April 2011

 


 

 

Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
News Views Pat Sanders Coughs? News & Events
WebWhispers Columnist Jack Cochran Second Opinions Information
Between Friends Donna McGary Doin' It Right Commentary
My Neck Of The Woods Leland Smith Underage Farm Boy Experience
Travel With Larys Jack Henslee New Voices In Manila Travel
The Speechless Poet Len A Hynds A Touch Of The Blarney Prose & Poetry
Tidbits of Interest Ron Gillette Batteries & Chargers Information
WOTW Editor Jack Jkac Grandma's And Grandpa's House Experience
New Members Listing Welcome News & Events

 

 

 

 

Coughs?


Often, we concentrate on a disease, a problem, or a symptom, trying to figure out how to handle it or get rid of it, to the exclusion of another problem we have that seems not to be related. Our bodies seem to "relate" almost everything to another in some way. Pay attention.

If you have a cough, sometimes it is not obvious what causes it. Make a few notes. See if you can figure out when, where, why and, maybe, what helps it. Note that we use different passages for food and breathing. You cough out of your stoma but does that mean the trigger for it came from the trachea or lung area? Not necessarily.

When I was recovering from surgery, I had a place in my throat that often would feel like a wire and I would feel a slight pin stick and I would start to cough. Sometimes it was like food brushed by it and aggravated it. It could have been a nerve trying to reconnect or a stitch trying to work it's way out. I had both of those for as long as two years after breast cancer surgery. I have also had an area to the side of my throat that would cramp. Both of these were helped for me by using a hot drink to sip and, once it would go away, I could continue to eat or drink with no problem. But the coughing spells were horrendous.

It could be that, at first, a sip of the magic mouthwash (numbing solution) would help if this was the type thing that causes your cough. A little piece of food gets caught, and you need to cough it out.... but you cough through your stoma so you can cough all day and it won't move the little speck of food in the throat.

You can have thick saliva in the throat and you need to learn to clear your throat, get it up and spit it out, easy enough with a TE puncture. Just occlude, exhale with a little force and clear your throat.

If the thick mucus is in your stoma/trachea, you need to get it moist enough to cough it out. You do this by irrigating, misting, humidifying, or covering and breathing through a damp cloth. Some use a suction machine but you need to thin the mucus first. That's a dryness problem. There are whole articles written on this. Other "in the stoma" problems like breathing in perfumes, smoke or a gnat flying by will trigger an immediate cough... a leaking prosthesis will let some liquid come through into the trachea and you react.

You may cough because you have yeast and it bubbles and reacts. You may have acid reflux and a little acid comes into the throat and stings, starts a cough. You might turn your head a certain way or lie down and pressure is put in the wrong place... and it causes you to cough.

So you go to your doctor and what do you say... I cough a lot and I have a lot of mucus. Your doctor doesn't know unless you tell him what is triggering the cough. He listens and recognizes a congested respiratory area and can medicate for that but a little explanation about other coughing problems will help him to treat you.

Pay attention to your own body.

 

Enjoy,
Pat W Sanders
WebWhispers President
 

 

 

 

 

Second Opinions

 

In 2004 I retired after 38 years in the telecom industry. We then moved to a rural area about 25 miles from Gatlinburg in the Smokey Mountains. My wife is an RN. She decided that she would like to do travel nursing and allow us to see various areas of the country. We had a very nice experience with this. In 2006, we were in Monterey, California. I was having various symptoms of throat problems and went to three or four different doctors but they didn't find anything wrong.

In late December, I saw an ENT specialist and he finally confirmed the cancer. He wanted me in the hospital the next day but, I decided I wanted to go home to be treated. After Christmas, I had an appointment with a ENT specialist in Knoxville. He concurred that it was cancer and scheduled the biopsy and a tracheotomy. This particular doctor was what I might describe as "old school", his way or no way. He didn't want to hear what I had to say and the pathology group could not conclude on the exact type of cancer. The pathology doctor at the Mayo clinic determined that it was a type of soft tissue sarcoma and also explained the rarity of this type cancer.

