|Name Of Column||Author||Title||Article Type|
|Musings From The President||Murray Allan||Profile Of Dutch||News & Events|
|Web Whispers Columnist||Marianne Peereboom||Dutch Assn Larys||Experiences|
|VoicePoints||Dr. Jeff Searl||ES Speech Today||Education-Med|
|News You Can Use||Scott Bachman||Maintain Your Records||Experiences|
|Living The Lary Lifestyle||Joan G. Burnside||Chapter 9||Education-Med|
|Between Friends||Donna McGary||Look Inward||Experiences|
|Roger's Ramblings||Roger Jordan||Katrina||Experiences|
|Bits, Buts, & Bytes||Dutch||Computer Tips||Experiences|
|New Members||Listing||Welcome||News & Events|
Murray's Mumbles ... Musings from the President
Profile of a WebWhispers Executive Committee Member
Having profiled Pat Sanders, Terry Duga, and Libby Fitzgerald it is now time to mention the man that made WebWhispers possible. I can say without reservation that without him you would not be reading this now. Our Founder is, of course, Lt. Col. David L. Helms, USAF, (Ret.) but he is known to one and all as "Dutch". He is also the WebWhispers Vice-President - Internet Activities and the permanent Webmaster "until fired" as he likes to say. Additionally, he was the first winner of our prestigious Casey-Cooper Laryngectomee of the Year award in 2001.
Dutch joined the rolls of laryngectomees in 1994. Prior to that his life had been full of activities that required a "normal" speaking voice. He was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio; received his BA in German and History from Heidelberg College and after limited graduate work at Ohio and Oklahoma Universities finally received his MA in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He was primarily a military pilot, a Vietnam veteran who flew 339 combat/combat-reconnaissance missions as an O-2A Forward Air Controller (FAC) in support of the 101st Airborne Division and was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. He was later an instructor pilot in the T-37 and T-38 aircraft, crewed the F-4E "Phantom II", and flew the F-104G with the German Air Force. Dutch was also a military air attache', a narrator, teacher, emcee for various events, and even sang in choirs, choruses and barbershop quartets. His entire life had revolved around the use of his natural voice, perhaps more than many of us. The loss of it was devastating and the thought of never being able to do these things again was totally beyond his imagination.
I believe that the real mark of a person is to be able to tell the truth even though it may cause some personal embarrassment. Dutch once wrote, " I simply could not imagine going through life without a VOICE. Thus, being told that a laryngectomy would be necessary, while I was still suffering from going through a divorce and having the next relationship end with a canceled wedding, really shocked my whole system. Lacking the nearby support of family and friends, this drove me deep into depression and to near suicide. I simply couldn't think of a reason to live. Luckily I got help and spent over a month in a military mental health facility "getting a grip on life" again. Afterwards, I pressed ahead with treatments and finally the laryngectomy."
I believe that many of us would be inclined to not mention that part as it may tend to show a personal weakness to some. This didn't bother Dutch. He told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and that's the mark of Dutch Helms. And his honesty, steadfastness, and integrity show through in all the things he has done in his work to create the beginnings of WebWhispers in 1996 with a small group of laryngectomees.
In 1998 WebWhispers was officially off the ground with an elected Executive Committee and the word spread and the larys came. In just a few years this web site had more than 1200 members including, larys, caregivers and professionals.
Dutch, through WebWhispers, has inspired countless numbers of individuals battling this devastating disease. He has made hundreds of cyber space friends and now as permanent Webmaster works tirelessly and relentlessly to supply the needed information, support, and guidance to those initially diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and to those living life as a laryngectomee.
Dutch has his home in El Lago, Texas, southeast of Houston near Johnson Space Center, where, in addition to THE computer, he has many hobbies including the delicate work of hand crafting 54mm military miniatures (what some erroneously call "toy soldiers"). His first love, of course, is WebWhispers and the amount of time and effort he has spent organizing it and operating it every day is truly amazing.
Dutch, we are very proud of you and as they say in Texas, "thanks much!".
BREAKING NEWS FROM THE IAL:
IAL 2006 will be held 19-22 July at the Hyatt Regency - Woodfield, Schaumburg, Illinois (Chicago area). Details will be available later on the IAL web site.
