May 2004 Table of Contents


In Search of Relief

More bad days than good because of chronic pain? Here's one man's experience with this often-debilitating condition.

SCI Research's
Hot Topics

In this "Decade of the Spine," scientists relentlessly pursue answers.

People Power

International exchange finds that individuals are catalysts in helping shape disability rights.

Special Section Getting Into the Act

Capitol Hill visits...advocacy and legislation seminars...testimony on veterans' affairs... In a busy week in Washington, D.C., the Paralyzed Veterans of America's members address issues of concern to veteransand all people with disabilities.

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Also in this issue:

Reasons & Remarks

Editor Cliff Crase takes a look at the real (original) meaning of Paralympics—and admonishes that it's disrespectful to rewrite history.

Computer Corner

Columnist Susan LeHew takes a look at Microsoft's Windows XP operating systems—the good, the bad, the familiar, the scary. Is it worth your investment? Read this evaluation and find out.

Diagnosis: MS

A top priority in National MS Society (NMSS) advocacy is to educate people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) and their families about the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Act. This update on federal policy explains this complicated legislation?s major provisions and its implementation schedule through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Money Talks

Columnist Dan Jones offers practical tips and strategies for controlling your debt (while noting that debt isn't always a bad thing) and meeting your financial goals.

PVA President's Message

Americans are united in their belief that Congress and the President have a responsibility to ensure that veterans receive healthcare and other benefits after finishing their military service. In this month's column, PVA National President Joseph Fox Sr. tells what his organization is doing to advocate allocations to the Department of Veterans Affairs of "real dollars for real veterans."

Male Fertility After SCI

Achieving Pregnancy.

Travel Tips

Planning a summer getaway? This month columnist Carol Randall reports on new links providing useful information about travel in the UK and Canada ( and, respectively), a video that illustrates how wheelers board an airplane and use rental cars, tours and accessible villas in Australia, an Alaskan B&B, and small-group tours of the National Parks in the western U.S. and Canada.

Around the House

A look at the Freedom Floor Toilet system, which combines an easy way to use mechanical leg-bag release and a self-flushing floor toilet that automatically drains discharge from the bag.

Just for Women

A Web site created by women who use wheelchairs, provides a place to ask questions; share ideas, insights, and experiences; and learn from a variety of perspectives.The site includes a dedicated link to an interactive forum specifically for women with disabilities.

Living Well

For people who have severe pain caused by damage to nerves, treatment options have expanded dramatically in just the past five years, according to scientists and physicians who have published the first-ever guidelines for treating such pain. This month's Living Well takes a look at those guidelines.

Mobility & More

To identify the causes of shoulder pain and injury from overuse, improved methods are needed for studying shoulder function during daily tasks. Scientists conducted such tests at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL), VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System to develop a method to analyze movement of the shoulder blade (scapula) during wheelchair propulsion. In this month's Mobility & More, read about how they conducted their tests and what they discovered. (If you are at least 18 years old, use a wheelchair or scooter, and are interested in wheelchair-related investigations in which you may be able to participate, contact HERL at

News Beat

Find out how you can nominate a service dog for the Eukanuba Assistance Dog of the Year and read about a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles challenging violations of voting rights of citizens with visual and manual impairments, and an effort to develop wheelchair industries in impoverished countries. There's also a report on a pledge to finance a cell-processing center in Atlanta and to support Shepherd Center's participation in the study of an experimental procedure for acute SCI.

On the Job

A small for-profit business, Diversity Partners (DP) hires people with disabilities and helps other small (and big) companies. In this month's issue, read about some of DP's achievements. There's also news about a partnership that designates the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation as a "Certified Training Site" for West Georgia Tech, offering Roosevelt vocational students and area residents the chance to enhance their future employment opportunities.

People in the News

This month's spotlight is on two noteworthy individuals: paraplegic bull rider Jerome Davis and generous PVA supporter Doris Westcott.

Sports & Recreation

Highlights from all the recent wheelchair-basketball championships (Bluegrass, Division III, Intercollegiate, Juniors, Women, and Men; for more detail and lots of photos, click here), a report on a shooting champ who gives back to the sport, and news of a sports and recreation equipment/gear resource for people with disabilities—all in this month's issue.

Veteran Advisor

"I am a veteran who is receiving VA improved pension with a wife and two children. It seems that each year we have more and more family medical expenses for which we are not reimbursed. Does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allow us to claim these medical expenses?" Find out the answer—and get a list of possible items you can claim as unreimbursed medical expenses—in this month's Veteran Advisor.

And Finally...

How was your rehab measured? And what is success? Are you successful? Why or why not? These are some of the questions addressed by this month's columnist, Marty Ball, who says the real rehab process takes place in the outside world, where you have to face reality for the rest of your life.

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