I went to another ENT for a second opinion. In the beginning, he also thought I would need the laryngectomy. But before that, he suggested that he would send my records to a very good regional cancer center. My surgery was scheduled for a Monday. The Friday before, the doctor called and informed me the cancer center wanted to have a consultation with me. After meeting with the oncology and radiation doctors they decided to discuss my case at their weekly board meeting. Although the cancer was a T4, they came to the conclusion that it could possibly be treated with a six month treatment with chemotherapy and 65 radiation treatments. This center used Toma radiation (IMRT), which centers the radiation on the cancerous area rather than a general area as most radiation is done.

I had surgery for the port for chemotherapy and a feeding tube was put in place. After nine weeks into the chemo and radiation treatments, I went for a PET scan. The results showed no cancer at all. I completed the six month treatments, with PET scans at certain intervals and the results were very good, no sign of cancer. I no longer have the trach, but I do have some of the problems that others in WebWhispers have discussed. If anyone is diagnosed with this type cancer, I would certainly recommend a second opinion and, if possible, a consultation with a well known cancer center.

I have trouble swallowing and my last two CT scans have shown artery blockage due to the radiation treatments. During the treatment period, I researched the type cancer I had and that's when I found the "Agent Orange connection" to my cancer. I applied to the VA for disability and received 100% disability. It concerns me that so many doctors don't recognize this possibility and so many who were exposed have not applied for the benefits.

Jack Cochran
 

 

 

 

 

Doin’ It Right

 

I am a Food Channel junkie. And recently I caught a show where a fellow from Louisiana making his famous shrimp and grits said, “ Here in the South we say, you only live once, but if you do it right, that’s enough.”

Now that is an attitude I can embrace. But I did have to stop for a minute to figure out just why that piece of obvious showmanship resonated so deeply with this born and bred Northerner. Most native New Englanders I know seem to view life as something of a battle. I know I do. It is us against the elements and the vagaries of life that come under difficult circumstances. Being a flinty old Yankee is both a compliment and an accomplishment. Not everyone thrives under these conditions.

Maybe it is the weather. Back when I was studying such things, I remember that there was a theory that the physical environment influenced the spiritual beliefs of ancient people to a large degree. People of the Nile who had a predictable and life-giving water source believed in more benevolent gods. People who lived where the waters were less predictable, more capricious and more violent had a similar view of their gods. The climate and geography certainly influenced the names of their gods and the personalities of their goddesses, and it may even explain why people of the south and people of the north were and are so different.

It is tempting to make generalities about northern and southern types whether you are talking about Yankees and Southerners or Nordic and Mediterranean peoples. For the most part they are just stereotypes which are increasingly meaningless in modern societies given our mobility. Having said all that, in the interest of fairness (some would say political correctness!), I think it is accurate to say that Southerners have better food and better manners than we do here in New England. And I think a case could be made that both have a lot to do with the climate. Although I bow to no one when it comes to Maine lobster, blueberries and corn, we simply don’t have the growing season for the variety that can found consistently in warmer climes. Those folks know how to put on a spread; I’m not saying it’s heart healthy, but it sure is tasty. And, frankly, our best feasts are somewhat parsimonious in comparison to our Southern cousins and always with an eye for the leftovers.

Southern hospitality is legend. Yankee hospitality is not. Gracious Yankee living are three words which may have never appeared in the same sentence before…for good reason. It’s not that we are unfriendly, after all tourism is big business up here, but the draw is the natural beauty of the land not the natural charm of its natives.

There is a strong Puritanical steak in most of us Yankees, even the liberals. If your people have lived here long enough, it’s in the DNA, this association between dogged suffering and character. Even Maine humor reflects it. One of my favorites is about the lobsterman who fell overboard and drowned. His body wasn’t found for some time, but when it was, his friends and fellow fishermen, put him on a board and brought the body up to his house. They stood out on the porch and solemnly announced to his widow, “We found Eben. What do you want us to do?” The pragmatic widow surveyed the scene, the body by now somewhat worse for the wear, and stated, “Strip off the take and set him again”.

Now I have told and heard that story over a hundred times and it still cracks me up. It is better told than written because a real DownEast deadpan delivery and accent is a marvel to behold. And yes, people really do talk like that up here.