I wish you all the very best of everything.
Take care and stay well.
NSvG, the Dutch Association of Laryngectomees has our annual day every
year in October. The day starts with coffee and cake, then has an official
part which is never more then one and a half hour. Sometimes we have a
speaker but this year we had the promotion video of the lary swim clubs (2) we
have here in The Netherlands. Lunch is a buffet and dessert is served on
Our association is built up of 10 voice clubs which all come together under the Mother. Each voice club covers a part of the Netherlands. Every year is a new theme and this year it was meet and get to know each other. We were asked to promote the area where our own club is located to show the others what goes on in our area, what grows there, what the specialities are (like food or candy), buildings, history, or whatever else we wanted to tell about. We could show them famous buildings or other things of the area people might know about.
Each voice club had their own booth to use for doing this and it was amazing what came out. One booth was of people from the South West of The Netherlands, which is famous for shrimp and fish. One lady was all dressed up in the costume they wear there and she was peeling the shrimp. Another booth of a club of the North showed the famous 11 cities skate tour, had sausage and candy they make there. Another one has a city in the area which is the oldest city in the Netherlands. Their city came from a Roman army camp thousands of years ago. They built a Roman gate and were dressed up as Roman soldiers.
Our area is famous because of the cheese (Edam), tulip bulbs, sauerkraut they make here and the cabbage they grow on the land. This area also has many windmills, the beach on one side and the lake on the other. We have the Dutch navy with the harbor and many old cities, older than Amsterdam. There is a lot of culture in my area. We also have two villages Volendam and Marken where people still wear the traditional clothing. My husband was born and raised on Marken and his family still lives there.
My Mother in law has shelves full of clothes and she helped me to get my outfit. What I am wearing in the photo is the summer outfit but there are many more versions. Most of this clothing is very old, some even more than two hundred years and it goes from mother to daughter. They have a costume for the time of the year, when you get married, because someone passed away in the family and even that goes in stages. I have not had real Marken traditional clothing on for 23 years. Last time was when our marriage was announced in church, 2 weeks before we got married in 1982.
To get the people to the booth area ( the market as we called it) every booth had a question the people had to answer. The booths had a number and were not marked where they came from so the people had to guess what the clue was and where the people came from because of the way the booth was set up. I was dressed in this clothing and people had to guess that. In another booth they had to guess what kind of a fishing net it was, how many candies ( special) were in the bowl, how much the cookies ( special) had cost and so on. It was a huge hit, there where 365 people at the meeting and almost 200 had sent in the form. The person who had the most right answers had a prize and also the second and third runner up. Also, the best looking booth according to a jury won a prize.
My buddies and I spent a lot of time getting the stuff together. We have so many cultural things in the area, we had to make choices. If we had used names of cities, then people would know right away. We used pictures of statues, posters, flower bulbs to hand out, we had Navy Uniforms on a puppet, we had a model of a flat bottom ship that fishermen used. We had buckets and bags with sauerkraut, different kinds of cabbage, we showed the sea and the dunes that protect us ( we live at least 3 meters under sea level). We got a lot of information and DVD?s of the company that makes the plans to protect us from the sea. They built up the dunes, bringing in dams to guide the water another way so it won't wash away the beaches.
We had a windmill model, an old model of a train that used to run from one city to another but now serves as a tourist attraction and we handed out 8 pounds of Edam cheese. We also had a model of a ship that farmers used in the early days to bring potatoes, cabbage and other veggies to the place where they sold it. This was an auction place and they brought it all in by ship. The water went through the building so the ships came in, the people bought the stuff, they unloaded it on the other side and out they went again. This was VERY special for me because my Grandfather used to come to this place and, as little girl, I had been there with him. I must have been 3 or 4 years old but I still remember it. The place is still there and is a museum now where people still can buy things. We got pictures of the old days and one of them had my Grandfather on it. Almost everything we had in the booth was given to us by either companies (bulbs and sauerkraut) or museums and people loaned us their models of old Dutch houses and the Navy uniforms. We only bought the cheese and the sand for the dunes.
