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The number of Americans who suffer from pain is astounding.  Recent figures reveal that “an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults had chronic pain and 8.0% of U.S. adults had high-impact chronic pain.  Both were more prevalent among adults living in poverty, adults with less than a high school education, and adults with public health insurance.” The cost of medicine, lost productivity, and disability programs have climbed to $560 billion each year.  1

The difference between these types of pain is important to understand.  “Acute pain is provoked by a specific disease or injury, serves a useful biologic purpose, is associated with skeletal muscle spasm and sympathetic nervous system activation, and is self-limited. Chronic pain, in contrast, may be considered a disease state.  It is pain that outlasts the normal time of healing, if associated with a disease or injury.  Chronic pain may arise from psychological states, serves no biologic purpose, and has no recognizable end-point.“ 

Despite the attention pain management attracts, current research indicates many treatments are inadequate for several reasons:  (1) many patients do not trust the knowledge they get from healthcare professionals, (2) consultations with patients are rushed, (3) general practitioners put pain relief as a low priority, (4) pain specialists do not believe that this is a disease in its own right, (5) healthcare workers skills are not fully utilized, and (6) psychological therapy is usually delayed and even too late to do any good.  3

Most pain management programs encourage users to take medications that have unwanted side effects.  As a contrast, holistic pain management focuses on a body’s internal functions, “triggering natural healing and releasing endorphins, your body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals.”  4

We have members at BIND who have tried different methods to manage or alleviate their pain.  A number of these members claim they are “still a work in process.”

I can only focus on a few good examples.  Half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.  It is the leading cause of disability, and it is the most common reason for missed work.  Americans spend at least $50 billion each year treating back pain.  5

Here is one that I have had several bouts with for my leg and thigh.  Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. 

In my case, I had a herniated disk, or bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine that pinches part of the nerve.  The pain is intense.  I took treatments from both a pain doctor and a chiropractor, whom I made sure did not know each other.  The pain doctor used Morphine, Hydrocodone, and Tramadol, which I still use daily.  The chiropractor used decompression to separate the bone from the nerve.  This is not a quick treatment, and that can take as much as six months to see any results.  

Here are some observations from our members at BIND:

“I have been seeing a chiropractor for 2 years.  Shortly after I started seeing him, I noticed that I was sleeping better, reduced headaches, and it has improved my spine alignment.”  Carrie 

“Thankfully I’m not riddled with pain.  I do prefer a more homeopathic approach when available.  I have found Arnica Montana which has both topical and sublingual pellets.  Works great – it’s also helpful in alleviating minor strains and sprains.  I use CBD pain serum topically.” Annette K

It is not always possible to prevent sciatica.  The suggestions for treatment are to exercise regularly, maintain proper posture when you sit, and use good body mechanics.  If you stand for long periods, you will be told to rest one foot on a stool or small box occasionally.  I have also taken steroid injections and acupuncture, with disappointing results.  6, 7

What are some other sources for managing pain? 

DO’s (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) and MD’s (Doctor of Medicine) are both physicians who can practice in any area of medicine.  “Of the 860,917 physicians actively practicing in the United States in 2015, 67.1% hold an MD degree granted in the U.S., 24.3% are international medical graduates, and 7.6% hold a DO degree.” 8 Many are primary care doctors.  Both can prescribe medication and train to do surgery.Osteopathic doctors get extra training in the muscles, bones, and joints. DO’s learn osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), which means that they use their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness and injury.  They apply techniques such as gentle pressure, stretching, restoring range of motion, and encourage good health.  9, 10

Massage Therapy compliments chiropractic care. In many cases, massage therapists and chiropractors use the same location or office.  Massage is another natural way to relieve pain.  Many patients believe that a massage will reduce stress, internally relax the body, and promote safe healing.  

Other pain relief options include Meditation and Relaxation.  Several of our members at BIND have testified that these techniques are often helpful to fight pain caused by stress.  Simple exercises release natural endorphins, which combat pain.  You can easily find sources that document the fact some daily exercise even reduces heart disease risk, controls blood sugar levels, and helps to lose weight.  

In summary, no one wants to live in pain.  While there are options for how to take care of yourself, there are barriers, including lack of adequate insurance and other factors.  Some of these involve transportation, lifestyle habits, family support, financial pressures, just to name a few.  For 19 years, I taught foreigners from many places all over the world.  Many times, they remarked, “Americans have the greatest chance to live and survive in a healthy way but so many of our citizens do not have access to it.” Sad!  

