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Showing posts from 2017

How US Tax Reform Affects Patients with Chronic Illness

It was messy, but it is finally done and over with! On December 22, 2017 the tax reform bill, or 'a giant tax cut ' as President Trump calls it, has finally been passed by both houses and has been signed into a law.

It is not immediately obvious how the tax plan impacts patients with chronic illnesses. Views in the media are often tainted by the political prism through which the commentators tend to look at this issue. Plus there is limited discussion of the specific provisions that can affect patients with chronic illnesses.

In this post, I am outlining some of the major provisions of the final bill that may affect chronically ill patients. Bear in mind that I am not a professional in accounting and taxation. However, I seem to have had more than my fair share of tax problems and as a result, I have become overfamiliar with the IRS website and publications.

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To make it easier to wrap our brains around this complex piece of legislation, I have div…

Top 10 Gift Ideas under $100 for Chronic Pain Patients in 2017-2018

Are you looking for holiday gifts for your loved ones who are suffering with chronic pain? Or are you living with chronic pain and have no idea what to tell your friends and family when they ask you about your holiday wish list.
Here is a list of gift ideas categorised into various groups that I have compiled based on my own experience and that of the patients that I interact with.
Top 10 Gift Ideas Under $100 for Chronic Pain Patients
iReliev TENS + EMS $79.95Legoyo Far Infrared Heating Pad $ 99.99 Shiastu Neck Massager $44.99Gel Seat Cushion Conformax Airmax $ 96.25Tablet Stand Levo G2 $79.99Sdadi Adjustable Table $ 59.99Memory Foam Wedge Pillow Aeris $77.9Miracle Back Pillow $77Penguin Wireless Ergonomic Mouse $ 74.98Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium$ 99.99
Time Saving Shopping Tip : As you go through this article, keep on adding any of the items you like to your Amazon cart via the product links. Once you are done, have another pass at the list to check what you really would like to …

YouTube Video Reviews of Gift Ideas for Chronic Pain Patients

Are you looking for holiday gifts for your loved ones who are suffering with chronic pain? Or are you living with chronic pain and have no idea what to tell your friends and family when they ask you about your holiday wish list.

Here is a list of YouTube video reviews of the gift ideas that I have mentioned in the blog post here. For more convenience, you may want to read  that blog post and then follow the links for the video review of each particular item to navigate back to this page.

TENS HEALTHMATE $29.99



Mind & Body Microwaveable Moist Heat Wrap $19.99



Body Back Buddy $ 34.95




Tablift Tablet Stand




iReliev TENS + EMS Pain Relief $79.99





Shaistu Neck Relief Massager $44.99





Levo G2 Tablet Stand $79.99



Miracle Back Pillow $77.90


Aeris Memory Foam Wedge Pillow $77.90


SDADI OVERBED / MEDICAL TABLE $59.99 



Penguin Ergonomic Vertical Mouse $74.98



Top 10 Gift Ideas under $ 50 for Chronic Pain Patients in 2017

Are you looking for holiday gifts for your loved ones who are suffering with chronic pain? Or are you living with chronic pain and have no idea what to tell your friends and family when they ask you about your holiday wish list.

Here is a list of gift ideas categorised into various groups that I have compiled based on my own experience and that of the patients that I interact with.
Top 10 Gift Ideas Under $50 for Chronic Pain Patients
HealthMate TENS unit $29.99Mind and Body Neck and Shoulder Wrap $ 19.99Body Back Duo Massager Bundle $ 34.95Backjoy $ 39.99Mycarbon Posture Corrector $ 19.99 Tablift Tablet Stand $ 39.95Vogue Carpenter Laptop/Overbed Table $ 37.99Tampor Contour Gel Cervical Pillow $ 40.99Brentwood Zuma Therapeutic Foam Wedge $ 39Logitech HD C525 $ 29.99Time Saving Shopping Tip : As you go through this article, keep on adding any of the items you like to your Amazon cart via the product links. Once you are done, have another pass at the list to check what you really would l…

Less Pain, More Work: Add Contacts to Email Faster Using Dragon Naturally Speaking

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking Tutorial, I show how to convert an email into contact in Microsoft Outlook. If you are in a hurry, you may want to skip to the YouTube video listed below directly and then return to this blog post for further clarifications.



