April is Autism Awareness Month.

I could give you a lengthy, clinical description to define the term ”Autism”.  I could provide you with the many opinions on what causes Autism and how it should be “treated.”

I would, however, prefer to give you a name and a face to associate with Autism.

That name is Tristan Layne Bush.  He was born June 30, 1998 at 1:14 pm.

This face (the most beautiful face in the world) is that of my son:

MetroCare is shining the light on Autism in April for Autism Awareness month.

MetroCare is shining the light on Tristan in April for Autism Awareness month.

Tristan had all of the typical “signs” of Autism at a very early age.  He would spin in circles for what seemed like hours.  He would toe-walk (walk on his tippy toes).  He would repeat dialogue from cartoons over and over and over again.  He would play with toys and objects in ways that they were not intended (example:  line up VCR tapes in patterns, almost like crop-circles).    He would put puzzles together with the picture facing down (focused on the shape of the pieces rather than the picture being created).

Fast Forward to 2015:

Tristan is a sophomore at Arlington Heights High School.  He is not only “main-streamed” (which is a big deal for “special needs” kids) but he is taking a college level course also.

I asked Tristan what having Autism meant to him.  He said (and I quote), “It means that I am smarter than most people.  It means that I am socially awkward.  It means that I get really attached to things.”

Those things are all true but more than that… Tristan is funny, sincere, honest, loyal, loving, and only sees good in people.

Wouldn’t the world be so much nicer if we all had a little “Autism”?

Maybe Autism ain’t too bad after all.

Article by Teresa Vega – Billing and Intake Manager at MetroCare Home Medical, but most importantly – Tristan’s Mom

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Dear Valued Medicare Beneficiaries and Business Colleagues,

In 2003 under the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a National Competitive Bidding (NCB) Program for DMEPOS suppliers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex which has reduced the number of suppliers eligible to serve Medicare beneficiaries. 

It has been an honor to hold the “Medicare Contract Supplier” designation for the past three years in service of Medicare beneficiaries.  CMS has recently announced the DFW contract suppliers who will be able to service Medicare beneficiaries in the following categories beginning January 1, 2014 under Round 1 Re-Compete of NCB.

We are happy to let you know that MetroCare has once again been awarded “Medicare Contracted Supplier” status.  We are proud of Medicare’s recognition of the high quality service and products our company provides and are pleased we were chosen for this selective designation.  As we move forward, MetroCare will continue to meet the needs of Medicare Beneficiaries in the following product categories:

  • Respiratory Equipment and Supplies – Oxygen, CPAP, and BiPAP
  • Standard Mobility – Includes Power and Manual Wheelchairs and Walkers
  • General DME – Includes Hospital Beds, Patient Lifts, Decubitis Care, Commodes, Etc..

Visit http://www.dmecompetitivebid.com/palmetto/cbicrd1rebid.nsf/DocsCat/Home for more information from Medicare on this program.

Medicare Advantage Plans are not affected.

We are happy to be your one stop solution for all your DME and respiratory needs.  If we cannot supply a product, we will source it for you.  Call me today to schedule an in-service for your staff on how bidding may affect your practice at 972-647-0111.

Sincerely,

 

Susan Kelly, President   

Posted by: MetroCare | January 26, 2011

Join the Open Call Today With HHS Director, Kathleen Sebelius

The public is invited to call in for this conference TODAY, January 26, 2011, which is aimed at seniors on Medicare and will discuss some provisions of the new health care law that will effect them.  If you are a health care professional, caregiver, or concerned citizen  this should be an informative and interesting call.  It’s free to listen in…Please join us!

Details:

WHO: Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging

Jonathan Blum, Director, Center for Medicare Management, CMS

WHEN: Wednesday January 26, 2011, 3:00 p.m ET

WHERE: Call-in: 800-857-6748 Passcode: HHS

Dear Valued Medicare Beneficiaries and Business Colleagues,

As you may be aware, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS / Medicare) has implemented a National Competitive Bidding (NCB) Program for Medicare beneficiaries in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.  Beginning January 1, 2011, CMS will allow only designated “Medicare Contracted Suppliers” to provide certain home medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries in this area.

