depth about each because I want you to understand just what this means to you.

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I have won the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!!!


Inspiring Blogger Award

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Sorry for No New Post


I really feel I must say that I am so sorry for not posting any new articles for a while.

I am one of many of the Arthritis Foundation‘s Ambassadors to Congress and I’ve tried to get through their training and babysit with a most adorable little boy, and of course it’s tax time and I’ve had to get things ready for the accountant my husband has do our taxes every year (to complicated for either of us), and do the research for the articles I write, and then write my articles so that you may have the information to help you to cope or change your arthritis and fibromyalgia problems.  Then several weeks ago my computer crashed and I lost all the research I had already done along with every article I had ever written.  I hadn’t been able to back anything up because my computer wouldn’t let me.

Any way all is well now I will have a new article for you by Monday the 6th of February and I’ll have one new article each week for you.

It seems that my life has suddenly taken a turn and I am busier than usual.

I love y’all.

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Fibromyalgia: Which Type Do You Have? Part 4


English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromya...

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Researchers working on the puzzle of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are adding more and more pieces.  While we don’t yet have a complete picture, we’re getting closer.  Many experts believe the condition is brought on by complex, abnormal responses to stress and could be linked to a genetic predisposition.  Studies also show, with FMS, the parts of your brain and central nervous system that deal with pain signals work differently from other people’s.  This is called central sensitization.

Experts are learning a lot about what leads to FMS, but they’re still not clear on why these things lead to FMS in some and not in others.

Fibromyalgia is grouped into two categories — primary and secondary. Primary FMS is the most common and is also called “idopathic” FMS, meaning it has an unknown cause.  Secondary FMS is associated with other conditions.

PRIMARY (IDIOPATHIC) FIBROMYALGIA

Suspected causes of primary FMS include chronic sleep disturbance, abnormalities in brain chemicals and hormones, psychological and social effects, and muscle abnormalities.   Some researchers are looking at nitric oxide levels.

  • Chronic sleep disturbance                                                                                                                                                                 Sleep disturbances and fibromyalgia go hand in hand, and some experts believe sleep disturbances come first.  You can have restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) and sleep-related breathing disorders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In one study, people with FMS had faster rates of cyclic alternating sleep pattern (CAP), which leads to a non-refreshing sleep.  Researchers concluded the increased rate leads to serious sleep problems that make FMS symptoms worse.                                                                                                                                                                                            Some sleep problems of FMS may be linked to levels of the nervous-system chemicals serotonin and melatonin, which help regulate sleep-and-waking cycles.
  • Brain chemical & hormonal abnormalities                                                                                                               Researchers know when you have fibromyalgia you can have many abnormalities in your hormonal, metabolic and brain-chemical activity, but they’re not sure whether these are causes of fibromyalgia or the effect of pain and stress on the central nervous system.  If you have FMS you may have imbalances in any of the following brain chemicals:

 Serotonin: low levels

Serotonin impacts your sleep cycle, pain level and feelings of well-being.  Low levels are linked to depression, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome, all of which often occur in people with FMS.

Melatonin: low levels

Your body makes melatonin from serotonin.  Typically, serotonin levels increase in the morning to help you wake up, then drop at night as your body converts it into melatonin, which helps you sleep.  Some studies show taking melatonin supplements can cut pain levels, improve sleep and improve depression symptoms in people with FMS.  But then again there are other studies showing little or no improvement.

Stress hormones: low levels

Deficiencies in the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine make your body less able to cope with psychological or physical stress. (Physical stress includes infection or strenuous activity.)

IGF-1 growth hormone: low levels

This hormone promotes bone and muscle growth.  Low levels are related to problems with thinking, low energy, muscle weakness an intolerance to cold.  This level may be a marker of FMS rather than a cause.

Substance P: high levels

Substance P is a chemical messenger in the nervous system associated with pain perception.  If you have too much, your brain gets too many pain signals.  People with FMS can have up to three times the normal amount in their spinal fluid.

Abnormal pain perception: high activity levels

Some studies and brain scans suggest fibromyalgia patients have too much activity in the parts of the brain and central nervous system that process pain.

Researchers are working to understand what these abnormalities mean and how this knowledge can lead to treatments.

