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In Memory of a Leader


									                                        Vol. 18 No. 1         October 2006     

      In Memory of a Leader
Former ASCC Commission Chair,           Faubus to send Harold in a state
Harold O. Thomas of West Mem-           National Guard plane to New York.
phis died on August 11, 2006, at
age 72. Harold was a 30-year-old        Harold went on serve as the “silent
father of two when he dove into a       partner” in the establishment of the
lake on July 4, 1964. He lived the      Arkansas Spinal Cord Commis-
next 42 years with C5 quadriplegia.     sion (ASCC). He testified in front
                                        of the Joint Budget Committee
By chance, Harold worked for the        about the need for the Commission
St. Francis County Levee District,      in 1974. When the Arkansas Spi-
whose chairman was Maurice              nal Cord Disability Registry was
Smith. Mr. Smith and his wife,          established in 1977, he was one of
Jane, assisted Harold in getting        the first people listed. Harold served
to NYU Rehabilitation Center, as        on the Commission from 1975 to
there was no acute rehab program        1988, serving as Chair for most of
in Arkansas. As the story has it,       those years. His quiet demeanor        Mr. Harold Thomas of West Memphis served
Mrs. Smith got then-Governor             Continued on page 7 - see “Harold Thomas”   on the Commission from 1975 to 1988.

       In this issue . . .                      New Spina Bifida Research Has
 Spina Bifida News             Page 3
                                                    Arkansas Connection
 Spina Bifida Camp 2006        Page 3
 Was Fun!                               A recently published article based            found that 24.4% of the moth-
                                        on Arkansas mothers, their families           ers had a history of miscarriage;
 Congratulations Ethan         Page 3   and their child with spina bifida             a level three times greater than
 Cossey!                                provides new insights into the                the general Arkansas population.
                                        nature of spina bifida. The article           A miscarriage preceded a female
 Recent Research in Spinal     Page 4   titled, A Reproductive History                child with spina bifida more often
 Cord Injury: The Use of                of Mothers with Spina Bifida                  than a male child as compared to
 Olfactory Ensheathing Cells            Offspring—A New Look at Old                   live births. Males with spina bifida
                                        Issues, appears in the journal,               and a thoracic level lesion con-
 Volunteers Needed for       Page 5     Cerebrospinal Fluid Research,                 ceived by white mothers were at
 Stranded Wheelchair Drivers            and was written by ASCC Re-                   greater risk to be miscarried.
                                        search and Statistics Manager
 Do-it-yourself Floor          Page 5   Tom Farley.                                   Overall, the mothers gave birth
 Cleaning . . . from a                                                                to more affected and non-affected
 Wheelchair                             The article studied the reproductive          females than males. The article
                                        history of 271 mothers residing in            concludes that the cause of spina
 Up Close and Personal:        Page 6   Arkansas in 1996 who had a child              bifida includes unknown genetic
 Leetha Wren                            with spina bifida. The purpose of             factors, hormonal and/or immune
                                        the study was to present a more               system factors. Go online to http://
 Check Out the GameCycle       Page 7   complete reproductive history of              www.cerebrospinalfluidresearch.
 at ICAN                                the mothers and to investigate the            com/ to read additional findings.
                                        nature of spina bifida. The study
         SPINAL COURIER                                   SPINAL COURIER Letters
            Published quarterly by                   Questions • Suggestions • Directions • Answers
   Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission

