Thursday, August 1, 2013

RSDSA: Macy's Shop for a Cause

RSDSA with Mission 
On behalf of RSDSA, I want to encourage you to participate in the 2013 Macy's Shop for a Cause campaign on Saturday, August 24. In an effort to make sure we have your coupons emailed to you in time the cut off to purchase coupons in Thursday, August 22.
Please help RSDSA provide education, support, and hope to all those impacted by CRPS/RSD by participating in Macy's Shop for a Cause campaign. For a $5 investment, individuals will receive a 25% off coupon which can be used when you shop in a Macy's store on Saturday, August 24. It's a perfect gift for yourself or as a small thank you for a loved one, a member of your health care team, or a neighbor who has been helpful during this past year. Utilize this unique opportunity as a means of spreading "random acts of kindness."
To order your coupon(s) click the link which will take you to the RSDSA website, then click the "Add to Cart" button to order your coupon(s). Once we have your order we will email you the coupon in pdf format.
If you want to make a huge difference, contact Sue Pinkham at or by phone, 781.771.2095 and she will mail you 25 coupons.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Best of health,
Jim Broatch, MSW
executive Vice President, Director  
Be sure to visit the RSDSA webiste for the latest CRPS/RSD information including new treatment options, valuable resources, upcoming, events, and Support Group in your area.
Click Here to Visit Now!
Contact Information
Jim Broatch

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Given My Recent Rabidity: "Compassion in Business"

Lifted shamelessly from The Charter for Compassion folks:

Olivia McIvor’s four part series on Building a Culture of Kindness – Part 1
Olivia McIvor’s four part series on Building a Culture of Kindness – Part 2
Olivia McIvor’s four part series on Building a Culture of Kindness – Part 3
Olivia McIvor’s four part series on Building a Culture of Kindness – Part 4

Compassion and Kindness in Business

"In the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may too easily be dismissed as a soft issue or a luxury to be addressed after more urgent problems are solved.  But kindness is in the greatest need in all those areas, kindness toward the environment, toward other nations, and toward the needs of people suffering.  Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with each other and care properly for this planet we all share."
--  Bo Lozoff, founder of the Human Kindness Foundation.

The above quote by Bo Lozoff is used by Charter Business PartnerOlivia McIvorto start of the first part of a four part article: "Building on a Culture of Kindness."  Olivia is one of our business partners involved in the Charter's Business sector.  This sector is one of the newest to be added to out Charter programs.  Learn more about our partners, and take a look at  our Business Compassion Reader You'll find articles on leadership. ethics and how to apply compassion to organizations.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So Mean

As Buddy the Maine Coon finishes my 5 AM treat of lowfat plain yogurt, the bug fuzz face exuding happiness and tinged with bits of white foam, I've finally stopped crying.

I was so mean to Fred yesterday and thank heaven, not to still be alive, but for another chance -- to not be mean, but to be funny and sweet, to make him chat about politics, feminists, his painting, and the knives he's working on.  The politics part is easy enough.  Who doesn't have a belly full of bile to unload on the subject? Listening to him rant against feminists is more difficult, the "they" really meaning "all of you all."

He decided upon painting again a few months back, and I promptly revealed my stash of supplies, from acrylics to various forms of watercolors to coarse and fine pastels, fine and finer pencils, my array of brushes.  I couldn't find my palette, the jar of gesso was dried up because I'd not secured the top properly, and there was no canvas.  Then there were the secret things -- for painting's secret needs.  I did not add those things to the box that I placed next to the stupid plastic coffee maker.

There is nothing stupid about it, beyond its stupid design and its overwhelming, condescending, stupid plasticity. That's just an example of my pointless mean spirit.

I'm mean because I can finish the sentences that end trailing in the air.  I'm mean because I read minds.

The knives?  His latest wheel-wheedle-and-deal enterprise.  Good for killing feminists.

© 2013 L. Ryan

Monday, July 29, 2013

BCBS/Regence Medical Policy Manual on CALMARE / Scrambler / TENS for Neuropathic Pain


Medical Policy Manual 
Topic: Transcutaneous Electrical Modulation Pain Reprocessing
Date of Origin: November 2011
Section: Medicine
Last Reviewed Date: November 2012
Policy No: 143
Effective Date: January 1, 2013

Regence Medical Policies are developed to provide guidance for members and providers regarding coverage in accordance with contract terms. Benefit determinations are based in all cases on the applicable contract language. To the extent there may be any conflict between the Medical Policy and contract language, the contract language takes precedence.

