Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"'It all works!" (tm)

If you hang around chiropractors for any length of time, you hear about "some chiropractors" who have some ideas that are a little "out there." From questionable methods of diagnosis, to strange adjusting techniques, to practitioners who are just plain nutty, there are people in the field who have no business treating patients. But most of the time, the licensing boards refuse to act, because there are hundreds of techniques making contradictory claims, and the boards (and schools) won't say which are valid and which are not, nor test competing techniques because they don't want to alienate any of them. (For a sampling of techniques, see list below. There are many others.)

It reminds me of a scene from The Fiddler on the Roof. Two men are arguing, and each time one presents his side, Tevye says, "You know, you're right!" Finally, another man points out, "You say he's right, and you say he's right, but they're saying completely opposite things. They can't both be right!" To which Tevye replies, "You know, you're right!"

There is also a widespread belief among chiropractors that "It all works." If you have good intentions, which technique you choose doesn't matter. (You know where that road leads.) I just ran across a quote that sums this up: "I remember hearing that if you hit someone in the butt with a board, but do it with a lot of love, the patient will get better." Hmm... I think my parents had a similar theory...

A Sampling of Techniques that "All Work" (tm)

Access Seminars
Activator Methods
Active Release Therapy
Advanced BioStructural Correction
Advanced Muscle Palpation
Alternative Chiropractic Adjustments
Applied Chiropractic Distortion Analysis
Applied Kinesiology
Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering
Aquarian Age Healing
Arnholzt Muscle Adjusting
Atlas Orthogonality Technique
Atlas Specific
Bandy Seminars
Barge Technique
Bio Kinesiology
Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST)
BioSET (Bioenergetic Sensitivity and Enzyme Therapy)
Bio-Geometric Integration
Biomagnetic Technique
Blair Upper Cervical Technique
Bloodless Surgery
Body Integration
Buxton Technical Course of Painless Chiropractic
Chiro Plus Kinesiology
Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP)
Chiropractic Concept
Chiropractic Manipulative Reflex Technique
ChiropracticNeuro-Biomechanical Analysis
CHOK-E System
Chrane Condylar Lift
Clinical Kinesiology
Collins Method of Painless Adjusting
Columbia Technique
Concept Therapy
Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA)
Cox Flexion-Distraction
Cranial Technique
Directional Non-Force Technique
Endo-Nasal Technique
Extremity Technique (Ext)
Focalizer Spinal Recoil Stimulus Reflex Effector Technique
Freeman Chiropractic Procedure
Fundamental Chiropractic
Global Energetic Matrix
Gonstead Technique
Grostic Technique
Herring Cervical Technique
HIO - Hole in One
Holographic Diagnosis and Treatment
Howard System
Kale Technique
Keck Method of Analysis
King Tetrahedron Concept
Laney Technique
Leander Technique
Lemond Brain Stem Technique
Life Upper Cervical
Logan Basic Technique
Master Energy Dynamics
Mawhinney Scoliosis Technique
McTimony Technique
Mears Technique
Meric System
Mitza Neuroemotional Technique
Motion Palpation
Muscle Palpation
Muscle Response Testing
MusculoSkeletal Synchronization and Stabilization Technique
Myofascial Technique
Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET)
Nasal Specific
Nerve Signal Interference (NSI) Removal
Network Chiropractic
Neural Integration Technique
NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR)
Neuro Emotional Technique
Neuro Lymphatic Reflex Technique
Neuro Organizational Technique
Neuro Vascular Reflex Technique
Nimmo Receptor Tonus Technique
NUCCA Technique
Olesky 21st Century Technique
Ortman Technique
Perianal Postural Reflex Technique
Pettibon Spinal Biomechanics
Pierce-Stillwagon Technique
Posture Imbalance Patterns
Polarity Technique
Pure Chiropractic Technique
Reaver's 5th Cervical Key
Receptor Tonus Technique
Riddler Reflex Technique
Rumpt Technique
Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)
Soft Tissue Orthopedics (ST)
Spears Painless System
Specific Majors
Spinal Stressology
Spinal Touch Technique
Sutter Upper Cervical Technique
Sweat Adjusting Technique
Tensegrity Therapy
Thompson Terminal Point Technique
Tiezen Technique
Toftness Technique
Toggle Recoil Technique
Top Notch Visceral Techniques
Tortipelvis / Torticollis
Touch for Health
Total Body Modification (TBM)
Truscott System
Torque Release Technique
Triunified Health Enhancement System
Ungerank Specific Low Force Technique
Variable Force Technique
Von Fox Combination Technique
Webster Technique
Zimmerman Technique
Zindler Reflex Technique