              Cheryl L. Vines
              Executive Director
                                                  From the Director
             Thomas L. Farley
                                                  I’m not big on beauty pageants. As a child of the 60’s and 70’s, I
                Dee Welsh
                                                  remember bra burnings, women’s liberation and feminism. Those
                                                  issues put the emphasis on a woman’s inner beauty, not outer. I
           Commission Members:                    didn’t expect Ms. Wheelchair America to be much different from
             Joe McNiel, Chair                    other pageants. But about two years ago I had an experience that
               Jimmy Ashley                       changed the way I saw Ms. Wheelchair.
                James Miller
               Sandra Turner                      Mare Simonar Dykes of Beebe was Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas. I
                John Wyrick                       knew that Mare had grown up with a spinal cord disability and
                                                  asked her to come speak to our first Spina Bifida Family Fest. She
  The Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission             gave a great talk and stayed to visit with everyone. Then, I noticed
  does not discriminate on the basis of race,     it—many of the young girls wanted their picture with her, they
  color, national origin, sex, religion, age or   wanted her autograph, they just wanted to be with her.
  disability in employment or the provision
  of services.                                    Was it the crown? Of course not—it was her inner beauty. A wife
             Visit our website at:                and mother of two small boys, accomplished horsewoman and                     community volunteer, she had engaged these girls—she was a role
                or e-mail us at:                  model. Not many young girls who live with spinal cord disabilities
                                                  have a lot of role models for life.

