Gillette Law - August/September 2019

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ILLETTE

GAZETTE

AUG/SEPT 2019

THE SAME BOAT

THE GILLETTE FAMILY TAKES TO THE OPEN SEAS

Chef Jonathan Cruz hosted the Gillette party for lunch at Shibō in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

With fall just around the corner, I’m finally beginning to feel like I’ve recovered from summer vacation. It’s been a while since the whole Gillette household traveled together, but, with my eldest son graduating with his degree in electrical engineering and my next-eldest son graduating from high school, there was no better time to get together and celebrate. Jennifer and I, with our four kids, headed out on the high seas, and we weren’t alone. Joining us on our voyage were my parents, my aunt, Jen’s mother and sister, our godson, and his parents for a whopping total of 14 people! We were less of a crowd and more of an army. That said, I’m glad we were all able to pack ourselves onto the cruise ship. In fact, my godson’s mother is a travel agent (www.actnowtravel.com), so this trip literally couldn’t have been pulled off without her. Despite our massive group, we always had things to do. No matter what activities we all split up to do during the day, all 14 of us always made sure to get back together for dinner. We also made it a rule that you could never sit next to the same person twice, so everyone got a good chance to catch up. We also had a memorable lunch when our ship stopped in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m a big fan of the show “Bar Rescue” from the Paramount Network. In the program, Jon Taffer, the “Gordon Ramsey of bars,” visits failing bars and uses his 30 years of hands-on experience to help the owners turn their business around. A key episode was set in San Juan just a year after the city had been devastated by two hurricanes. In the wake of the destruction, the owner and head chef of “Shibō,” a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, was struggling to reopen. With Taffer’s help, they were able to come back stronger than ever. The full episode can be seen here: prmnt.net/2JEEpey And we got reservations to this exact restaurant! Not only was the food delicious, but we got to meet the chef and his girlfriend, Maria, both of whom were featured in the episode! There were plenty of highlights on this trip, including a full-blown tour of St. Thomas and riding horses along the beach at Grand Turk, but this lunch was

definitely something special. Still, as incredible as each of these Caribbean destinations were, the journey in between these islands ended up being the most memorable. This was my first time on a cruise ship. In fact, it was my first time leaving the U.S. since 1999. I’d flown over the ocean before, but traveling out into open water was a completely different experience. Looking over the side I finally realized just how literal the phrase “deep blue sea” really is. I didn’t think it would be such a rich color, but it was the people on the ship who really surprised me. On paper, thousands of people packed onto a 15-story-tall boat sounds like a recipe for disaster. I fully expected people to be as grumpy and on edge as they are in airports and similar travel situations, but this was just the opposite. Never in my life have I met more friendly, open people than on this cruise. Passengers would strike up conversations with each other in elevators, join in on group parties, and just generally treat one another well. This really stood out to me because my mother-in-law was recently disabled. She uses a scooter to get around now, and she’s still getting used to it, but that didn’t stop her from setting sail with us! As she tried her best to navigate the ship, everyone from crew members to total strangers were so incredibly friendly and helpful. It was a really refreshing sight to see. In such a divided world, being packed into one ship with people of every nationality, political persuasion, and religion ended up being a remarkable experience. As I wondered why everyone was getting along so well, it dawned on me: We’re all in the same boat . We’re all

N e x t D o o r Bu

here together, so why not treat each other well? Maybe if everyone went on more cruises, world peace might just be possible.

Here’s to hoping,

–Brian Gillette

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CoreyMiller Photography

RING, RING — IT’S A ROBOT

Two of the most common scams are phone scams and robocalls. These calls are incredibly annoying and can trick you out of valuable information if you’re not careful. While it might seem like these scams are inescapable, there are some precautions you can take to avoid their traps. Give them the silent treatment. One thing you can do to avoid these fraudulent, time-wasting calls is to simply hang up. If possible, it is best to not answer at all. It’s always good to have a list of numbers you can reference, so you never have to guess who is calling. Think of it as going one step beyond caller ID. In some cases, answering and then hanging up can actually do more harm than good. Answering the phone gives the scammers confirmation that the number works and that they should try again. Once your number is confirmed as active, it often gets put on an “active number” list that can then be sold to other scammers who market in these types of phone numbers. If you can’t verify who is calling without picking up, don’t answer. Let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the person will leave a legitimate message and you can respond afterward. Not all disabilities are visible to the human eye. When it comes to conditions like frequent migraines or epilepsy, it can be hard to “show” clinicians, the Social Security Administration, or courtroom judges what you experience. In these kinds of cases, records contemporaneous to each migraine or seizure are an important part of documenting your disability. In the past, written “diaries” were seen as the only real way to do this. But, thanks to the following apps, tracking these difficult moments has never been easier. Migraine Buddy (migrainebuddy.com) Designed by neurologists and data scientists, this diary app not only allows you to easily note when you are experiencing a migraine, but it also gathers key information to help you identify triggers. You’ll be shown a “head map” to identify where the pain was located and be able to log the type of attack it was, how long it lasted, and what methods you used to address it. You can also note how each individual attack affected your life, including lost time from work or other tasks. Epilepsy Journal (apps.apple.com/us/app/epilepsy- journal/id1450726202) This diary app was designed to make tracking a seizure as easy as possible. After installing the app on your phone, a purple “seizure” button will appear on the interface. This quick-access button makes MIGRAINES? SEIZURES? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Put up some deterrents. You can even go a step further and block the calls. Many phone service providers offer call-blocking options, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You can sign up for this service in-store or on your service provider’s website. Each service costs about $4 per month. There are also a number of call-blocking apps available on Android and Apple devices, but if you subscribe to a blocking service through your phone provider, these apps are unnecessary. Finally, you can sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” program (DoNotCall.gov). While the Do Not Call program can help cut back on calls, this list is largely ignored by scammers. If you’re getting a ridiculous number of robocalls every day, signing up can offer you some brief respite. Thankfully, Congress is already attempting to fix this problem by making it harder for scammers to call you. But until they are able to pass tough, effective legislation, it is up to us as consumers to remain vigilant and do what we can to keep our personal and financial data safe and secure.