I also sent in a picture of my two children dressed up in traditional Marker clothing. My son wears the male outfit that adult men wear. My daughter is wearing the clothes that girls use to wear when they were getting married but this particular outfit is at least 200 years old and people were a lot smaller then so we needed to dress her up before she was too grown up. Small details on her and my clothes, there is not a button on it. Everything is held together by hooks and eyes, pins and strings.
This lovely day was gone in no time and it was a great success. People got to meet and talk to each other, got out of their chairs and walked around and, in the end, we were running out of time with so much to see.
? 2005 Dr. Jeff Searl ]
coordinated by Dr. Jeff Searl, Associate Professor ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Hearing and Speech Department, The University of Kansas Medical Center
MS3039, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160
1) laying out all three of the primary alaryngeal speech communication options in an unbiased way, and
2) being ready to actually offer training in any or all of the three options.
|Speech Process Issues||Artificial Larynx Speech||Esophageal Speech||TE Speech|
(use of an oral adaptor can cause interference)
|Visual Acuity Requirement||
|Finger/Hand/Arm Dexterity Requirement||
Requires ability to hold, activate, and manipulate device controls (use of within-the-oral-cavity devices can mitigate this requirement)
|No special requirement||
assumes the duty
Table 2. Comparison of artificial larynx, esophageal, and tracheoesophageal speech in terms of how the speech sounds.
|Speech Product Issues||Artificial Larynx Speech||Esophageal Speech||TE Speech|
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
|Mechanical/unnatural; less preferred than laryngeal; generally less preferred quality than ES or TE||Glottal fry, hoarse, rough, wet, breathy; less preferred than laryngeal and TE||Glottal fry, hoarse, rough, wet, breathy; generally, less deviant than ES and EL, but less preferred than laryngeal|
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
|Determined by device used ? some are adjustable||Lower than TES and laryngeal speakers||
Lower than laryngeal speakers, but not as low as ES
|Restricted primarily by the device used||Restricted relative to laryngeal and TEP; greater than EL||Restricted relative to laryngeal; greater than ES and EL|
|Adjustable ? potentially louder than ES, TES and laryngeal speech||Less intense than laryngeal, EL and TEP||Variable from less than, equal to, to greater than laryngeal; greater than ES|
9, 20, 21, 22
|Equal to/possibly faster than laryngeal, ES and TEP||Slower than laryngeal, EL, and TEP||Comparable to laryngeal; faster than ES|
23, 24, 25, 26, 27
Less than laryngeal, TE
and ES in high signal-noise situations
Higher than TE and ES in Noise
|Less than laryngeal and TE, generally||Less than laryngeal; Greater than ES and EL (except in noise?)|
"success" in attaining
25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33
|Generally, a fairly high success rate (large percentage of users)||Generally considered to have the lowest of the three||Typically higher than ES; also higher than EL (?)|
1Merwin, Goldstein and Rothman
2Beudin, Meltzman, Doyle & Hillman (2004) 13Bennett & Weinberg (1973) 24Damste (1975)
3Clark & Stemple (1982) 14Martin & Wiig (1980) 25Hillman, Walsh, Wolf, Fisher & Hong (1998)
4Tardy-Mitzell, Andrews & Bowman (1985) 15Trudeau (1994) 26Blom et al. (1986)
5Trudeau (1987) 16Smith, Weinberg & Horii (1980) 27Pindzola & Cain (1988)
6Blood (1984) 17Zeine & Brandt (1988) 28Culton & Gerwin (1998)
7Snidecor & Curry (1960) 18Blood (1981) 29Anderson (2000)
8Weinberg & Bennett (1972) 19Max, Steurs & de Bruyn (1996) 30Koike et al. (2002)
9Robbins, Fisher, Blom & Singer (1984) 20Salmon (2005) 31Singer et al. (1981)
10Trudeau & Qi (1990) 21Fisher & Hong (1998) 32Hamaker et al. (1985)
11Ng, Lerman & Gilbert (1998) 22Pauloski (1998) 33Mehta et al. (1995)
Table 3. Comparison of artificial larynx, esophageal and tracheoesophageal speech in terms of the therapy process and other issues.