Monday, September 28, 2009

Truth in Advertising

Take a look at FairDeal Homeopathy. Click the links: (home, about, products, testimonials, press, buy, contact). Read the fine print. Read the foot notes. At last, Truthfulness in Alternative Medicine (tm).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

One More Week

GL sees his new doctor Friday. Please pray for us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

3-D Glasses

So, What Do You Do?

People often ask questions for social, versus logical, reasons. They expect social answers. This is not only stupid, it is often unkind. Have you ever had someone you considered at least a casual friend ask, with a vacant smile, "How are you doing?" the day after you lost your job, or the week you learned that you have cancer, or that your child would be permanently disabled? If you say, "Fine," they smile and go back to talking about themselves. Or expect to stand there with you, congratulating each other on how "fine" everything is. If you tell the truth, they look worried, and back away.

To reduce the risk of learning unpleasant news, social people (I like to think of them as socialists, people who specialize in socializing.) try to keep the conversation to "safe" topics, largely the weather (which I have been known to disagree about) and what everyone does for a living. (Everyone's health was once a safe topic, but that was before the Boomers came along, expecting to live for ever as healthy twenty-somethings.) Of course, no one really cares how you spend the majority of your waking hours, it's just a convenient way of appearing interested while sorting the group and categorizing everyone, without mentioning anything everyone doesn't already know. I think this article not only sums it up neatly, it makes some valid suggestions for making the conversation both more informative and interesting. (Although possibly more uncomfortable for the socialists.)

Financial "AIDS"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chiropractors Say the Darndest Things

I generally avoid Facebook (big time waster) but I take a peek now and then to see what my former classmates are up to. Recently one of them posted that 80% of children's safety seats are installed incorrectly, and you can learn the right way to install them and become the local expert. (I'm guessing it involves a weekend seminar.) I pointed out that if 10% are installed wrong, it might be a communication problem, but at 80%, I'd call it a design problem. I also pointed out that the manufacturers have a vested interest in constantly changing designs and passing tighter regulations, thus forcing parents to buy new seats. My kids wear hand-me-down clothes, but with all the restrictions, if you have two kids, chances are your first kid's car seat will be illegal by the time you second kid needs it. (Did you know they have expiration dates?)

I immediately found myself at the bottom of a dog-pile. I must not have kids. (I have two.) I'm knocking something I don't know anything about, and ought to become educated and teach others. (Let's see, between my own kids and those of friends and family, I've been observing the evolution of car seat design and regulations for over twenty years. I've installed several models of safety seats in various car models from three major American manufacturers. I installed them according to the directions, but there's an 80% chance I did it wrong, because I'm a parent—must mean I can't read the directions on birth control products—not an expert who had to take a special class.) Don't I expect to replace my kids' other stuff every 10-15 years? (A lot more often than that actually, but because I went to chiropractic school, I can only afford to buy stuff at Goodwill and WalMart clearance. After one kid is done with a toy, a shirt, or whatever, it's still usable for the next kid.)

I guess some people are just desperate to appear to be experts in something.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dumb Donald

Dumb Donald was a character on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. In case you had forgotten, or never been aware of it, Fat Albert was Bill Cosby's biggest success between the 1960s (I Spy, stand-up comedy albums, regularly guest-hosting The Tonight Show, The Bill Cosby Show) and the 1980s (The Cosby Show).