PLEASE NOTE: Contracts exclude from coverage, among other things, services or procedures that are considered investigational or cosmetic. Providers may bill members for services or procedures that are considered investigational or cosmetic. Providers are encouraged to inform members before rendering such services that the members are likely to be financially responsible for the cost of these services.

Transcutaneous electrical modulation pain reprocessing (TEMPR), also called scrambler therapy, is intended to interrupt transmission of pain signals by delivering electrical stimulation that is interpreted by the nervous system as “no pain”. Scrambler therapy is performed using a type of transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) device that is specifically designed for this therapy. Cutaneous nerves are stimulated using 5 surface electrode pairs (i.e., channels) that are placed in the dermatomes above and below the pain area.
Unlike conventional TENS, scrambler therapy is administered in the office setting under physician supervision. According to Competitive Technologies, Inc., the makers of Calmare® Pain Therapy device, “the physician provides the initial consultation to discern the most effective path for electrode placement. Treatment applications are interactive between the patient and the provider, with the provider attending and making adjustments approximately every 10 minutes throughout the treatment session, which typically lasts an hour.”

Regulatory Status
The Calmare® Pain Therapy device (Competitive Technologies, Inc.) has 510k approval (K081258) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the name Scrambler Therapy MC-5A TENS

Transcutaneous electrical modulation pain reprocessing (e.g., scrambler therapy) is considered investigational for the treatment of acute or chronic pain, including but not limited to the following:
Arthritis (any type)
Back and neck pain, chronic or acute
Cancer pain
Chemotherapy-related pain
Musculoskeletal pain
Neuropathic pain
Pain syndromes [e.g., complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS); reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)]
Post-operative pain
Traumatic injury
Visceral pain


The most clinically relevant outcomes of therapy for intractable pain are improvements in pain and/or function. Both of these outcomes can be influenced by nonspecific effects, placebo response, natural history of the disease, and regression to the mean; therefore, these therapies need to be evaluated in randomized, controlled trials that maintain satisfactory blinding of the treatment assignment. The appropriate control for electrical stimulation devices for treatment of pain is sham treatment. Pain outcomes require quantifiable pre- and post-treatment measures, which are most commonly measured with a visual analogue scale (VAS). Collectively, the pain measurement literature cautions against using only statistical significance of difference in mean change in scores to determine clinical significance. More meaningful to patients and clinicians is the correlation of improvement in pain scores with improvement in function and quality of life. Thus, quantifiable pre- and post-treatment measures of functional status are also necessary.

Literature Review

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
There are no randomized trials that compare active with sham scrambler therapy. The only published RCT is a small, short-term pilot study that compared scrambler therapy with pain medication in 55 patients matched for type of pain which included postoperative neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia, or spinal canal stenosis.[1,2] The authors reported significantly greater pain reduction in the scrambler therapy group compared with the medication control group at 1-, 2-, and 3-month follow-up. While this RCT is useful in informing hypothesis formation, it does not permit conclusions on efficacy and safety due to small size, lack of a sham control group, and short-term followup period.

Nonrandomized trials
The remaining published trials are limited to nonrandomized trials.[3-6] Evidence from these studies is unreliable due to methodological limitations, such as non-random allocation of treatment, non-blinded study design, and lack of comparison groups.

Clinical Practice Guidelines
There are no clinical practice guidelines from professional associations that recommend scrambler therapy.

The evidence is not sufficient to permit conclusions about the benefits of transcutaneous electrical modulation pain reprocessing (scrambler therapy) as a treatment for pain from any etiology; therefore this therapy is considered investigational.

1. Marineo, G, Iorno, V, Gandini, C, Moschini, V, Smith, TJ. Scrambler Therapy May Relieve Chronic Neuropathic Pain More Effectively Than Guideline-Based Drug Management: Results of a Pilot, Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011 Jul 13. PMID: 21763099
2. Marineo, G, Iorno, V, Gandini, C, Moschini, V, Smith, TJ. Scrambler therapy may relieve chronic neuropathic pain more effectively than guideline-based drug management: results of a pilot, randomized, controlled trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Jan;43(1):87-95. PMID: 21763099
3. Sabato, AF, Marineo, G, Gatti, A. Scrambler therapy. Minerva Anestesiol. 2005 Jul-Aug;71(7-8):479-82. PMID: 16012423
4. Marineo, G. Untreatable pain resulting from abdominal cancer: new hope from biophysics? JOP. 2003 Jan;4(1):1-10. PMID: 12555009
5. Smith, TJ, Coyne, PJ, Parker, GL, Dodson, P, Ramakrishnan, V. Pilot trial of a patient-specific cutaneous electrostimulation device (MC5-A Calmare(R)) for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010 Dec;40(6):883-91. PMID: 20813492
6. Ricci, M, Pirotti, S, Scarpi, E, et al. Managing chronic pain: results from an open-label study using MC5-A Calmare(R) device. Support Care Cancer. 2012 Feb;20(2):405-12. PMID: 21394458