and other Issues
|Artificial Larynx Speech||Esophageal Speech||TE Speech|
|Onset of Therapy Post Surgery||Earliest of the alaryngeal options (within 2-3 days post-surgery)||Later than EL, similar to TEP||Later than EL, similar to ES|
|Duration of the Therapeutic Process to Functional Speech||Shorter than ES; similar to or longer than TEP||Longest of the alaryngeal options||Shorter than ES, often shorter than EL|
|Cognitive Demands for Learning||Comparable to TEP||Somewhat greater than EL and TEP||
Comparable to EL
|Cost||Less than TEP; similar to or less than EL?||Less than TEP; similar to or more than EL?||Most Expensive|
|Availability of Qualified SLP Services||In urban settings and hospitals, SLPs are generally available to provide this service; services in rural areas are less commonly available (though more so than for ES and TEP)||Fewer SLPs familiar with ES training these days in any setting||In urban settings and larger hospitals, SLPs are generally available to provide this service; services in rural areas for TEP care are much less common|
|On-going maintenance of device/prosthetic||Yes (infrequent)||No||Yes (daily cleaning; removal & reinsertion of prosthesis by patient or SLP)|
|Reliance on SLP post-acquisition of speech||No||No||Yes ? particularly if using indwelling device|
REPORTS FROM ROBOCOP?S REPOSITORY
News You Can Use ... by Officer Scott Bachman
MAINTAIN YOUR RECORDS
TIP # 81: ALERT MEDICS WITH MEDICALERT
Wearing a MedicAlert bracelet is one link in your chain of safety precautions. When emergency personnel spot your bracelet, they will at the very least, be aware that something is different. When you get your bracelet, you?ll also get stickers for your door and car.
JB?s note: MedicAlert http://www.medicalert.org/ wants to know all of your ?conditions,? so my bracelet lists voice prosthesis, neck breather, mild htn. It looks very cluttered and not very readable. When I reorder I will specify that I want just neckbreather listed, so it will stand out.
TIP # 82: BE WARY OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
Dairy products may stimulate mucus production in your mouth, esophagus and lungs, thus interfering with your voice, swallowing, prosthesis, and HME. Try cutting back and see if it helps.
JB?s note: I had been using a lot of half&half, whole milk, whipped cream and ice cream in an effort to maintain my weight. I also had a lot of mucus complicating my speaking. After I cut way back, I saw a great improvement in just two days. It has continued. Now I drink soy milk.
TIP # 83: REAL MEN COVER THEIR STOMAS
Covering your stoma protects you from accidents that could happen to anyone but have proven life threatening to Larys. After all, why bother with a laryngectomy, if you won?t bother with this basic precaution? Another reason for coverage is simple courtesy, even though the FEDEX guy has probably seen everything.
JB?s note: I keep a ?dickey? by the front door, in case someone comes while I am in the middle of a maintenance procedure.
TIP # 84: REDUCE THE ?UNDERWATER? SOUND
If you sound like you?re talking underwater, it?s possible that you have developed little pouches in your esophagus that are collecting mucus and causing the problem. Try pulling your head back or turning it to the left or right. That may compress whatever is causing the problem. Or you may just be talking through mucus, a problem that usually diminishes over time, sooner, rather than later, for some of us. But do mention it to your SLP or doctor.
TIP # 85: TREAT YOURSELF TO BISCOTTI
If you crave pastry but it turns to glue in your mouth, try biscotti.
This Italian invention is a very hard, crusty, sweet bread that has been baked, sliced, and baked again. You dip it into your coffee or tea and bite off the wet part. It is easy to swallow. It works better than pie crust or cake, because the tongue can move the crumbs along more easily to your esophagus. You can try a single piece at a coffee shop, then buy a whole package at the grocery store if you like it.
JB?s note: Santa left a piece wrapped in cellophane in my Christmas stocking, so it was just good fortune that I discovered another way to make up for my food deprivation. Since then, I?ve also found that the cheaper biscotti is not as crumbly and turns gluey in my mouth.
