MDA Flu Shot Program Begins

Posted by Connie on Saturday, September 10th, 2011 at 8:20 am and is filed under Advocate, Health Information, News.
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The MDA has partnered with Walgreens for their Flu Shot Program. Since getting the flu can cause serious complications to those of us who have a Muscular Dystrophy diseases, the MDA offers free flu shots through a voucher program for members who do not have health insurance to cover the vaccination.  The flu shot is the best form of prevention.

Getting vaccinated against the flu is crucial to the health of people with a neuromuscular disease. It’s also necessary for family members and other close contacts to get the flu shot. The MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) also offers discount coupons for family members and caregivers of members. The cost with the coupon is $26. This is a new addition to the MDA’s Flu Shot Program this year.

MDA Flu Shot Program

Please check with your doctor before getting the shot, especially if you have Myasthenia Gravis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, or take immune-suppressing medications. Also, the intranasal form of the vaccine is not recommended for people who have a neuromuscular disease.

You can redeem your voucher or coupon at any Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies, including Take Care Clinics. Thank you to the MDA and to Walgreens for providing a much needed service.


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Venus Williams Diagnosed With Sjogren’s Syndrome

Posted by Connie on Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 5:18 pm and is filed under Autoimmune Disease, Chronic Illness, Health Information, News.
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Venus Williams withdrew from the US Open because of her diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Her decision to drop out of the US Open came at the last minute, when she was having trouble lifting her arms. Ms. Williams stated in an interview on Good Morning America that she hasn’t been feeling well for a while. She complained of not having stamina, but there was no diagnosis from that. Then she began having difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with Asthma, but medications to treat Asthma didn’t work.

Venus Williams plays Vera Dushevina on the ope...

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Over the summer, her joints began to hurt and change shape. She lost the feeling in her hands, which began to swell and feel numb. The overwhelming fatigue began to interfere with playing tennis as well. Then the dry eyes and mouth became noticeable. With these symptoms, she was able to get a diagnosis. Venus William has begun treatment for Sjogren’s Syndrome and hopes to go back to tennis again, but admits that she doesn’t know what her future holds. She is like me learning to live with Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Ms. Williams is knowledgeable about the symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome. She stated, “If you have joint pain, dry eyes, dry mouth and feel like you wake up with a cold every morning, but you don’t have one, then you know something is wrong.” She understands that this is a chronic illness without a cure, but that treatment is available. It’s good to know that Venus Williams has come forward with her diagnosis and is helping to share information with the public. I wish her the very best.

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August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Posted by Connie on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Advocacy, Health Information, News.
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Children’s Eye Health and Safety month occurs while parents are getting children ready for back to school. Many children get physicals at this time of year, and vision screening should be part of this check up. These screenings are usually checking for cataracts, checking eye movement and eye alignment, and having a child reading from a chart to check for nearsightedness and farsightedness.  The American Optometric Association recommends vision screenings in children before the age of 1, and at 3 and 5 years. Unfortunately, some insurance programs don’t include vision screenings.

Children can be put at a disadvantage in school if they have a vision problem that is not diagnosed and treated. Parents and teachers should look for the signs of eye problems in children: (from Children’s Vision Information Network)

  • Difficulty copying from the chalkboard
  • Headaches that accompany reading and writing
  • Burning, itching, watery eyes
  • Holds books (or objects) close to eyes
  • Tilts head to read
  • Bumps into things, knocks things over

Some schools provide vision screenings each year for students, and if a problem is found parents are notified. If you do not have insurance coverage for vision screenings either with a pediatrician, optometrist or opthamologist, The Prevent Blindness America Organization has a list of specific vision programs and a list for individual states.

Do you have a child with vision problems? How was the diagnosis made?

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Jerry Lewis No Longer MDA Host or Chairman

Posted by Connie on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 1:34 am and is filed under News, Non-Profits.
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I learned through an email from the MDA, that Jerry Lewis in no longer the MDA Telethon Host or the National Chairman. The link led to a two paragraph press release on the Muscular Dystrophy Association website which gave no further information. It tersely states:

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announces that today Jerry Lewis has completed his run as its national chairman. In May, Lewis and MDA announced his retirement as host of the MDA Labor Day Telethon.

