Tech Tuesday: Making Sense of the Michigan Assistive Technology Programs

From MATP: Complete Post through this link…

The federal Assistive Technology Act states that each state and
territory has an AT program to provide increased access to and
information about AT options. Michigan has 3 organizations that help
individuals with disabilities, their family members, and organizations
do exactly this. The Michigan Assistive Technology Program (MATP,) the
Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund (MATLF,) and Disability Rights
Michigan (DRM.)

Join Kellie Blackwell, MATP Co-Director, Tracy Strating, MATLF
Director, and Sarah Healey, DRM Advocate for the next TechTuesday on
September 26, 2023. The presenters will provide an overview of each
program and explain the differences of how each program is available
to help someone with exploring what AT options are available to them.

Insomnia: The Multibillion-Dollar Problem Sapping World Productivity

From RAND: Complete Post through this link…

Hallie Levine learned a hard truth on those bleary mornings when she dragged herself to work after a night of insomnia: “Caffeine is temporary.”

Nearly a quarter of all adults in the United States have experienced the tossing-turning frustration of clinical insomnia symptoms. Levine, a freelance writer in Connecticut, describes her existence on the days that follow as “death on wheels.” Yet from the doctor’s office to the corner office, good sleep is often overlooked as a key part of well-being.

We pay for that. Researchers at RAND and RAND Europe estimate that chronic insomnia pulls down the U.S. economy by more than $200 billion every year. Other major economies also forgo tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity. The condition is so debilitating, researchers found, that sufferers would pay 14 percent of their income to get better sleep.

“We encourage this as a society,” said Levine, who documented her life with insomnia in a 2017 article for Prevention magazine. “Someone is always emailing, and then you respond and you get sucked down the rabbit hole, and then it’s 11 o’clock at night. We normalize it. There’s this idea that it’s good to be sleep-deprived, that you’re up and you’re busy.”

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the world. It blurs thinking, dulls concentration, and drives up the risk of workplace accidents. Some evidence suggests its prevalence has been on the rise since COVID scrambled routines and gave people something new to worry about at 2 a.m. One 2021 Canadian study found a fourfold increase in new case rates of insomnia during the early months of the pandemic.

New Blood Test For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Has 91% Accuracy

ByCLARE WATSON: Complete Post through this link…

It can take years for people living with chronic fatigue syndrome to receive a formal diagnosis, and they are a favored few. Experts suggest up to 91 percent of people in the US remain undiagnosed, living without medical support for a condition that robs them of energy, brain-power, and a care-free life.

But those statistics could in time improve, if a newly developed diagnostic test stands up to scrutiny.

A team of scientists led by the University of Oxford has just published their preliminary results of a blood cell-based test that can distinguish between unaffected individuals and those with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS) with 91 percent accuracy.

A teenager’s OCD journey

From Emily Writes: Complete Post through this link…

I’m lucky enough to do a lot of workshops and talks with teenagers across the motu. I encourage them to write and share their writing with me. I’m proud to share this brave piece by a 17-year-old I met. She’s using a pen-name – E. Scriver – for privacy.

This is her experience of fighting Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I think it’s an amazing insight from someone so young, into a devastating condition that isn’t well-understood.

Anywhere else, it would be assault. Yet schools can still hit kids.

By the Editorial Board: Complete Post through this link…

While the use of corporal punishment in schools is a widely condemned practice, officials in more than 15states can still strike a child for misbehavior.

In 2021, a 4-year-old was allegedly hit and then restrained and beaten a second time for talking during nap time in Louisiana. And in Mississippi, an 8-year-old found herself in a hospital bed with a fractured finger after enduring a beating for talking in class in 2018.

Violence is not an acceptable form of discipline. It is not only ineffective, but counterproductive, too. Research shows children who are physically disciplined become more aggressive and antisocial, and experience more mental health problems.

Less Burdensome PTSD Therapy Proves Viable

by Kristen Monaco: Complete Post through this link…

A shorter type of exposure therapy worked just as well as a more involved one for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a non-inferiority trial involving military veterans.

Written exposure therapy, given over five to seven sessions, was non-inferior to eight to 15 sessions of prolonged exposure therapy for reducing PTSD symptoms, as measured by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5), reported researchers led by Denise Sloan, PhD, of the National Center for PTSD and VA Boston Health Care System.

While both programs seemed equally effective for treating PTSD, patients were significantly more likely to stick with written exposure therapy, with premature dropout rates of only 12.5% versus 35.6% in the prolonged exposure group, likely owing to the fewer but also shorter sessions (45 to 60 minutes rather than 90 minutes), according to the researchers.