TIP # 86: UNSTICK YOUR STUCK PILL
Try chasing your pill with a swallow of yogurt or a piece of heavily buttered bread. Of course lots of water will help dissolve it and make it swallowable. One of the few benefits of being a Lary is that a stuck pill can?t have ?gone down the wrong tube.? You might be able to prevent sticking pills if you swallow water first to lead the way. If you?re in the habit of tossing your head back to swallow pills, you could be making the opening to your esophagus smaller, complicating the swallow. So tuck your chin in.
TIP # 87: KEEP YOUR STOMA NOISE DOWN
If you have this, it?s left over from your pre-Lary days when you exhaled to speak. When you use an electrolarynx, exhaling has nothing to do with speaking. Control it by exhaling more softly. The noise is very distracting to the listener. If you can?t make this work by yourself, ask your SLP for help in finding a remedy for the problem.
TIP # 88: FIND THE LOST ?H? SOUND
It won?t be the same, but it will help. One way is to simply prolong the vowel sound that follows the H sound you would have liked to say. Also if you take a tiny pause, just before you say the word, it prevents the last sound of the previous word from becoming the first sound of the H-word. The last and best idea is to start to make the K sound, but don?t quite complete it. It may sound a little like a foreign accent. In fact, if you learned to make a French R sound in high school, you?ll have the idea. I?ve been told that you?ll get it more easily if you speak German, too.
JB?s note: Remember Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady? Her H problem didn?t have the same cause, but her practicing was a super example. ?How do you do?? Make up your own list of words, then two word phrases for practice.
TIP # 89: TAKE CARE OF YOUR CAREGIVER
We think and say that we could never repay those who have helped us so much, especially during the early days after the surgery. But we can. The best repayment can start with doing things for ourselves as soon as possible, even if only part of it and even if it seems to take forever. Relieving any part of the burden is good payback. Or maybe there is some little thing that has always been your caregiver?s job. Try doing that. Not only will you be helping your partner, you?ll be rehabilitating yourself in the process.
JB?s note: In the waiting areas at MD Anderson, one sees many pairs of people, but some of them stand out because one person is obviously the secretary, valet, water bottle carrier, groomer and dispenser of tissues and snacks for the other. And this is even before diagnosis and treatment! You can see how easy it is to get over your head in debt to your caregiver. (Hope you?re not the guy whose wife is still shaving him, after he?s well enough to go to a convention!)
TIP # 90: ORDER ON-LINE AND SAVE $$$
At least one vendor gives free shipping if you order online. If you?re calling orders in to your vendor, ask if they offer free shipping for on-line ordering. At $12 a pop, which insurance companies and Medicare will not pay, it?s a significant saving over a year?s time. Plus, it?s very convenient to order this way.
Was Robert Frost right about going through? What have you had to just go ahead and do after laryngectomy? Are you able to help your caregiver out yet? Or have you gotten way past that point? Are you doing anything to compensate for the lost H sound? Do you have your MedicAlert bracelet yet? And how?s the mucus interference coming along? Your notebook pages are a great place to write and draw, and to staple or paste in your WebWhispers e-mail. Believe it or not, in the weeks and months ahead, you?ll enjoy looking back at these.
I have a confession to make. I know I should be grateful I am alive
and relatively healthy (and I am grateful). I know I should appreciate the
Servox technology (and I do) and I should be happy that most of the people
understand me very well, most of the time (and I am happy in a rueful sort of
way). But I am not content and what?s worse, I am fast getting sick of the
sound of my own voice. When it was all new and I had been without a voice for
the better part of 18 months, I loved my new voice and my family and friends
were thrilled with it. We made fun of it and me and my non-stop chatter in the
same relieved way people make delirious fun of a loved one who has just given
them a terrible scare.
That was two and a half years ago and the novelty has worn off. Instead of becoming more comfortable with ?my voice?, I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable and impatient. I loathe talking on the telephone. I tolerate it grudgingly with family and friends and avoid it if at all possible (even when not practical) with strangers. I am not becoming a recluse. Far from it; since moving back to my home state of Maine I am spending more time with my family and old friends and I am still working and maintaining contacts and friendships in my old community outside of Boston.
