Stroke Victim at 49

17 February 2012

The Great Depression of the 2010's musings part 11-Teacher Bashing, Again

An article in the Chicago Tribune ran a story about CPS teachers union asking for a 30% increase for teachers over the next 2 years for the added 90 minutes a day teachers are asked to work. I am putting up the link to the article. State High Court Sides With CPS in Dispute Over Teacher Layoffs 2012

Below are the comments from the page. What is interesting is the comment page was shut down rather quickly. The only way to access it is through the link I am posting. Other than that there is no way. The question is why? Discussion board/comment section

The most important question asked was the reason the comment section closed, in my humble opinion. It was shortly after I posted this question (highlighted in pink) that they stopped allowing comments.

* I have highlighted my comments in yellow and the contradictory ones in puke green. Maybe someone can tell me if I am crazy or are people really this insensitive and cruel.


PatCole at 1:23 PM February 17, 2012
Those teachers were wrongfully terminated. Plain and simple. I find it strange that the very same people that blast public school teachers for standing up against such treatment are the same that would lose their minds if it happened in their professions and work places.


PatCole at 1:18 PM February 17, 2012
Teachers, especially public school teachers are underpaid. Unions are a great thing ( never mind those that get corrupted like any large organization might possibly be ). Unions have actually been the most stabilizing force for employees in the 20th century until they and governmental regulatory agencies were infiltrated and undermined enmasse by right-wingers beginning in the Reagan era. Any union's power to negotiate protects employees and helps create a standard that even non-union employees can strive for.
Across the country, most people's wages (under economic adjustments) have been sliding downward since 1980 or so. People, like teachers in professions that serve the public good have been under attack and sliding further by the powerful who wish societal advantages like quality education, healthcare, vocational retooling onlly exist in their class. Public Education ( and the people that fight for it ) are one of these things these type of people feel should be under-valued by not only them, but also the very people they wish to keep under-educated, underpaid, and ill-informed.

 

CityChic at 12:02 PM February 17, 2012
The arrogance and ignorance of the CTU is unbelievable.  30% raise in 2 years? 
Sure!  They deserve it!  What, with a 50% graduation rate.  Congrats teachers.  You're doing a bang up job. 
Let's reward more FAILURE.   

History Teacher Lady at 11:41 AM February 17, 2012
If you were contracted to be paid a certain dollar amount an hour and your boss told you that you would now be working an additional 1.5 hours a day without being paid for it, how would you react?
If your boss increased your workload by 50% (filling a classroom with 30+ students) permanently with no compensation, how would you react?
The massive layoff of 1,300 teachers in 2010 effected my position and that of many History Teachers. Of that percentage that found positions in CPS again, I wonder how many were History Teachers? My position was given to a teacher that was not qualified nor endorsed to teach my subject. History/Social Science is one of the first academics to be cut. Just ask your child what they did in Social Science on any given day. If you get an answer, I would be surprised.
How many of those who hate teachers so much in these comment sections have ever spent time, I mean real time, not a few minutes dropping off your kids or going for mandatory report card pickups, in the classrooms, playgrounds or lunchrooms? If you truly believe that teachers are "these lazy people who have all the time in the world", request a tag along with a teacher for a day. Not just the day that starts when the students get there but when a teacher arrived until when they leave. Teaching is a passion and gift. Why belittle those who impart knowledge to our children?

CityChic at 11:59 AM February 17, 2012
Do you honestly think a teacher deserves a 30% raise in 2 years? 
Who do these people think they are?
 

History Teacher Lady at 12:10 PM February 17, 2012
Do you expect to be paid what your employer has contracted you for? Or do you like working for free?

History Teacher Lady at 12:12 PM February 17, 2012
Or do you like having your salary cut?

CityChic at 12:26 PM February 17, 2012
Lady - omg.  Where to begin?
Please explain to me how the CTU was EVER contracted to get a 30% raise?  If so, that is straight up CORRUPTION. 
You people are disgusting criminals - THIEVES.
You're already overpaid for producing a crap product.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.  Absolutely PATHETIC. 