The photo was from some fashion show or other that popped up in the news. Must have been a slow news day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

But I'm Still Waiting For "National Fold Your Own Dang Laundry Day"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remember Dumb Donald?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not from Around Here

When I lived in Missouri, I never quite got used to "40 Hwy" instead of "Hwy 40".

We're pretty flexible in WI. You can say I-94, US 45, State Hwy 100, and County Hwy G or 94 (or just "the I"), 45, 100, and G, or put just Hwy in front of any of the numbers or a letter, (you could also say County G) and still sound like a native. I've never heard WI-100, although it says that on the signs. We don't have an exact equivalent to Michigan's M-20. M-80 is a really big firecracker. If you insert "the" in any combination except "the Interstate" or "the I" we won't say anything, we'll still be nice to you, we'll just know you're not from here, which is not in itself a bad thing.

If you call I-94 "the Toll Road" we can pretty much narrow it down to Illinois, probably near Chicago. There are no tollbooths in this state. We know that the s in Illinois is silent, so Illinois rhymes with "to annoy". We usually only call it "Ellen noise" when talking with good friends from across the state line, and only in good fun. We won't even argue when people from other states correct our pronunciation of our home state. They insist it is Wes Consin, not just dividing the syllables wrong, but clearly separating it into two words. Some even say West Consin. I always wonder where East Consin is. We just smile and nod, knowing that it is officially pronounced Wi scon' sin (those are syllable breaks, not word breaks) from the State Capitol building in Madison to the Town Board meeting in the smallest town. (We have Towns, not Townships, just as Louisiana has parishes, not counties.)

When we're excited or in a hurry, we may call it W'sconsin or even 'Sconsin. I have friends from 'Sconsin Rapids. More state and regional differences to follow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Alas, poor Bob! I knew him, well."

It happens every time. Just before they reach the peak of ripeness, something makes a hole in each tomato, just big enough to make everyone say, "Ewww! I don't want to eat that!" and leaves the rest to rot. Anyone know what animal does this and how to stop them?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good News, Bad News, and Great News

Good News

GL continues to struggle with the concept of addition. We had been working on it for eight months when he said, "You mean the answers are the same every time?" He thought if we kept asking the same questions, we must want different answers. The next day, he still didn't believe we weren't changing the answers, but after several weeks, he did (reluctantly) concede that there might be only one answer to each problem. Of course, he takes that back whenever he's in a bad mood.

Months later, still working with the same handful of addition facts, he said in exasperation, "You mean I'm supposed to just memorize them?" He was sure there was some sort of magic trick involved, and we were expecting him to read our minds: "I'm thinking of a number..." Some days he still believes this. He memorized the "doubles facts" (1+1, 2+2, 3+3, & c.) because Saxon, which we were using at the time introduces them first. (Presumably so kids won't be intimidated by them later when they introduce multiplication. I don't know whether GL will ever get that far.) So far, no other facts have stuck.

Knowing (at least some of the time) that the answers didn't change and he could memorize at least a few of them, he still couldn't or wouldn't understand how to get the right answer. Never mind that we were still working on the same handful of problems; never mind that we tried to get him to work them out with every kind of manipulative imaginable; if he counted two piles of teddy bears or pennies or what have you, there was no reason those numbers should have any relation to the number you got by counting the pile that resulted from pushing them together. Why should it? It was a different pile. To him, counting was one list he had memorized, addition facts were another list he had partly memorized, and he couldn't see how we could even imagine there was a connection.

He did make a breakthrough when we switched to Numicons. I went to the Free Resources page and downloaded, printed (on card stock), and cut out the Numicon Shapes. He still doesn't seem to get the idea that the same number is always the same shape, but you can push two cards together and count up all the holes and they are still two cards.

So he has a method of finding an answer, but it's hit or miss if he gets the right answer. That's mainly because of his counting technique. He tends to count items in random order, so he's never sure where to stop or start. We've tried to persuade him to count the way you read: left to right, and top to bottom. So far, he's not convinced of this rule. (Yes, we've tried Linking Cubes.) Even if we could demonstrate that it helps you get the same number every time you count the same group, I'm not sure he sees that outcome as desirable. So what if he counts the same group several times and gets a different number each time? He seems to believe the number of items actually changes. Part of the problem is poor motor planning. He has a hard time putting his finger on an exact spot and remembering where he put it last time. It's not fine motor vs. gross motor; he has an equally hard time counting large objects vs. small objects.

