2019 Christmas Greetings to All!

I have had a year of productive puttering. My goal to purge was kicked into high gear when we decided to put 2019 technology into our 1905 home. We now have central air/heat and a fully insulated home. Please visit our attic and basement. Be inspired!

It took a team of 10, 40 hrs/wk for 4 weeks. Then we hired a 2 man team 40 hrs/wk for 12 weeks. The goal was to do EVERYTHING to make our home comfortable and beautiful for our most senior years. New mattress, linens, exterior solar shades, ovens, earthquake proofing, stoop handrails, window shades, upgraded electricity, wallpaper removal, termite tenting, refinish floors, plumbing, garbage disposal, carpentry, endless interior & exterior painting, ETC.
While we had only a few trips: me - Monticello, IA, me - St. Louis, we - NYC/PA, we - Lake Arrowhead, then Tom - NYC, the world came to us as we hosted friends & family from: Texas, NZ, Barcelona, Montreal, Bordeaux, Metz, Saint-Lattier, Oakland, Dayton, St. Louis, Newport Beach, Madrid and Monticello, IA, . We’re going to play catch-up as we leave for 3 weeks in Peru on December 18.
I pulled a calf muscle March 1 prepping for our renovation. Relapsed it twice, still doing PT for ham string issue, small meniscus tear and small baker’s cyst. Makes me feel ancient but MD says there is hope of complete recovery.
Tom has been doing PT for a year to prep for Peru/Machu Picchu/Amazon. Although it has increased his pain, it has also greatly strengthened his body/stamina/energy. He says it is worth it!
I did 7 more episodes voicing “Lucille” on the Disney Jr animation series THE ROCKETEER, shot an unsold pilot TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, worked with Marc Cherry on his WHY WOMEN KILL and finished the year doing the drama 911.
I think Tom has become the nation’s “go to guy” for chronic pain. Besides leading his support groups (American Chronic Pain Association, AKA ACPA), his phone support group, through Well Connected, doing many one-on-one phone calls and driving up to 2 hours to meet one-on-one with a chronic pain sufferer (ACPA) he is being asked to participate in national programs.
His work with Cedars Sinai has expanded to include participating in a 5 year study, funded by the National Institute of Health, examining the use of virtual reality as a tool to mitigate lower back chronic pain. Their work has been published in the American Chronic Pain Association newsletter and the NY Times National. 
He has been interviewed on NPR: https://apple.news/ANXG6f90XRa2AEQPwNe5IvA (Hopefully this link and the ones below are still active.)
He is in 2 of a 3 part series for Spectrum News. part 1 and 2 links: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/exploring-your-health/2019/09/23/why-pain-hurts--understanding-pain-and-the-brain-nys#
In the January 2020 issue of National Geographic, Tom is featured in the lead/cover article by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee. They are expected to do promo radio interviews in the next 2 weeks.
This is Mission, a PR firm, just covered all his expenses to fly to NYC for a week to be interviewed and have his naked body painted to reflect how he feels his pain. It is part of a THIS IS PAIN campaign on display at the World Trade Center in NYC. On or about Dec 14 Tom will put the official end product on his Facebook page and the other websites he maintains for Chronic Pain organizations. (Voicesinpaincare.org & chronicpainla.com)
Tom is already scheduling projects for 2020:  The National Academy of Medicine wants us to participate in their Action Collaborative on Countering the Opioid Epidemic. Their “listening sessions” are intended to collect input on the state of pain management, as experienced by different end-users and stakeholder groups. The listening sessions will also seek to clarify intended and unintended consequences of recent changes to the opioid prescribing guidelines and metrics, as they pertain to the delivery, access, and coordination of pain management services. 
The Department of Defense has invited Tom to return to DC in January to be a Consumer Reviewer for their Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. He will sit on a panel and review proposals by scientists seeking funds for their High-impact, High-risk, High-gain projects.
Tom has also agreed to rep Cedars Sinai’s research results on how to be effective in Patient to MD and MD to Patient communications. He is one of two non medical participants in this multi- million dollar grant research program.
The absolute best part of all of Tom’s participation in Chronic Pain Advocacy is that it gives his pain, his life, purpose. He can be of service.  And we thank God every day for this gift. 
In His mercy,
Marianne and Tom
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