~ Karl K, BIND Member









8              :2016 Physician Specialty Data Book”.  Association of American Medical Colleges



Caregiver Spotlight

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By Karl K

Our Caregiver of the quarter is Jerry Holliday. He celebrated his 80th birthday this year. Jerry has three children, and the youngest is Jeff, who is a member at BIND. Jerry lives with Jeff, who is now 40 years old. He has been widowed since 2009.

Jerry served in the US Army, and then started his career in photocopy printing. He was a proud member of his union for 14 years, and when he moved to Houston, he worked for the Houston Post. Afterwards, he worked in the oil and gas industry, in on and offshore rigs. Jerry has been now retired nine years. Since he wakes up early, he drives UBER a few times a week.

Jerry has two hobbies – bass fishing and golf. He does not get to play as much he wants, due to a leg injury. He also knows a lot about old-time baseball players and events.

On a typical day, Jerry does housework, cooking, and takes care of the yard. You may have seen their new family dog on Facebook. Jerry helps Jeff monitor his medicines. He takes Jeff to the doctor as needed, and now they are concerned about his upcoming MRI.

Jerry is a big fan of BIND. He thinks that Jeff has benefited by getting around people and is excited about getting to run morning meetings and organizing walks. They are both also active in an Ataxia group, While Jeff can be online, his preference is to meet in person.

Be sure to meet Jerry online for the next Caregiver Meeting on August 11 at 2:00 p.m. Congratulations on this honor!

Preparing for Surgery

By Uncategorized

About a year ago I had a hip injury while exercising, so as an athlete, I pushed through the pain for as long as I could. I was nervous to learn that I needed surgery to repair the damage, especially considering my seizure disorder. I finally had the surgery to repair the torn ligament, so that I could get back out on the hiking trails.  Fortunately, I had time to prepare for the surgery and this allowed my family and I to make certain preparations beforehand. Knowing the recovery time to be at least 9 months and knowing a disruption to my schedule would be difficult, we planned ahead. Here are a few of the things I learned that were super helpful:

Preparing the body:

I worked with my medical team beforehand– like my neurologist, to try to reduce my seizures and my PT to learn exercises, and how to use assistive devices (like my crutches).   I made sure I ate well, drank plenty of fluids and RESTED prior to my big day.  I cut back on sugary treats, drank less coffee, and reduced my exercise plans. I wrote down my usual routines, so that I would remember all the important things I do every day, (like taking my meds and making coffee, of course), and so that my partner could help me out. I made a list of all the things for my surgery day so I would be as comfortable as possible (see photo below)

Preparing the mind:

I spoke with a mental health professional about my concerns and fears. For example, what if I have a seizure during my surgery? What if I wake up and can’t remember who I am?  How will my behavior affect my relationship with my partner? I increased my mindfulness practices to prepare for hours and days unable to do my normal routines (like meditation with Lynn hosted by BIND on Zoom.) I worked on my patience and how to ask for help. I slowly did less around the house and asked my partner to take over things that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do for months, such as cooking and cleaning.

Preparing the home (I had a lot of help from my partner on this):

We made several frozen meals ahead of time and made sure I had all my medications refilled.

We set up the shower, moved furniture to make space and put things in reach that I might need

We figured out how to get me up and down the stairs, in and out of the house, the bed, the shower and the car.

Preparing with loved ones, friends, and medical staff:

We communicated with family and friends for support, especially if I needed help getting into the house when I got home from the hospital  I kept all my medical, dental and PT appointments ahead of time (There were a lot!)  I was open and honest with everyone about my medical history so I would get the best care possible.

I am grateful to have had the good fortune to have this surgery and to prepare for it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to ask questions. The next blog I write will be about what I have learned after the surgery.  Stay tuned….


Not a Hot Idea

By Uncategorized


By Karl K

BIND Blogs

How can a parent forget that a child is locked in a hot car?  As I write this, I still cannot believe how this could possibly be.

It happens more than you would ever think.  The situation is getting worse, not better. The child’s temperature can rise quickly and die at 107 degrees. They must be cooled off quickly.  Between 2018 and 2020, a record number of children (126) died due to vehicular heatstroke.  

Here are three primary circumstances resulting in deaths of children in hot cars:

  • A caregiver forgetting a child in a vehicle.
  • The child gaining access to the vehicle.
  • Someone knowingly leaving a child in the vehicle. 
  • NSC advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last look before walking away. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access and teach them that cars are not play areas. There is no safe amount of time to 

leave a child in a vehicle, even if you are just running a quick errand.”   