Functional Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation, Regence Medical Policy Manual, Durable Medical Equipment, Policy No. 83.04
Interferential Stimulation for the Treatment of Pain, Regence Medical Policy Manual, Durable Medical Equipment, Policy No. 83.07
Sympathetic Electrical Stimulation Therapy, Regence Medical Policy Manual, DME, Policy No. 83.08
Pulsed Electrical Stimulation for the Treatment of Arthritis, Regence Medical Policy Manual, DME, Policy No. 83.10
Percutaneous Neuromodulation Therapy (PNT), Regence Medical Policy Manual, Surgery, Policy No. 44

© 2013 L. Ryan

JT's 1968 Debut Album

James Taylor is singer-songwriter James Taylor's debut album. Released in 1968, it was the first recording by a non-British artist released by Apple Records, and would also be Taylor's only release on that label. The album was released under the title First Album on the South African market.
The album was produced by Peter Asher, who was A&R head for The Beatles' newly-formed label Apple Records.[2] Taylor recorded the album from July to October 1968 at Trident Studios, at the same time The Beatles were recording The White Album.[3][4] Trident was the most technologically advanced studio in England at the time and was in high demand; some session time booked by The Beatles was used instead to record Taylor's album. Paul McCartney and Peter Asher brought in arranger Richard Hewson to add orchestrations to several of the songs and unusual "link" passages in between them; these would receive a mixed reception at best.[5][6]
Notable songs include the Taylor classics "Something in the Way She Moves", "Carolina in My Mind" and "Rainy Day Man". McCartney and an uncredited George Harrison guested on "Carolina in My Mind", whose lyric holy host of others standing around me made reference to the Beatles, while the title phrase of Taylor's "Something in the Way She Moves" provided the starting point for Harrison's classic "Something".[5][7] (Coincidentally, Taylor has said he had meant for the song to be called "I Feel Fine" - after a dominant line in the chorus - but the title had already been taken by a Beatles song.) Taylor also recorded a very early version of "Fire and Rain", which would be his breakthrough hit on his second album, but Asher did not choose it for the album release.[8]
The album was released by Apple Records in December 1968 in the UK and February 1969 in the US.[1] Critical reaction was generally good, including a very positive Jon Landau review in Rolling Stone that said "this album is the coolest breath of fresh air I've inhaled in a good long while. It knocks me out."[6] The record's commercial potential suffered from Taylor's inability to promote it due to his hospitalization for drug addiction and it sold poorly.[1] "Carolina in My Mind" b/w "Something's Wrong" was released as a single in the UK (APPLE 32) in February 1969, but failed to chart.[1] It was released as a single in US (Apple 1805) in March 1969, but only reached #118 in the US.[1]
Because of the difficulty of obtaining licensing rights from Apple during the 1970s, "Something in the Way She Moves" and "Carolina in My Mind" were re-recorded in 1976 for Taylor's Greatest Hits album.

  • "Don't Talk Now" – 2:36
  • "Something's Wrong" – 3:00
  • "Knocking 'Round the Zoo" – 3:26
  • "Sunshine Sunshine" – 3:30
  • "Taking It In" – 3:01
  • "Something in the Way She Moves" – 2:26
  • "Carolina in My Mind" – 3:36
  • "Brighten Your Night With My Day" – 3:05
  • "Night Owl" – 3:38
  • "Rainy Day Man" (Taylor, Wiesner) – 3:00
  • "Circle Round the Sun" (Traditional arr. Taylor) – 3:24
  • "Blues Is Just a Bad Dream" – 3:42

James Taylor – guitar, vocals
Peter Asher – percussion, vocals
Louis Cennamo – bass
George Harrison – vocals on "Carolina in My Mind" (uncredited)
Richard Hewson – strings, bassoon, oboe
Skaila Kanga – harp
Paul McCartney – Fender Jazz bass, guitar, vocals on "Carolina in My Mind"
Bishop O'Brien – drums, percussion
Freddie Redd – keyboards
Don Shinn – keyboards (misspelled "Schinn")
Mick Wayne – guitar

I love his version of "Circle Round the Sun": (starts around 31:24)

Now, I love my baby, and she's bound to love me some.
Yes, I love my baby, and she's bound to love me some.
Now, she throws her arms around me just like a circle around the sun, yeah yeah.