CityChic at 12:28 PM February 17, 2012
I love how not getting a 30% raise is equal to working for FREE.
Omg, you're a teacher?  No wonder the kids in CPS are morons.  Look at the non-logic of the stupid teachers. 
Seriously, you should find a new profession.  No child deserves to be around such stupidity.

History Teacher Lady at 12:49 PM February 17, 2012
Hmmm. contracts obviously mean nothing. That is why the teachers were not given their contractual 4% raise last year.
If you'd read my post, I am no longer a teacher. I was one of the 1,300 laid off non-tenured teachers.
Again I will ask, if you had a certain dollar amount that you were paid each hour and your boss wanted you to work an extra 1.5 hours a day and not get paid for it, how would you feel?
You people? What people are you talking about? People that educate children? Or the ones who have been laid off because of budget cuts and program cuts? Maybe I was stolen from, ie, my teaching position being given to an unqualified unendorsed tenured teacher. Or the career I left to give something back to the community or the city I love. But I have not stolen anything.
When the decision to lay off my position came, my students were 10+ percentile points increase on their ISAT's while 4 percentile points is good standing for the city. I cared and gave much for my students at the expense of my own family. For you to boil students down to a product is shameful.

History Teacher Lady at 1:08 PM February 17, 2012
One of the first things I made sure was understood in the classroom, respect for one another. You don't have to like the people you are in class with but, like family, you have to respect them. Name calling is never an effective way to carry on an argument or disagreement. To effectively debate you need to understand both sides of the issue and debate/discuss. Name calling is for those that have no valid argument, so instead feel the need to intimidate.
 
ChicagoG2 at 11:28 AM February 17, 2012
rationalevoice.. unions treated like crap??? it's the TAXPAYERS that are being treated like crap and extorted by the unions.. they destroy EVERYTHING.. auto ind. steel ind. EDUCATION... all you union hacks bring up is what they did last century... time has moved on and feeding at the trough is finished. TEACH because you LOVE to teach; not because you can retire early with benefits.. almost EVERY teacher I know is more worried about their benefits... which shows you why the schools SUCK so bad in Chicago (also blame libtards WELFARE and lowering of expectations for that too)

ChicagoG2 at 11:22 AM February 17, 2012
The UNIONS want raises when the schools are the worst in the nation, when all of us are taking cuts, when all of us are either paying for our health and retirement or NOT having it... and these idiots want a raise. WAIT until we cut their pay, CUT welfare entitlements.. this Welfare City will look like Greece with all the TAKERS rioting... eventually we WILL have to cut entitlements to the TAKERS and they WILL fight

Conley65 at 11:21 AM February 17, 2012
The important sentence here is "many have already found...jobs within CPS."
Even though teachers' unions and Democrats whine nonstop about the layoffs of teacher, the fact is that very few are actually laid off. Is it a layoff when somebody is transferred to another job down the hall in a slightly different category? According to CPS. What about somebody who iad "laid off" for a week or a month or two and then brought back? Is that really a layoff. No, it isn't. T
Layoff numbers are fakes-these teachers, many of them seriously bad at their jobs, are not losing their jobs, they are being shifted around. This is a ploy to get more money out of the taxpayer for Chicago and the region's execrable public schools.
We need to stop acting like sheep. I would bet most of those 750 are working at CPS right now, and the others chose not to take jobs offered at CPS
Reporters need to do more than copy down what the CPS PR flacks hand out.
 
History Teacher Lady at 11:47 AM February 17, 2012
You are only talking about the tenured teachers. Those that were not tenured did not get shuffled to anyplace but the door.
Would love to know how many non-tenured teachers were re-employed by CPS. Why isn't that number there?

Pork Chop at 11:18 AM February 17, 2012
Chicago democrats. Unions. And the city is broke. Enough said.

ChicagoG2 at 11:23 AM February 17, 2012
Forgot to leave out the billions we spend in Chiago on WELFARE fraud... just look at the ghetto and you'll see how well the libtards system works

Gigi T at 11:15 AM February 17, 2012
30% raise over two years?
Must be smokin Hopium.

