Giving Something Back

Web Name: Giving Something Back






keywords:Internet help, search help, trigeminal neuralgia, tic douloureux, atypical facial pain, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia
description:Giving Something Back


Hello and Welcome. This is a place to find personal help for searching the Internet. The author is Richard A. Lawhern -- called "Red" by friends, though my hair isn't anymore. I retired as a systems engineer and operations research analyst, with 42 years of experience in acquisition management and systems engineering for military systems.

I've authored several cyberspace training courses and video tapes and helped various employers to train staff in the tools and resources of the Net. In my so-called spare time, I am very active in social media support to chronic face pain patients. I am co-founder and corresponding secretary for the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain (, dedicated to forcing the repeal and rewriting of the 2016 CDC guidelines for prescription of opioid pain relievers to adults with chronic non-cancer pain.

I and my spouse of 38 years live near Charlotte NC. To send me email, select Giving Something_Back . Be aware that due to the press of other obligations, some parts of this site can no longer be actively maintained.

"Red" LawhernThis page last updated April 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTSAbout This PageFinding People On Line and OffPersonalized Search HelpAreas Where I Might Help You
(My Interests)
Trigeminal Neuralgia
and Chronic Pain Help
Special Interest -- SailingPhotographic Galleries Alternatives to Scriptural Religion

Throw the Bums Out -- No Incumbents - EVER AGAIN!

Featured Links: a Service to Worthy On-Line Endeavors

Homework Desk -- Study Guides

This is a link to homework resources that offer both learning and fun for K-12 students. It is dedicated to Madi Russel, an elementary school student who is learning about the worlds within the Internet.

Welcome to the world, Madi

Online Quiz and Test Taking Strategies

Written primarily for students of high school and college age, this page offers tips for doing well on quizzes and tests that
students regularly encounter as they go through school. The page is extensively linked

About This Page

This site is an effort to give something back to the community of the Internet, a place where I've worked and taught for 30 years. Many people have helped me to learn and grow. I hope to pass on that courtesy.

Resources: As part of returning something to a community that I care about, I offer here, a few resources that might help you find your way around the Net. Lots of Web sites offer huge resource lists, so I won't burden you with another collection. I merely refer you to some starting places I've found useful. I've had a lot of practice searching the Net for information, so maybe you can benefit from my learning curve. If you're an experienced Internet user, then I'll be equally happy to learn from you. That's ultimately what conversation is about. Feel free to offer suggestions by email.

An Invitation: After you've browsed this page, feel free to send me email if there is something I might do to assist you. I intend this invitation to be quite open-ended. I have many personal interests and hobbies. I've met a lot of interesting people in 50-odd years of adult life. I've traveled through both geography and personal awareness. I'm not afraid to speak to strangers who may become friends on a shared life journey. Come talk to me. If it seems to me that you need to talk with others who can help you better than I can, I'll offer suggestions on where to start.

Searching the Internet

Part of my professional life has been spent learning how to mine information from the Internet. Everybody wants to find something, these days. Not everybody has time to learn the search process in detail. Several years ago, when one of my daughters was going through University, I wrote her an article about how to find things in the Internet quickly. The course is available at Voice of the Shuttle, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Feel free to take a look.
Quick Search the InternetThe Shuttle offers one of the largest and best organized collections in the world, for Internet resources relating to the liberal arts. The Shuttle's search engine will help you find links you need. I have found two sub-pages at the Shuttle that are also very useful to people who have other information needs. These will give you overviews of the Net and its services, and a list of search engines and directory services.Information About the InternetSearch the Web

Another resource has become a "classic" on the Internet, and should not be ignored when you want to browse a collection of high value links to learn your way around. There are hundreds of references here, so be prepared to spend time to learn your way about:

John December's Computer Mediated Communication Information Sources

Finally, there is a massive and authoritative information resource where I frequently find answers to some of the most difficult research needs. I am pleased to be a supporter of Wikipedia.

Do You Need Person-to-Person Help?

