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Messages - tbrbeast

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Recreation and Entertainment / Re: Snowboarding
« on: January 04, 2011, 07:51:04 PM »
Mitchee: couple of comments.  Met a male nurse a year or 2 ago when giving blood.  He is a BK but also snowboards, rock climbs etc.  Like anything else, it can be done.

You might also look for any groups or organizations that work with people with disabilities.  Here in Oregon, we have a group called Oregon Adaptive Sports which works with a wide range of people, including amputees, to learn to ski and snowboard along with other stuff.  Here, they work with local ski areas to provide access, trainers, volunteers, and equipment.  Herb also pointed out another alternative - sled skiing - which this group also does. 

General Discussion / Re: This will shut down many prosthetic shops
« on: January 04, 2011, 07:35:30 PM »
Sugar in and of itself is not the problem; carbohydrates, or at least an excess of them, is.  Sugar is a carb; many diabetes do an excellent job of controlling their blood sugar levels by controlling the amount of carbs they consume, including sugar (along with a proper diet and exercise).  Now if you want to control or lose weight, then calories is the issue and avoiding or severely limiting the amount of sugar and using other forms of sweeteners may be the way to go. 

General Discussion / Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« on: November 12, 2010, 08:01:55 PM »
Jason:  Can't tell you what agency that might be but where I live, local handicapped advocates took the city to court over the lack of or poor access - curb ramps, accessibility issues to new buildings etc.  The city has a settlement/agreement with the US Justice Dept. to fix all the curb ramps (somewhere in excess of 7000 +) by 2014.  They have also had to redo or require building owners to redo access where it didn't meet standards.  Any project with that includes public funding is required to be ADA compliant.  And I believe that any private construction that includes public access also is required to be ADA compliant.  The city here has an employee that specifically deals with ADA issues so you might check with yours.  PA may also have an ombudsman; if so, contact that office.

Mitchee: in Oregon, cops will come onto private property and enforce handicapped parking whether violations are reported by the business or members of the public.  Police will also enforce all traffic laws - stopping for stop signs etc. (some of the larger shopping centers and mall parking lots do have them).  It may have to do how laws are written by each state to comply with ADA. 

General Discussion / Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« on: October 01, 2010, 06:28:07 PM »
Anne - you had the forethought to put the cart in front of the stall.  Too many people, and many who have a placard leave them in the no parking aisleway between or adjacent to handicapped spots.  It is painfully obvious that those folks do not have a clue the logic or reason for that aisleway. 

Where I live, the city cops don't tend to patrol the downtown business district for parking scofflaws.  The downtown business association has contracted with a parking company to enforce the parking laws during the normal business day (but not evenings or nights).  Those folks are pretty strict; one local gentleman who had a placard, was parked in a marked handicapped spot but his vehicle encroached on the adjacent no parking aisleway.  He got a ticket because he was improperly parked. 

I have seen everything from armored car companies to the local Pepsi distributor to local cabbies park in or block the spots and aisleways.  Cabbies seem to be the worst; they seem to feel that they can park anywhere without restriction.

I hate to say it but people with placards can be some of the worst violators.  I saw a guy a couple of weeks ago park his car in the no parking aisleway that blocked the use of 3 handicapped spots (a double and a single facing each other).  He said he had a permit and could park there.  I suggested that we could call the cops and let them make the decision.  He moved his rig immediately after that.  I suspect that he was using someone else's placard given that he was about 6 ft 2 or 3, in his 30s or at worst early 40s and no obvious impairment of any type.

And lets not forget the folks who park there and when told they are parked illegally without a permit, tell you that they will move if someone needs the space.  As if someone with a permit is going to get out of their rig to do that. 