Dilbert McClinton at 11:09 AM February 17, 2012
From someone I know who's a CPS teacher, I can tell you that most of what comes out of Karen Lewis's mouth is news to all of them.

jeff191 at 11:14 AM February 17, 2012
Just not what goes into it.

jeff191 at 11:05 AM February 17, 2012
Seriously Tribune, why run the story about Karen Lewis and the CTU wanting a 30% raise without allowing comments on it? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-ctu-proposals-0217-20120217,0,6829485.story

History Teacher Lady at 11:43 AM February 17, 2012
Because they do not want the 1,300 teachers who were laid off to make any comments. Lives were destroyed that June.

JF Kennedy Democrat at 11:02 AM February 17, 2012
Let's see - Johnny can't read and now 'teach' will have to go out and get a full-time job him or herself.  Tough!

jeff191 at 10:56 AM February 17, 2012
This news is going to drive Karen Lewis straight to the buffet. Someone please notify the Old Country Buffet so they can have extra shipments on hand.

ChicagoG2 at 11:24 AM February 17, 2012
are you sure Jabba the Hut eats human food????

jeff191 at 10:54 AM February 17, 2012
This is what happens when you let Mike Madigan pick the judges. Appeal to the US Supreme Court, a court that is outside the corrupting influence of Madigan.

jeff191 at 10:57 AM February 17, 2012
Errr, sorry, the Illinois Supreme Court. Except for Ed Burke's wife, who was no doubt one of the two, they're usually not in Madigan's pocket.

rationaleVoice at 10:53 AM February 17, 2012
Pretty soon....only the losers in society will become teachers.  Teaching will be the go to job for people who can't do anything else.

donttreadonme66 at 10:58 AM February 17, 2012
oh I thought it already IS!!!  Are these people blue collar or white collar workerslike doctors, laywers, architects....they need to decide. If they want to be in a union, then they get treated like it.  If they want to be professionals, then maybe the taxpayers would hold them to a higher level.

rationaleVoice at 11:12 AM February 17, 2012
@donttreadonme66  So basically you think anyone in a Union deserves to be treated like crap?  You see that is where the problem starts.  You don't want to look at teachers as people, like yourself, that educate society's children.  Besides, doctors, lawyers and architects work under CONTRACT the same as teachers.  The difference is that teachers are often bashed for asking for their contract to be honored. Yes, tax-payer money pays for teachers.   But it also pays for superintendents, librarians, janitors, etc.  If I were you I would look at their salaries. As far as taxpayers holding teachers to a higher level - what level are you talking about?  You get what you pay for.
 
donttreadonme66 at 11:23 AM February 17, 2012
@voice...yes public unions are a worthless entity in 2012!!!!  All they are good for is confiscating wages to feed the union bosses who in turn give money and support to democrats who in turn agree to support wage and benefit increases for those who support them....sounds a little crooked to most taxpayers who are FINALLY waking up to this scam!!! 
 
ChicagoG2 at 11:28 AM February 17, 2012
rationalevoice.. unions treated like crap??? it's the TAXPAYERS that are being treated like crap and extorted by the unions.. they destroy EVERYTHING.. auto ind. steel ind. EDUCATION... all you union hacks bring up is what they did last century... time has moved on and feeding at the trough is finished. TEACH because you LOVE to teach; not because you can retire early with benefits.. almost EVERY teacher I know is more worried about their benefits... which shows you why the schools SUCK so bad in Chicago (also blame libtards WELFARE and lowering of expectations for that too)

jake07 at 11:30 AM February 17, 2012
rational not-  If they act like union thugs, as the teachers have done during many contract talks, walk out when prohibbited by law, get inflated salaries and benefits for "not teaching" then yes they are deserving of crap.  There are many good teachers out there but the union and it methods are protecting the lousy ones and not protecting the students. 
Second not many doctors and few lawyers or architects are "under contract" they are usually self owned businesses or independent contractors or employees.  Those jobs have the ability to be eliminated without cause in most cases and certainly can be dumped for lack of performance.  Get some idea of how employment works with a union verses other real workers. 