Especially for people just getting started on the Internet, finding our way around can seem pretty intimidating. There are good books to help you learn. One of the first on my list was "The Whole Internet Catalog and Users' Guide", which is still available through Amazon On-Line and which I still recommend. There are others more recent. There are also great on-line courses (see Voice of the Shuttle, above). Unfortunately the Newsgroups of USENET which once provided a place to post your concerns and questions, or to exchange points of view have been overwhelmed by Internet vandals and scammers. I no longer recommend the medium.

Have you found it difficult to use Internet search engines that may generate thousands of "hits" on common key words? Quite a number of Internet sites provide an alternative in some form of person-to-person on-line help. Other sites are now attempting to automate this kind of help in organized searching trees by topic area. One the latter is "Find How" -- a search engine organized around broad information domains. . Another and very large resource is Sources and Experts, compiled by St. Petersburg Times News Researcher Kitty Bennett. A third avenue of approach might be through the valuable resources and supporting experts at About.Com. 500+ qualified subject matter experts support the forums there.

At one time, I supported yet a fourth forum called the "Internet Village Elders" at the Internet Sleuth, where we took on a similar charter. The specialized databases and interactive expert assistance services of that site are now regrettably defunct. But you can find others through any of the major search engines. Use the target phrase "Ask an Expert".

Finding People On Line and Off
One subject comes up in Internet discussion groups more often than almost all others besides health and getting rich quickly via multi-level marketing [note: ironic humor intended!]. Lots of people want to use the Internet to find somebody. Because this interest comes up so often, I wrote an Internet article a few years back, to address the need. My research is not the "last word" on the subject and it is somewhat dated, but the basic logic here may give you a place to start and a way to think through your project, if you believe you need to find someone. It might also keep you out of legal trouble, if it prompts you to think first before invading somebody's privacy.

Low Cost and Free Resources for Finding People On-Line and Off

Medical Resources for Trigeminal Neuralgia
In one other area of volunteer service on the Internet, I have a significant personal investment. A member of my family is being treated for a relatively rare chronic nerve disorder called "Trigeminal Neuralgia." This ailment can cause the most severe face pain known to medical practice. Even narcotic drugs are unsuccessful in relieving pain for many patients.

In an effort to support patients, family members, and medical professionals who deal with facial neuralgias , a few years ago I teamed with Ms. Cindy Fleishman, a 25-year-plus chronic pain survivor, to develop a one-stop site for face pain information focused on these disorders. After over two years of Cindy's research and additional months of our co-editing, the result was a site with 120+ subsidiary pages that we wrote ourselves or compiled and abridged with permission from other sources. While this site is no longer available to the public due to the burden it became to keep current, we have archived our links and files. To tap into these resources, please feel free to correspond by email.

Independently of my effort at Face Pain Resources, I have long supported the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, now called the "Facial Pain Association". I was a member of its Board of Directors for three years and webmaster for the TNA Home Page in the late 1990s. The site provides medically authoritative information on the disorder as well as a gateway to a network of US and international support groups. If you know of someone suffering from a sudden, sharp onset of stabbing pain in one side of the face, please refer them to TNA or to introductory notes that I maintain here at "Giving Something Back."

In a more recent effort on behalf of chronic face pain patients, I was fir a time, a site administrator and Moderator at "Living With TN" -- an online community of over 7,000 face pain survivors and family members engaged in mutual emotional support, information research, and referral to knowledgeable doctors. Several of the resources below were written for Living With TN.

Unexplained Facial Pain - Introduction

Bookmarks for Chronic Facial Pain

Who Gets TN? Demographics of A Social Networking Website

[MS-Word Version] [HTML Version]

Demographics of 202 Facial Neurologial Pain Patients At A Social Networking Website

Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Face Pain

Coping with Crisis -- A Seminar for Facial Pain Patients

Another resource from the US National Library of Medicine provides an authoritative overview from medical literature, for diagnosis and treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia. See

Treatment options in trigeminal neuralgia

Facial pain patients are sometimes so deeply affected or disabled by pain that they go into crisis and need emergency medical intervention. But especially with trigeminal neuralgia, they may be unable to speak clearly or even in rare instances to articulate their thoughts. With these realities in mind, I have developed a one-page "Attending Physician Advisory" form, to help patents get emergency pain care when they cannot speak clearly. This form should be filled out in advance of need and carried by the patient at all times. It can be presented to the admissions clerk at any hospital emergency room, dispensary, or community clinic. Visitors to this website are authorized to print out as many copies as you think you may need. Please do not remove the copyright marking from the foot of the form.