It is an honor and we happy to let you know that MetroCare has been awarded “Medicare Contracted Supplier” status.  We are proud of Medicare’s recognition of the high quality service and products our company provides and extremely pleased we were chosen for this selective designation.  As we move forward, MetroCare will continue to meet the needs of Medicare Beneficiaries in the following product categories:

  • Enteral Nutrients, Equipment
    & Supplies
  • Hospital Beds & Accessories
  • Oxygen Equipment and Supplies
  • Standard Power Wheelchairs
  • CPAP, BIPAP and Supplies & Accessories
  • Walkers & Accessories

In addition to the above listed product categories that were a part of the Competitive Bid, MetroCare will continue to provide our customers with all of the equipment and services that we are known for, such as:

  • Wheelchairs and Cushions
  • Lifts and Lift Chairs
  • Bath Safety Products
  • Skin Protective Mattresses and Overlays
  • Incontinence products, briefs and underpads
  • Non Mail Order Diabetic Supplies
  • Bariatric Products and much, much more

We will be happy to be your educational resource if you have any concerns about how this new Medicare program may affect you, or your family. Please call us at (972) 647-0111 if you have any questions, or if you would like to know more about MetroCare  visit our website at www.metrocare.com .

Sincerely,

Susan Kelly, President

MetroCare Home Medical

\”The Insanity Virus\”. Discover. Douglas Fox. June 2010

This month’s issue of ‘Discover’ magazine features an article by Douglas Fox outlining research that points to a retrovirus we all carry in our genes as the catalyst to a bevy of psychological diseases as well as multiple sclerosis.  The article is titled “The Insanity Virus” if you’d like to check it out.  The link is above.

The article delves into a theory  in the scientific community that suggests certain infections in newborns and early childhood may ‘turn on’ a retrovirus found in every human’s DNA.  This retrovirus, HERV-W, once considered among other known retroviral DNA residents as do-nothings, may actually respond to these early infections by manifesting conditions like schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis in adulthood.  In a collaborative effort spanning decades, scientists from all over the globe have observed results that support this theory and offer the solution that better treatment for early infections are the way to combat these  diseases decades before they damage lives and families of patients struggling to cope.

“The Insanity Virus” article strikes me as a cutting edge theory blurring what we know about genetics and their role in certain diseases.  The findings regarding MS are much more palatable because it has always been considered a physical (neurological) disease.  With schizophrenia, I am skeptical.  If infections play a part in the expression of some genes, what other non-genetic factors, or combinations of factors, play roles in expression?  The research is amazing and well worth the read.  This is a great example of the lysogenic pathway of some viruses.

However, I see infection theory as only a piece of the puzzle.  No dissenting opinions were presented.  Likewise, there was no discussion of the possibility that environmental factors (such as a troubled home life, trauma, or prolonged stress) could exacerbate the disease process in schizophrenics, which has traditionally been viewed as a psychological disease.  The research did indicate that there was a cumulative effect with multiple infections.  The diseases became worse depending on the quantity and severity of the infections.  Due to the cumulative aspect of the theory, I am inclined to believe there is room for psychological contributors in schizophrenics.  A simpler thought is that the infection theory could be one of many pathways to schizophrenia. There is also the problem of researcher, Fuller Torrey’s, bias.  His sister, Rhoda, still struggles with schizophrenia and has lived her life in state hospitals.  The article fully discloses this background and we see how his pain and compassion for his sister drove him to this research.

I believe that we are not the sum of our genes.  Industry has made mapping the human genome a commodity.  There are fundamental missing links to how genes impact our lives.  Emotional states like stress, depression, happiness, positive interactions, and faith are known to alter our chemistry.

Wouldn’t it follow that over time, these prolonged, psychological chemical reactions could affect the way our genes are expressed?