                                                  So, when Ida Esh’t asked me to help bring the 2007 Ms. Wheel-
      With Thanks                                 chair America (MWA) pageant to Arkansas in 2006, I agreed.
                                                  Working beside Ida and Mare (and Mare’s wonderful husband,
                                                  Darin, and a lot of other volunteers), we were awarded the 2007
     Donations this quarter from:                 event.
                 Ruth Allen                       Twenty-seven women from all over the country arrived the first
                                                  week of August. These were amazing women—college professors,
    In Memory of Sandy Scheible                   teachers, business owners and rehabilitation counselors—with
    Campbell & Stottman, CPA                      many accomplishments. Each woman had a ‘platform,’ a topic she
  In Memory of Harold O. Thomas                   wanted to promote as Ms. Wheelchair America. Those were awe-
                                                  some too: self-esteem, literacy, employment, volunteerism and
      Annette and Bob Stacy                       accessibility.
ASCC accepts tax-deductible do-                   Over the course of the week, we all had our favorites. You learn a
nations. The generosity of the many               lot about people before they’ve had their coffee in the morning!
individuals and families, who over
the years have made memorial do-                  Suffice it to say, these were exceptional women and I learned a lot
nations, is greatly appreciated. Con-             over the week. But all good things come to an end and at Satur-
tributions are used to assist our                 day’s Gala, Ms. Massachusetts Autumn Grant was crowned Ms.
clients through purchases of equip-               Wheelchair America 2007.
ment and educational resources.
                                                  It was a GREAT EVENT (we’re told we ‘set a new bar for future
If you would like to make a con-                  pageants’), which brought about 200 people to Arkansas and re-
tribution, please contact the Com-                ceived a lot of very positive media coverage. I’m glad I was part
mission at 501-296-1788 / 1-800-                  of it. Sometimes you have to set your bias aside and be open to
459-1517 (voice) / 501-296-1794                   new ideas.
(TDD), or send your donation to:
                                                                                                  Cheryl L. Vines
  AR Spinal Cord Commission
  1501 N. University, Suite 470
  Little Rock, AR 72207-5233                       Be sure to vote on Election Day, November 7, 2006!
 2 _________________________________________________________________________                              SPINAL COURIER
  Spina Bifida Spina Bifida Camp 2006 Was Fun!
     News      This summer, we had 44 campers
               attend Spina Bifida Camp June 25
                                        to June 30. Campers were divided
October is Spina Bifida Awareness       into two tribes—the Caddo and
month!                                  Quapaw. All week long these two
• Mark you calendars for the            teams enthusiastically competed to
Spina Bifida Association of Ar-         earn points in various fun activities.
kansas (SBAAR) third annual Fall                                                 Camper Zoe Foy is assisted by Counselor
Family Fest on October 21st at          CenterPoint Energy of Arkansas           Phil Laney and Volunteer Kelly Allison.
Camp Aldersgate. The day’s events       sponsored the fishing tournament.
will include educational sessions,      Everyone who participated was pre-  friends and staff filled the Com-
Halloween crafts for kids, lots of      sented with a trophy. The winners   mons Building for the awards
educational resources, a great cook     of the two main categories were:    ceremony. Each camper received
out, scavenger hunt and tour of the                                         an award. This year’s winner of the
camp.                                          Most Fish Caught             Joe Morgan Super Camper award
                                        First Day                           was Morgan Love of Little Rock.
• Then on December 5th, return          1st place Chelsea Fowler (9 fish)   At last, the winning tribe was an-
to Camp Aldersgate for the annual       2nd place Matthew Sherman (5 fish) nounced, and this year’s winner
SBAAR Christmas party. There                                                was the Quapaw tribe.
will be music and singing of carols,    Second Day
gifts for kids and lots of good food.   1st place Layton LaFevers (13 fish) Spina Bifida Camp is a collabora-
A flyer will be coming out soon.        2nd place Allie Witcher (9 fish)    tive program supported by the Ar-
                                                                            kansas Spinal Cord Commission,
• SBAAR will team with SBA of                 Biggest Fish Caught           Camp Aldersgate and MedCamps
Texas and several other regional        1st place Matthew Sherman           of Arkansas.
chapters to conduct the first SBAA                 (3 lbs 6 oz)
Regional Conference in Plano, TX                                            If you missed Camp this year, and
February 18-19, 2007. We plan to        2nd place Layton LaFevers (3 lbs) want to participate next year, be
do some carpooling to get as many       (tie)      JoAnna Moyers (3 lbs)    sure to look for details in our Janu-
folks as possible there! Plan to join                                       ary 2007 newsletter, talk with your
us.                                     3rd place Kayla Like (2 lbs 4 oz)   Case Manager, or contact Mary Jo
                                                                            Stanton by e-mail at mjstanton@
• SBAAR awarded five college            The fun peaked on Friday morning or call 501-296-
scholarships this fall. These went to   when campers, family members,       1788 or 1-800-459-1517.
Justin Bickell, Charity Chambers,
Aaron Combs, Tyler Garner and
Laura Landers.                                  Congratulations Ethan Cossey!
• A new support group for parents
                                        Three-year-old Ethan Cossey of           stay. It has been a roller coaster
of kids with spina bifida is forming
                                        Cabot, AR might not have actu-           ride dealing with the complica-
in Springdale, AR coordinated by
                                        ally played for the Travelers on         tions of spina bifida, but now
ASCC Case Manager Maryanne
                                        August 17th, but he sure scored a        Ethan, his parents and four broth-
Caldwell. The first meeting was on
                                        home run in everybody’s heart!           ers are ready for all the fun roller
October 2nd. At present, the group
                                        Ethan’s biggest wish is to go to         coasters at Disney World!
plans to meet the first Monday of
each month at the Jones Center.         Disney World and see Mickey
For additional information, contact     Mouse. While at the game at Ray
Maryanne at 479-521-1463.               Winder Field he and his family
                                        were presented with a check for
• Melissa Redman is the new             $5,000 from the Make-A-Wish
SBAAR web master. Check out the         Foundation to visit Disney World.
web site at http://sbaar.typepad.
com                                     Ethan could not have been more
                                        excited. He did get to meet Mickey
• For more information about            and Minnie Mouse (see right) at
the above activities, contact Vicki     the ball field. The family just re-
Rucker at 501-978-SBAA (501-            ceived news of the Make-A-Wish
978-7222).                              gift during Ethan’s latest hospital
SPINAL COURIER   _________________________________________________________________________ 3
     Recent Research in Spinal Cord Injury:
     The Use of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells
              By Tom Kiser, M.D., ASCC Medical Director