Attending Physican Advisory Form

Likewise, feel free to email me concerning on-line information resources. I have corresponded with almost 3000 face pain patients during the past 17 years. Although I am not a doctor, I may be able to help you find a professional who is appropriately trained and experienced in addressing your pain management needs.

As a continuing contribution to chronic face pain patients, I sometimes support patient support groups with presentations on Trigeminal Neuralgia and related disorders. In January 2003, I gave the following overview of then-recent research in facial pain, for the Bethesda Maryland / Washington DC TN support group. Feel free to download and print it out. However any further use of this material should credit the author and this webpage as source...

Presentation: Recent Research in Trigeminal Neuralgia

Related to this presentation, the following collection of Pub Med abstracts will introduce you to research on TN and facial neuropathy. This material is somewhat dated due to demands of my involvement with patient support groups.

Review of Recent Medical Literature on Trigeminal Neuralgia

Review of Recent Medical Literature on Trigeminal Neuropathy

As part of ths overview, I would offer additional links to other resources which I consider valuable to anyone who deals with chronic face pain. I have at various times contributed peripheral articles or editing services to some. But none of them are necessarily influenced by my research or points of view.

Facial Neuralgia Resources

This is a patient-centered resource, with a 15-year-plus history of generating very well-organized research and information for patients who are searching for answers to severe facial pain.

For chronic face pain patients, one of the on-going issues is very often how to obtain affordable health care. The following overview of the subject has been expanded from research by Susie Margaret Ross, a helping colleague on the Neurological Disorders patient forum at Web MD. This collection has not been approved or validated by WebMD or anybody else.

Free and Low-Cost Medical Care Resources

Another dimension of finding effective medical care is simply to locate a physician who knows about the disorders and issues you are dealing with. One of the better places for doing that can be a teaching hospital. The following list of university hospitals around the world may be a place to start, for locating physicians who are better than average trained, and current on research.

Wikipedia List of University Hospitals

Special Topic: Prescription Opioids and Chronic Pain

On October 22, 2016, I gave an invited address to the Washington Rally Against Pain, on the Ellipse just south of the White House. The title was "CDC Guidelines On Prescription Opioids are Neat, Plausible... and Mostly Wrong." Full text of that address is provided here. I also addressed the Opioid Policy Steering Committee of the US Food and Drug Agency on January 30, 2018.

Anyone who reads a newspaper these days has been exposed to a barrage of hype and misinformation concerning a supposed "epidemic" of accidental overdose deaths due to prescription opioid medications. In my view, there is no such epidemic. Instead, we have a lot of politicians who don't dare appear as if they aren't "doing something". And what they've chosen to do is to persecute chronic pain patients by withdrawing opioids from the healthcare services market, in the name of reducing overdose deaths due to street drugs. Unfortunately, there is very little relationship between the two. With this in mind, I have sent the following letter to the Office for Intergovernmental and Public Liazon at the White House, and separately to the Office for Drug Control Policy. It is one of a large number of advocacy pieces I have published in recent years.

Stop the War Against Chronic Pain Patients and Their Doctors!

To the Office of Intergovernmental Public Liaison.
The White House

Dear Staffer,

I am writing to you as a non-physician chronic pain patient advocate with 20 years of experience and study in the field. I now support 15,000 chronic pain patients in 20 groups on Facebook. Every week I see more reports of pain patients being involuntarily weaned down or forced off opioids by doctors who fear persecution by the DEA unless they obey scientifically weak and professionally biased "voluntary" guidelines on prescription of opioids in adult non-cancer chronic pain.

