Packing Your CPAP for Travel

Packing to travel can be a pain if you have to include a CPAP/BiPAP in  your luggage. No matter how tall you are, the CPAP is just one more thing to lug around. At the same time, you need to keep this expensive medical equipment safe from damage. It helps you breathe while sleeping, so no matter where you are, you will always need your CPAP. Otherwise, even just one night without it can mean a really groggy, grumpy day to say the least.

Packing

I prefer to put the CPAP in a hard sided luggage and check it in with the other luggage, but this does add some risk if your bag does not show up on time. If you choose to pack your CPAP as carry-on luggage and go through security, be prepared to have them touch all the parts that go into your nose/mouth, etc. Since it’s a medical device, it should not be counted as one of your personal carry-on luggage. My husband usually asks them to change gloves before examining the CPAP so there’s no cross contamination. However, lately they the airlines seem to have relaxed their policies around CPAPs. We remove the CPAP case from the carry-on, place it in the bin, and they haven’t questioned it.

If you consider packing it in your luggage versus as a carry on, try to pack clothing around it even if you have a hard case luggage. Packing it tightly with your clothing would help prevent it from being tossed around so much. I usually pack it at the bottom (the part that is the bottom when standing upright) towards the wheels. It’s going to most likely be the heaviest part of your luggage, so it helps to keep it there.Read More

LPA Membership: The Gift of Community

How does one identify with a community they’re born into? Do they just turn it on?

Born with dwarfism, as the only person in your whole family, the journey to identity can be long and difficult depending on who and what makes up your emotional environment.  For anyone, the identity is layered in ethnicity, color, gender, spirituality, family environment, etc.  As a Filipino woman with dwarfism, these three major factors have definitely sculpted my identity.  The journey to who I am today as a mother of a child with dwarfism and an Average Height child continues to evolve, yet remains strong via my roots in LPA.  But, that identity doesn’t happen for everyone.  We can’t just hold up our trident hand and wear our identity like a cape.

Why do I need to purchase LPA membership? We want our children to benefit from membership as much as we did.  LPA membership didn’t give us automatic self or peer acceptance.  But, it did give us the three major things most people with disabilities need:

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The Best Wide Sandals for Small Feet

Living in a sunny coastal state, I love to wear sandals and flip-flops year round, sometimes even when it’s raining. Growing up I had Birkenstocks that were very comfortable and perfect for lounging around, but as I grew up, my feet grew wider and wider while not getting much longer. Such is the life for many LP’s both young and old — short, wide feet! It seems like once you get into kids sizes 3-6 where a lot of us end up, your choices get smaller the wider your feet are. Sandals and flip-flops are especially difficult due to the rigid materials used for the sides and the toe separator, since they don’t stretch!
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The Best Unconventional Reacher: The Bear Claw

Ettore 49036 Grip'n Grab Reach Tool, 34-Inch

Who knew that a back scratcher would be the best reacher I have ever found? Many people with physical disabilities know the good ‘ol Sammons (now Preston Sammons medical) catalog. It’s on most physical and occupational therapists bookshelves. The products are durable and designed by disability professionals. Even I have a couple of trigger reachers that were lovingly given to me in hopes of giving me more independence as a child. But, who wants to carry a large, very clunky conspicuous reacher that looks like the janitor’s trash picker?

My search ended when I did a search under “telescoping”. Lo and behold, I found a telescoping backscratcher. Whoa! It fits the Alton Brown rule of “more than one purpose” as a back scratcher and reacher. It fits my wishlist completely. It’s compact, light, multipurpose, and most importantly doesn’t look like anything other than a back scratcher. Secretly its my 2 foot (technically 22 inches) reacher to take down my healthy bag of chips at the top shelf. And it’s very affordable!

We highly recommend a telescoping bear claw back scratcher in every LP’s arsenal for items out of reach. It’s perfect for the grocery store or Home Depot to grab that pesky item too high, but not too heavy. Obviously, I’m not going to use it to take down my son’s favorite jar of peanut butter. But, what makes the bear claw different from similar reachers is that in addition to the curved claws, there’s a big open space in the ‘paw’ area that you can use to lock onto the corner end of the item.

The Best Bear Claw

If you do a Google search for Bear Claw, you may be overwhelmed as we were with the seemingly thousands of resellers selling similar items. So we decided to order a bunch and see which is the best.
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Grain/Gluten Free for Joint Pain

hip xray

Many of those of us in the LP community are afflicted with joint pain as we grow older and try to avoid or prolong surgery for hip or knee replacements. As an LP with pseudoachondroplasia, my hips started hurting around the age of 30 and seemed to be getting progressively worse. Family and friends would notice that I would grunt when getting up from sitting down, or even when moving. Of course, I visited a renowned orthopedic surgeon to check on my hips, but an X-Ray showed minor thinning of the cartilage and not something that would necessarily warrant surgery in the immediate future. Weight loss was suggested to help with the pain, but I really thought the condition of my hips was much worse than showed radiographically. So I knew I needed to lose weight, but I also wanted to explore other methods to help with my pain level.

Is Gluten Free A Fad?

The evils of weight and gluten have been in the news again over the past couple years, spearheaded by the Wheat Belly book by Dr. Davis a cardiologist who wrote about “frankenwheat”. According to Dr. Davis, the wheat of today has been modified so much that it is no longer the amber waves of grain you might see from old pictures. Rather, today’s wheat stands 18-24 inches tall and is very different genetically than the wheat eaten by our ancestors. Dr. Davis argues that the gliadin in wheat is associated with a whole range of conditions. However he has emphasized, especially in his follow-up Wheat Belly Total Health, that we really need to remove all grains (not just wheat) from our diet as humans are not biologically built to eat grains of grasses. There’s a reason cows have so many stomachs and they chew the cud to process their diet. And there’s also a reason modern farming feeds our livestock grain instead of grass; hint — it makes them fat!
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