The facts you can learn by rule aren't any easier for him. If you tell most kids that you can add zero to any number and get the number you started with, they believe you. After you demonstrate with a few examples, they can add zero to any number. Not GL. He insists that if you add zero to any number, the answer is zero. I even made a card with a zero on it and zero holes in it, because Numicons don't include zero. I guess they think it's too obvious. He can work out 1+0 with the cards. All other numbers + 0 = 0. I set those aside. Since he can count (sort of) I thought he might get the concept of +1. He does count smaller numbers more accurately. He can work out all the plus ones with Numicons, but even with repeated reminders that "(number) plus one means what number comes after (number)" he can't figure it out without the cards. Even with the cards, his answers are unreliable because of counting problems. He won't believe that if a number is printed on the card, you can start with that number and count from there.

Okay, Here It Comes

Today, after reading each +1 problem, I said, "That means what number comes after (number). What comes after (number)?" He would tell me (and he always got it right) and I would say, "That's your answer. (Number) plus one is (answer)." He seemed skeptical at first, but he selected that answer. After many examples and a lot of praise, he began asking, "Is 1+ (number) (correct answer)?" He got through the usual number of problems more quickly than usual, and got all the +1s right. So he got the concept today. If the past is any indication, he'll forget it (or change his mind) tomorrow.

Bad News

GL's meds are still not working right. We're getting by, (barely) but we know he can do much better when his meds are working. His doctor still doesn't believe us. I got his PT and OT to summarize their impressions of his performance and behavior over the last several weeks, and the pattern was the same as at home, only less severe. He loves therapy, and is always on his best behavior there. They both noted he was unusually angry and uncooperative. His PT even noted that he yelled at her this week and that he has never done that before. His OT agreed to write up her observations to corroborate our case.

In the past, we had cut videos and TV out entirely because he had so much violent behavior afterwards. If he watched a half hour of Veggie Tales, he would melt down and hit people every day for a week after. Several months ago, we found that he could watch DVDs on an LCD screen and not experience this effect. We normally limit DVDs to one or two a week because GL tends to obsess about them, which leads to behavior problems. This also means that they are a real treat which we can use to reward good behavior. The only times when he was not hitting or screaming at his brother this week have been when he was watching a video or sleeping. So I've had to keep videos running almost constantly for BB to get any school done. BB naturally thinks this is unfair. I agree, but tell him it's more fair than getting hit.

Great News

We finally found another doctor who will see GL despite his bad insurance. (We had a prescription for PT and OT for eight months before we found anyone who would take it.) I wouldn't wish government insurance on anyone. It was only as a favor to a colleague that he even considered taking on another patient with this insurance. Even then, he made sure GL wasn't on the other government plan (the one the rest of us are on) before he agreed to see him. He also asked us not to refer anyone to him because this insurance is so unfavorable to providers. When he heard who GL's current doctor was, he said, "Yes, I'll take him." Apparently Dr. X has a reputation. But the earliest appointment he could schedule is in October. September is going to be a long, long month.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do you think he'll notice my new perm?

I Hate Holidays

Any interruption of GL's routine is more trouble than it's worth. We had a picnic in the park with family. It was good to see my brother. Holidays are usually the only time we see him. But we had to leave early because GL wouldn't stop yelling at the baby.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Humor for Everyone, but Especially Moms

I've mentioned here before that we're big fans of Cake Wrecks. Recently Cake Wrecks linked this comic. I liked it so much, I've subscribed to the cartoonist's blog in Google Reader.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Cranberry What?

Catching up on The Grammarphobia Blog, I ran across the post "Are you feeling gruntled?" about words that only exist within another word, which it called cranberry morphemes. It was interesting, but at the end it suggested googling "Jack Winter" "New Yorker" and "How I Met My Wife" which I found more amusing.