Make no mistake -- this is truly "persecution" not just prosecution. Doctors are leaving pain management practice because they can no longer effectively treat their patients without fear of DEA reprisals. Highly competent practitioners have already been subjected to trumped-up charges in what amounts to a public witch hunt. Patients are being deserted without opioid withdrawal management. Thousands are allowed to spiral into agony when forced to attempt other non-opioid therapies that didn't work in the first place and won't work now. Some patients are on the brink of suicide. Deaths have already occurred. And responsibility for this state of affairs clearly lies with the medical negligence and addiction bias of the CDC.

The CDC voluntary practice guidelines are in truth neither voluntary nor "guidelines". They are read by doctors as a restrictive standard that is being used to justify DEA prosecutions. And they were written by a consultants' working group that failed to include a SINGLE Board Certified pain management specialist who actually sees patients regularly. Careful analysis of medical literature quoted as justification of these standards reveals a plethora of major issues of weak methodology, bad science and biased selection of data to support political agendas or professional economic self-interest.

Despite the propaganda now circulating about a supposed "epidemic" of deaths due to prescription opioids, medical reality is vastly different from the dominant narrative. Among properly screened chronic pain patients who are periodically monitored, the risk of addiction disorder is small -- certainly under 10%, probably under 3%. People in chronic pain do not experience an opioid high in the manner of addicts. Nor do any great number of them develop the drug-seeking behaviors characteristic of substance abuse disorder. Some become physically dependent on opioid meds for pain relief. They will experience withdrawal symptoms and breakthrough pain when rapidly withdrawn -- but these symptoms are NOT the same thing as addiction.

The most fundamental error of the CDC has been to deliberately misinterpret an absence of published long-term trials on opioid effectiveness, to substitute the fraudulent message that opioids don't work. Doctors don't know definitively whether or how well these medications work, because nobody has ASKED, and research organizations haven't wanted to risk liability by conducting double-blind opioid trials.

Also false is the assertion that all patients develop tolerance or hyperalgesia when using opioid medication. Hyperagesia (increased sensitivity to pain after medical suppression) is very likely a made-up medical mythology, not a fact. The methodology underlying Morphine Milligram Equivalent Dose levels is also founded on pseudoscience and opinion, not metrics. And reports used by the CDC to justify upper limits on opioid prescription levels were wildly internally contradictory and subject to multiple confounding factors.

Drug addiction and deaths due to street drugs are indeed a major public health issue in the US. But prescription drugs did not cause this issue, and the abuse of chronic pain patients won't solve it. Some sources quote rising numbers of accidental deaths due to opioids, on the order of 32,000 per year in 2014. But well over half of these deaths are due to street drugs, and many of the remaining deaths are likely misidentified by ill-trained and poorly resourced medical examiners. Overshadowing these statistics is the reality that there are over 100 Million chronic pain patients in the US, millions of whom are successfully treated by opioid medication under regular medical oversight.

As noted by neuro-science journalist Maia Szalavitz in her excellent article on Scientific American, the most reliable predictors for death by opioid overdose are unemployment, a family history of trauma, and status as an adolescent. Diversion of prescription drugs from legitimate pain patients to the street are a definite issue. But deaths among people with a current prescription are relatively rare. Thus the CDC and DEA are trying to "solve" a largely non-existent problem by means which impose agony on hundreds of thousands of patients -- or more.

I implore the White House staff to take off the blinders. It is time that CDC practice guidelines are withdrawn and rewritten to recognize the indispensable role of opiod medications in the management of chronic pain. Also needed is support for the central role of the individual physician in evaluating what works and what doesn't. The days of pill mills are largely over. And the "war on drugs" has been an abject failure. Please do not contribute to the further persecution and abuse of millions of chronic pain patients and their doctors!

Stop the war against chronic pain patients and their doctors!

