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Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
      05/29/13 10:08 PM

Reged: 10/15/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA


Please forgive me if I insult your intelligence, or seem to ramble on, but what you've asked gives me many ideas, in case any of them seem potentially helpful to you.

The first thing I'll mention because I think, if available, it could open doors to many other things you might find useful. Before I wound up on disability I worked as a medical-social Case Manager here in the States, don't know if there'd be another term for it in Australia. Social worker maybe? Client Advocate? Case Worker? Here sometimes they work for doctors' offices, clinics, group medical practices, or hospitals; but often also for community-based organizations involved with community health or healthcare issues. Research has found that with patients with multiple health issues like us, having a CM help them to access and coordinate their healthcare, even in the case of relatively short prognoses (my clients had HIV/AIDS), literally can add years to their lives. I'm not advertising or promising, it's just that the reason this is, is that as you describe well, multiple issues can aggravate each other, bring in mental health difficulties too like depression, stress, and anxiety, that end up reducing a patient's utilization of available healthcare services that might prolong their lives AS WELL AS improve their quality of life. (Here too, sometimes health insurance companies have so-called case managers, but often they seem more like gatekeepers than helping-professionals, trying to save their company money over helping the patient, so if you can find one that isn't employed or contracted by a private insurance company, that might be better for you than one who is ... though even the insurance CM's aren't totally useless!)

You mentioned that costs are a problem for you. Sometimes CM's are able to negotiate on the patient's behalf with private insurance or government agencies to help get services one couldn't afford otherwise. They often are also aware of other sources of financial or other assistance that might be available, and might be able to help the patient obtain them. As for paying for the CM him-/herself, their services might be covered by insurance, government, or private charities, it depends on the CM -- my services were covered by U.S. government Medicaid and special HIV/AIDS-services funding, and probably supplemented by donations to the charity I worked for too.

Apart from CM's, I've found both as a CM myself, and later as a consumer of public welfare/disability resources, that even the government "welfare workers" can often help a patient connect with multiple sources of help. And sometimes mental health counselors/therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists will be able to help one connect with other community resources also.

Australia might even have charities dedicated to helping people with certain medical conditions; I once had an online friend from Melbourne whose mother had a rare disease that was helped by one.

Specifically regarding your major concerns:

1. Is breast-reduction surgery a possibility? I've heard of women whose breasts were so large, esp. relative to the rest of their bodies, other health issues, etc., that reduction took alot of stress off their backs and such. From that perspective, being 5'2" with an Australian F-cup, I'm not a doctor but I'd presume you'd be a prime candidate for the surgery, medically speaking. It might even make a general, all-over difference for you, physically and even emotionally.

2. What about *suspenders* (maybe you call them trouser braces?) to help hold up pants, slacks, skirts, etc.? Or wearing overalls? ( Or dresses? I'm thinking, things that hold clothing up other than around the waist, or clothes that don't need to be held up around the waist. You also mentioned that you can't afford new clothes: What about 'used' clothes? Here in the States we can get them cheap at places/from organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries, etc. Sometimes even other charities, churches, community organizations, etc., have clothing drives.

3. As for gym memberships and pools, what about public pools or gyms? Many here are owned and operated by the local city, town, or county government, paid for by tax dollars, and free for use by community residents/guests. I've read that pool-based exercises can be very helpful for people with many different health difficulties; buoyancy in the water can make them easier in some ways than exercising 'on land,' as well as providing a sort of resistance training just by moving one's limbs through water instead of just "thin air." They might even have water-exercise groups for elders or people with disability, to provide instruction, contact with others, etc.

Since you mentioned the religious problem for yourself and your ancestors, are you Aboriginal/Indigenous? or another racial or ethnic group? There might be Aboriginal- (or other-) oriented organizations, community groups, charities, or social services you could turn to in addition to the above. I know the Indian Health Service here -- a government agency established by Treaty -- is reputed to have alot of problems ... but I also know for many folks it's all they've got to turn to. (I'm Mixed-Blood myself.) Or something like our Tribal-Government or Reservation social services? community-oriented newspapers/websites or activist groups, even political parties, that might have helpful information?

I'll also add that at least here, not all religious-oriented groups or offers of assistance require that one "join" or "pray" (or pretend) in order to get help from them, in case that's an issue. It's hard to generalize, esp. half a world away, but I'd think Anglican and Catholic entities, being among the largest religious groups in Australia, as well as not as completely conservative as some others, would be least likely to impose such requirements. For what it's worth....

Last but not least, local elected representatives' offices here also often try to point a person in helpful directions: I mean such as city councillors, state or federal representatives and senators, town hall/city hall, municipal government offices, mayors' offices, etc.

I hope this is helpful, or gives you some ideas.


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Entire thread
* Fitness AND dressing issues
12/31/12 08:28 AM
* Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
05/29/13 10:08 PM
* Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
06/19/13 11:14 PM
* Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
01/22/13 07:16 AM
* Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
03/20/13 03:31 PM
* Re: Fitness AND dressing issues
07/19/13 11:36 AM

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