One promising research model for       2. Two of the subjects were oper-
repair of the injured spinal cord is      ated on six months after their
the use of olfactory ensheathing          injury. This is a time frame
cells. These cells can be harvested       when further neurological re-
from the nose of the injured subject      covery can be expected, so
and placed in the area of damage          some of the gains, especially
in the spinal cord. The olfactory         bowel and bladder, could have       ASCC Medical Director Tom Kiser, M.D.
mucosa is readily accessible with         been due to the natural recov-
minimally invasive techniques, is         ery process.                        long?” and “Should I go over-
capable of stem cell like activity,                                           seas to get involved in an implant
and can aid in neural regeneration.    3. The neurologic improvement          study?” My answer to date has
                                          reported was in an unusual          been to have patience. It is hard to
A case series study of seven pa-          pattern, and an effort to stan-     live with a spinal cord injury, and
tients in Portugal has just been re-      dardize the neurologic exam         the pull to do something as soon
ported in the medical literature.1        between multiple examiners          as possible is strong.
Two of the seven patients, both           was not discussed.
with tetraplegia, improved from                                               But the truth of the matter is that
a complete ASIA A to an incom-          4. Urodynamic testing preopera-       we do not really know what works
plete ASIA C diagnosis, and one            tively and postoperatively was     and what does not work in spinal
of the subjects regained bowel and         not done to document bladder       cord repair. There are a lot of in-
bladder function (but was only six         recovery.                          teresting and promising treatment
months out from the SCI). At six                                              options being tested, and which one
months after transplantation, MRI       5. Greater detail was needed on       or combination of treatments will
showed a complete or almost com-           the surgical procedure to help     repair the injured spinal cord needs
plete filling of the lesion                                                   to be determined before you waste
site in all but one subject,    We are in an exciting time with               your time and risk your health pur-
and there was no MRI                                                          suing every new treatment option.
evidence of neoplastic             several small human studies
overgrowth in any of the       underway and many anticipated                  The other important point to con-
patients.                            trials in the near future.               sider is that once you have had
                                                                              surgery with a spinal cord trans-
The olfactory mucosa graft was             researchers better understand      plant you may not qualify for an-
obtained by an ENT with an endo-           the surgical process.              other treatment protocol if the cure
scope, and the complications were                                             is found. It is important to weigh
minimal—smell was abnormal, but        6. None of the researchers or sub-     the risks and benefits of volunteer-
returned to normal by three months        jects in this study was blinded     ing for a research program. Right
in all the subjects. All but one of       to the intervention, making         now, to travel halfway around the
the patients had a small improve-         objective analysis of the data      world at this stage of research ap-
ment in motor return in their legs,       difficult.                          pears to be too costly in terms of
but there were minimal functional                                             time, money and health risk with
or independence gains.                 We are in an exciting time with        only a slight chance of benefit.
                                       several small human studies under-
In a critique of this study, Dr.       way and many anticipated trials in     Reference:
Steven C. Kirshblum applauded          the near future. Continued progress    1. Lima, C., Pratas-Vital, J., Escada, P.,
the researchers for their ground-      in spinal cord research is antici-     Hasse-Ferreira, A., Capucho, C., &
breaking work, but also pointed        pated, and a randomized, blinded,      Peduzzi, J. D. (2006). Olfactory mucosa
out some problems:                     multi-center study will eventually     autografts in human spinal cord injury: A
                                       be conducted in the United States.     pilot clinical study. Journal of Spinal Cord
                                                                              Medicine, 29 (3), 191-203.
1. This human study was under-
   taken without reported animal       At each clinic visit, patients and I        It’s that time again. Be
   model findings to define the        discuss the latest in research, and
   functional or neurological          the two questions I am frequently           sure to protect yourself
   benefits of the intervention.       asked are: “What is taking so                    with a flu shot!
4 _________________________________________________________________________                            SPINAL COURIER
Volunteers Needed for Stranded Wheelchair Drivers
Do you use a wheelchair or other      already agreed to participate in       ply call 911 and advise them of
mobility device? Have you been        an effort to help wheelchair           their situation. The operator will
in a situation where your vehicle     drivers if their vehicle breaks        access the list of participants and
broke down while traveling and        down. Volunteers need to have          contact a volunteer in their area.
you were left stranded on the         a van with a lift or some other        The volunteer will come to their
roadside because you were un-         vehicle that can carry a motor-        location with a wheelchair ac-
able to get into another vehicle?     ized wheelchair and be willing         cessible vehicle and transport
Did your vehicle have to be towed     to help. This is strictly on a vol-    the driver where they can obtain
and you were not allowed to go        unteer basis.                          further assistance.
with it? (Most service trucks will
not allow a person to stay in the     Your name and contact informa-         If you would like to volunteer
vehicle while it is towed).           tion will be forwarded to the          to provide this service, contact
                                      Arkansas Criminal Information          Doug Knight, 871 N. Slemmons,
If any of the above has happened      Center. A list of volunteers will      Monticello, AR 71657, e-mail
to you or you have thought about      be compiled and made available
what you would do in this type of     to all 911 and law enforcement         or call 1-870-367-2000.
situation, you may be interested      agencies.
in the following.                                                            Editor’s Note: The stranded
                                      If a wheelchair driver’s vehicle       wheelchair drivers service is
Several people who have wheel-        breaks down while traveling            not an ASCC program.
chair-equipped vehicles have          within the state, they can sim-