I have also published multiple articles and papers on US and State policy and regulation of opiod pain relievers. Much of that work can be found at "Face Facts" (

Resources for General Healthcare Education

In a more general sense, I may also be able to suggest resources to expand your personal healthcare education, in fields other than chronic pain. As a part of the community service work that I do on the Internet, I once supported three "Experts" forums at Yahoo. In the Men's, Women's and Stress Management groups at Yahoo, several resident volunteers answered questions from all comers, dealing with physical and mental health issues, personal growth, family life, and interpersonal relationships. Some of the questions that kids (and some adults) ask at Yahoo and other public forums might seem a bit outrageous to a person who has a college education. Other questions express urgent needs for help, voiced by people who are hurting, scared, or simply uncertain of what to do next. Taken in total, these questions reveal a lot about the health and personal concerns that occupy people around the world:

Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare

- (And About Life) -

A Modest Political Proposal: Throw All of the Bums Out!

In the US in the new Century, there is a great amount of discontent over the state of our politics in Federal, State, and local government. Quite a number of people have become convinced that something fundamental in our governance is broken. Enough of us thought that way that we elected an inexperienced though articulate junior senator to lead the nation. So far he hasn't done very well. When he won the 2012 election, it was because his opponent is too inept to tie his own shoelaces without a script written by big-money special interests. And Obama has been no less beholden to the same interests.

Meanwhile, millions of us are totally disgusted with efforts by entrenched political elites - including but not restricted to those who helped to elect Obama -- to ram something called "health care reform' down our throats -- legislation which reforms nothing about health care costs and will almost certainly increase middle class taxes while further burdening the medicare system. We also see Congress still maneuvering to slip through an amnesty for illegal immigrants despite the outrage of resisting citizens. The bums continue with this idiocy despite the wide-spread evidence that voters just aren't having any of that nonsense. The feeling is widespread that something really fundamental in our politics has to change, and soon.

As a leader in America, the President has repeatedly failed to exercise leadership. Worse than that, however, Mister Obama early in his first term appointed several people as his advisers on the US economy, who should now be doing long prison sentences for their active participation in speculation and frauds that led directly to the financial crisis in 2008. People like Treasury Secretary Geithner (then a chairman of the Federal Reserve bank of New York) stood by and watched as their friends on Wall Street ripped off investors to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, and then walked away scott free. Despite multi-Billion dollar settlements with major banks, not one of these crooks has been seriously investigated, much less indicted.

Mister Romney and his Republican and far-right Tea Party zealots were no better. Like other Republicans, Romney signed a pledge not to raise the taxes of the super-rich whose super-PAC political money was expected to elect him. He also artfully dodged away from explaining any concrete plan for bringing Federal government spending anywhere close to our likely tax receipts. The numbers don't add up, you nitwits! You can't balance the budget without raising tax rates on the top one half of one percent, AS WELL AS lowering the level of benefits provided by Social Security and Medicare. It won't happen, And by avoiding this issue, our political system has made the meltdown in our social safety net all the worse when it occurs. Which it will.

I've reached a point where I am no longer willing to be made an accomplice to political fraud. I can't vote for either of these parties or their puppets. So this year, when I go to the polls, I'll either vote Libertarian or leave the boxes for President blank. It doesn't matter which of the nominated fools we elect. They are all in the pockets of the super-rich, and nobody will bite the hands that fed them.


Many loose-knit groups of people in the US believe that there ought to be an alternative to the mess we're seeing in Washington and our Statehouses. We come from all parties, or from no party at all. However we are united in believing that voters need an effective means of informing political elites that they have lost touch with the electorate, which is us. One proposal for doing that might be to insert a voting choice on the ballot for every office in the land, for "NOTA: None of the Above." If NOTA gets a plurality of votes, then the slate is wiped clean and we have a special election where the previous bums don't get to run. I find this idea intriguing and perhaps long overdue. For an expansion of this proposal, click on Write In None of the Above

During the months before the next elections, both of the 10-year-old automobiles at our house will proudly display this bumper sticker:

Congress is the Problem!
Throw ALL the Bums Out

And we will vote under that policy. If a politician has been in office before, then he or she is a part of the problem, not the solutions. Even the guys who protest that they've been trying to reform the rest of Congress, don't deserve to go back. If they tried at all, then they failed.