The first step is to be sure you lock your car door and trunk, where children cannot get in.   The second is to be observant, when people look through a car window to see if child is inside.  Here are some tips:  

1.     Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.

 2.  Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?

 3.     Ask your childcare provider to call if your child does not show up for care as expected. 

4.    Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

  5.   Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play  area.”   

I could hardly write this piece.  This was very hard for me.  You see, my goddaughter was accidentally locked in a car at a mall in Las Cruces, New Mexico when she was only 7 years old.  Her Mom put the keys on the seat and lost sight of them  I ran to the store to see if I could find a hanger to open the car window.  I did, and all went well.  Had that not happened, I was ready to break the window.  

There are many examples of near-tragedy or worse.  Here are three:

In 2019, a Georgia father was convicted of murder after leaving his son in a hot car two summers ago.  His 22-month-old toddler was left in a car for seven hours.  Jurors believed he left the little boy to die on purpose, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  He was also convicted of eight counts of malice murder, felony murder, cruelty to children in the first and second degree, and sexual exploitation of and dissemination of harmful material to minors.   4  

That same year, in Garland, police took a call from a car wash at Jupiter and Arapaho.  The temperature was 97 degrees at that time.  Witnesses saw the father had parked and was vacuuming his car when he suddenly pulled the limp baby out and appeared frantic.  Employees at the car wash said they saw a driver go through the wash, park his car, and start vacuuming.  They said 10 or 15 minutes later, they saw him running.  The 9-month-old girl was found dead  

Close to home, I know a man well from my own church and Masonic Lodge who was fortunate.   Distracted by a change in their morning routine, he left his 3-year-old son, Michael, asleep in the back seat of the car when he returned home on June 10, 2015.  He is now well, but behind in several areas in his development.  As a result, he and his wife have presented this story to several audiences, including television appearances. “It can happen to you,” he said.  “I was the guy that spent an awful lot of time beating up on the internet parents that bad things happen to”. She urged parents “to check the back seat every time, even when you know you don’t have your kids with you, and you are positive they are not there. Look in the back seat just to make sure, because the moment that you think you’re safe could be the moment that you’re notThat moment can get away from you, and if you’re not fortunate – as fortunate as we were – you’re going to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”  6

I wish I did not feel this way.  I am a forgiving person.  I just cannot get past this.  Everyone is entitled to make mistakes.  But, I cannot see how, even as busy or distracted as someone can be, what is so pressing that a child is forgotten.  I welcome any comments that our readers wish to offer,





6  dangers/2019351/


By Blog, Events, News, PR, Resources
BIND Members (L to R: Mario, Kezia, Myung, Karl) celebrate the release of their newest title Brain Back to Life: Cerebro la Vida & the Second Edition of BIND Us Together. Both titles are available on All proceeds benefit the clubhouse program and services provided to adult survivors of stroke, traumatic brain injury and brain cancer at BIND: Brain Injury Network of Dallas, a nonprofit organization located in Plano, TX.

Click Below For The Full Press Release

Drowning Prevention

By Blog, News, Resources


69% of young children who drowned were not expected to be in or near water! These could be swimming pools, lakes, rivers, or even bathtubs!

Anoxic brain injury is not usually caused by a blow to the head. Instead, anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, such as drowning.

Top Things to Know

  1. Secure your pool with appropriate barriers.
  2. Designate a water watcher and stay within arm’s reach of young children.
  3. Install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety release systems to protect against drain entrapment.
  4. If a child is missing, check the water first.
  5. Install a secondary barrier, such as door alarms and locks that are out of the reach of a child on all doors and windows with direct access to the pool or spa area, and lockable covers.

Establish and Enforce Rules and Safe Behaviors

  1. Do not enter head first unless in a pool that has a safe diving area.
  2. Stay away from drains and other openings that cause suctio
  3. Swim with a buddy.
  4. Only swim when supervised by a water watcher.
  5. Swim sober.
  6. Supervise others sober and without distractions, such as reading or talking on or using a cell phone, as an accident can happen in seconds.

Take These Water Safety Steps

  1. Employ layers of protection including barriers to prevent access to water, life jackets, and close supervision of children to prevent drowning.
  2. Ensure every member of your family learns to swim so they at least achieve skills of water competency: able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance, then get out of the water safely.
  3. Know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help and CPR.

More information at:

~Karl K & the Social Media Group

Wedding Season is Here

By Blog, News, Resources

The month of June has traditionally been seen as the best month for weddings, but why?

