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 COPD Support News Dec 24, 2010
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Carolyn-Mi
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608 Posts

Posted - Dec 24 2010 :  10:17:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 10, Issue 55
December 24, 2010


'Twas a Night in the Chatroom


'Twas the night before Christmas, whilst at my own house,
I was at my computer clutching my mouse.
My socks were drooping, my ankles were bare,
A nor’easter was bringing some more frigid air.
My kids were all grown, and had their own beds,
Sugar plums? I don’t think so; I had cocktails instead!
I grabbed my inhaler, and pulled off the cap,
And inhaled quite deeply, before my long winter's nap.
But I decided before bedding to check on some matter,
So to the chat room I went to engage in some chatter.
When I entered the room, it hit with a flash;
'Twas Christmas Eve, would my entry be brash?
The folks they did pause, greeted me a "Hello,"
But I was hoping to find at least someone I'd know.
Well, shock of all shocks, now who should appear,
But a stranger named "Guest" to spread holiday cheer!
"Guest" was a great typist, responsive and quick,
Spreading holiday merriment—could this be St. Nick?
More rapid than ever, his joyfulness rang,
And before we all knew it, a carol we sang!
Now, Albuterol! Now, Spiriva and our dear Advair Discus,
On Xanax, on DuoNeb, and all meds that fix us!
We sang out of tune; it was no concert hall,
And we made up words for those we couldn't recall.
We laughed at our madness, 'til we started to cry,
And blamed the drug companies, for the meds that we buy!
Then "Guest" stopped abruptly, and asked if we knew,
Why he dropped in so suddenly, right out of the blue.
The chatter did end, you could hear a pin drop.
The laughter and merriment all came to a stop.
Whilst scratching our heads, and with absence of sound,
He took off as he came, in one single bound.
We asked, "Who was that? Do you know his name?"
The responses, I tell ya, were all much the same.
"Guest" was a stranger, and wouldn't be back.
Could this have been Santa, without his large sack?
We agreed it was best to keep hush our strange tale,
And pledged not to mention it via Skype or email!
Chat hosts, for sure, should remain in the dark;
So, please do not tell them of our rather strange lark.
Weather "Guest" was real, imagined, or fake,
We all need relief, we all need a break.
So whenever your chat is interrupted by "Guest,"
There's always a chance you too will be blessed.


The chat room will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, however our hosts Carolyn, Denny, Ellen, Howard, Kae, Kathie, Linda, Mike, Sue, Valerie, and Vern, who wish you Happy Holidays, are off to spend time with friends and family.


ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- LUNG TRANSPLANTS COULD DOUBLE WITH "TWEAKS"
- SUPPLEMENTS AND EXERCISE HELP MALNOURISHED PEOPLE WITH COPD
- MEDICARE'S COMPETITIVE BID WINNERS LIST BRANDS AVAILABLE
- SAFETY OF ELECTRONIC PATIENT DATA TO BE STUDIED
- THE BASICS OF LIVING WITH SHORTNESS OF BREATH
- UNIVERSITY DEVELOPS RAPID TEST FOR DIAGNOSING TYPE OF PNEUMONIA
- DOES MEDICARE'S PHYSICIAN GROUP PRACTICE (PGP) IMPROVE MEDICAL CARE?
- USING YOUR INHALER: BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL TYPES
- SOME ASTHMATICS HAVE MOLD GROWING IN LUNGS
- MISCELLANEOUS


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SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.
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LUNG TRANSPLANTS COULD DOUBLE WITH "TWEAKS"
CBC News reports on a study conducted in Spain that finds a way to double the number of lungs available for transplantation. This doubling is accomplished by making four relatively easy changes ("tweaks") in how lung donors are treated. Until now, doctors did not agree on the best way to ventilate donors, and many lungs became unusable before they could be transplanted. Doubling the number of lungs available for implantation could have a significant impact on those waiting for transplants. Currently, about half of the people waiting for a lung transplant die before a suitable lung is available. For more information, see this CBC News article at:
http://tinyurl.com/28lmg8q

SUPPLEMENTS AND EXERCISE HELP MALNOURISHED PEOPLE WITH COPD
MedWire News reports on a Japanese study that finds malnourished COPD patients benefit from twice-daily nutritional supplement drinks and low-intensity, at-home exercises. The benefits, after 12 weeks, include improved weight, increased exercise capacity, and health-related quality of life improvements. The formal study was first published in the journal of Respiratory Medicine. The MedWire News report can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/24jysyk
For the journal of Respiratory Medicine abstract, see:
http://tinyurl.com/27mttpl