Yet I feel a palpable sense of relief when, at the end of the day, I can go back to my little condo and take that damned cord from off around my neck and stick my Servox in the battery charger. I have found myself thinking, ?Good, now I won?t have to talk at all until tomorrow.? There are days I wake up thinking ?I don?t have to talk to anyone today?. Before you start wondering if I am depressed or some such other thing, you need to know, these thoughts are not troubling to me but are pleasurable.
I am becoming an introvert. Now, if you know me personally, you will undoubtedly be rolling your eyes and snorting ?As if!? And, certainly, I am not now nor ever will be, a true introvert! But I am becoming more introspective. I like the sound of my own voice in my own head. It still sounds like me with out all that distracting buzz and lack of inflection. I can sing in my head, I can do voices and accents and tell poignant tales and funny stories. I can project my voice across a crowded room and make you sit up and listen. I am so surprised sometimes when I do talk aloud, that all that is missing.
It occurs to me that this is not unlike aging. My dad and I have a favorite passage from a book by Ben Ames Williams. Come Spring is an historical novel published in 1940 (and still celebrated in our neck of the woods) about the early settlers of Union, Maine. It follows one family?s struggles from their sea passage from England through the Indian and Revolutionary Wars. I highly recommend it even if you never have visited Fort Western and wouldn?t know the Kennebec River from the Penobscot! This quote is from the end of the novel - it is the conversation between our once young couple who made the journey from England separately and now are reflecting on the birth of yet another healthy grandchild.
??I think sometimes getting old is like a candle burning down. A young one grows up and the first thing he knows he?s in love and marrying; and you can see something new in his eyes, deep and strong. That?s like a candle when you first light it, standing up so straight and white and slim and fine; and the flame?s real pretty to look at.
But, the candle burns on. Maybe it melts crooked, but the flame stays just the same shape and brightness. Maybe if the wind blows, the flame flutters some; but when the wind stops, the flame?s just the same again. The candle keeps a-burning, and the tallow runs down the sides of it, and it gets all lumpy and out of shape like a woman after she?s had babies for twenty years or a man who likes his victuals.
But the candle still burns bright and pretty. The candle gets shorter and stumpier till there ain?t hardly anything left of it; but the flame?s still there, burning bright, brave and clear, right down to the very end.?
This is what our modern culture has codified and yet somehow nullified, when we say ?you are only as old as you feel?. But that is a lie. You are as old as you are and no matter how young you act or dress or think or sound, you cannot cheat time anymore than I can cheat cancer. It has taken its toll, just like time. My face is no longer smooth and my voice is no longer sweet. But in my mind?and on the page?I can still summon that vision of my truest self.
That is, I think the elegance of this passage. I am both the flame and the wax. I am both the old voice and the new eloquence. It is, unfortunate perhaps, that the old voice could not speak with the new eloquence, but that is the way of life. Would that we could all be twenty-five with the wisdom of fifty.
by Roger Jordan (Laryngectomy - 1993)
From The Editors:
We had a wonderful article prepared from Roger telling of the beautiful sights and attractions that you would be expected to see along the Gulf Coast when IAL 2006 would be held in Biloxi, MS. We went from being excited about the great plans for next year to mourning the tragedy the Katrina wrought. We hoped Roger had fared better than what we were seeing on TV with the coverage of Katrina and we did receive this message from him as soon as he was able to return home and communication was available. (By the way, IAL 2006 will now be held in Chicago, Illinois, 19-22 July.) Welcome back, Roger!!
I have been out of touch until last night due to no cable service and therefore no Internet access. I signed up for satellite TV yesterday afternoon and of course cable service returned with in the hour..
Now for a status report: Joy and I returned home from Chattanooga on Sept 21st. Had a lot of trees down in yard but only minor roof damage and one small broken window in master bath over tub. Power had been restored before we returned and water was safe to drink but the destruction in this area was unbelievable. Diamondhead is a small community of about 4500 homes and condos. We lost an estimated 10 to 12 thousand trees, mostly large pines. The smaller trees were more flexible and fared better. I had no pines on my lot, but had 5 from the lot next door in my yard, all over 100 ft tall. Fortunately, all missed my house. I also lost 2 pin oaks and one very large live oak. Diamondhead has a lot less shade than before Katrina!