Clinical trials using an antibody, artemisinin, on MS patients could happen as early as this year.  In mice, they have had great success stopping the process of growing brain lesions.  High hopes, prayers, and blessings to all who are suffering.  I’d love to hear your story and thoughts about the ‘Discover’ article linked here.

Posted by: MetroCare | April 6, 2010

Questionable Medical Devices

I found this old video from Late Night with David Letterman where Dave interviews a museum curator from Minnesota who collects antique or seized medical devices that in all truth never should have been invented!  I’ve shared it on our YouTube channel (MetroCareHME) and at the end of this post.    I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

It seemed especially relevant to me today given our federal government’s recent efforts to control health care costs.   Many physicians, equipment providers, hospitals, etc… have fallen under the microscope as perpetrators of  “waste, fraud, and abuse”.  Most agree this chant is merely a fear tactic to sway public opinion and garner support for cutting reimbursement rates.  However, I thought it would be amusing and therapeutic to take a look at the real face of medical “waste, fraud, and abuse” as presented in the video.

We have seen the good that our industry is doing by providing equipment patients need to convalesce in their homes, surrounded by family, and in an environment that promotes emotional as well as physical comfort.  Hospitals are relieved of the burden to care for these patients who choose a home environment. Overall the quality of care at home is better for mind, body, and spirit.  So we lift our heads high and are proud of the job we do, the mark we make on our community, and our commitment to keep caring for you and your family no matter what the climate in Washington is like.

Laughter is good medicine and THAT is a scientific fact.  Listen to some of the ridiculous devices these charlatans managed to convince us were necessary…

Imagine European sunglasses that make you lose weight just by wearing them!

The  ‘science’ of Phrenology (the idea that your character can be determined by the shape of your head) and the companion ‘head measuring’ device and resulting character summary printout!

An electric belt for male potency!

Pump your way to larger breasts!

A cooling device to keep your brain from getting too hot!

“This is the most unheard of thing I’ve ever heard of” – Joseph McCarthy

Posted by: MetroCare | March 9, 2010

Got Hiccups?

This being my first post as an official “blogger”, I have a few questions.

*Raises Hand*

Yes, Laurie?

What do people in my audience want to know? Would they rather be entertained or educated? If educated, where to start?  There’s so much to share about changing Medicare regulations, beginning caregivers’ list of must-haves, cool places to retire, coping with diabetes or other chronic illness, protecting children with asthma, oxygen therapy, oh I could just write a book!  If they want to be entertained, well…I do have an entertainment background, but indeed in the background…not on stage.  A joke? A recipe? A cure for hiccups? (This I have and can vow that so far it has worked for every person every time!)

Go with what you know, Laurie, and have fun.  It’s your first post, nobody’s reading yet anyways.

OK then…hiccups it is.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a fit of uncontrollable diaphragm spasms, try this amazing cure for the hiccups:

Step 1.  You need a friend to help you.

Step 2.  Hiccup-er stands on knees with head tilted back, eyes closed, both arms raised shoulder height, straight out to either side, and held parallel to the floor.  Feel vulnerable yet?  Hope you trust your friend!

Step 3.  OK, this is where the magic happens.

Step 4.  Friend holds a glass of room temp water, no ice, while also holding your nose for you. Open your mouth, close your eyes and TRUST.

Step 5.  Friend gently pours water into your mouth while holding your nose, you should drink as  much as you can, the entire glass if possible – without taking a breath.

Step 6. When you can no longer hold your breath or drink, waive your hand to indicate to your friend to stop pouring.

Step 7. FRIEND, STOP POURING!!

Step 8.  Stand up! You are now hiccup free!

Silly? Yes.

But I hope this tried and true cure for the hiccups helps to illustrate the unique dance that exists between caregivers and their loved ones.  There is a desire to heal on both sides, there is a bond of trust that no progress can be made without, and there are great lengths taken to co-operate and communicate when sometimes words aren’t available.  A new language  develops between them, a sense of one-ness, and when the steps to the dance are finally perfected by each, gratitude, purpose, and worth are the results.

See you next time my friends,

Laurie

 

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