More Bible Stories from GL

When GL is reading and comes to a difficult word, he sometimes makes absurd guesses. Today's Bible story: "Washing Darth Vader's Feet!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hello out there...Am I the only one who does this?

...is anyone listening?

I often find myself talking about my children in the third person when they're standing right there. Instead of asking them to do something, I'll ask MB, "Why doesn't he do such and such?"


Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm so Devious!

I used to despise people who avoided a direct confrontation. I assumed they couldn't win by reason, therefore they must be working evil and resorting to deceit. Then I had children.

First, nothing is more futile than reasoning with a toddler. Have you ever watched a mother trying? Mothers never fell for such nonsense when I was little. At least my mother didn't. Now most mothers seem to feel obligated to reason with people who can't understand how to blow their own noses. "I said blow, dear, that was a sniff." Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?

I say mothers because fathers are somewhat less prone to falling into this trap. They may answer the first time a child asks why he has to do whatever it is he doesn't want to do, but when the child responds with a second "Why?" Dad usually says, in effect, "Because I'm bigger than you, and you're going to do it my way." This is sensible and effective when it's time to leave a party. It is completely ineffective when you want him to eat his vegetables. Then you need an entirely different strategy. Yes, strategy. You can do things the hard way, but why not find a way to let the kid do the right thing and think it was his idea? Why fight when you don't have to? Save your strength for times you really need it. Diplomacy is not always the coward's way out; done well, it is the art of letting someone else have your way.

I think that's why I hated the indirect approach. How could I be sure I wasn't being manipulated if I didn't know what the other person wanted? (I was a very cynical kid. You get that way when you want to automatically trust everyone. 90% of them will take advantage in one way or another. Even as an adult, I've had very few problems result from being too cynical. Virtually all were from not being cynical enough. Be careful, and you will save many men from the sin of robbing you.) So meet manipulation with subtlety. Measure out trust wisely. If it be possible, as much as it lies with you, live peaceably with everyone. But use this power responsibly. God is watching. To those of you with sophisticated innate social skills, this will sound obvious, simple, even amateurish. Those of you on the spectrum will understand. Those of you not on the spectrum, but living with it, may understand if you make the effort.

Today was what I call an "irregular" school day. MB was sick, and home from work. GL had his continuing difficulties and continued giving the rest of us difficulties. BB had had about all he could stand, but wouldn't stay away from GL. GL was missing no opportunity of annoying BB. It was work a little, rest a little, break up a fight, work a little, break up another fight, get lunch, wonder how much we could get done, and how late we would have to work to make that happen. I had bragged recently in a forum that no matter what else doesn't get done, I make sure we do our reading, writing, and math assignments every day. I was wishing for a sauce that goes well with crow.

Then The Story of the World Volume 4 arrived. The audio version read by Jim Weiss. BB spent an hour listening to it. Math didn't get done today, but I didn't tell him that he spent an hour listening to his history textbook.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to Square One

There are breaks in the screaming an hitting, so we can occasionally sally forth on minor quests that have been neglected of late. Last week GL went from screaming most of the day to screaming almost continually from 2-5 p.m. This week he screams for about 2-3 hours per day, but spread throughout the day, with late afternoons being most difficult. Hitting is random, but decreased.

This all started about 6 weeks ago, when his meds stopped controlling his aggression, as I described before. We believe the one he'd been on for two years, and was at an unbelievably high dose needed to be replaced with something else. Instead, his doctor took away his OCD meds, which he'd been on for a much shorter time, at a much lower dose. We tapered him off those meds, rather than cut him off cold turkey, (this was the week of camp and the week before) then tried doing without them for a week. This doctor won't revise a med change unless we've tried it for at least a week. Unsurprisingly, he acted as if he were totally unmedicated. We called the doctor, and he gave one back. After a week under siege, we called again, and he gave the other one back. After two weeks back on the original meds at the original doses, he's not as violent as if he were totally unmedicated, only as bad as when we told the doctor his meds weren't controlling his aggression six weeks ago. Sigh.

We've tried to find another doctor, but either they're not taking new patients, or they don't take his insurance.