March 2005 Table of Contents


The Push Continues!

Technology has greatly advanced lightweight manual wheelchairs over the past ten years. Which developments have had the greatest effects? With a wide variety of everyday chairs available, what new devices can help with selection? You'll find some answers here.

Can Ya Dig It?

He who plants a garden plants happiness. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden. — Chinese Proverb

Research in Action

The PVA Research Foundation awards nearly $1 million in grants for SCI-related studies.

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Reasons & Remarks

In a tribute to recently deceased Dr. Bill Freeman, Editor Cliff Crase takes a look back to the beginnings of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Freeman's role as one of the organization's true founding fathers.

Caregiver Connection

After the initial crisis is over, it is fairly common for friends and family to drift away. All the help and support that was there at the beginning can slow and cease altogether. Columnist (and caregiver) Suzanne Mintz offers some practical advice for new family caregivers who are wondering how to cope.

Diagnosis MS

In 2004, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was able to invest nearly $35 million in MS research projects in the U.S. and abroad. This month's column highlights a few of those studies.

Healing Options

Part 1 (February 2005) introducd the Mind-Instructor Clinic of London, England. This month, in Part 2, columnist S. Laurance Johnston, Ph.D., describes the elements of the clinic's demanding mind-instruction program, which focuses on consciousness-driven healing, changing negative attitudes to positive ones. In some SCI cases, the body has reportedly begun to heal, with the consciousness change reinforced through aggressive physical rehabilitation.

Living Well

In this introduction to a series of articles about specific antibiotics (as they apply to SCI), columnist Ann Adair, R.N., M.S.N., M.P.H., M.Ed., provides some background on the ongoing search to cure infectious diseases.

Money Talks

Columnist Dan Jones, a registered investment advisor at Raymond James & Associates, Inc., offers readers some general guidelines for coping with the current rise in both short- and long-term interest rates.

Travel Tips

Columnist Carol Randall enlightens readers about a Web site that is a gold mine of information about accessible B&Bs in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. There's also information about tours in Ireland and in France's wine country. And if you've been wondering what types of airplanes must have accessible lavatories, you'll find the answer here!

Weight Matters

Losing weight is hard work, especially for people with SCI. This month, columnist Phil Klebine, M.A., discusses the whys—and hows—of improving self-talk to positively impact your weight-loss program.

A Closer Look

Urinary-bladder catheterizations are neither completely harmless nor painless. This article by Dr. Joseph Binard and Jo Ann Webb, R.N., discusses the risks and an alternative—a device that uses ultrasound to measure and compute bladder volume. The bibliography for this article includes: T. L. Nassagli, K. M. Jaffe, and D. D. Cardenas (1990)—"Ultrasound Measurement of Urine Volume of Children with Neurogenic Bladder," Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 1990, 32,314–318; D E. Padmore, P. A. M. Anderson, D. S. Tooth, and M. A. Wayne (1997)—“Evaluation of a Non-invasive Method to Determine Bladder Volume in Children,” The Canadian Journal of Urology: 4 (1) March 1997, 305-308; J. Binard, L. Persky, J. Lockhart, and B. Kelly (1996). “Intermittent Catheterization the Right Way (Volume vs. Time-Directed),” The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine 1996; 19–3; 194-196; M. Frederickson et al.—“The Implementation of Bedside Bladder Ultrasound Technology: Effects on Patient and Cost Postoperative Outcomes in Tertiary Care,” (2000) Orthopedic Nursing, May/June 2000 Vol. 19, nr 3, 79–87; and I. Perkash—“Urethral Strictures,” Journal of Urology, March 1997.

Around the House

The popular TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tackled the problem of an accessible home for former college basketball player Rodney Anderson, who is quadriplegic from a gunshot wound. Read about this amazing project in this month's issue. There's also Part II of Suzanne Mintz's home-renovation diary: the search for the right architect.

Mobility and More

Learn about a battery-operated mobile stair climber developed in the United Kingdom, as well as a drive to encourage people to support revamping of the HCPCS codes related to power chairs. The current restrictive coverage policy reportedly denies Medicare beneficiaries access to the most appropriate wheelchairs.


News blurbs and briefs on these topics: a "vans for vets" program for veterans injured during Iraqi Freedom and Afghan combat, funding for a new research center at the University of Pittsburgh, the National Organization on Disability's (NOD's) new Interfaith Directory of Religious Leaders With Disabilities, Verizon Wireless's improvements to make its Web site more user-friendly for people with disabilities, statistics on 2004 Paralympic television viewership, an online source for caregivers and homebound patients to connect for home healthcare services, and the selection of Pasadena, Calif., as winner of NOD's fourth annual Accessible America Contest.


John Davis writes about an unforgettable hunt for moose in North Pole, Alaska. (If you like wheelchair sports and recreation, you'll love our sister publication, SPORTS ’N SPOKES!)

Sports and Recreation

A variety of wheelchair-sports and recreational news is highlighted this month: the awarding of a Rhodes Scholarship to U.S. women's basketball team member Jennifer Howitt; an event to raise funds for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team; the newly formed Women in Paralympic Sport Network, which advocates full inclusion of girls and women at all levels of Paralympic sport; a documentary film on wheelchair tennis; and the Wounded Warrior Project, which sponsored 20 soldiers with disabilities at last December's Hartford Ski Spectacular. (If you like wheelchair sports and recreation, you'll love our sister publication, SPORTS ’N SPOKES!)

PVA President's Message

As the organization met in San Diego for its Midwinter Board of Directors Meeting, Paralyzed Veterans of America President Randy Pleva noted, "PVA can work with anyone and be a team player as long as everyone is on the same field. One thing is for sure: We cannot lose one single benefit."

Veteran Advisor

This month's columnist, Michael Kruse, answers a veteran's question about entitlement to adapted-housing assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And Finally...

Columnist Marty Ball tells readers, "Anyone who reads this column knows there are very few times when I complain, but some things in this life deserve some measure of complaint." He then goes on to share his "pet peeves" for 2005. Does his list match yours?

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