Friday, February 27, 2009

Disability and Regular Healthcare

Tonight I found out another mom in our group has ovarian cancer, the same one who had a life-threatening infection. What's in our water here anyway? Everyone's getting gynecological and thyroid cancers lately; my grandfather's cousin also has ovarian cancer.

For both women and men, even if you are having other health problems, please don't skip your regular office visits and report any unusual symptoms. Having a lot of radiology tests that use injectable dyes--CT scans, bone scans, MRIs--and all the x-rays many of us had when we were younger on older equipment increase the chance of cancer. It's unfortunate that having one illness doesn't make people immune from others.

Call around to see if you can find a doctor with a height-adjustable table. For women, some doctors can also do exams from the wheelchair. 39% of doctors have tables that adjust. While a decade ago most mammography machines were not wheelchair accessible, many now are. Again, call in advance. Other radiology equipment can be more problematic in terms of transfers. Changing rooms at many radiology centers are not big enough for wheelchairs or scooters, but restrooms and most radiology rooms except MRI can be used for changing.

For those who don't have insurance, there are low cost clinics that accept people who don't have insurance and have a sliding fee scale. One source for information is: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

There aren't that many near us and I imagine they're overcrowded, but it's an additional resource.

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