General Discussion / Re: Missuse of handicap parking
« on: September 28, 2010, 06:27:17 PM »
The situation in Oregon is similar to what uScott described.  The state used to write the driver's license number on the placard when it was issued but due to privacy and identity theft issues, has stopped doing that.  However, each placard has a serial number and an expiration date.  That serial number is tied to an individual that I know for a fact is accessible to law enforcement very quickly as I had a dispatcher inform me that the vehicle I reported as being parked in a handicapped spot was registered to an individual with a placard.  My placard is good for 8 years; I have to renew it when I renew my drivers license and requires a signed form from my doctor.  I just renewed it last spring and as uScott noted, it is quick and painless.  Don't know how other states do it but it seems to me that requiring a periodic renewal may cut down on the misuse, at least in terms of the placard being passed down to others.

General Discussion / Re: MEDICARE CUTS COMING UP
« on: September 07, 2010, 06:12:25 PM »
A point of clarification.  According to a news article I saw over the weekend, many of the changes being ascribed to the health care bill were in fact included as part of another bill pasted by Congress in either 2008 or 2009.  Many of the Medicare changes were coming regardless of health care bill.

General Discussion / Re: Internet buzzing w claim of 'Regrow limbs'
« on: March 22, 2010, 05:26:40 PM »
Hate to throw water on the parade but reading the comments is perhaps more informative that the article.  According to one of the posters - Panda by name who read the actual report - limb regeneration was tried and failed as part of the experiment.  It is noted that this includes the regeneration of digits - fingers and toes.  As much as I would like my toes back, this ain't going to do.

General Discussion / Re: Haiti Earthquake Victim Amputee's
« on: January 28, 2010, 06:34:56 PM »
The following is copied from the latest edition of the amp-I Digest which I received yesterday.

I am trying this again, because when I saw this post, it was jumbled up, and can't figure out why this happens.  Sorry if you have seen this already, but since I got no replies or responses to this, I figured that nobody was able to see this email yesterday.

In 2003 I started a not-for-profit organization called "Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic", and also got the 501(c)(3) tax status. 

As we have all heard and seen on the news, there are many amputations taking place in Haiti now, due to crush injuries, fractures that have been left untreated, lacerations and infections.  This is a country that already had a huge need for support and aid in the area of prosthetics.

I lived in the Dominican Republic for a couple years back in the mid-80's, and know the culture, language and all about that country.  I also noticed the needs for prosthetics 25 years ago, and the situation there is still the same.  That is why I went back there in 2003 to explore the reality and ability to make prosthetic limbs there for those in need.

I lost my leg in an accident in 1998, which pushed me into the field of prosthetics, leaving behind my career in Pathology.  I attended the Cal State Dominguez Hills program for prosthetics in 1999 and then in 2003 opended my own facility in Indiana.  It was in that same year I also started the not-for-profit in the Dominican Republic.

I share that with you so that you know of my passion and reason for working in that country.  This country shares the island of Hispanola with Haiti.  I have spoken with my contacts in Santo Domingo about the situation there.  They are allowing some Haitians to travel to the Domincan Republic for medical treatments, and will also be working with some of the amputees there in Santo Domingo.

I am preparing another trip there in a couple weeks, and what I need is whatever kind of items that anyone might have laying around not being used.  If anyone has decent feet, knees, arm parts, hooks, hands, etc. that can be re-used for someone in Haiti or the Dom Rep, you can ship them to my office in Indiana, and I will clean them, refurbish them (have my staff assist in this of course), and then personally take them to Santo Domingo in a few weeks.  If possible, I can also drive them into Haiti to a facility there if they are up and running at that point.  As I have heard, the facility there near Port au Prince was damaged, but not totally destroyed.  But, there are safety concerns and issues that will have to be considered before driving these goods into Haiti.  But, even if they get to Santo Domingo to the office where I work, they can be kept there until it is safe to go to Haiti, or until the facility in Haiti is up and running again. 

Please email me at if you have any items to donate, so that I can be sure that it is re-useable and so we are not wasting money for shipping items that really cannot be used. 

Of course the "Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic" could always use money or donations, but that is not what I need the most at this time.....components are more important.  Anything donated can be claimed on taxes, and I can/will provide you with the tax number so you can claim that deduction.

You can check out my website, which has a link to the work in the Dominican Republic and photos of some of the people I have been able to help. .  It is not a big fancy site, but it is enough to identify who I am and the business, and also some of the work that I do outside of my office.