This tradition stems from the Roman goddess whom the month is named after, Juno.

Juno was the goddess of marriage, home, and family so June developed into the month for weddings, So much so that songs have been written about this. It is even said if a bride were married in June, she would be married the rest of her life, but does this mean you will not be happy if you get married in a different month? I do not believe so.

When I discovered that I had a brain tumor in 2020, I realized I needed to hold my wedding sooner than I had originally planned.  We decided on August because it was a good time in between my treatments. Then we had to look at venues, inside or outside depending on the weather, because August is hot, so we decided on inside. We also needed to decide how many guests we wanted to have, but we had a small wedding that ended up being the wedding we wanted.

There are many things to consider when planning a wedding and deciding which month is right for you is important. You also need to decide on where it will be. So, June does not have to be the month you get married in, any month you choose will be special for you.

I have also heard the saying “If it rains on your wedding day it is good luck.” Stemming from Hindu tradition, it is said if you tie the knot, and it gets wet it will be impossible to break. So, you may not be happy it rains but look at it as a bright silver lining for the day– my parents did. Thankfully, June tends to be rainy in many places like North Texas. Still, any day you pick is special to you.

Another wedding tradition, which comes from Victorian era England, is something old (the tie between the brides past and her family) something new (the new chapter of the bride’s life with her spouse) something borrowed (the sense of happiness borrowed from a married friend is transferred to the couple) something blue (the color of love purity, faithfulness and modesty) and a six pence in her shoe (which brings wealth to the couple), which all bring good luck to the bride. Still, any day you pick is special because it’s yours.

~ Annette K


By Blog, Events, News, Newsletter, Resources, Video


By: Della & Morgan

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, the holiday, commemorates June 19, 1865. This day is important to African Americans because it was the day that the last group of slaves in the United States gained freedom. The last group of slaves received the news in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This document declared that all slaves shall be free. This was ignored by many slave owners. On January 31, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery once and for all with the 13th Amendment. The news did not travel fast because it was released during the Civil War. The news finally reached everyone after the Civil War ended in 1865. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, or Liberation Day. This holiday started in Texas, as former slaves moved to the North, the holiday became national.

Juneteenth Today

African Americans celebrate Juneteenth as their own Independence Day. In this celebration, individuals come together to remember the past and celebrate the future. Some of the common activities that take place during this celebration are cookouts, parties, and even parades.

D Day

By Blog, Events, News, Newsletter, Resources

By Jenny T

British statesman Winston Churchill once wrote, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  In my family we take this as a challenge. Both my grandfather and my father-in-law served in WWII, so patriotism is very important to us. 

It is now that time of year that we as Americans should turn our collective attention to the Epic 1944 Invasion That Changed the Course of WWII. The Allied invasion of Normandy was among the largest military operations ever taged.Without the brilliant planning and heroic sacrifices of the D-Day invasion, the Allies may have never defeated the Nazi forces in Europe.

The D-Day invasion is significant in history for the role it played in WWII. It marked the turn of the tide for the control maintained by Nazi Germany; less than a year after the invasion, the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender. 

Though the ‘D’ in D-Day doesn’t actually stand for anything. The military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission.he term has become synonymous with the remembrance of June 6, 1944, when more than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops stormed 50 miles of Normandy’s fiercely defended beaches in northern France. 

Not only was D-Day the largest amphibious invasion in military history.

It is also interesting to note that Allied forces carried out a massive deception campaign in advance of D-Day. In addition bad  weather delayed the invasion.

Allied losses on D-Day are estimated to be around 4,413 dead. German numbers are not well recorded, but it is estimated that between 4,000 and 9,000 were killed. The Battle of Normandy was fierce and bloody and would last until late August when the Allies crossed the Seine River towards Paris. Casualty rates were slightly higher than they were during a typical day during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were wounded, killed or listed as missing during the Battle of Normandy. Of these, around 200,000 were Allied casualties of which almost 53,714 were killed. No reliable figures exist for the German losses, but it is estimated that around 200,000 were killed or wounded with approximately 200,000 more taken prisoner. French civilian casualties during the Battle of Normandy stand at around 19,890 – not including the estimated 15,000 that had been killed during bombardments prior to D-Day. The Battle left 120,000 Normandy buildings destroyed and a further 270,000 damaged.

It was a day that cost many lives on all sides of the conflict, changing not only the future of countries, but of families as well. Because of that, there is much to be learned from those who experienced its victories and its horrors first hand.

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