Monday, May 20, 2013

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis): Letter From a Man with ALS

A Random Letter From a Victim of ALS

By: Fat Lester

The following are the contents of an email that a friend and colleague passed along to me. He is raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to help find a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

Out of nowhere (he does not know this man - hence the anonymity - nor does he know how the man obtained his top-secret email address. That said, he found the letter quite the motivational tool to summon his best efforts in attempting to solicit donations from family, friends and social media contacts, and as one of those whom he asked to help spread his message, I was given his permission to publish the contents of the letter he received from an actual ALS victim provided I keep the gentleman's identity private and include no information that could lead to his identity being tied to the substance of the message itself.

Without further adieu, here is the letter minus the greetings and signatures:
Dear Peter,
On January 25, 2012 I was diagnosed with ALS. From that evening on-my life has changed drastically. I have always been a very active person but due to the progression of the disease, my activities are limited. I left work shortly after finding out I have ALS to spend more time with my family and to acquire much needed rest. My symptoms were, and still are, muscle aches/twitches, headaches, stiff neck, noticeable muscle loss in my chest/back, cramps in my legs/feet and general fatigue.
My upper body is my weakest and biggest problem at this time. It is now getting difficult or impossible to do some of my everyday activities because I can barely raise my arms. Shaving, bathing, dressing, getting in and out of the bed are all a challenge and require assistance.
The people at MDA of Greater New Orleans have been a Godsend. They are so helpful and are always willing to help you with any issue you face. The staff at the MDA clinic that I go to every 3 months is also wonderful – they are friendly, knowledgeable professionals that will do anything to help.
I have a very supportive family and close friends that are always there for me no matter what my needs are. My wife and I have met some great friends, other pALS (People Living with ALS) and their wives. We get together often for dinner and other activities and find that these are the most wonderful relationships. We are all dealing with the same struggles, even though we are at different stages with ALS, but understand what each other is going through. This group bond that we have as made a huge difference in our lives.
If it weren’t for organizations like MDA I would not have had the opportunity to meet these pALS and receive the help we need. I know there are more hard situations in the future, but with all the support I have, I will get through it all.
Thank you for supporting the Covington Lock-Up, MDA and my family.
Since we're keeping the author of the message anonymous, there will be no signature or goodbye message included here. That said, if that does not touch upon a soft spot in your heart, one must wonder if you even have one.

That disease (ALS) is among the most debilitating and torturous illnesses in the history of mankind, and my heart goes out to everyone and anyone who has ever suffered from it, God rest their souls.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

The friend posted a blog about ALS, why he is motivated to help find a cure and why he feels that you and anyone else reading his blog should donate to the MDA Lock-Up event Thursday, May 23 in Covington, Louisiana. The friend will be "arrested" as a "repeat offender" and will need to post "bail" (your donations) in order to be granted release from the makeshift holding cell at the restaurant at which the event is being held.I will ask all readers of this blog though to please consider donating anything you can --- even if its just a single dollar --- to his "bail bond" as finding a cure for ALS is about as good a cause as one could conceive of to financially support.
If you can afford to help out, please do so, and know that his company, EGAN Medical Equipment, will be matching each and every dollar donated up to $1,000.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Unruly Women's Threats, Demands: Criminal Fraud or Postpartum Psychosis?

Crazy Postpartum Moms Make Company Rethink Generous Return Policy

This article began as a comment in response to an article written by Jennifer Moyer about postpartum psychosis.
Reading Ms. Moyer's article left me wondering whether or not a disgusting behavior I've experienced at work far too many times is the product of a sociopathic scam artist engaging in criminal, fraudulent behavior; or a mentally ill woman desperately in need of some help. Prior to reading Moyer's article, I had always presumed that the behavior was the former, never even so much as considering the latter.
I work for a company that sells maternity and postpartum supports (orthopedic undergarments designed to provide physical support to women during and post-pregnancy).
We often receive requests for refunds months after women order a maternity support such as the Prenatal Cradle. The obvious suspicion here is that these women want to have their cake and eat it too, using the product until it is no longer needed, then attempting to return it for a full refund after giving birth.
These women all seem to have one thing in common: a mentality that that they deserve and are entitled to receiving their money back despite our company totally fulfilling our obligation for the initial transaction. It's not like these requests come days or weeks after the orders are placed (we do receive such requests, but these often are eligible for an exchange or refund).
The ones that come months afterward are those to which I am referring. The women will call with a tone-of-voice clearly meant to bully the person on the other end of the line. They threaten everything from writing negative reviews to filing chargeback disputes with their credit card companies (we've yet to lose one when they follow-through on these requests). Each time, it appears as though the woman genuinely believes she's the first to ever think of the idea, and thus should be able to pull the wool over our eyes without any problem.
When informed that requests made so long after the initial transaction are ineligible for a refund, they have been known to become so abusive that the owner of the company ordered all customer service personnel to immediately discontinue such calls when the customer becomes abusive and/or threatening.
Anyway, do you think that this behavior would fall into the category of postpartum psychosis? That certainly would explain this rage-fueled mentality that until now we've only been able to explain by writing them off as lunatics, bullies and/or scam artists.
The question is whether or not they planned to attempt to get their money back prior to giving birth, as that would answer the question of whether or not they are simply scam artists who have realized that they can often have their cake and eat it too by threatening online retailers, many of whom simply give in to such uncivilized behavior. My employer stands firm on principle, insisting that such demands constitute fraud, and has even suggested that the act is criminal in nature.
What is your opinion about this? Are these women really merely suffering from a legitimate mental illness or are they simply dishonest scam artists who have figured out how to abuse the system successfully?

Vitamin D3 and Chronic Hair Loss

Vitamin D3 May Help Reverse Chronic Hair Loss

By: Peter Egan

Chronic Telogen Effluvium: Can Vitamin D3 Reverse It?

A particularly interesting post appeared on the Vitamin D3 blog Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Unlike the other articles and news stories detailing scientific research and clinical trials in terms normal people can understand, this post was actually a lengthy comment submitted by a reader in response to an article confirming a link between vitamin D deficiency and alopecia, a form of premature hair loss.
The lady detailed her experience with Chronic Telogen Effluvium, a hair loss condition considered to be among the most severe, with little known about the condition, its cause or how to fix it.
According to "Elle", she had tried every solution under the sun to try to regrow her hair after being diagnosed with chronic telogen effluvium to no avail. She checked her own records from all of the blood tests she'd had conducted over the years, and was shocked to learn that despite her doctor(s) never once mentioning anything of the sort, her vitamin D levels were alarmingly low in each test in which they were measured.
For the past three months, she has been on an intensive vitamin D3 supplement regimen, and claims that her hair has not only stopped falling out, but also has started to grow back.

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