07/20/11 Laryngectomees and Motorcycle Riding

I found these posts written by a couple of men who own motorcycles. Both of them have been laryngectomized and they offer some good advice worth pondering. I once knew a laryngectomized man who refused to give up sailing. He loved his little boat and opposed the idea of stopping. His doctors and therapists were always a little nervous because of the permanent hole that resided in his neck. He’d say with an esophageal voice, “I’ve never tipped my boat and I’m not planning to start now.” He did fine.
Over the years I have gained much wisdom from laryngectomees and I’m passing along these public forum posts to you. I think they are golden nuggets.
“My Doctors told me I might as well “sell my Harley… cause my riding days
were over.” Then they modified it to: “You won’t be able to ride without a
windshield.” Which I hate as bad as helmets… and they SWORE I would not
ever be able to ride in the rain or cold. Well, I’ll be 5-years post-op
come this October. I took my first ride approximately 9 months after
surgery. I did put a windshield on her because of my Ol’ Lady’s harping,
but it came off within weeks and I’ve been riding without one ever since.
Oh, yeah… I’ve ridden HUNDREDS of miles in the rain AND cold with nary a
problem! And my beloved 19-year-old Harley remains my main means of
transportation to this day! Just got to love us die-hard scooter tramps,
eh? (I’ll be closing in on 60!)
Just goes to show you… doctors don’t always be right!
“The Trollman”
AKA James Sparks”
“I never told my doctors I had a bike. So a few months after my 2001
operation I took the bike out and rode it, in season, till just this year.
I turned 80 and had promised my wife I’d get rid of the bike.
There are a few things you can’t do after losing your vocal cords. But try it before
you stop it, whatever it is.
Lou Holtman Class of 2001 Poughkeepsie, NY”

08/04/10 SpeechEasy Discussions

I came across these letters to the editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR), August 2010. They have to do with a study that looked at the functionality of the SpeechEasy anti-stuttering device. The SpeechEasy has been questioned as losing its effectiveness across time; that initial success using the device does not persist over months and years. Perhaps this is true for some, if not many who use or have used the device. For those of you researching the topic, I am making this available for educational purposes.
Letter to the Editor
Response to Saltuklaroglu, Kalinowski, and Stuart (2010)
Ryan Pollard
University of Colorado at Boulder
Don Finan
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Peter R. Ramig
University of Colorado at Boulder
Contact author: Ryan Pollard, University of Colorado at Boulder, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, 409 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309. E-mail: ryan.pollard@colorado.edu.
Purpose: To reply to the criticisms of Saltuklaroglu, Kalinowski, and Stuart (2010) by addressing their concerns regarding our study’s methodology, statistical analyses, and findings. Also, to challenge what we view as omissions, misinterpretations, and inaccuracies on their part.
Results: Our operational definition of stuttering was sound. Participant adherence to the treatment protocol was telling and appropriately enforced. The question-asking task was proper given participant characteristics. Statistical analyses of treatment effects were correctly interpreted. Our general conclusions regarding the clinical merit of the SpeechEasy were misinterpreted by Saltuklaroglu and colleagues; our findings were in fact far less nullifying and more balanced than what they claim.
Conclusions: While robust immediate effects of altered auditory feedback (AAF) in the laboratory are well documented, recent longitudinal experiments conducted in naturalistic settings have found less consistent and pronounced effects with the SpeechEasy. These reports also indicate that initial reductions in stuttering are often not maintained over time. Future efforts to determine why this is so would be worthwhile.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Vol.53 912-916 August 2010. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0050)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Letter to the Editor
Refutation of a Therapeutic Alternative? A Reply to Pollard, Ellis,
Finan, and Ramig (2009)
Tim Saltuklaroglu
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Joseph Kalinowski
Andrew Stuart
East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Contact author: Tim Saltuklaroglu, Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee, 533 South Stadium Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-0740. E-mail: tsaltukl@utk.edu.
Purpose: To challenge the findings of Pollard, Ellis, Finan, and Ramig (2009), who examined 11 participants using the SpeechEasy, an in-the-ear device that employs altered auditory feedback to reduce stuttering, in a 6-month “clinical trial.” Pollard et al. failed to demonstrate a significant treatment effect on stuttering frequency, yet found positive subjective self-report data across four months of use. The authors concluded that the device was not therapeutically useful and further testing is unwarranted.
Results: We dispute Pollard et al. on the following grounds: Their operational definition of stuttering is confounded as it does not adequately distinguish true stuttering from “normally” disfluent speech or from volitionally produced initiating gestures taught to be used as part of the treatment protocol, nor is it the definition used in their pre- and posttreatment stuttering assessment instrument; they failed to maintain participant adherence to the treatment protocol of device usage; they utilized an inadequate question-asking task; and their conclusion of no significant treatment effect that is drawn from their inferential statistical analyses of group data.
Conclusions: In light of problematic objective measurements, reported positive subjective findings, a robust corpus of contradictory data, and the need for alternative stuttering treatments, we argue that the SpeechEasy merits further investigation.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Vol.53 908-911 August 2010. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/09-0128)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

