Showing posts from September, 2014

Chronic Pain, Opioids, and Quality of Life: A Guestpost by Dan Malito

September is Pain Awareness Month in the US. One of the crucial issues to people living with high levels of chronic pain is the ability to have access to opioids. Yet, there are so many misconceptions that block that access. To help raise awareness and understanding about what it’s like to live with the kind of pain that requires opioids, I asked Daniel P Malito, author of So Young: A Life Lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis, to do a guest post on the topic. I’m very happy to say that he agreed! Please share his wonderful post as widely as possible. And while you’re at it, check out his book. It’s an amazing memoir of his life with RA. Opioids.   The word conjures up visions of junkies in back alleys offering to sell a broken TV just for a half pill of Oxycontin.   It’s no surprise either, the government and other media outlets have spent countless millions telling the country about the prescription pill epidemic and its insidious effect on regular people.   Now, whether or no

Mayoral Debate on Disability Issues

Earlier this week, I attended a mayoral debate on disability issues. For those not familiar with the Toronto political scene, we have a municipal election coming up in about a month and the candidates have been debating up a storm. The main contenders for mayor are John Tory , Olivia Chow , and Doug Ford ( taking the place of his brother, Rob Ford ). Doug was a no-show on Monday, which was no surprise considering his past statements about people with disabilities . Or maybe this particular part of his constituency just isn’t important to him. Which is a mistake. Given the under-and unemployment of people with disabilities, these are people who have a lot of time to sit around and think. And talk to others. Making a good impression here could make a difference. Not that I’m opinionated or anything.  The debate was moderated by Helen Henderson , freelance journalist and writer on disability issues.    There were ASL interpreters, deaf intervenors, augmentative commu

New Patient-Driven Arthritis Charter in Canada

To mark Arthritis Awareness Month, the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA) has released the Arthritis Charter, created by people who live with arthritis for people who live with arthritis. What is the Charter? Dawn Richards, Vice-Chair of CAPA, graciously agreed to answer some of my questions What is the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance and what does it do? CAPA, as we call ourselves, is a not-for-profit, patient-driven organization that strives to represent Canadians living with arthritis. It’s been around since 2001. We advocate for all things arthritis, to educate and raise awareness, and for access to treatments (drugs and otherwise), often through partnerships. For example, we have recently submitted patient input to the Common Drug Review, which is part of getting a drug approved for provincial formularies. We represent the patient perspective about why it’s important to have new options to treat arthritis, and that even though some of these treatments are ve