My Personal Interest Areas -- Assistance Offered
If you've found your way to my page and bothered to read this far, then you've hopefully concluded that I am basically a "people" person. I believe in reaching out to others whenever I can, as humanely and thoughtfully as I can. I believe in helping, contributing, and "giving something back." My time and knowledge are far from limitless, but I try to do the best I can with what I've got.

I've had opportunities in a varied career to turn my hand to a lot of different subjects, and to dabble at hobbies, interests, and small businesses. Because this web page is about giving back, I invite inquiries on any of the following subjects. I'll do my best to find you good information or to share my own experiences regarding any of the following.

Assistance in ProfessionOn-Line resources for job searchersCareer preparation and resume writing (send me yours!).Technical and liberal arts educationGraduate schoolsWhy American Education is "Failing".Why very few people "need" a Ph.D. -- in ANYTHING!US military service (Lt. Col., USAF, retired)

Learning from Life ExperiencesFinding a compatible matePsychotherapy or counseling -- how to pick a therapistGestalt therapy and related techniques (former client) Searching for a religious experience that makes senseA Way Less Traveled - Alternatives to Traditional Religion [HTML Version] [MS-Word Version] Journeys of a Commoner - The autobiography of the author of this website
Investment Advice for Fun and Profit -- Theirs, Not Yours!Life skills

Living with an alcoholic child -- and learning to let goDivorce and emotional survivalSexual harassment and personal development issues for womenRunning a small businessBuilding sun decks and retaining walls Hobbies, Sports and InterestsDiamonds, gemstones and jewelry design (I have been a gem broker). Here is an example of my design work.Sailing (my wife and I cruised weekends for seven years on our Bristol 34 sloop, and another six on a smaller S-2 Model 8.0B)Photographic Art - Images in Light. Several galleries of my work are featured here on "Giving Something Back"Also featured as photography is a short book, titled "An American Journey". This work describes my impressions from a 6500 mile, five-week coast to coast trailer trip through America. There are over 100 scenic pictures from US National Parks and the American West
Science fictionMacro-economics and public policy (a different form of science fiction)Psychic experiences, telepathy and clairvoyance (yes I am -- and probably so are you)

A Special Interest: Sailing

In the mid- to late-1990s, my wife and I sailed the Chesapeake for six seasons on an S-2 Model 8.0B (26-foot) pocket cruiser. She was a lovely little boat who taught us a lot of things and was very forgiving of our mistakes. But with less than five feet of headroom below deck, weekend cruising was a little like camping out, without the ants. In the winter of 1999, we stepped up to a much more comfortable 1973 Bristol 34.4 sloop. Rafiki ("friend" in Swahili, or "companion" in Arabic) taught us quite a number of other new things. In the seven seasons we sailed her, she impressed us with her handling in both light and heavy air. We took her through the trailing end of a tropical storm in May 2005, weathering 30 knot headwinds, 4-foot chop and heavy opposing tides, without complaint from the boat. Finding deck leaks can seem like purgatory -- no doubt about it. However, the maintenance time on her deck teak was more than compensated for by her longer cruising range, sailing comfort, and stability in Chesapeake surface chop. She also scooted along at over seven knots on a close reach, when she hit that 'sweet spot' that sailors all look for.

In the Spring of 2006, Rafiki went on the hard at Annapolis Sail Yard and was sold. We've relocated about 30 minutes south of Charlotte NC. The picture below offers some idea of why we were so happy with our sailing friend. I would recommend Bristol boats without reservation, for just about any kind of sail cruising.

This brings us to the bottom of my homepage. Feel free to write me, to share your journeys if you feel so inclined. Or write to pose a particular question. I'll help if I can, or I'll find somebody else to help. I'm here for you.

Go in Peace and Power

Last Updated -- April 2018

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