The beach front highway is still restricted to emergency vehicles and residents of the immediate area so I have not personally traveled on it, but have been close enough to see what happened and have seen many local TV reports (Rabbit ears to the rescue.) The highway itself buckled in places. All of the casinos along the Gulf were destroyed except for the Beau Rivage, the largest and newest, and it suffered extensive damage but announced yesterday that they plan a "Grand Reopening" for New Year's Eve THIS year.
The legislature passed a bill Monday allowing rebuilding the casinos on land rather than over the water as they were before Katrina and all of them plan to do so as quickly as possible. None of the hotels suffered extensive damage above the first two floors, in fact most are being rented by FEMA for temporary housing of emergency workers. The Isle of Capri announced yesterday that they will move the casino to the hotel building until a new facility can be built and estimate 9 months for completion. The state also announced plans to award contracts for the two major bridges on Hwy 90 to be awarded by December with completion by summer of 2007. But plans also call for one lane in each direction to be open by summer of 2006. The airport is fully functional, although flights are reduced due to the loss of casino traffic.
The VA hospital in Biloxi had very minor damage, mostly downed trees in the area and has been fully operational for several weeks. Both of the SLP's, Penny Bise and Connie Byrne, as well as the Head of ENT, Dr. Arnaud Hebert lost their homes, but all will rebuild. (Connie's mind was taken off of her troubles by the birth of another grandson to her son and his wife living in London, so she flew to the UK to greet the new arrival.) None of the members of the Gulf Coast Nu Voice Club were injured, although several had extensive damage to homes and apartments.
Hurricanes can be a bit more devastating than even I thought. My previous guide had been Betsy in 65 and Camille in 69. Someone recently commented that Camille killed more people in 05 than she did in 69, and it is quite true. I can't count the times I have heard that, "My house didn't flood in Camille, so I thought I would be OK." The benchmark killed a lot of those folks.
Highway 603 in Hancock County connects I-10 to US 90. It is relatively high ground compared to the areas on each side, so many have had the habit of moving their vehicles from nearby homes and businesses to the shoulders of 603. Those vehicles were ALL washed into the ditch on each side of the road. They looked like a poorly organized salvage yard all in piles of junk. And that road is over 7 miles from the Coast.
The trees that fell in my front and side yards were removed to the cul d' sac at the end of my street a couple of weeks ago. Thursday, the clean up crews from Diamondhead arrived to pick up the street side debris. It took them 7 hours with 2 huge front end loaders and 2 large 18 wheel tractor trailers. And the trailers were filled several times. The pile of debris was about 15 ft high and about 40 ft in diameter.
Roger's House - After Storm
Houses just around the corner from mine, on the Bayou and over 25 ft above the normal high water mark had as much as 7 ft of water in them. Unlike in New Orleans, the water drained out quickly, but the carpets, furniture, and appliances on the first floor were destroyed and wound up in curbside piles.
I have seen war zones. Some areas of the coast were comparable. Over 50 miles of coast line were flattened, the bridges on I-10 from New Orleans to Slidell were totally destroyed, as was the bridge from Ocean Springs to Biloxi on US 90, over 50 miles apart. Trees were down along I-59 to north of Meridian, MS, over 100 miles from the coast. The strength of the storm didn't surprise me. The breadth of it surprised everyone. It is almost 80 miles from New Orleans to Ocean Springs and the destruction along the water between them was total.
To sum it all up, the coast is rebuilding as rapidly as possible. The State has placed banners over many local roads reading "Thanks, Y'all". I want to echo that for all of the prayers and help we have received here from all over the country and, indeed, the world. My biggest regret is not being able to be in Boston with all of you. But since I am now back in the 21st century with communication once again open, things will improve rapidly.
Roger Jordan, Lary class of 93
Bits, Buts, & Bytes
(1) Methinks we've grown a bit!
As some may recall, we first started calling ourselves WebWhispers when we opened the "automated" email list (ListServ) in February of 1998 with about 124 participants (100 laryngectomees/caregivers and 24 medical professionals). Our organization then officially became incorporated as the "WebWhispers Nu Voice Club" in September of 1998.