  •  Psychological & social effects                                                                                                                                                 According to studies, people with FMS are more likely than others to have experienced severe emotional and physical abuse.  This suggests that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic stress could play a strong role in the development of FMS in some people.  Evidence shows that PTSD actually leads to changes in the brain, possibly from long-term over-exposure to stress hormones.
  • Muscle abnormalities                                                                                                                                                                            Though these things can’t be tested at your doctor’s office or clinic, some research has shown that people with FMS have three kinds of muscle abnormalities:

 Biochemical

 Some FMS patients have low levels of muscle-cell chemicals that make sure you have enough calcium in your muscles.  When levels are low, the muscles stay contracted rather than relaxing.

 Structural & blood flow

 Researchers have found people with FMS have especially thick capillaries (tiny blood vessels). This could mean your muscles don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood or other compounds you need for proper muscle function.

 Functional

 Experts don’t know why this is but speculate that the pain and stress of the disease itself may harm muscle function.

Sources:

2007 About, Inc., a part of the New York Times Company. All rights reserved. “Fibromyalgia”

2007 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. “Melatonin Deficiencies in Women”

1995-2007 Life Extension Foundation. All rights reserved. “Fibromyalgia”

SECONDARY FIBROMYALGIA

Secondary fibromyalgia appears either after or at the same time with other medical problems, usually one of the following:

  •  Physical injury, especially to the neck
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis that affects the spine)
  • Surgery
  • Lyme disease (May trigger FMS even after Lyme has been treated)
  • Hepatitis C (some studies hint at this association)
  • Endometriosis

When there’s another condition at work, it can give doctors a real a challenge when it comes to diagnosing secondary FMS.  First, it can be difficult to sort out what condition is causing what symptoms.  Second, FMS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion because anything reversible has to be treated before a doctor can diagnose it.

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Fibromyalgia: Are You At Risk? Part 3


Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Image via Wikipedia

There are more than 6-million people in the U.S. alone who have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and the condition reaches all cultures around the world.  Anyone can get it, but some people are more at risk than others.

What are the risk factors?

Both men and women can develop FMS, although between 80 and 90% diagnosed with it are women.  Experts don’t know why, but some believe it could be tied to a hormonal difference.  It seems that most men are less likely to seek treatment or even admit they could have it, and therefore aren’t diagnosed as often as women.

It’s most common in people between 20 and 55, and women are most likely to develop it during their childbearing years, but, older people also can develop Fibromyalgia.  Children can, but rarely do.  So it can be said that Fibromyalgia knows no age.

Research shows that women closely related to a fibromyalgia sufferer is more likely to develop FMS themselves, indicating a possible genetic defect that predisposes some people from the beginning.

  • Sleep Disorders:                                                                                                                                                                                               Some experts say sleep disorders could be a cause of fibromyalgia.  If you have a long history of sleep problems, and if you have been diagnosed with disorders such as sleep apnea you may have an increased risk.  Some doctors recommend sleep studies for their fibromyalgia patients.
  •  Stress                                                                                                                                                                                                                         If you are always in stressful environments or you are particularly vulnerable to stress (either physiological or psychological) you can develop FMS more often that those affected less by stress.  Studies have suggested that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or chronic stress may play a strong role in the development of fibromyalgia.  High stress levels are also known to trigger flare-ups if you have FMS.  Studies also show low cortisol (stress hormone) levels and dysfunction in the HPA axis, which deals with physiological reactions to stress can trigger fibromyalgia.
  •  Scoliosis/Low Back Pain:                                                                                                                                                                          In one study, about 25% of people with low back pain eventually developed FMS, and scoliosis or other postural disorders made FMS more likely.  Other research confirms the link between scoliosis and FMS.  Interestingly, low levels of melatonin, which can cause sleep disorders, are also believed to contribute to scoliosis.
  •  Joint Hyper-mobility                                                                                                                                                                                            Some research shows that if your joints bend beyond the normal range (“double jointed”) you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia, possibly because you’re more prone to repeated minor injuries.
  • Other chronic-pain conditions:                                                                                                                                                                  If you suffer with frequent headaches/migraines, lupus, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosis spondylitis (a type of arthritis) you have an increased risk for developing FMS, possibly because your chronic pain causes desensitization of the central nervous system, which is believed to be the cause of FMS pain.

Lowering Your Risk

You can’t do much to stop most of these risk factors, but, if you feel you’re at risk you can work to effectively lower or manage your stress. You might be able to lower your risk (and improve your life) by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting proper medical treatment for pain, sleep disorders, past emotional trauma, or PTSD.

Sources:

2007 About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved. “Fibromyalgia”

Gerwin RD.A review of myofascial pain and fibromyalgia — factors that promote their persistence.

Lapossy E, et al.The frequency of transition of chronic low back pain to fibromyalgia.

Machida M, et al.Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression — a prospective study.

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