Whitmer honors Marquette man as U.P. Veteran of the Year

From Daily Press: Complete Post through this link…

Marquette’s James A. Provost was honored as the Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year Thursday at the Upper Peninsula State Fair. Provost received the award in a ceremony with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other dignitaries.

In selecting Provost, the Upper Peninsula Veteran of the Year Committee stated he has been an instrumental figure in support of Marquette County veterans and veteran advocacy for many years. He has been helping veterans since his return from service in Vietnam. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 to 1969 with service in Vietnam in 1966.Provost has served as the chairman of the Marquette County Veterans Alliance for the past nine years. His leadership and selfless service have benefited countless veterans and their families across Marquette County and the U.P.He has served on the Marquette County Veterans Affairs Committee for the for the past nine years.

As a committee member he also served as a member of the veteran’s crisis team. Provost was directly responsible for helping displaced and homeless veterans move into new housing, finding solutions to clean unhealthy veteran living accommodations, and spending time with geographically isolated veterans near their end of life. He helped transport at risk veterans to the Tohma, Wisconsin VA Medical Center in support of alcohol and drug related rehabilitation. He has provided guidance and mentorship to countless veterans in support of working on service-connected disability claims and access to VA healthcare.

The Mighty’s ER-positive/HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer Condition Guide

From The Mighty Staff: Complete Post through this link…

ER-positive/HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer at a Glance:

  • ER-positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer is a specific type of breast cancer and has spread to other areas of the body (i.e., metastatic breast cancer). 
  • Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women, and approximately 87% of all breast cancers are ER-positive/HER2-negative. 
  • ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer is the most common form of breast cancer, and luckily, has many different treatment options available for individuals diagnosed with this type of breast cancer.

The Difference Between Wanting to Die and Wanting the Pain to Stop

By Jennifer Wilson: Complete Post through this link…

I didn’t want to die.

I only wanted the pain to stop: the pain that encircled and squeezed my ribcage, the heaviness that wrapped my brain in shadow, the agony that turned the whole world dark.

I needed it to cease.

It wasn’t one large trauma that convinced me death was my only option, but an unending series of small griefs that stole my hope. The everyday pressure of life became an unrelenting assault: a heavy hand upon my shoulder that crushed me.

One morning I had a minor argument with my husband and, like the proverbial straw on the camel’s back, it broke me into pieces.

And so I decided I had only one choice that made any sense at all. I felt everyone would be better off without me.

I made a plan. I wrote letters to my family. Through my tears, I called my beloved brother to say goodbye.

The realization of what I was saying took mere moments to settle upon his understanding and then, quickly, it sank in and he sprang into action. He cut me off, hung up on me and called my husband immediately.

My husband sprinted from his office building and, frantic, searched me out using an app on his phone. He flagged down a police officer. Called the ambulance. Got me to the hospital.

I drank the sludgy charcoal grit from a paper cup as I lay on the gurney and wept.

I didn’t want to die.

I only wanted the pain to stop.

‘You literally stole my independence’: What happens when an airline breaks a wheelchair

By Meghan Smith: Complete Post through this link…

When Boston resident Colleen Flanagan arrived in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening, she got the news every wheelchair user dreads: Her power wheelchair was badly damaged during her flight.

“It wouldn’t power on because the whole joystick was smashed. There was no power switch anymore and the whole side is kind of dented in,” Flanagan said.She had to wait three hours for a loaner chair that doesn’t fit her properly, and she doesn’t know how long it will take until her wheelchair is repaired. The incident left her in tears. “There’s also that emotional part of like, wait a minute, you owe me. You literally stole my independence, my plans,” she said.

Damaged wheelchairs while flying is a frustrating yet too common problem for people with disabilities, advocates say, and the problem is not getting any better.

“This is an issue people with disabilities deal with on a constant basis,” said Rhoda Gibson, co-founder of disability rights group MassADAPT, who was traveling with Flanagan from Boston.Airlines damage thousands of wheelchairs every year. According to the most recent data from the Department of Transportation, in January alone, U.S. airlines reported mishandling 871 wheelchairs or scooters, or about 1.6% of those taken on domestic flights.

JetBlue — which Flanagan took to Washington — had the second highest incidence of mishandling in the latest federal data, at 5.8% of wheelchairs and scooters being mishandled. That’s about five times as much as other domestic airlines. Only Spirit Airlines, at 7.19%, had a higher rate of damaged wheelchairs.