MDA Chairman of the Board of Directors, R. Rodney Howell, M.D., said, “Jerry Lewis is a world-class humanitarian and we’re forever grateful to him for his more than half century of generous service to MDA. We will not be replacing him as MDA national chairman, and he will not be appearing on the Telethon.”

I noticed that the MDA website no longer says, Welcome to MDA, Helping Jerry’s Kids. It now states, Welcome to MDA, Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Jerry Lewis

Does this seem to you as if the MDA Board of Directors fired Jerry Lewis? I’m aware of his controversial statements during telethons, especially when he used the derogatory term, “faggot” on the 2007 telethon. I dislike “Jerry’s Kids” when there are many adults living with muscular dystrophy and it feels as if we, as adults are put into the same category as kids. But, he has been the face of the MDA and especially of the Telethon, which helps to raise the bulk of the money for this organization.

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Fester Diagnosed With Myasthenia Gravis – MJ Morning Show

Posted by Connie on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 12:03 am and is filed under Autoimmune Disease, Chronic Illness, News.
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Fester, long time radio personality with the MJ Morning Show has been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. His symptoms, which began suddenly, were droopy eyelids, double vision and difficulty swallowing. Shortly after they began, he was admitted to the hospital and in ICU.

Fester, who is known for his humor and big heart, went from feeling fine to the ICU in just a day or two.  His treatment consists of plasmapheresis now and he hopes to return to the MJ morning show soon. He was able to share a bit about what he’s learned about Myasthenia Gravis and give his fans an update on his condition on a video.

The MJ Morning Show is based out of Tampa, Florida and airs on the following radio stations:

- 93.3 FLZ (WFLZ – Tampa, FL)
- Z1077 FM (KSLZ – St. Louis, MO) [airs on a one-hour tape delay]
- 97.9 Kiss FM (WFKS – Jacksonville, FL)
- Kiss 95.1 FM (WBVD – Melbourne, FL)
- The Beach 98.9 (WBCG – Punta Gorda, FL)
- Star 94.7 (WSYR – Vero Beach, FL)

It is also available on the IHeartRadio app.

Although I’d never wish ill on anyone, the news of Fester’s Myasthenia Gravis diagnosis, has brought light to a medical condition that is very rare. If I were a betting woman, I’d say that Fester will promote information about this disease on the radio show and in other areas. I wish him well.

Can You Zinc Away A Cold?

Posted by Connie on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 at 2:48 am and is filed under Health Information, News, OTC Medications.
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Can Zinc get rid of a cold? A new report by published by the Cochrane Group reviewed 15 studies with 1,360 participants states that using zinc during the first few days of a cough or runny nose may experience less severe colds and may shorten the time their colds last.

It doesn’t matter what form of zinc you use, lozenges, syrup or tablets. Unfortunately there is no recommended dose, but it is known that taking more than 40 milligrams per day can cause side effects, some of them serious. Also, zinc nasal sprays should not be used because they have been known to cause loss of smell.

More research is expected to get the proper information, but some doctors, including Dr. David Rakel, MD, director of integrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says, “zinc looks pretty promising. We need to take precautions, particularly with long-term use, but I’d still recommend it to my patients at the first sign of cold symptoms.” according to CNN’s blog Paging Dr. Gupta.

As for me, I’ll check with my doctors first and then and give Zinc a try. Because of taking immunosuppressant medications, when I get the common cold or any type of illness, I stay sick for a long time. If I can get better faster all the better! I hate being in bed feeling awful. I do all kinds of things to keep my mind off of the symptoms, watch TV, shop online for Limoges boxes and clothes and try to read if possible.

Getting better faster with Zinc would let me get back to being the mom and wife I want to be and would let me enjoy life. I could go out for walks, go out to eat and buy those pick me ups – shoes, purses and gifts, especially this special music box for that certain someone.

This is a sponsored post.

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