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Ken_S last won the day on May 8 2017

Ken_S had the most liked content!

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About Ken_S

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/11/1960

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    Northwest Wisconsin (Lake Nebagamon)

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  1. Ken_S

    PD World Tour Interview

    Good interview; your optimism is contagious.
  2. Ken_S

    DBS Benefits & Un-Benefits

    This thread brings to light the importance of proper patient selection, lead placement, and expectation control; none of which can be predicted through industry wide statistics or individual subjective experience. In Appala’s original post she stressed the importance of choosing an experienced team; I would only add to that: with good outcomes. Sure, ask the questions about adverse outcomes but don’t prejudge your team based on someone else’s outcomes.
  3. “I look upon an increase in the power of the State with the greatest fear because, although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality which lies at the heart of all progress.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
  4. lahdedah: so are you arguing for a single payer system paid for through income tax? you make a good argument against taxing something as a method of reducing cost than turn right around--I think--and propose a tax. or are you only arguing against the medical device tax?
  5. That always has seemed to be the problem: we live in a world where half the people think the only way to get what they want—they call this the common good-- is to use the force of Government to extort compliance from the other half who view their solutions and tactics as counterproductive and an attack on personal freedoms. It amazes me how your Democratic party can claim moral righteousness on so many issues and at the same time deny the humanity of half the American people. Yes, it’s shameful for a country not to take care of the truly needy but it’s immoral not to distinguish those who can’t take care of themselves from those who won’t. Adding insult, your “Party’s” continual belittling and demonization of anyone who opposes them. Your characterization of our leadership as being chaotic and lead by “whim” simply demonstrates your unwillingness or incapability to understand what they are doing. If your “party” truly wants things to change for the better, they need to entertain the idea that the old way of doing things is only going to result in more of the same old results and that introducing meaningful change, although uncomfortable is only part of the growing process. What world would you rather have your children inherit: one dominated by convoluted Government regulations designed to benefit big corporations, bureaucrats, and special interests or one of self-determination where citizens willfully look after the welfare of each other? I personally think that many Democrats are acting out of self-interest or have so little faith in the humanity of their fellow Americans that they prefer the iron fist over willful cooperation. Where does it end—you did say “healthcare is just one of our struggles”—if forced to comply with the whim of my neighbor at what point is he my Master? Vote no on intrusive Government control.
  6. What is this “List” of preexisting conditions? If I was to ask my Neurologist when I developed Parkinson’s, I’m sure he would launch into a lengthy explanation about the degenerative process, concluding with a shoulder shrug and a “Who’s to say” defaulting to the date of diagnosis, not if Parkinson’s was on any list or not. Back when I was originally diagnosed (insurance threw employer) it hinged on the date of diagnosis, if I had continual coverage, and the fact that I was making a claim; it had nothing to do with the actual diagnosis. Not surprisingly, my original claim was denied. Only after I challenged the denial (Based on my policy) was the claim accepted. My point being: coverage hinged on a contract between the insurance company and me; no need for Government mandates or Government generated lists. If I would have ultimately been denied or didn’t have insurance at the time of diagnosis, I would have found a way to pay for treatment myself. If I made a commitment to pay a hospital $300 per month (My insurance premium at the time), Plus a $3,000 up front payment (My deductible at the time), I think I would be hard pressed to find a hospital that would decline this offer. Why people are working so hard to introduce Government mandated middle men into a financial situation is beyond my understanding of how money works. Because insurance companies don’t consider your credit worthiness, does not change the equation. Try not paying or negotiating your monthly insurance premium and see how that adversely impacts them paying for your care. The only explanation I can think of is that some people can’t, don’t want to, or feel some sense of entitlement is justification to not cover their own expenses. . If someone can’t pay for their medical care, there are preexisting mechanisms for taking care of them. If someone simply feels entitled, that’s what the legal system is for; failing that all others have inadequate reason to ask someone else to pay their way. Let me make my own decisions concerning my medical care, not the Government.
  7. It’s no surprise that when fighting market forces, I will often find myself swimming against the current but when not given the choice; I think that’s called a monopoly. On the same train of thought, “Insurance” is not the only solution, it might be the easiest and in some situations the cheapest, but I’m not willing to forgo all other possibilities for those reasons. I wonder what percentage of customers the insurance companies make a profit on and how many of those people it would take to jump ship (Finding alternate ways to cover their expenses) it would take to get their attention? However; if I don’t have the option of jumping ship, I guess it’s a moot point. I don’t know anything about Supplemental Medicare insurance but suspect the same idea applies. The only difference being voluntary participation?
  8. The following is probably just an echo of opinion voiced many times by many people but I’ve resisted adding my two cents for long enough. Why can’t healthcare insurance be just like car insurance? Sure, I have a preexisting condition but my premium and deductible should be based on the likelihood of me making a claim, the size of that claim, and the frequency of claims. I am not the same risk as someone who say has Parkinson’s and does not take care of themselves or runs to the Doctors office for every little problem. Why am I being forced to resolve my personal problem (Parkinson’s) with such a cookie cutter, one solution fits all answer? I think it’s because we allow politicians, and drug companies and, hospitals, and our neighbors to manipulate us into believing that what is good for them is also good for us; we’ve allowed them to make us believe that making everyone have “Insurance” will somehow solve all our problems. Does anyone honestly believe that adding even more money to the “healthcare system” will actually solve any problem? Or is the more likely outcome of such a solution that the system will simply find a way to absorb the money and then propose that it needs more. We need to ignore all the self-serving background noise and accept any change that moves the needle toward Freedom of choice and self-determination as progress in the right direction. This convoluted “system” we find ourselves in today didn’t happen overnight and to think there is some magic bullet that will fix it overnight is simply delusional. Attitudes and expectations are slow to change but if we abandon even the attempt to change them, all is lost and it’s only a matter of time before our Republic will be overcome by mob rule. I see this whole healthcare “Debate” as little more than emotional extortion, exacerbated by the intentional complication and fear mongering of something that should be very simple: let me find the solution to my own problems, let the market work.
  9. Ken_S