Thanks to everyone,

Jim DeWees, CP
Prosthetic Center of Indiana
321 E. Winslow Rd
Bloomington, IN 47401



"Prosthetic Limbs for the Dominican Republic"

 I think that this may at least partially respond to you Bruce.                       

General Discussion / Pain Study - Univ. of Washington
« on: November 09, 2009, 06:41:01 PM »

General Discussion / Re: H1N1
« on: November 06, 2009, 06:57:58 PM »

You're actually better off not having the jab if you don't have any other underlying conditions.
It's only flu...

It may only be "the flu" but this one is killing people that other strains haven't, or at least in the same numbers.  I have neither seen nor heard any credible arguments/discussions for not getting it.  I frankly have no desire of being stuck at home for 1-2 weeks feeling totally miserable if I can help it.  But each of us has the choice. 

General Discussion / Re: H1N1
« on: November 05, 2009, 06:48:52 PM »
I haven't had it; I do plan to get the shot.

Not getting the shot is your choice.  Keep in mind that this particular flu is operating outside of what we consider the normal flu season so the assumption that it will disappear before you get the shot is at the very least questionable.  With people getting it last summer, it is possible that it could still be active/common next summer.

Hmmm.  I think maybe we are a bit hasty in rushing to judgment.  Although I tend to agree that the mother potentially could do more and there may be other options for the girl, it appears to me that perhaps there is some information missing from the article.  We are using US standards, ideas, practices and assumptions to judge something in another another culture (albeit similar).  We don't have all the information about the daughter's condition.  I am curious to hear what our compatriots in the UK say about this before I finalize my opinion one way or the other.

General Discussion / Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« on: October 01, 2009, 06:35:14 PM »
Jack - the article is focusing on the need for more prosthetists.  The American Diabetes Assoc. estimates that there are 23.6 million diabetics in the US today.  Using the figures in the article, almost 3.5 percent of those will have an amputation this year.  With only 3500 prosthetists nationwide, it will become increasingly difficult for anyone to see one in a reasonable time period.  This doesn't even consider the number of amputations due to other causes.  Look at the thread on waiting times and it is obvious there are already concerns about how long you should wait.  The waiting time, assuming you could get to see a prosthetist, could increase significantly regardless of who pays or what type of system is in place.  I suppose one could bribe their way in but then if the prosthetist is willing to accept a bribe, is that someone I would trust or want to build and maintain my prosthesis?   

General Discussion / Shortage of Prosthetists
« on: September 25, 2009, 05:13:23 PM »
The Oregonian newspaper (Portland, OR) published an article this past Wednesday (Sept 23) on the shortage of prosthetists due to a surge in amputations associated with diabetes.  Here is the link.

« on: September 14, 2009, 06:34:03 PM »
Like the others, I also never had a peer visit much less an opportunity to ask for one.  I have learned alot from this and several other sites but unfortunately, much of what I know I had to learn by doing.  There are few if any TMAs on any of the sites I am a member of (including this one) and the amp community where I live in Central Oregon is relatively invisible.  I finally meet another bilat TMA last year, 4 1/2 years after my original amputation (and he was a recent amputation - same surgeon, same hospital etc.).

I agree that peer visits (or being a peer visitor) aren't for everyone.  At the same time, if this site and the others I am familiar with are any indication, we all have questions or problems that others may be able to help with - support, advice etc.  This site, and others, are a form of a peer visit, or perhaps a continuous peer visit.  We may agree or disagree about ACA and their program but to me, the bottom line appears to be that each of us needs some type of "peer visit" on occasion.

As a side note, although I am not a bk, ak, ue or other amp and many of the discussions are of little immediate value to me, each and everyone here has provided me with a wealth of information that I may need in the future.  From that perspective, this and other forums have been a tremendous asset.  I suspect that each of us, if we take the time to sit down and think about it, would come to the same conclusion.  We are here because there are others here who understand at least some of what each of us has experienced and is going through (yes, we are all peer visitors on this site and other forums).

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