As much as I love it in Maine - these are my people, after all - I have to admit I am drawn like a moth to a flame by the flamboyance of that Louisiana chef. Up here, doing it right in one life would mean uncomplaining sacrifice and hard work. There is nobility to that kind of discipline and drive, without which we would all be still living in hovels. But the absolute joy and extravagance of possibilities in that turn of phrase, with its wink and nod to the naughty, is intoxicating.

So I am thinking we can all agree on one thing. We have only one life. Actually I just realized even that isn’t true - between the Buddhists and the atheists and the Hindis and the Catholics and the Protestants- who knows? I do know this. Passion counts. And we only need this one life to make a difference. To do it right.

 

 

 

 


 

Hi Pat, I truly enjoyed the article on early learning and ‘driving' in the March issue. http://webwhispers.org/news/mar2011.asp I can identify completely with learning at an early age. This is my story.

 

Underage Farm Boy


As a youngster, my father had 3 tractors, which included a small Farmall Model [B] which was the smallest and least intimidating for a boy of 8. I had ridden on the axle many times observing my father or one of the hired men driving the small tractor pulling a hay rake, a mower, wagons, or cultivating row crops. So one day as the little tractor sat there silently summoning the curiosity of an unsupervised lad. I was drawn like a moth to the flame. I pulled the choke out half way and advanced the throttle a bit, made sure it was in neutral and went to the front of the machine, took a deep breath and gave the crank a hard quarter turn.

It sputtered and the engine took hold and began its purr, much to the delight of a little guy. I then mounted the seat, depressed the clutch, put the transmission in ' 1 ' and putted triumphantly around the barnyard. As I was making my 4th or 5th lap, my father returned from a trip to town and observed his son making his rounds on the tractor. I turned the engine off, dismounted and with my head hung low, awaited the punishment that was sure to come. Instead, my father drove the tractor over to a small disc harrow, hitched it to the tractor and bade me to take my usual place on the axle between the seat and the fender.

He drove out into a 40 acre corn field that had been harvested the previous fall, set the disk and showed me how to straddle two rows in order to cut up the cornstalks in order to keep them from bunching in the breaking plow. He gave me the wheel, observed me as I made a few rounds and then dismounted and walked to the house, leaving a delighted young man to himself happily driving a tractor!

In 1949, my father purchased the first self propelled combine in Randolph County. It was a Case [SP 9] model. The ' 9 ‘ designated that it had a 9’ foot grain header. The Case Implement Dealer in Farmland, Indiana was owned by Lamoine Wright. The machine had been delivered and sat there at the edge of the alfalfa field just South of the barn yard. There it sat in all of its shiny new bright orange splendor. What was an adventurous boy of not yet 12 years to do? Well, it being Sunday afternoon, with mom and dad and little sister gone to visit neighbors, no adults in sight (or expected anytime soon,) it was time to check out this large (for 1949,) and beckoning machine.

I retrieved the Owner’s Manual wrapped in plastic from the tool box on the combine. I then carefully started the combine, engaged the gear and slowly pulled out the variable speed clutch control. I made several laps around the alfalfa field, even engaging the combine itself and raised and lowered the table, made a few more passes and returned the combine to its original position. I carefully replaced the owners manual in the plastic bag and tucked it back into the tool box. My curiosity had been satisfied and no one would ever know that I had been the first in the family to test this wonderful creation.

Alas, I had neglected to note a very important detail; One cannot drive around and around over an alfalfa field with a large machine without leaving wheel tracks, and many of them. I was soundly reprimanded for my ‘dangerous’ experiment, but I don’t think my father’s heart was completely into the ‘punishment’, as I remember his mouth betraying him as the corner of his lip curled into a hidden smile. (However, I was not allowed to actually use the machine for a few more years. Probably because he enjoyed it so much himself.)

One of my chores in the harvest season for wheat, oats, and soybeans was to drive the 1948 Chevrolet truck, (in the field only,) to pull along side of the combine when its 32 bushel bin was full and my father beckoned to me. With shovel in hand I properly distributed grain until the truck was loaded. Dad would shut off the combine and drive the truck to the Elevator in Farmland, where it would be emptied and sold. Then we would return to the field and begin another load.