MEDICARE'S COMPETITIVE BID WINNERS LIST BRANDS AVAILABLE
The "winners" of Medicare's competitive bidding program, which starts on January 1, 2011 in eleven metropolitan areas, are now listing the brands they carry on Medicare's website. If you live in one of the competitive bidding areas (identified in prior newsletters), you are restricted to using one of Medicare's "winners" for your medical supplies and equipment (such as home and portable oxygen). However, not all winners carry all brands, so once you choose a provider, you will be restricted to using only the brands they carry. Knowing the brands they carry might aid your selection. The brands the "winners" carry are now identified on Medicare's website, under the search for approved vendors within your zip code. Medicare's supplier directory can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/236zbkb

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COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
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SAFETY OF ELECTRONIC PATIENT DATA TO BE STUDIED
While only one of four doctors is using an electronic record keeping system, paperless medical records systems are here to stay. However, there is increasing concern that errors in electronic records are too common. Recordkeeping software design flaws, computer errors, computer failures, and faulty entries, can all endanger patients. In some cases, the errors can be fatal. The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine has created a committee to undertake a yearlong study to look at these serious concerns. To read about the problems, politics, initiatives, and activities, see this New York Times article:
http://tinyurl.com/29h5jyz

THE BASICS OF LIVING WITH SHORTNESS OF BREATH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has some good basic information about living with shortness of breath (called "dyspnea" in medical jargon). In their publication "Living with Dyspnea—how to breathe easieer," they mention the usefulness of medications and exercise, and remind us that exercise needs to be individualized. They get to the point, and keep it simple. They provide instructions on the following four basics that can help us:
-Pursed-Lip Breathing
-Positioning (standing and sitting)
-Paced Breathing
-Desensitization
You'll find instructions on the above techniques in the NIH pamphlet (in pdf format) available at:
http://tinyurl.com/2cvfyxa

UNIVERSITY DEVELOPS RAPID TEST FOR DIAGNOSING TYPE OF PNEUMONIA
Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a test to diagnose, in munutes, a common type of pneumonia commonly called "walking pneumonia" (Mycoplasma pneumoniae). Prior to this new test, it took days to complete the test needed to identify this specific type of pneumonia. This new test will result in the ability to make quicker diagnoses and more appropriate treatments, as well as help stem the possible spread of this infection to others. For more information, see the University of Georgia announcement at:
http://tinyurl.com/2d64ywd

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MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.
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DOES MEDICARE'S PHYSICIAN GROUP PRACTICE (PGP) IMPROVE MEDICAL CARE?
Physician Group Practice (PGP) is a movement in healthcare to pay for meeting pre-established outcomes instead of the traditional fee for service—the well established practice of payment for healthcare. This newer form of payment is also called "Pay for Performance" or "P4P." The University of Michigan Healthcare System has been participating in a PGP Medicare pilot program for four years. It is part of Medicare's first demonstration program along with 9 other large physician groups. Only 2 of the 10 pilot groups saved money, but the University of Michigan claimed not only to have saved money, but to have also improved the quality of care for their Medicare patients. This News-Medical website (The Medical News), provides more information:
http://tinyurl.com/2fdxecf

USING YOUR INHALER: BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL TYPES
There are many types of inhalers and spacers in use, and here's a site that provides simple pictures to demonstrate how to properly use these each of the contraptions properly. They cover 9 different types at:
http://tinyurl.com/2fhwsbv

SOME ASTHMATICS HAVE MOLD GROWING IN LUNGS
Scientists at the University of Leicester found that many asthmatics have allergies to mold (mould), or worse, have mold growing in their lungs. A Medial News Today article explains the findings of this study that appeared in December's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Whereas an allergy to mold was thought to be rare, the researchers found that about half of the asthmatics they studied have an allergy to a common mold (A. fumigatus). They also found that over half of those allergic to this particular mold had it growing in their lungs. For the Medical News today article, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/2e4agj6

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The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs, is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at: http://copd-support.com/membership.html*********************************


CASH IN GIFT CARDS
Do you have a gift card you really don't want? Here's 6 ways you can still enjoy them:
http://tinyurl.com/29yyhho

PHOTOS OF EXTREME HOLIDAY DECORAIONS
So you think O2 concentrators run up electric bills?
http://tinyurl.com/2awzuzp

SUGAR PLUMS
You don't know what these really are, do you? If you plan ahead, you can prepare a batch for next year, and give them out instead of gift cards!
http://tinyurl.com/2a9gv3x

THE SISTINE CHAPEL FOR THE VIRTUAL TRAVELER
Wow! You can now get a 360 degree view of the Sistine Chapel! Move the arrow with your mouse and you will be able to see every inch of the chapel. The plus (+) and minus (-) signs on the bottom of the screen increases or decreases your distance from the frescos.
http://tinyurl.com/ygspf5h

CHRISTMAS GAMES
Here's a site with tons of different games and lots of special Christmas games you can play while munching on your sugar plums:
http://tinyurl.com/2ajdca5

For comments and questions, or to contact Richard D. Martin, please send your email to: newsletter@COPD-Support.com


Until next Friday,


Richard D. Martin, Editor


Web version of the News: http://copd-support.com/news.html
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