5/15/10 High School Recess at Manzanar

In 1942 after the Pearl Harbor attack, ten U.S. concentration camps were built to hold 120,000 Japanese. Seventy percent of these people were American citizens. Each of these camps became highly organized by the people who lived in them. They included stores, bakeries, churches, beauty shops, cemeteries, schools, and more. This is a picture of some Manzanar high school students at recess.
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For more information on Manzanar, check out the article, A Glimpse into the Japanese Internment Camps: Recollections of Dorothy Ikuko Amatatsu-Watanabe

11/26/09 The Story of Stuff

With Black Friday at our heels and the push to buy more stuff, you, like me, may find this video especially interesting.
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Here, Annie Leonard discusses the hidden costs of the things we purchase. The video is fun to watch, thought provoking, and indeed worthy of consideration. References for the stats are available as a PDF on the site. Check out the video and site and let me know what you think. Watch the video.
All of this is important, but most importantly today, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

07/12/09 Cool Phrase Derivations and Customs

Ever wondered where some of our current customs and phrases came from? This circulated into my mailbox and is interesting. I have modified it a bit and I’m blogging it for your interest.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, It’s raining cats and dogs.
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized that they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a… dead ringer. Kind of reminds me of the recent group who were found to be digging up graves to resell the plots.

04/04/09 You Go Turkey

Our friend Candy raises Heritage turkeys. Last month she gave us some eggs to put in the incubator. Our Hova-Bator incubator has kept them at 98 degrees since March 8. Seven more eggs were given to us a week later, making a total of 10 turkey eggs in incubation. We candled the eggs which showed that 9 out of the 10 eggs were alive and well; one was a blank. Candling is a simple device that shines light though the shell and illuminates chick development or the lack thereof. This morning we heard chirps coming from the box and two had hatched in the middle of the night; one more broke out this afternoon.
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Observing the process is fascinating and nothing short of a miracle, no matter how many times it is witnessed. From the interior of the egg, the chick pecks the circumference along the larger end of the egg; it’s a stop and go process with much energy expended, rest time, and continuation. What developes is a hatch door. Once complete the chick pushes the door open with its feet and wings and wobbles out.
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All of this stuff is imprinted in the chick’s being and it occurs naturally without help or instruction. The chicks will remain in the incubator until they are dry and then they will transfer to the brooder. The brooder is a larger containment with heat lamps, food, and water. These two are making their way to the brooder. Their feet and legs are big and it’s amazing how they fit in the egg.
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The Hova-Bator has a trough for water which creates humidity. If it’s too dry, the egg will not hatch. Additionally, each day the eggs must be turned two or three times to keep the legs from deforming. An O and X mark on the eggs announce which eggs need turning. In nature, the hen turns the eggs as she sits on them with her feet and beak.
Turkey eggs are tougher than chicken eggs. The shells are much harder and the yokes are more difficult to beat. Their taste and texture are extremely rich.

03/25/09 Guns In School

I post a lot of old school pictures and this one really caught my eye. This late 40s or early 50s shot shows a classroom of happy kids. Two boys, however, are posing with firearms–one with a handgun, the other with a shotgun. Of course, it is entirely possible that they were toys but even still, it raises eyebrows in today’s world. Even I remember having cap guns as a kid. They were heavy, looked authentic, and were well made out of chromed pot metal.
The kiddo with the double barrel is in the back of the room sitting in front of the teacher on the left. The barrel is being held upward. Look close. Before there were school shootings, no one ever thought differently. In fact, a friend of mine recalls that kids in his 1970’s high school rifle club used to keep their 22 caliber rifles in their lockers. See what 60 years or less does. I would say that times have changed.
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03/18/09 Franklin Video Sample

Kristine and Tom Campos are working hard to create a totally cool video commemorating the Franklin Centennial Celebration. This You- Tube sample is only a glimpse of what is in store! Videos will be available soon… but meantime, here is a little taste… Click here

03/11/09 Poster re: Stuttering Inspires

New Poster Features
San Diego Chargers Star

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NFL star running back Darren Sproles is spreading the word about stuttering as chairperson of this year’s National Stuttering Awareness Week, May 11-17.
Sproles, himself, deals effectively with stuttering and is a perfect role model for your clients or yourself.
This poster is great for speech clinics, classrooms, and as a gift for your clients.
To order, call 800-992-9392 and ask for item No. 0055 or click here.