Then in the summer of 1950 when I was not yet 13, we were harvesting wheat in the East 40. The truck was filled and ready for the trip to Farmland. I got into the passenger seat and waited for Dad to take the driver’s seat. After a couple of minutes, Dad called out, “What are you waiting for?” I said, “You, Dad!” He said, “Well quit waiting, take that load to Farmland!” In those days, the police would not generally engage an underage farm boy who was otherwise doing nothing wrong. From that point on, the harvest went faster as Dad could keep the combine running instead of having to stop and take each load to town.


Leland Smith
Sulphur Springs, IN

 

 

 

 


 

New Voices In Manila

 

Last fall (2010) I was invited by Emer Rojas, President of the New-Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), to attend an esophageal speech (ES) clinic being conducted in the Manila area by the Asian Federation of Laryngectomees (AFLA). This was a 2 week clinic that AFLA conducts at different locations throughout Asia in addition to a major conference they conduct every 2 yrs. in different rotating Asian countries. Last years conference was in Malaysia, and the 2012 conference is scheduled for Beijing, China. The goal of the clinic was to teach esophageal speech and to train new esophageal speech instructors, as they had done 10 yrs previously.

I had to decline the invitation because it conflicted with my plans to attend a International Film Festival in Costa Rica to promote my documentary "Voices Restored." Emer then extended the invitation to attend the 2 week follow-up clinic that was to be conducted in Feb , 2011. I accepted his offer with the goals of learning as much as I could about the ES teaching techniques used by AFLA, comparing the "East meets West" rehabilitation methods and standards, and documenting clinic through film and photos for a possible future documentary. In addition to meeting with the Filipino laryngectomees I also met with the President of AFLA, 2 hospital directors, ENT surgeons, and the Director of "Persons With Disabilities" who happens to be blind. What follows is an account of some of the things I learned and observed. Brevity will be difficult but I promise to try.

My hosts were Emer Rojas and his lovely wife Violet. I had first met them at the 2009 IAL meeting in San Mateo where I made my first donation of electro larynges for their club. Emer is a relatively young man by laryngectomee standards and had his laryngectomee in 2002 at the age of 44. Both he and his wife are engineers, electrical for him and chemical for Violet, plus he later obtained a post graduate degree at the Asian Institute of Management. He currently manages his own Internet Service company, serves as president of the NVAP, is a representative on the Quezon City Council, and serves in various capacities on numerous organizations/committees with focus on persons with disabilities and cancer prevention. He has also been recognized with the "Most Outstanding Person with Disability (PWD) Award" on July 12, 2010, and has been awarded a Johns Hopkins Scholarship for the July 2011 Summer Leadership Program in Baltimore, MD. This is a very busy and dedicated man!

The flight from San Francisco to Manila was at best "brutal." I'm totally convinced that the human body (especially at my age) is not designed to withstand 16-17 hrs on a plane in economy class. As I normally do I wore a HME for the flight over as added protection from all the close human contact and the infamous dry airplane air. That worked well for the flight over but on the return trip I forgot to wear a HME and about 7-8 hrs into the flight I developed a significant mucous plug that I couldn't cough out. My concern was magnified by the fact if it totally blocked my breathing there was probably no one on the plane that knew what to do and there are no emergency landing sites in the middle of the Pacific. I eventually took a handkerchief, soaked it in the hottest water I could get from the bathroom faucet, and then repeatedly breathed in and out through it. Success came in about 10 min and I dislodged the plug.

The actual clinic took place in Quezon City which is part of the metropolis of Manila, with a 12 million population residing in a major traffic jam. Intersections seemed to be dominated by those that had the loudest horns and the most guts. On the second day I finally asked if there were any stop signs (I had seen none) and it was explained that they were removed because no one observed them and they actually caused more accidents. The city itself is a major construction zone with no sign of any recession. They are building everywhere and they represent a rapidly growing international presence. Their unemployment is also very low, possibly because there are security guards EVERYWHERE! Malls, major hotels, everywhere you go there are metal detectors, dogs, and guards inspecting packages and people. But... I saw no sign of crime so it must work to some extent.

The Japanese (AFLA) teach ES one way...via the inhalation method. As Jim Shanks (Uncle Jim) has stated many times in his numerous presentations at the IAL and regional meetings, they are also very successful at it. Their instruction is not benign, but very animated and physical. Relaxation, breathing, timing, and physical actions such as pumping your closed fist and arm toward you when you inhale (inject air) and then pushing it away as you exhale to force the sound out. They also place a lot of emphasis on contracting the stomach and pushing the diaphragm up to add force to resulting sound. Something I had never seen or heard about before.

