A Young Person’s Guide to Navigating Chronic Pain

By Kylee Grace Schmuck: For Complete Post, Click Here…

So you’re in your late teens or 20s and have been diagnosed with chronic pain. Now what? I sense some of the overwhelming and intrusive thoughts in your brain. “I can’t even drink, but I have to live in pain,” “How could this happen? I’m only 20” and other variations of these types of questions race in your head. You start calculating how many years you’ll be living in pain. Half your life? Three-fourths? Two-thirds? Anything more than half is likely, and you’re terrified.

You start drowning. Drowning without any hope or possibilities in sight. You sit in waiting rooms for specialists and doctors, most often surrounded by those much older than you. You’re given strange looks. Maybe someone will ask why “someone like you” is in a place like this. You won’t know how to respond. You’ll look down and mumble something about having an appointment.

Navigating a diagnosis of chronic pain is never easy, no matter your age, race or gender. However, since being diagnosed with chronic pain and femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) at a relatively young age, I’ve learned that age can present a number of interesting and unique challenges.

You’ll need to cultivate skills, similar to those that anyone diagnosed with chronic pain needs to develop. You need to learn how to properly research various treatment options that may be suggested, how to effectively deal with insurance company and how to advocate for yourself and what you feel is best with anyone who may be on your treatment team.

The Opioids Crisis: Don’t Punish Pain Patients To Treat Opioid Addiction

by Kate M. Nicholson and Sally Satel: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The U.S. is suffering not one epidemic, but two: The opioid crisis continues to rage through the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, opioid deaths surged 30 percent to 93,000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just announced, due largely to fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid trafficked from Mexico and China. Federal action to help Americans combat substance abuse is urgently needed.

But a sin tax imposed in a new bipartisan Senate bill, The Life Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, is sorely misguided, robbing pain patient Peter to treat addiction patient Paul.

Introduced by Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), along with ten co-sponsors including Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the bill would establish a tax on sales of opioids (“stewardship fee”) of one cent per milligram. The revenue would be earmarked to fund drug treatment.

New York State tried an opioid sin tax; the results were not encouraging. In 2019, it imposed taxes and fees on opioid manufacturers and pharmaceutical distributors that deliver opioids to pharmacies and hospitals.  According to Kaiser Health News, “scores of manufacturers and wholesalers stopped selling opioids in New York,” among them Epic Pharma, a manufacturer, and Independent Pharmacy Cooperative, a wholesaler. AvKARE and Lupin Pharmaceuticals no longer ship to New York.

DOJ: Maine violating ADA, over-institutionalizing children with disabilities

BY BRAD DRESS: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Maine has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by sending children with disabilities to mental health facilities as it fails to meet their needs in the community, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday.

In a press release, the DOJ said it concluded an investigation that found the state system “unnecessarily” segregated children with mental or physical disabilities from their communities by sending them to psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities and a juvenile detention center called Long Creek Youth Development Center in Portland.

The DOJ said children with disabilities are more likely to be institutionalized in Maine because of difficulties in accessing behavioral health and other basic needs in the community.

How to sleep well again

by Chris James: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Insomnia is awful, but highly treatable. Look beyond pills and potions, and use these effective methods to get your life back.

Most of us struggle after a night of poor sleep: we feel groggy, tired, irritable – there’s a general sense that we’re not firing on all cylinders, or like we’re going through our day in a ‘fog’. Insomnia sufferers know these symptoms all too well.

Individuals who experience insomnia often describe it as a debilitating, distressing, deeply frustrating condition that affects all aspects of their life. The negative impact of just one night of poor sleep can weigh heavily on us, so for those who are consistently sleeping poorly it can feel like torture. Sleeping should be easy, right? Why can’t I just close my eyes and fall asleep like everyone else? – a question I’ve heard many times in the sleep clinic. Insomnia can be such a cruel condition. The desperate desire for sleep and the increasing frustration that comes with being unable to sleep actually makes it even harder to get to sleep. Breaking this vicious cycle is one of the keys to overcoming insomnia.

Securing good sleep is essential for physical and mental health. When sleep is healthy, it helps the body recharge, fuels its natural ability to heal, and plays a vital role in helping the brain process the day’s events. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep to feel sufficiently rested, though the exact duration needed varies from person to person. People with insomnia often report not getting sufficient sleep; some report just five or six hours. Others get more, but it is typical for people with insomnia to have highly fragmented sleep – in other words, they don’t sleep solidly and have long periods of wakefulness in their sleep.

Broadly speaking, insomnia involves persistent difficulty with getting to sleep and/or staying asleep, at least three nights per week. For those with chronic (vs short-term) insomnia, this goes on for a period of at least three months. These difficulties are accompanied by daytime symptoms such as fatigue, memory or concentration problems, or irritability. There also has to be some degree of dissatisfaction or distress about one’s sleep. Importantly, for the problem to be classed as insomnia, these issues have to be occurring despite adequate opportunity for sleep (so the sleep problems are not caused by factors such as shift patterns, late-night partying or noisy neighbours). And, the symptoms aren’t better explained by other conditions that can lead to poor sleep, such as circadian rhythm disorders or sleep apnoea.