            Do-it-yourself Floor Cleaning . . .
                   from a Wheelchair

                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of
                          By Don Bragdon of London, Arkansas
I’m paralyzed with a T12 injury.      two containers. Water or dirt is       pushing the unit
I live alone in a 2,100 square foot   vacuumed into the lower unit           forward and
house that has all vinyl floors ex-   while the upper unit applies           then to suck up
cept for a small, carpeted area. I    cleanser, wax or just plain water.     the dirty waste-
do most of the housework myself                                              water on the
with the exception of tasks that      The price was a little high (about     way back. When
require reaching high places.         $170) but there wasn’t another         finished the floor
                                      comparable vacuum on the mar-          dried to a nice
After years of cleaning the vinyl     ket at the time.                       shine.
floors with Mop & Glow®, a waxy
buildup was getting to be a prob-     Once I had the FloorMate, I started    I did adapt the
lem. The floors looked darker,        out by purchasing a gallon of John-    FloorMate to make it easier for a
dirty and had no shine.               son Floor Stripper. I diluted the      person in a wheelchair to use. The
                                      stripper per instructions with water   unit has a pedal on the base that has
I decided that I was going to ac-     and applied it evenly to the floor     to be pushed by foot to lower the
cept the challenge of cleaning the    with a sponge mop. I let it soak       handle. Of course, being in a chair,
floors myself. Now, as anyone in      for five to seven minutes and then     I had to bend way down to release
a wheelchair knows, this wasn’t       used the FloorMate to suck up all      the pedal with my hand. So, I made
going to be easy.                     the grime into its lower container.    a lever in my shop and installed
                                      I then sprayed clear water from the    it on the side on the unit. Now all
I decided to purchase a Hoover®       upper container and the unit sucked    I do is push down on the lever to
FloorMate™ SpinScrub™ after           up that water, leaving a very clean    lower the handle.
seeing a TV advertisement for         floor.
one. The ad showed how the                                                   The floors now shine like new.
unit would first vacuum the floor,    With the entire floor clean, I ap-     When people come over to visit
scrub it with a cleaning solution     plied a mixture of Murphy® Oil         and ask if I had a new floor in-
and then suck up the dirty solu-      Soap and water. My routine was         stalled, I just grin and say, “No, I
tion. The unit does this by using     to scrub with soap and water while     cleaned them myself!”
SPINAL COURIER   _________________________________________________________________________ 5
                  Up Close and Personal: Leetha Wren
                     This is the twelfth in a series of articles profiling the ASCC Case Managers.


                                              Date And Place Of Birth: April 28, 1958, in Batesville, AR

                                              Family Members: My parents and their five cats: Pinky, Silky,
                                              Molly, Clifford James Oreo (Jimmy Reo) and Rehab