Work ethic is also a major part of their training and for many years they held the belief (as stated by others) that everyone was capable of achieving ES if they had the proper training and worked hard enough. The use of an EL, or even TEP, was frowned upon and brought dishonor to those that used them. That has now changed to some extent and every laryngectomee in Japan is now given a free EL after surgery, but they are still expected to also attend ES clinics and eventually use that method of speech. While unconfirmed it has been rumored that this change was finally brought about because of the high incidence of suicide among Japanese laryngectomees. But, even though ELs are now accepted the ES students at the clinic were not allowed to use them during their ES training, and even displaying them was frowned upon.

AFLA represents a bright star in the laryngectomee world with their commitment to helping other countries that lack the resources themselves. The use of ES is very important in their region of influence simply because that is the only viable option for many. Masuo Andoh, the president of AFLA, said that in just the first 2 months of this year they had already trained 180 laryngectomees in Tokyo alone. They still have a lot work to do but as with most organizations their funds are drying up and it gets more difficult to carry on.

We North Americans and Western Europeans are fortunate compared to many other countries in this world of ours. But, even here in America there are still states than provide no aid for speech rehabilitation with equipment or therapy. If you're not on social security, have bad or no insurance, unemployed, or whatever else case, there may not be any assistance available for you. Or you may not be able to afford the co-pays! This should be unacceptable everywhere... especially here.

If we don't help ourselves and advocate for change who will?

 

Emer & Violet Rojas, Jack Henslee Emer, Andoh San, Jack, Violet, Saito San, Kimura San
   
St Luke's Hospital Staff, with AFLA, NVAP, and Jack The Graduation class
   

 

(For more pictures and info regarding the Philippines Association please go to FaceBook and enter Emer Rojas as your search.)

 

 

 

 


 

A Touch of the Blarney


On a recent visit to the local hospital on a purely routine matter, the Irish nurse, after welcoming Tilly and myself, looked at me in mock severity and said, " And I want no old Blarney from you today." I protested that I hadn't said a word, and she explained that she had been reading some of my satirical medical jokes, in cancer charities’ magazines, and some supply company's journals.

She had been born in County Cork, Southern Ireland, very close to where my maternal grandmother Emma Oliver, had been born, and they both had that marvellous lilt when talking. Strangely, of my four grandparents, my paternal grandfather also came from Ireland, from the town of New Ross, but they came to England under completely different circumstances.

My grandmother was aged five, in 1864, when she walked barefoot with her parents to the harbour at Cork, to escape the dreadful potato famine, which was killing thousands through starvation, to sail to England and a new life. My grandfather aged eighteen, came to join the army, the Royal Horse Artillery, and eventually his regiment was posted to India for fifteen years. When he returned he had risen through the ranks to become the Regimental Sergeant Major. Our two islands have been so closely connected for hundreds of years, that in most English people there is a trace of Irish blood. Maybe I was blessed to be a writer, or teller of stories, in that some ancestor was dangled over the castle wall at Blarney in order to kiss the stone?

I decided to write of my grandmother, who died at the age of ninety, and I was far away in the desert, but she said good-bye to me in her own special way. I wrote this poem about her...............................

 

A Wonderful Lady



What a wonderful lady, my grandmother was.
What stories she told to me, because,
of our special affinity, our bond so real.
Her joy I could hear, her pain I could feel.

The famine in Ireland, came to everyone's door,
and as a five year old in sixty four,
she walked barefoot, with her parents beside,
to the harbour at Cork, where the ships they did ride.

The masts she first saw, from the top of the hill,
the sails all furled up, with the evening so still.
The sparkling sea, the vision so grand.
The new life that beckoned, in the promised land.

Her mother’s tears, as she gazed far behind,
and thought of four sons, for whom her heart pined.
Left in a seminary, to be clothed and be fed.
Cared for by priests, in God’s path to be led.

Those four brothers, all priests they became.
Gone from her life, but she loved them the same.
That sweet dear old lady, with laughter in her eyes,
and that special Irish lilt, of that lady wise.