CityChic at 12:11 PM February 17, 2012
rationalvoice - if these union members think they deserve a 30% raise - even if the damn graduation rate was 100% - they'd be out of their f-ing minds. 
Yes - they should all be treated like crap until they realize that they're undeserving of a 30% raise.  You people are sick and demented. 
I'm stunned and outraged that such a pathetic group of people hold themselves up so high that they are deluded enough to believe they deserve such an exhorbitant raise. 
What planet are you people on? 
Like taxpayers can even afford a 3%. 
I cannot wait until the day that unions are completely extinct. 

14 February 2012

Valentines Day 2012



My postings have been so dark and filled with gloom lately. Life has really slapped me around lately. But for today I want to have a happy note. I am not known for my drawing abilities. My stick man looks pretty good but that is about it. This year for Valentines Day, with finances so tight, I wanted to give something to my husband that I created out of love. With many hours, a nice pre-matted frame from the Brown Elephant ($4) I gave him this:



It is no Picasso but it's pretty not bad for me.

04 February 2012

The Great Depression of the 2010's musings part 9 (Part 2)-It's always heartwarming until someone doesn't have insurance

I am cutting and pasting the article and comments in case the article is no longer available online. In light of yet another article leaving the front page of the paper after I posted a comment.

Enjoy!



Sen. Kirk's recovery will be uniquely personal, stroke survivors say

People who've been there talk about the long journey that lies ahead of anyone with a serious brain injury

 

 

For every survivor of a serious stroke, recovery takes a unique path.

Some fight through rehabilitation to return to their old jobs. Others get back to work, though to a less challenging job. For some, the journey never leads back to the workplace.

When Sen. Mark Kirk suffered a stroke last weekend, people across the country — hundreds of thousands, according to statistics — could identify with the struggles that may lie ahead of him.

Strokes come with little warning, hitting people of all ages and races, those who are fit and those who are not. While some remain relatively unaltered, others lose their ability to move and think clearly.

"It's difficult to predict," said Dr. James Sliwa, chief medical officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "Some people get tremendous recovery back and move on. Some people have more deficits. The process of recovery and rehabilitation goes on for months."

Doctors have given Kirk, 52, a relatively encouraging prognosis, even as he has undergone multiple surgeries to minimize damage from brain swelling that followed the stroke. Doctors say they expect the senator to regain his mental faculties, but he could suffer some lasting paralysis on the left side of his body.

His recovery, they say, likely will be a long one.

The stories of some who have had strokes and other serious brain illnesses show the many paths recovery can take.

SEN. TIM JOHNSON

There's one man in the U.S. Senate who can identify directly with the challenges confronting Sen. Mark Kirk, of Illinois.

Sen. Tim Johnson, of South Dakota, was close to death after suffering a rare brain illness five years ago. He was in a coma when his 60th birthday came and went. He endured about nine months of therapy and treatment before he was able to return to the Senate.

Johnson is noticeably, and admittedly, not the man he was.

He speaks haltingly. He wears loafers because he can't tie his shoes. He asks his wife or an aide for help tying his tie — or goes without one.

He takes an anti-depressant. He drives a specially adapted SUV and uses a motorized scooter to get around Capitol Hill. He can't write with his once-dominant right hand, so he scrawls with his left.

But Johnson, 65, a Democrat, made his way back to the Senate, won a third term in 2008, and now is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Left partially paralyzed on his right side, Johnson had to relearn basic activities such as talking and climbing stairs.

"I learned to walk, or limp, all over again," he said.

During Johnson's re-election campaign in 2008, his GOP challenger tried to make an issue of his refusal to take part in debates. Johnson prevailed with 62 percent of the vote.

"I appreciate the people of South Dakota being patient with me," he said in an interview last week.

He's unsure about a fourth term, however.

His advice for Kirk: Listen to your doctors and therapists, but don't believe it when they say within six months or a year, you'll be healed.

"I kept healing for years," Johnson said. "You occasionally plateau, but it's never over."