tracking an epileptic episode from beginning to end possible. Along with the duration, the app will make a note of your location and ask what you were doing when the seizure took place. Much like Migraine Buddy, this app can help you identify triggers for

your epilepsy and avoid them in the future. Epilepsy Journal also gives you the option of forwarding this data to your doctor via email.

These apps are both great tools for helping you track and manage your symptoms and identify triggering patterns and effective treatments. Having this organized information removes the burden of having to remember every detail of your attacks between doctor visits. We’ve even had a judge tell us how valuable this information was in making a ruling. If you’re living with migraines or seizures, these free apps can make a huge difference in your life.

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GIVING FORGIVENESS

Crushing medical debt has become all too common across America. In fact, the American Journal of Public Health found that 2 out of every 3 bankruptcies nationwide are filed because people cannot pay for treatment. While insurance agencies, health care providers, and Congress have failed so far to make a dent in this crisis, some good Samaritans have begun to step up to make a difference for those in need. Paying for Debt Most medical providers sell debt they do not have the time or resources to collect on. Traditionally, private firms pay pennies on the dollar for the rights to these outstanding payments, gaining the contact information of all the people who now owe them money. Their employees can hound you relentlessly, calling at all hours of the day, sending threatening emails, and generally harassing you until you pay up or go bankrupt. Thankfully, an increasing number of faith- based organizations are turning this practice on its head. Turning the Other Cheek While most firms buy debt to make a profit, it’s possible for a private entity to buy up medical debt and then simply forgive it. That’s exactly what comedian John Oliver did on his award-winning HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” forgiving a record-breaking $15,000,000

of medical debt from the state of Mississippi. This act, and others like it, has inspired an increasing number of charities and church organizations to start doing the same thing.

Crowdfunding Salvation Now, most faith-based organizations don’t have an HBO-sized budget to spend. But, because the rights to medical debts are sold for a fraction of the price patients are on the hook for, even a few thousand dollars can make a huge impact. Groups like RIP Medical Debt have erased over $624,000,000 in debt just through crowdfunding efforts. Even local churches like the Fincastle Baptist Church right here in Virginia have been able to make a huge impact. The Fincastle Church alone managed to wipe out $2,700,000 in debt owed by veterans! As a firm, we cannot commend these efforts more highly. We’ve seen so many of the people we help struggle with medical bills and put up with the unending hassle of debt collectors. It’s heartening to see people across this nation coming together to put a stop to this pain.

SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS From Your Hip Replacement Implant?

MONICA’S OVEN ROASTED ROADKILL

• Hip pain • Groin pain • Pain when standing or weight bearing • Low back pain • Buttock pain If you or a loved one are suffering from:

• Start up pain when walking • Inability to resist during straight leg raise test • Audible clicking sounds • Sensing that hip is not “in place” • High chromium/cobalt levels

You may be entitled to compensation, but your time to collect may be running out. Give us a call and learn how we can help. 757-220-4529

Ingredients

• 2 cans chicken, drained • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes and chilies • 1 onion, chopped • 1 green pepper, chopped • 1 block (8 oz.) Mexican Velveeta, cubed • 1 lb spaghetti

What’s Your Why?

At the Gillette Law Group, PLLC, we wake up every day with a sense of WHY we come to work. We come to work to help people make smart decisions to improve their lives. Our goal is to find clients, who want to improve their lives, and work together with them, so we can all succeed. We are looking for people to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in pursuit of a better life. We are not interested in judging people but in lifting them up and encouraging them forward. Who do you know who could use our help?

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, Rotel, onion, pepper, and Velveeta. Set aside. 3. Cook and drain spaghetti. Combine with other ingredients in a 9x13 inch baking dish. 4. Bake for 30–45 minutes or until bubbly!

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INSIDE This Issue

Can Cruise Ships Create World Peace? page 1

Salvation From Medical Debt page 3

Ring, Ring — It’s a Robot page 2

Oven Roasted Roadkill page 3 Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention page 4

Best Apps for Migraines and Seizures page 2

STOP THE SPREAD

PREVENT COLDS AND THE FLU WITH KID-FRIENDLY TEACHING TOOLS

Ahh ... Ahh ... ACHOO! Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as … well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about how the germs spread through just one sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health. As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov.

School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips. But Mommy Doesn’t Cover Her Nose! Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future.

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