The stories that she told me, whilst sitting at her knee,
of love and hope and freedom, have always guided me.
She died when she was ninety,and I was far away.
But she said goodbye to me, in her special Irish way.

Thinking of home, and her one night, watching the stars on high,
at the moment when she passed away,and her spirit soared into the sky.
On that desert dune we watched the stars, when we saw one fall to earth.
" Where's that fallen?" my comrade asked.
" Why to the land of my grandma's birth!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrolarynx batteries are costly and you need to learn how to save them. Who better to write an article with advice for us about batteries than an Electrical Engineer.  Ron Gillette did a great job on that request and this article is worth bringing back.

Reprinted from Headlines May 2002

 

Batteries & Chargers

 

My wife tells me that other than my love for her and our family, I love best to take things apart and figure out how they work so let's take this apart.

Let's talk about electricity, that helper we all use. There is nothing mysterious about it. It is simply the movement of matter called electrons through a conductor (copper or aluminum) that is covered by a material that is not a conductor (usually plastic or rubber). In electricity the current (amperes) is the movement of the electrons in the conductor, the voltage (volts) is the amount of pressure that is pushing them and the power (watts) is the amount of work it is doing. Lost you yet? Stick around a little longer.

What is this AC-DC stuff? Simply stated DC means the electrons always go in one direction or Direct Current while AC means they continually first go one way and then reverse, hence Alternating Current. The speed of reversals is called its frequency and is measured in cycles per second. In the good old USA we use 60-cycle power. In Europe and many other countries of the world 50 cycle is the norm. A lot of our appliances will work on their power but will eventually burn out. They make frequency converters that allow us to use our stuff overseas.

P=IxE is a simple electrical power formula that we will need to use, which stands for power equals the product of the voltage times the current. Changing any one will change the others. This is important when I speak of charging your batteries.

Charging at home, all house receptacles are 110 volt AC and usually your charger works at 9 or 12 volts DC. The manufacturer builds in a voltage converter or transformer to drop this voltage and convert it to DC to what ever the nameplate tells you it is. Lets assume you plug a 9-volt battery into a 12-volt charger. The value of E is larger, henceforth the power will be greater and you are on your way to burning up your battery. Obviously it will charge much faster but one must remember they are made to only accept so much wattage or power. What if we do the opposite, plug in a 12-volt battery in a 9-volt charger, no problem. It will definitely take a lot longer for a charge, remember we only have 9 volts of pressure when we need 12.

Charging in your car. All automobiles have an alternator, which makes AC, but it is converted to 12-volt DC voltage because of your car battery, which requires DC voltage. Piece of cake, we have 12 volts DC and we need 12 volts for charging. Same principal applies, to charge a 9-volt unit your charger must have a voltage "limiter" to protect your battery from damage. Any reliable electronics shop (Radio Shack) will carry a charger with a cigarette lighter on one end and the fitting for a 9 volt battery on the other and off you go into the woods all set to charge all of your lary equipment.

Buying a charger is like buying any other item; you get what you pay for. The more expensive ones have a lot of safety features built in. The cheaper ones will ruin a battery if left on for a long time while the better ones have a charging protector that cuts off the charge when the battery is up and ready to be used. Many of the better ones allow you to leave your battery in the charger; it will stay charged and kept ready because the charger is putting out a trickle charge. This a very small amount of power, just enough to keep it from going to a discharged state. This is a very nice feature; you will always have a spare ready to go. You can also get a multi-voltage unit that automatically adjusts the charge to match the battery voltage required. Big bucks but you will have a charger for all your rechargeables, regardless of voltage. Be sure to read the information pamphlet that comes with it. If it does not have one, ask, ask, and ask more questions. Tell the sales person what you want, do you want to leave your battery in the charger all the time, do you want a multi-voltage unit, do you want an auto unit or just for your home etc. One more helpful hint, always run your battery to a completely discharged state. Useable but partially discharged units that are put on a charger shortens their life. For your Servox, use the charger that comes with it and it would be wise to take the batteries out of the charger when fully charged. Protecting the contact tips is also an excellent idea, loosely putting one in a pocket or purse is not a good idea. A key or coin could short it out and as the Chinese say "So Long, oooo Long", that's the end of a good battery. Put them in a protected case, like a plastic film canister, for carrying with you. They can and will generate a lot of heat, enough to burn a hand if shorted out. There are recorded cases of starting a fire in a ladies purse, catching a tissue on fire, believe it or not.