In my earlier blog post, I had shown a fairly tedious way to add contacts in Microsoft Outlook. The method includes bringing up the Add Contacts dialogue box and then manually entering the name and email. There is a faster way to do this if you received an email from the sender you want to add contacts. For this,

Open the Email from the sender,do a Mouse Right Click on the name of the sender,then select the option of "Add to Contacts" in the drop-down menuAdd Contacts dialogue box will be brought up which will automatically copy the sender's name and email address. You can add more data if needed.Click "Save and Close".
In order to achieve the same functionality using Dragon Naturally Speaking, we will have …

Strengthening Exercises While Being Bedridden

If you are frequently bedridden due to illnesses like chronic pain, chances are that you will tend to lose muscle mass. Less muscle strength can lead to increase pain thus causing a vicious cycle of chronic pain. It is important therefore to find a way to exercise and strengthen the muscle despite being bedridden.

Over the years, I have found myself frequently to be in this situation due to fibromyalgia.  There are several videos about exercises for the bedridden patients(for example, this). However, the exercises in these are more to improve mobility rather than increase muscle strength. Ultimately, I spent quite a bit of time compiling a list of exercises from YouTube that exercise and strengthen every major muscle group.  The list is provided below along with the major muscle groups that they exercise.As I have suffered from injuries because of using weights incorrectly, I recommend trying only with the resistance bands initially and that is what I have included in the list.
(The …

Dragon Naturally Speaking Tutorial : How to blog faster in Blogger using speech recognition

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking tutorial, I demonstrate how to use speech recognition with the Blogger platform to write your blog posts faster.

Dragon Naturally Speaking can be used to improve your productivity in any text intensive tasks such as writing or blogging. In the YouTube video below, I show how to write your blog posts faster with Google Blogger. You can utilise  most of the commands shown in the video for your WordPress blog also. For maximum efficiency, you may want to go through the video initially, and then return to this post and review the summary of the commands used in the video to compose the blog post.

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Bear in mind that I do not cover each and every functionality available in the Blogger platform. Even demonstrating the most common options took about 21 minutes, which is twice the average time of my video tutorials. However, with a bit of practice, you should be able to start using the other features easily with your voice. Of cours…

Dragon Naturally Speaking Tutorial : How to Format Columns in Microsoft Excel

In this Dragon NaturallySpeaking tutorial, I show how to format a column in Microsoft Excel using speech recognition.

While working with Microsoft Excel, you may be required to format a column, for example, if the column contains a specific type of data such as dates or a dollar amount. To achieve this using Dragon Naturally Speaking, first bring up the format column dialogue box using the command "Format Column". Now you can navigate and choose any particular options using different Dragon Naturally Speaking commands.

The most convenient way to navigate is to simply say the name of the option. For example, you can simply say "Currency" to select the currency option. There is one particular case in which this may not work. In Microsoft Excel, the option "Number" is located within the tab also called as "Number". Dragon Naturally Speaking will then just go to the tab but will not navigate to the option because it has no way of determining wheth…

My experience with lumber sympathetic nerve block

One of the symptoms of my fibromyalgia has been severe debilitating abdominal pain . The pain management doctor I was seeing suggested trying a sympathetic lumbar nerve block. In a block is a fairly common procedure in pain management and there are tons of patient experiences out there. So instead of going into details, I will summarise the differences in experience that I had from what others had described.
For starters, I was under the impression that every doctor injects at the same nerve root level in the procedure. However, my pain management doctor said that depending on my symptoms, he will consider injecting different nerve roots. This means that you may receive one or more injections.

Most of the other patients seem to have not experienced pain. However, even after the anaesthetic, I experienced painful heavy sensation after each injection. After the procedure, I was not able to turn on the side where the injections at been made. Fortunately, the pain reduced rapidly. I used…

How to stretch your quadriceps the right way?

Patients with chronic pain often benefit from exercise. However, it is important to do the exercise properly otherwise it can end up doing more harm than good.

I have been dealing with lower back pain and abdominal pain for quite some time now. Every time I used to stretch my quadriceps, I would start getting some back pain also.

The video below clearly explains why along with stretching the quadriceps, you may put strain on your lower lumbar region. After using the technique mentioned here, I no longer get the pain and and therefore recommending it to everyone.

I also recommend subscribing to this channel because the trainer, who also claims to be a physiotherapist, first explains the anatomy and the function of each muscle and then designs the exercise. That way, you can be conscious of what part of the body you are putting stress on and can avoid it if you are experiencing pain in that area.