    Another Question

    Increasing Parkinson's symptoms: No If you have developed dyskinesias: It's possible I've been told that increasing the dosage of L-dopa beyond the therapeutic level has limited benefit. that is, doubling the dose that I get a beneficial response from will have minimal positive effect. I think it's best described as a point of diminishing returns. As I understand it. Ken
  10. Ken_S

    Sciatica Pain

    Yes, very grateful Thank you
  11. Ken_S

    Sciatica Pain

    Dr. Okun I recently underwent DBS surgery (Jan 25 2017, Bilateral STN). I am doing extremely well and am taking zero Parkinson’s medication. My question relates to sciatica pain. I was told by my team that it was possible that my sciatica pain may be reduced by DBS surgery—they made no promises but said it was not unheard of; also, I’ve read in “The New Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Book” by J. Eric Ahlskog, PhD, MD that some sciatica type pain is related to dopamine deficiency and not lumbar issues. Since surgery, I have had no sciatica type pain at all. My question to you is just how common is this type of pain relief. I’ve scoured the intranet and found little about this phenomena; however, obviously some people are aware of it. Thank you for your input. Ken
  12. Ken_S

    Veterans Administration and Parkinson's

    NN: Nope, no tests to confirm Parkinson’s; Just good old fashion neurological exam and tests to eliminate other possibilities. I’m not sure what you mean about a consensus concerning service connection. Just like everyone else with a service connection, I was granted under the presumptive clause. If your DH is rated 20% for Parkinson’s, something is wrong; the minimum rating for Parkinson’s is 30%. When I get to San Francisco, I’ll ask about V.A. utilizing any blood tests for Parkinson’s confirmation but this is the first I’ve heard anyone mention it. Good luck with the reassessment. Ken
  13. Ken_S

    Veterans Administration and Parkinson's

    I’m not Vietnam era but am 100% service connected for Parkinson’s. Since diagnosis (December 2006) through 2014, I was seen by an M.D.S. at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota; anticipating DBS surgery down the road, I started seeing a Neurologist at the V.A. in Minneapolis (no Fellowship in movement disorders but tons of experience & a very good reputation in the Parkinson’s community) in 2013. If you remember 2013/2014 was a period where the V.A was getting lots of bad press so I thought it prudent to check it out for myself before jumping ship from Mayo. What I found was almost a mirror image concerning knowledge, service, recommendations, facilities, and any other characteristic I observed. When I asked my M.D.S. at the Mayo about her opinion concerning Parkinson’s treatment at the V.A., she gave them very high marks. Read all about Parkinson’s treatment at the V.A. here. National PADRECC (Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center) & V.A. PD Consortium http://www.parkinsons.va.gov/ Fast forward almost three years and I’m scheduled for my pre-surgery evaluations on January 9th & 10th 2017, with a tentative surgery date of January 20th 2017. I will be using the PADRECC in San Francisco. Thus far, I only have praise for the way the team in San Francisco and the V.A. Travel Office in Minneapolis have bent over backward to accommodate my needs, schedule appointments, keep me informed concerning what to expect and what is expected of me, as well as provide & schedule all necessary lodging and travel for both myself and my Boy Friday. Hopefully by this time in February, life will be lots easier. Ken
  14. Ken_S

    Anyone go through LTD process?

    I filed for LTD through my employer in January of 2016, was approved very quickly and after waiting three months they began paying 60% of my base pay (1st check May 1st). At the end of June, I received a letter from the insurance company saying that they believe I would qualify for SSDI and therefore starting in September they will start adjusting my payment accordingly. In other words: unless I apply for SSDI and am denied, they will subtract the amount SSDI would have paid (if I were approved) from the amount they are paying me. They did offer me representation through a company that submits SSDI application for people, at no cost to myself, and I took them up on it. It was all rather clearly spelled out in the insurance policy. My only comment is that the name “Long Term Disability Insurance” although, in the industry jargon may be appropriately named, should be called SSDI bridge and gap insurance: they bridge the period between when you apply for SSDI and when you receive it and then they pay any difference between the SSDI payment and 60% of my base pay. In hind sight, the only mistake I made was not applying for SSDI as soon as I stopped working, instead of waiting six months to get the letter explaining the pending adjustment. Time will tell how much waiting for that letter will actually cost me. Ken
  15. Ken_S

    SCUBA Diving

    I attended a Medtronics DBS seminar in Duluth Minnesota (April 12 2016) & asked about post-surgery scuba diving. The Medtronics representative giving the presentation called and asked their technical people; the answer was that it’s ok to dive but only to two atmospheres (33 feet depth). I couldn’t extract a reason from them, only that it was the maximum depth they recommended. I’m still deciding if DBS is right for me & and don’t really know if diving again is a bridge too far or a realistic goal. I’ll take what I can get but symptoms allowing, I would love to start diving again. I would appreciate anyone out there sharing their thoughts on the subject or sharing their experiences in the water. Thank you for your consideration. Ken