At the end of that year we had attained 216 laryngectomee and caregiver members throughout North America and abroad with an additional 50 medical & medical support personnel - for a total of about 266. Of these, 206 (95%) participated on our Mail List.
Now, seven years later, after adding members and also losing some members through "passing on", other illnesses, invalid Email addresses, individual choices, etc., we now have grown to approximately 1,160+ laryngectomee-caregiver members and about 227 medical/medical support and vendor members worldwide - for a total now nearing 1,400!! Of these, about 1,110 (80%) participate on our Mail List.
My personal thanks go out to all the officers, contributing members, and general members who have made this growth possible as we continue our outreach to the laryngectomee community. God bless you all!
(2) What is your "FICO"? Should you care?
First, YES, you should care! This is especially true if your "larynx cancer experience" has significantly altered your income, savings, investments, etc., and/or caused you financial hardships.
Your "FICO" is your three-digit credit score, between 300 and 850, and named after the company that created it, Fair Isaac Corporation. Lenders use this score to determine what interest rates you pay. The lower the score, the MORE you pay. Scores above 700 get the best rates. Lenders also use this score to decide whether to approve your credit application, whether to increase your credit limit, and how to treat you if you make a very late payment. Your FICO score is not determined by your age or income, but rather by your past use of credit, as recorded by agencies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Some say up to 80% of agency credit reports contain errors. To make sure YOUR credit report is accurate, you can now order a FREE annual copy from each agency
To illustrate the importance of your "FICO", an October 2005 survey by "Parade Magazine" revealed a snapshot of what borrowers with varying credit scores nationwide were charged, on average, on a $200,000, 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage. The difference in cost between the highest FICO score and the lowest FICO score eligible for this loan was a whopping $478.00 a month, or $5,756.00 a year - which added up to $172,221.00 over the life of the loan!! See below examples:
APR Monthly Payment
Total Interest Paid Over 30 Years
(3) QUESTION: I have heard that some printers embed a secret coded dot pattern on each printed page, and that if you decode the dots, you can determine the owner of the printer and the exact time the page was printed. That like a privacy violation -- is it true?"
ANSWER: Yes, it's true. In an effort to snare counterfeiters, the
ListServ "Flame Warriors"
In a perpetual personal feud,
generally don't menace anyone but each other, unless,
Above courtesy of Mike Reed
See more of his work at: http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/
Welcome To Our New Members:
would like to welcome all new laryngectomees, caregivers and
professionals to WebWhispers! There is much information to be gained from the
site and from suggestions submitted by our members on the Email lists. If you
have any questions or constructive criticism please contact Pat or Dutch at
We welcome the 33 new members who joined us during October 2005:
Briarcliff Manor, NY
Jack Briner - Caregiver
Nora Criswell - Caregiver
Mary Decoite - Caregiver
Discovery Bay, CA
Eric Dolinger - SLP
Karen Griffin - Vendor
Debra Hansen - Caregiver
Fort Myers, FL
Lynn Haven, FL
Diane Jordan - Caregiver
Virginia Beach, VA
Jerry Marler, Sr.
Bossier City, LA
Mandy Pietropaolo - SLP
Ananth Shenoy - Larynx Cancer Patient
Noida, U.P., India
Viola May Sells
North East, MD
Robert J. Smiley
Port St. John, FL
College Station, TX
Dr. Dana Thomas - SLP
Tina Wilkie - SLP
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Diane E. Williams
Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Punta Gorda, FL
WebWhispers is an Internet-based laryngectomee support group.
It is a member of the International Association of Laryngectomees.
The current officers are:
Pat Sanders............VP - Web Information
Terry Duga.........VP - Finance and Admin.
Libby Fitzgerald.....VP - Member Services
Dutch Helms............VP - Internet Services
WebWhispers welcomes all those diagnosed with cancer of the
larynx or who have lost their voices for other reasons, their
caregivers, friends and medical personnel. For complete information
on membership or for questions about this publication, contact
Dutch Helms at: email@example.com
? 2005 WebWhispers