People with Disabilities – Crossroads Diversified

Helping to Give Individuals a Sense of PurposeThough we have evolved now provide employment services to all job seekers wanting to get back to work, one main focus still remains serving people with disabilities. We recognize that a steady job not only gives individuals a sense of purpose, but for people with disabilities, it also often plays an important role in helping to maintain good mental health and a sense of normality. In addition, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 15.0 percent in 2011, well above the figure of 8.7 percent for those with no disability. (Source: U.S. Dept of Labor Statistics) This disproportionately high rate of unemployment contributes greatly to the national cost of individual entitlements in the form of disability benefits and unemployment payments.Crossroads provides a full-range of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment and job placement services for people with disabilities.  Through individualized services, our clients are able to successfully secure and maintain employment. Many of Crossroads’ facility services employees began first as Crossroads clients – struggling with a disability but yet having that desire to work and become more self-sufficient. With Crossroads’ help, they became employees of the organization; some have been with us for more than 30 years!The categories of services which we provide our clients with disabilities include:Create a PlanPrepare for WorkFind Your Job and Stay EmployedCreate a PlanEvery individual’s path in life is different – whether you are meant for a job in front of a computer or behind a lawn mower – having a sound plan is the first step towards success. At Crossroads, we will first conduct a vocational assessment with you – the first step to help you create a plan based on your interest, your skills, and your strengths. We will also consider any barriers you may have to finding a job, and help you outline the steps necessary to achieve your goals.If you are ready to create a job search plan, call Crossroads at (916) 457-1900 or email us at for WorkWhether you are looking for a job for the very first time or want to retrain to make yourself more marketable in an increasingly competitive job market, Crossroads can help you prepare for this next step. Depending on your level of experience, your ability and capacity to work, you may need a variety of services so that you are best positioned for a successful job search. Crossroads can provide these services.From fundamental skills like filling out a job application and answering standard interview questions to acquiring specific technical skills like vocational training, Crossroads can provide comprehensive supportive services that individuals need to entering or re-entering the labor force.Services that Crossroads can provide to people with disabilities include:Filling out an applicationSoft skills trainingResume writingInterview prepJob retention strategiesIf you want to figure out what you need to be prepared for your first or your next job, call Crossroads at (916) 457-1900 or email us at Your Job and Stay EmployedOnline job postings, word of mouth, “help wanted” signs on the windows of local retailers…there are so many different ways to find job opportunities. But how do you find the one that is right for you? For people with disabilities or other barriers, this task can be especially daunting.At Crossroads, we have nearly 35 years of experience in helping job seekers with special needs find appropriate employment. We seek and build relationships with local businesses that share our philosophy that hiring people with disabilities not only enriches our community, but also contributes to their bottom line.Crossroads has helped place quality job seekers with businesses like Safeway, Subway, Home Depot, JimBoys Tacos and other small and large local businesses. Depending on your needs and your eligibility, Crossroads may be able to provide additional services that will help you stay employed once you find your job, such as follow-along services to help coordinate employer accommodations. You may also qualify for transportation assistance, in which case Crossroads can provide public transportation vouchers.If you want to know if you qualify for job placement and ongoing support services, call Crossroads at (916) 457-1900 or email us at also a proud partner of Ticket to Work – an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The Ticket Program is part of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999–legislation designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain

Source: People with Disabilities – Crossroads Diversified

Review: August and September 2016. California Advocacy Day (NPAF | CCCC) Music Moves Awareness (iPain)

On August 1st and 2nd, I was honored to have been invited to attend the California Advocacy Day, debriefing and meetings with Senators and/or their staff at the California State Capital via the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) and the California Chronic Care Coalition. Attending as the Advocacy Director of the International Pain Foundation and NPAF patient advocate, I had the privilege of meeting many new people including Liz Helm, and be in the presence of others I’ve crossed paths with at the Capital over the years.