I lay down last night just to try to take my rest.
I said I lay down last night, Lord, I was trying to take my rest.
But my thoughts they just kept wandering just like them wild geese in the west, babe.

Now I know that sunrise, sunrise, it's gonna shine in my back yard someday.
I said I know that sunrise, sunrise, sunrise, it's gonna shine in my back yard someday.
And that wind's just bound to rise up, gonna blow, blow all my blues away, hey, hey, hey,

I love my baby and she's bound to love me some.
Hear me say that I love my baby, and she's bound to love me some.
Now, she throws her arms around me just like a circle around the sun.

what?  so i need a little eye candy. i'm only human.

One Woven Tangled Web: CTTC (CALMARE/Scrambler), Tonaquint, and Utah Resources International, Inc.

No longer circling the drain, CALMARE's patent-guarding company, Competitive Technologies, Inc. has been sucked into the pipes... out of sight.

CTTC filed one of those ubiquitous, but always interesting Form 8-Ks with the beloved SEC, a retrospective announcement -- that's their style -- about entering into a Material Definitive Agreement with the real estate company, yes, the real estate company Tonaquint, itself held by Utah Resources International, Inc.

(I'm sure we can find a Romney in there somewhere, though this is slim pickings for a venture capitalist. Maybe it's a practice toy for a Romney grandson or something?)

Stand back in awe, here it comes:

On July 16, 2013 Competitive Technologies, Inc. (the "Company") entered into a securities purchase agreement (the "Agreement") with Tonaquint, Inc. ("Tonaquint"). Pursuant to the agreement, Tonaquint will acquire a $112,500 convertible promissory note in consideration for $100,000. The note is convertible at a conversion price of $0.30 per share.
Item 9.01.  Exhibits.

The following exhibits are included herein:

Exhibit no.    Description
10.1           Securities Purchase Agreement between Competitive Technologies,
               Inc. and Tonaquint, Inc. dated July 16, 2013

Shares convertible at .30?  Why, someone is making out like a retarded bandit!

Here's the exciting details about Tonaquint:

Company Overview  Tonaquint, Inc. engages in real estate development. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois. The company operates as a subsidiary of Utah Resources International, Inc.

No, wait!  Don't fall for the "real estate" gag!  I mean, another of its recent investment/acquisitions is Silver Dragon Resources to whom it offered a cool 2.5 million in "convertible financing." Their gig? Silver Dragon's goal in corporate life?

 It is management's objective to grow Silver Dragon into a significant silver producer by developing the Cerros las Minitas project in Mexico, its six Sino-Top properties in China (particularly Dadi and Laopandao), and its Erbahuo Silver mine (via its Chifeng Silver Dragon subsidiary), also in China.

To restate Tonaquint's reality:

Tonaquint is a privately held investment company with a primary focus on real estate and oil and gas interests in the western United States.
Mr. John Fife is the CEO, there is no Board of Directors.  But wait... Mr. John Fife is also CEO (wouldn't YOU like to be MR. JOHN FIFE?) of United American Healthcare (UAHC:OTC US) -- last trading at 0.03 on a volume of zero.

The tantalizing tease on Utah Resources International, Inc?  Are you sitting down?

UTAH RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL INC is in the Land Subdividers and Developers, Except Cemetaries industry in SAINT GEORGE, UT. This company currently has approximately 1 to 5 employees and annual sales of Under $500,000.

Yes, URI actually manages to somehow have a subsidiary, the rock solid investment company and real estate/oil and gas developer, Tonaquint.

High finance!  Big stakes!  Snaking down the pipes, CTTC's only hope now is RotoRooter.

A common trait among these financial giants is a tendency to be unable to file their 10-Q on time with the SEC.  They have bigger fish to fry?  Better things to do?

Go long on CTTC, now that it is so amply shored up.  Go wayyyyyyyyy long!  Go ahead, I dare ya! CALMARE / Scrambler Therapy, you remember that scientistic garbage, filed as "equivalent" to a "TENS Unit"?  By all means, throw your money away on that, too!  The non-doctorate holding, non-professorship holding, patent phenom Giuseppe Marineo has got your back!  BELIEVE in it enough and it will reduce your CRPS pain (so long as it is very limited, preferably to one foot or one hand) and there is no diagnostic criteria or documentation of pre- or post-  treatment changes necessary!

© 2013 L. Ryan