Johnson noted that "no two brain injuries are the same," and that he was encouraged by a report that Kirk had asked for his BlackBerry.

"I thought, 'Good for you.' It's cognition. He'll have the same brainpower that he always had," said Johnson, who got to know Kirk because they sit on the banking and appropriations committees.

On Thursday, Johnson and his aides delivered lunch to Kirk's staffers in Washington.

What are other senators saying?

"Everybody feels, 'Best wishes for Mark,' both Republicans and Democrats, because we all have the feeling, 'There but for the grace of God go I,'" Johnson said.

Johnson had one more bit of advice for Kirk: "Never give up."

kskiba@tribune.com

MARTA SZWAYA

Before suffering a hemorrhagic stroke that paralyzed part of the left side of her body, Marta Szwaya was a workaholic who easily put in 100 hours a week, she said.

As a vice president of showrooms and stores at furniture company Baker Knapp and Tubbs, she was boarding a plane almost every day and came to rely on sleeping on red-eye flights.

"I never had time for rest before. I worked too much. I didn't take care of myself. I knew I had high blood pressure, but I didn't have the time to be sick," she said.

Until that day in November 2009 when she collapsed in a restroom at O'Hare International Airport. At that moment, her life changed and forced her to slow down.

When Szwaya, now 57, woke from a coma at Resurrection Medical Center, she was determined to recover from her health crisis.

She slowly relearned how to walk, using a cane and practicing maneuvering her paralyzed left leg. She spent weeks using a treadmill to regain her strength.

She learned how to dress using one hand, she said, and she reorganized her wardrobe with staples that are easier to get into — such as sports bras that have no clasps or buttons.

"Recovery is all about problem-solving," she said.

Five months after she collapsed, she returned to work.

Szwaya left behind her high-profile position and settled into the new role of social media coordinator. She works from her desk in Chicago without traveling. She concentrates on using her best skill, communicating, to help her company, she said.

Still, each day is a challenge, as she gets accustomed to moving at a slower pace and tackling everyday tasks, such as doing housework.

At first it was difficult to step into her same comfy office with a different pace and mission.

"I had to reimagine who I was," she said. "It was hard for me to accept help. It was hard for me to see myself as weak. The people I work with were used to seeing me one way.

"Instead of feeling bad for myself, I just explain: 'I can't do that yet. But wait a while, I'll get there.'"

One of Szwaya's challenges on her first day back at work was opening the restroom door, she said. The door seemed so heavy that she stood there for a moment, staring at it.

She slowly walked back to her office and asked a secretary to come open it for her.

"People are so nice. People are lovely," she said. "Before you knew it, I was doing it for myself."

lbowean@tribune.com

WALTER REID

There are times when Walter Reid is speaking and his voice gets a bit raspy and his throat feels dry. Throughout the day, the left side of his face tingles and he feels stinging sensations in his right arm and leg.

But in the three years since Reid suffered a stroke at his South Side home, he has learned to walk again, learned to speak again and has returned to his job as the chief of investigations in the inspector general's office for the Illinois secretary of state. He is driving, carrying the same workload and living almost as active a life as he did before he fell sick, he said.

"I'm totally blessed," said the 59-year-old Chatham resident. "I try to eat healthy. I think positive. Every day I wake up and thank the Lord for letting me wake up. I know he's got a purpose for me."

Reid remembers vividly the January 2009 day when he suffered a stroke, he said. He was preparing to do laundry when he was struck with a debilitating headache. The room started spinning and he could hardly stand on his feet.

"I called for my wife and I said, 'Dear, I think I'm having a stroke. Call 911,'" he recalled.

When his wife and two young children visited Reid in the hospital, he resolved to work as hard as he could to recover.

"I want to be around to see them get married," he said. "At first I asked myself, 'Why me?' Then I thought, 'Why not me?' There's a reason I survived. Maybe I can inspire someone else."

Reid was hospitalized for five weeks and then started intense rehabilitation: half-day sessions three days a week with therapists. They worked on getting him walking again and had him perform exercises to restore the feeling in his paralyzed limbs.