Another falsehood, putting batteries in your refrigerator or freezer. If you read a notice printed on most batteries it says, "Store In A Cool Dry Place". A refrigerator or freezer is neither cool nor dry. I keep my spare dry cells in a cabinet. The key is not to buy a lot of them; long term storage tends to weaken them. I am speaking of the regular ones we use for portable radios and flashlights. The package has a 'use' date printed on it, check this to ensure you are buying a relatively fresh package.

Now that you are all qualified battery chargers and battery buyers I expect you to graduate to power plant operators in the near future.

Ron Gillette
 

 

 

 

 

Grandma's and Grandpa's House

by Jack Jkac

 

This weekend, I thought about myself and the many summers I spent at the house of my mother's mother. We were with my wife's family and I told my sister-in-law that my grandmother's house was my oasis in the desert of my youth. I believe in my heart of hearts, that is what left me with the deep conviction that grandparents were the most important people in the world.

I always felt wanted, loved, and safe, and if I did something wrong, I would get a good talking to, then a warm hug a few hours later as she gave me a warm bath and gave me a pair of PJ's to put on. I was content, I was going to spend the weekend with Grandpa and Grandma, and Aunt Anna. I looked forward to watching Grandpa cook breakfast on Sunday morning, as Grandma listened to a preacher on the old radio in the kitchen. When breakfast was on the table, Grandma asked Aunt Anna to say grace. Aunt Anna's husband died just after her son, Gilbert, was born and he grew up without a father, went to college on his own and became a professor at a college. He retired 5 years ago, well liked by all the students. I bet his mother was proud.

They did not spoil me, made me do some chores. Grandpa had a barber chair in the basement and would give me a haircut, if I asked.  I would ask because the only time I was allowed to be in basement was if someone was down there with me and it was a great place.


All these memories come flooding back as, this weekend, I watched my nephew growing up, and he had the same contented smile on his face as I did when I was his age, and now he has the same love in his eyes when he looks into his own grandmother's eyes.  He is wanted, loved and safe.

 

 

 

Welcome To Our New Members:

 

I would like to extend a "Warm Welcome" to our most recently accepted laryngectomees, caregivers, vendors, and professionals who have joined our WebWhispers community within this past month. There is a great wealth of knowledge and information to be accessed and obtained from our website, email lists, and newsletters. If ever there should be questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to submit them to us from the "Contacts" page of our website.

 

Thanks and best wishes to all,

 

Michael Csapo

VP Internet Activities

WebWhispers, Inc.

 
 

We welcome the 26 new members who joined us during March 2011:

 

Artis Babers
Houston, TX
Tricia Berens - (Caregiver)
Chattaroy, WA
Frank Cann
Warrington, PA
     
Charles Cheek
Chandler, AZ
Caroline Deskin - (SLP)
Chicago, IL
Renee Ediger - (SLP)
Wichita, KS
     
Donald Ferrin
Conyers, GA
Alfonso Gonzalez
Belleview, FL
Margie Gonzalez - (Caregiver)
Belleview, FL
     
Dede Hayes
Lake City, FL
Lynn Howard
Belhaven, NC
Vic Jacobson
Minneapolis, MN
     
David Jordan
Oklahoma City, OK
Jen Lagerbom - (SLP)
Pittsfield, MA
Mimi Mandru - (Caregiver)
Romania
     
Charles Medford
Newark, TX
Brian Pay
Aidrie, Alberta, CAN
Teresa Pay - (Caregiver)
Aidrie, Alberta, CAN
     
Mary Ann Records - (SLP)
Kansas City, MO
Joe Robinson
Douglasville, GA
Sharon Robinson - (Caregiver)
Douglasville, GA
     
Mary Ann Scoglio - (Caregiver)
Balsam Lake, WI
Carole Shaffer - (Caregiver)
Warrington, PA
J. Scott Thompson
Baltimore, MD
     
Keith Wilson
Blackstock, Ontario, CAN
Dorothy Ziga
Schererville, IN
 

 

 

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