Insomnia can have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life and day-to-day functioning. It can affect performance at work, relationships, and motivation to exercise and keep a healthy diet. People with insomnia often stop doing the things they enjoy as they no longer have the energy or drive to do them. As a result, they can often feel unhappy, powerless and trapped.

Insomnia is common, but treatable

Justices side with doctors convicted in pain pill schemes

By MARK SHERMAN: For Complete Post, Click Here… The Supreme Court on Monday ruled for doctors who face criminal charges for overprescribing powerful pain medication in a case arising from the opioid addiction crisis. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that prosecutors must prove that doctors knew they were illegally prescribing powerful pain drugs … Continue reading Justices side with doctors convicted in pain pill schemes

Justices side with doctors convicted in pain pill schemes

By MARK SHERMAN: For Complete Post, Click Here… The Supreme Court on Monday ruled for doctors who face criminal charges for overprescribing powerful pain medication in a case arising from the opioid addiction crisis. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that prosecutors must prove that doctors knew they were illegally prescribing powerful pain drugs […]

Flu Vaccination Linked to 40% Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

From Neuroscience news: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Older adults who received at least one flu vaccination were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the course of a four-year follow-up than their peers who did not receive a vaccine.

Source: UT Houston

People who received at least one influenza vaccine were 40% less likely than their non-vaccinated peers to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the course of four years, according to a new study from UTHealth Houston.

Research led by first author Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a recent alumnus of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, and senior author Paul. E. Schulz, MD, the Rick McCord Professor in Neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of Alzheimer’s disease incidence between patients with and without prior flu vaccination in a large nationwide sample of U.S. adults aged 65 and older.

An early online version of the paper detailing the findings is available in advance of its publication in the Aug. 2 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“We found that flu vaccination in older adults reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years that a person received an annual flu vaccine—in other words, the rate of developing Alzheimer’s was lowest among those who consistently received the flu vaccine every year,” said Bukhbinder, who is still part of Schulz’s research team while in his first year of residency with the Division of Child Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Research finds that Google searches may be a predictor of domestic violence

by Bocconi University: For Complete Post, Click Here…

When the COVID pandemic broke out and Italy experienced a strict lockdown, news stories started reporting anecdotal evidence about women forced to live under the same roof with abusive partners. However, scholars such as Selin Koksal, a Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy at Bocconi University in Milan specializing in population and gender, lacked reliable data sources to track the phenomenon.

The selected keywords were: 1522 (the domestic violence helpline number in Italy), abuse (abuso), home & abuse (casa & abuso), home & rape (casa & stupro), feminicide (femminicidio), rape (stupro), domestic violence (violenza domestica), gender-based violence (violenza di genere), and sexual violence (violenza sessuale).

The idea underlying the study is that the Internet—and Google in particular—may offer a medium to anonymously voice concerns about abusive partners and collect relevant information. Calls to the helpline (1522) measure potential risk of experiencing domestic violence, while calls to the emergency number measure actual violence.

The frequency of queries for keywords 1522, feminicide, domestic violence, and gender-based violence are consistently positively and significantly correlated with helpline calls across the whole investigated time period (2013-2020), with a time lag between search and call of around one week.

Their predictive power increases after the COVID-19 outbreak, when traditional help mechanisms became harder to reach.

When I Had No Choice But to Go to the Hospital During COVID-19 for My Rare Disease

By Megan Marjorie: For Complete Post, Click Here… Rare diseases never take a break — even during a pandemic. Hospitals, instead of homes for healing, have become “houses of horror” for many patients like me. There are times when I’m in desperate need for medical care, but terrified to go because I am immunosuppressed. This … Continue reading When I Had No Choice But to Go to the Hospital During COVID-19 for My Rare Disease

AARP launches free online hub to help Veterans fight fraud

From VAntage Point: For Complete Post, Click Here…

In response to the growing number of online fraud reports against the military community, AARP recently launched its Veterans Fraud Center, a new education and resource hub to help protect Veterans, service members and their families.

The data

Just last year, an AARP survey found that one in three active-duty military members and Veterans have lost money to at least one fake service-related offer.

Additionally, the number of fraud attacks against the military community jumped 69 percent compared to the previous year, according to the 2021 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Of those 110,827 reports of fraud, 26 percent resulted in financial losses, which totaled $267 million. Individual victims within the military community reported losing more money than their civilian counterparts, with a median loss of $600, compared to $500 for civilians.

“Targeting scams at members of the military community is unconscionable,” said Troy Broussard, senior advisor of AARP’s Veterans and Military Families Initiative and U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran. “The AARP Veterans Fraud Center is designed to alert Veterans and their families about the latest scams and how to avoid them.”

AARP’s free resources

AARP’s Veterans Fraud Center offers free information on the latest scams targeting the military community, tips for spotting other types of consumer fraud, and specially tailored resources to help protect Veterans and military families.

They include:

For the latest news and information impacting older Veterans, bookmark the Veterans, Military and Their Families page on AARP.org.