                                              If I Did Not Live In Batesville, I Would Want To Be: Traveling
                                              the world
Leetha Wren began her Case Manage-
ment duties in the ASCC Batesville            I Absolutely Will Not Eat: Liver
office in November 2004. She cur-
rently provides services to individuals
in a ten county area in North Central         One Thing People Would Find Surprising About Me Is: I’m
Arkansas. “As I visit the individuals         a big fan of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders, Inc. — “the
in my area,” Leetha stated, “I am of-         toughest sport on dirt”)
ten reminded of what my grandmother
once told me.‘It is a privilege to be
invited into someone’s home and you           My Favorite Movie Is: Any classic comedy, such as Arsenic
should always honor that.’ Treating           and Old Lace
individuals with respect goes a long
way in establishing good working re-
lationships and we as Case Managers           My Favorite Song Is: Over the Rainbow
should always remember that.”
                                              I Am Most Comfortable With People Who: Are easygoing
Leetha has been a dedicated state             and have a good sense of humor
employee for almost 24 years. Previ-
ous to her employment with ASCC,
Leetha worked for Services for the            My Favorite Pastimes Are: Reading, television and movies,
Blind, Children’s Medical Services            shopping (garage sales, estate sales, etc.)
and the Employment Security Divi-
sion. She holds a Masters degree in
Social Work from UALR Graduate                The Best Advice I Ever Received Was: “Do unto others as you
School of Social Work.                        would have them do unto you”
After spending two years providing
case management services to indi-             My Favorite Saying Is: “Make it work for you”
viduals with spinal cord disabilities
her advice to any new Case Manager
is that they should always remember,          I Knew I Was Grown Up When: I don’t recall a defining
“You can never catch up, as there is          moment, so maybe it hasn’t happened yet!
always something that needs to be
done.” Client Services Administrator
Patti Rogers commented, “Leetha               The One Thing I Always Wanted To Do But Have Never Had
provides excellent support to the             The Chance Was: Work at Disney World
persons on her caseload. She has a
positive outlook and a great sense of         One Word To Sum Me Up: Appreciative
humor, which helps smooth the way
in difficult times. We are very fortu-
nate to have found Leetha.”
6 _________________________________________________________________________                          SPINAL COURIER
Harold Thomas                         Check Out the GameCycle at ICAN
Continued from page 1
                                     Want to change your exercise              tendo games that can be purchased
and friendly smile won over many     routine from boring to fun? How           at any store that carries computer
legislators. Harold was the leader   about burn fat and build muscle           games. Compatible games include
in an effort by the Commission to    while playing video games? Sound          Need for Speed Underground, Rac-
establish the Arkansas Spinal Cord   too good to be true? It’s possible        ing Evolution, Monster 4X4 Mas-
Injury System and an SCI Rehabil-    with the GameCycle®, a new addi-          ters of Metal, Mario Kart Double
itation Center.                      tion to the Increasing Capabilities       Dash, Kirby’s Air Ride and Crash
                                     Access Network (ICAN) Clearing-           Nitro Cart.
“If Jane Smith was the godmother,    house of Technology.
Harold Thomas was the ‘godfather’
of our Commission,” said ASCC        The GameCycle is a
Executive Director Cheryl Vines.     hand-cranked stationary
“He served our Commission in         cycle that powers a
so many ways over the years, we      Nintendo® GameCube.
may not have existed, except for     It was designed to help
Harold’s cool head and business      persons with paraplegia
acumen.”                             build their upper-body
                                     strength, aerobic capacity
West Memphis Case Manager            and motor and cognitive
Sharon McCoy relates her first       skills.
day on the job at ASCC, “I was
at the office on my first day and    Users crank and steer the
I got a call, ‘Sharon, I know you    GameCycle like a hand-
are busy on your first day, but      cycle, and those motions
could you come over to the Levee     control Nintendo Game-          Barry Vuletich, ICAN Program Director, tries his
District office–RIGHT NOW?’ I        Cube racing-style video         skills exercising to the Need for Speed Under-
was scared to death! It was only     games. The faster a user        ground game on the GameCycle.
a few miles away and I raced         cranks the GameCycle,
over, only to be met by a very       the faster the car in the video game The GameCycle can also be hook-
distinguished gentleman who          goes. Users control the car’s turns,        ed up to another unit so users can
just wanted to meet me and to        not with a joystick but by twist-           compete against their nondisabled
let me know he was there to help.”   ing and tilting the GameCycle’s             friends. For a demonstration of
Over the years he proved to be       handgrips (which come in varying            the GameCycle or to schedule a
a great help.                        types for different hand functions). “workout” call ICAN at 501-666-
                                     The GameCycle’s resistance can be 8868 or 1-800-828-2799. ICAN is
Harold served many other Ar-         adjusted to make it easier for begin- a program of Arkansas Rehabilita-
kansas institutions, as Chairman     ners or harder for advanced users.          tion Services located at 26 Corpo-
of the Boards of Directors of        The GameCycle is compatible with rate Hill, Little Rock, AR 72205.
Crittenden Memorial Hospital,        a wide variety of racing-style Nin-
Arkansas State University and
on the Board of East Arkansas
Enterprises. After his injury,                                                ficincy. Crystals can develop in the
Harold returned to his job at the    Skip Green                               urine if urine output is decreased.
St. Francis Levee District and       Continued from page 7                    Avoid use in gout because it can
worked until his retirement last                                              cause urate crystals to precipi-
year.                                environment so the combination           tate in the urine. Do not use with
                                     with vitamin C makes it more ef-         sulfa medications because the
Harold is survived by his wife,      fective. It is less effective against    sulfonamides may form insoluble
DeFaye, his son, Harold, Jr.,        bacteria that are urea-splitting and     sediment in the bladder. If you are
daughter, Cary, and his grand-       that increase the pH (e.g., Proteus      using Acetazolamide, the Methena-
children, who were the lights        and some Psuedomanas species).           mine is ineffective since it causes
of his life.                         Side effects can be nausea, gastric      the urine to be alkaline.
                                     distress, rash and dysuria.
The members and staff of the                                                  This may be a good medication for
Arkansas Spinal Cord Commis-         Use is contraindicated in dehydrat-      someone with recurrent bladder in-
sion honor Harold and extend our     ed patients, and those with severe       fections, but you need to be aware
sincere sympathy to his family.      renal disease or hepatic insuf-          of the above limitations.”