For the last 2 years the International Pain Foundation has been working on a multifaceted project. Music Moves Awareness premiered on September 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Releasing their Debut song Hope is True, iPain moved to inspire everyone with an an upbeat, inspirational dance  tune that can get patients moving simply by it’s enthusiastic beats.

The 12 Steps to Patient Empowerment was developed with each contributing writer not knowing what they were writing about. The most amazing challenge to create without secondary knowledge and the best outcome that might be hoped for.

Copies are available for your business, offices, health establishments. Please contact: or contact me directly at:

Meet the iPain Featurettes 

Nominated and awarded the Melanie McDowell Awareness and Advocacy Award – Hero of hope 2016. Smiles for miles.



This year was an accumulation of heartache and hope.



The morning after Music Moves Awareness debut in Los Angeles California. Gayle M. Taylor-Ford, iPain Board of Directors and author of Step 10 – Pain Management, Twinkle VanFleet, Advocacy Director,  Melanie McDowell Hero of Hope recipient, iPain, and Barby Ingle, President International Pain Foundation and author of Step 1 – Empower! and co author of Step 3 Discussion – with Sara Hobbs.

I’m thrilled to be the author of Step 2- Responsibility. 12 Steps to Patient Empowerment and feature- Stronger Than Pain in the current addition of iPain Living Magazine.



By Twinkle Wood-VanFleet

For my husband Erik VanFleet


If 17 could last forever, my flight just left the ground-


Heading for my home town, young and summer bound.


If 17 might last forever, oh yes! That’s where I’d be-


Ssh! Can you feel that moment, the first time you laid eyes on me.


Listen! Can you hear the music? Would you have looked my way again?


Would the song still be playing, or ending just as friends?


If 17 could last forever, still at the river, in the sand?


Or strolling through Old Sac, while walking hand in hand.


Hey! Can you feel the summer time heat? June through hot August nights-


Our first night at Garcia’s Bends, together beneath the moonlight.


Oh! Can you feel that memory, as you first took me in your arms?


If that summer had just begun, would you still shower me with charms?


If 17 would last forever, could you have loved me in the end?


I just close my eyes and remember, I’m still 17 again.

17 - Twinkle V.

17 – Twinkle V.

©2001-2015 Twinkle Wood-VanFleet/Golden Rainbow Poetry/All Rights Reserved.

For viewing purposes only. May not be copied, reproduced or altered in any way without permission. Published at several poetry sites throughout the years. Originally published by Golden Rainbow Poetry licensed as a small business in the City of West Sacramento 1995. OL- 1997. Written in the 1990’S.

Copyright Laws and Regulations of the United States

Gall Bladder Fiasco Continued and hopefully the Final Chapter!


The first part of this story can be found here shared May 18th. I had my ERCP that showed I had Gall Stones hanging out over by the piece of Gall Bladder that was adhered to my liver since March of 2012 when I originally had it removed. The test also showed the lining of my stomach and surrounding areas were severely inflamed. I was given another diagnosis of Gastritis. So of course I waited to see the surgeon again and get my surgery date scheduled. It was scheduled for July 10th, 2013. 1 week ago today!

The surgeon told me that he would try to remove it first like the last time. I would have 4 small incisions. If he couldn’t get it he would have to do a larger cut. I was scheduled for a Laparoscopic Completion, Cholecystectomy, Possible Open, Possible Cholangiagrams. I signed the forms! I had to arrive at Mercy General Hospital at 5:30 a.m that morning for 7:30 a.m surgery. The surgeon told my husband to give him 4 hours, but that he could be done in an hour and a half, but not to worry until the 4th hour. I headed into the OR.

Now I have to laugh about this because I felt my hand zing and then zing again. They were putting me to sleep! But I didn’t go to sleep. So the Anesthesiologist ask me what I did for a living and I went on to babble about RSD/CRPS awareness, educating, working for the Power of Pain, I just chatted them right up and I know they were waiting for me to go down, even gave me more a few seconds or so before, I felt it. I remember looking off and thinking I’m going to go to sleep now and started to say it, but then I woke up in recovery with worse pain than the first time.


