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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Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines still has the same great service as it had 25 years ago when Dwarf Mom last went to Oahu with family. From check-in to in-flight service, it’s very family friendly. The check-in process from our mainland airport was welcoming. I didn’t feel that they were rushing to help the next passengers. With a family of 4, we’re often balancing holding our carry-on backpacks and herding children, so I appreciate their patience.

Though it seems trite, one of the coolest things about Hawaiian is that they’re the only major US carrier to still provide full service meals free-of-charge to all their passengers. We can’t carry a lot of things in our carry-on, so providing a hot meal certainly is welcoming to kids who are “starving” on the 6-hour flight. The departing flight to Hawaii provided us with a mid-morning snack of fruit (watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe), crackers, cheese, and a snack size chocolate covered macadamia nut. The flight back to the mainland was a dinner meal of teriyaki chicken, rice, steamed veggies, a salad and a shortbread cookie with a pineapple center. Complementary wine, coffee, and tea was offered too. I remember as a young child being excited that this airline provided rice with a meal. It’s a small gesture, but certainly welcoming to me.
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Disney Aulani Resort and Spa Accessibility Review

We’ve never been on a real family trip, if you exclude all the trips to LPA Regionals/Nationals and family visits. So when it finally came time to pick a location, we wanted to make it count. Dad wanted to go on a cruise due to fond memories from childhood while Mom thought a cruise would be snooze-ville. We tried looking at a Disney cruise as a compromise, but they are extremely expensive, especially during typical school breaks. Thankfully, we found an ideal compromise at the Disney Aulani Resort in Oahu. It has some Disney flair with Hawaiian elegance in a beautiful location and seemed like lots of fun. We had a blast and want to share some tips regarding accessibility.

Kid's Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant
Kid’s Meal Dessert at Ama Ama Restaurant

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Wolf of Wall Street

Dwarf Tossing in the Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Since the release of Wolf of Wall Street on Christmas Day 2013, a lot of exasperation has been expressed over its opening scene. In the movie, a room full of boisterous stockbrokers is shown taking turns throwing two dwarfs wearing helmets at a large dartboard. The main character (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) offers a $25,000 reward to the first “cock-sucker to nail a bullseye”. Protests were made to Paramount before the film was released, imploring them to remove the scene in question. The Little People of America released a statement and there were efforts to contact Leonardo di Caprio personally. Now that the movie is an Oscar candidate for Best Picture, the controversy has brewed up again. The arguments are basically that a film showing a vile activity such as dwarf tossing shouldn’t be considered for an Academy Award.

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Classroom Setup Check off List

When you read our son’s list of grade school adaptive equipment, it’s like reading a rider list for a rock star.  Well, he is a rock star in his own right, but this equipment helped him safely maneuver around campus.  He has had some of this equipment since he was 2 years old in the Early Intervention program.  Over 6 years later, I’d say that this equipment was worth all the struggle to get it.  We had several physical therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and adaptive equipment specialists help us start collecting these pieces.  In the end, it was the special education department’s staff who worked with physical health and impairments that assessed his needs and got the equipment.  They simply assessed his needs by watching him maneuver around campus and the classroom. From there, they made a list of equipment and measurements for any adaptations. He was assessed and monitored as he got older for adjustments. It was very cool to see some of the equipment leave.  And once he got past kindergarten, it got better.

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