SPINAL COURIER      _________________________________________________________________________ 7
                The Squeaky Wheel
              The squeaky wheel . . . gets the grease! This column is about grease—things that make life for
              persons with spinal cord disability go smoother and ease your way in the world. “Things” can be
              hints, equipment adaptations, innovations, tricks-of-the-trade, procedural shortcuts, life experi-
ences, or things you “should have done but didn’t.”
Skip Green of Fayetteville, AR tells us how he keeps his urinary tract infections (UTI’s) under control.

I’ve had my fair share of UTI’s       ing home residents many years           had 3—count’em, three—UTI’s in
over the years—bad ones with the      ago in combating UTI’s, but fell        the past 17 years. Knock on wood!
dreaded shakes and high fevers.       to the wayside mainly because the       If you’re plagued with UTI’s ask
I’m sure some of you can relate.      people taking it were not getting       your urologist/physician about Me-
Seventeen years ago an Urologist      the proper amount of vitamin C          thenam. It could work for you too!
started me on an antibacterial drug   and fluids.                             A special thanks to that Urologist.
named Methenam (Methenamine
Mandalate). It’s taken with vitamin   He started me taking 3 Methenam         Editor’s Note: I checked with Tom
C and plenty of fluids to create      tablets a day with vitamin C and        Kiser, M.D., ASCC Medical Direc-
acidity in the bladder that wards     fluids. Over the past 15 years I’ve     tor, who said, “Methenamine or
off bacteria leading to infections.   weaned myself to taking 1 tablet        Mandelamine is bactericidal and
                                      with a 500 mg vitamin C tablet first    hydrolyzes to formaldehyde in the
The Urologist told me that it was     thing in the morning, followed by a     urine. It is active only in an acid
once a very popular drug for nurs-    couple cups of coffee. Friends, I’ve    Continued on page 7 - see “Skip Green”

We invite you to send in your helpful hint—your bit of “grease.” Contact your ASCC Case Manager, write us
at Spinal Courier, Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission, 1501 N. University, Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72207
or e-mail us at

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