I still have swelling, a lump above my top incision that hasn’t gone down yet. When my doc called me the day after my surgery to check up on me, I told him about it, he said it was because that’s where he beat me up the worse. Funny! I laughed! That is where he had to use the tools and manipulate inside me to peel that piece off my liver, he said it should go down in a few days. I hasn’t yet though. I tried to drop the pain medication yesterday and switch to OTC NSAIDS but when I woke this morning I was hurting so bad from the top incision/lump to the side ones. A feeling of being inner bruised. Understandable really. So I’ve switching back and forth from Norco 10/325 to 4 OTC Ibuprofen. The Ibuprofen will help the inflammatory more than Norco will. Tylenol doesn’t touch that type of pain for me.

I was also mentioned to me that I have Crohn’s Disease. It’s a lot to process. My Gastrointestinal problems have become so bad that it seems the likelihood of internal CRPS is more my situation. I’m not going to mention all the symptoms right now, I’ve mentioned some of them in my group, on my facebook timeline, I just really need to find a doctor, a GI or Internal Medicine that is educated in RSD/CRPS, not one who has only heard of it. That was my experience with this surgery, a few heard of it, no one “knew” about it. My own primary doesn’t know “about” it. I had to educated him with just pieces as there is never enough time for it all.

I’m lucky to keep food down, even things to drink, I have to pick and choose carefully, the doc did also send me home with the generic for Prilosec to take a half hour before I eat anything first time each day. I either have diarrhea or can’t potty at all for weeks.

It seems the surgery has eased the pain over under my ribs on the right, but so far the mid back pain and other pain is still here. I had my SCS checked 2 days before my surgery by my Medtronic Specialist. It’s fine!

When the surgeon removed that piece of Gall Bladder it was full of fluid and was growing new tissue. He was able to remove several stones from that same area. The pathology is already back and it was negative for any cancerous cells.

On Monday when I had a follow up to my OBGYN due to inflammation found on my Uterus and the cyst(s) found on my right ovary which is larger than my left side and includes scar tissue as does my lower belly from left side to the entire right from an ectopic and exploratory surgery many moons ago.  I opted for what I believe is called Nexplanon. I could have also tried the Depo or an IUD. Never again to an IUD for that is how I conceived my Ectopic twins. And I’ve tried Depo Provera  and didn’t believe since these were my only options it was right for me. Normally the implant with is a small flexible tube is used as a form of birth control which can last up to 3 years and it stops the menstrual cycle. Yay! It was implanted beneath my inner left arm. The reason I opted for this was that my other option was a full Hysterectomy. This option buys me some time. I am not ready for more surgery yet. If at all. First of all it’s not safe for those of us with RSD/CRPS and secondly repetitive surgeries just aren’t safe for any of us. We always have to decide in the end what is best for us by weighing the pros and cons to it all.

If your doctors aren’t aware of your RSD/CRPS, please educate them. I do in pieces and portions but we only have so much time in each appointment. If need be take information and have it put in your file. In fact, that is exactly what I’m doing for my 24th follow-up with my surgeon and when I see the other’s next, same for them. My surgeon seems really great and caring. To call my husband at home to check on me and then asked to speak with me for a few moments even though I was resting, I respect that. You don’t get that much now a days. I think he will be appreciative, not upset or offended. Not the people should be, yet sometimes they are, especially when the info comes from no medical degree persons like myself. Some become quite offensive, also. They assume we think we’re know it all’s! Farthest from the truth! So I’ll hand off the info which will include more than 1 source and see which one actually has a broader perspective the next time I see him.

While I’m sure it’s happened before, no one from my surgical team had heard of it and no one from my doctor’s offices had heard of it…

Nor from my own communities online and off, family or friends.

I actually gave birth to a Gall Bladder twice! Just different sizes!

So glad it’s over and I’m on the path to healing again.

One down!

~Twinkle VanFleet

CRPS Survivor