"It was difficult to cope with because I lost my independence. I couldn't button my shirts. I could not shave myself. I felt demoralized, frustrated and angry," he said. "But my source of inspiration was my spirituality, my family and the medical professionals at the hospital" and rehabilitation center.

At home, he spent hours on his stationary bike and lifted weights. He drilled himself mentally, trying to remember who was in his graduating high school class or high school track team, he said.

It took eight months before he felt ready to return to work. Even that step was a form of therapy, he said. Since returning to his job in September 2009, Reid said, he hasn't missed a day of work because of the effects of his stroke. His recovery has been so successful that as he walks around his Willowbrook office, it would be difficult to recognize any signs of his past ailment.

"My motto is to keep moving," he said. "It means more than just physically moving. It means moving spiritually, mentally, emotionally. I do mental gymnastics to keep my mind sharp. I do a lot of walking. Every day I'm moving."

lbowean@tribune.com

FRANK WATSON

Sometimes strangers ask Frank Watson about his limp or note the stiffness of his right arm.

Watson, the former Republican leader of the Illinois Senate, often gives a vague response.

"I just say, 'It's an old injury,'" Watson said. "Because that's what it was."

In late 2008, Watson was campaigning when he began slurring his words and lost movement in his right arm and leg. Doctors later discovered that a clot had caused him to have a stroke in his brainstem.

Simple comprehension tasks suddenly were insurmountable. Watson, now 66, was unable to read a short passage of text and remember the details, and he had problems organizing colors. Due to right-side paralysis, he couldn't walk or write.

Watson, a skilled orator and legislator, said he felt uncertain and depressed.

Still, he was re-elected to the Senate the following month. Although he relinquished his leadership position, Watson returned to his job in February 2009 believing that he could regain his abilities in several months. His rehabilitation was more difficult than he anticipated, however, so he decided to devote himself completely to recovery and resigned later that month.

"I just thought I wouldn't be able to do the job justice," Watson said.

Rehabilitation became Watson's fixation. He spent hours a day strengthening his mind, trying to recall as many animals as he could think of in a zoo, as many tools as he could think of in a toolbox, working crosswords and anagrams and reading his favorite authors. He stood in front of a mirror, reciting the alphabet and rehearsing tongue-twisting phrases. He also plodded through physical exercises, turning a crank using his right arm and lying on the floor to do leg lifts.

Watson moved from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane and eventually could walk unassisted.

But he still vividly recalls the first time he encountered an escalator while shopping with his wife.

"I couldn't take the step, a simple thing like that," Watson said. "It was just my balance, the steps are moving and I'm standing still, and I just didn't have the confidence."

Regaining a belief in himself has been a crucial part of Watson's recovery. Over the years, Watson has relearned how to write and has switched from Velcro to shoelaces. Although he still hesitates on escalators, avoids carrying liquids in a glass and has muscle spasms in his right leg, Watson said he hopes he will continue to improve.

He reads avidly, uses his relaxing time to do muscle exercises and has been trying to strengthen his motor skills — even when it means putting himself in frustrating situations.

On Thursday, Watson said he and his son-in-law went golfing, a sport that Watson used to love.

"Now it's like army golf: I hit the ball, and it goes right. I hit the ball, and it goes left," Watson said. "But I'm out there enjoying life, and that is a big part of it."

EDWARD MOGUL

Edward Mogul can deconstruct biblical Hebrew and detail Plato's dialogues and the Illinois criminal code with ease.

But basic tasks, such as tying shoelaces, cutting food and driving, remain beyond his reach.

In April 2011, a blood clot lodged in the left side of Mogul's brain, paralyzing the right side of his body and weakening the robust voice he had used for decades in Chicago courts as a trial lawyer and in classrooms as a teacher.

"I didn't feel pain, but I was helpless," said Mogul, 66. "And for a man of my age, who's never been helpless before, I didn't like it."

So Mogul focused on mastering the minuscule — willing his fingers to wiggle, trying to shift his ankle. He spent hours sweating on a treadmill, wearing a harness strung from the ceiling, and pedaling a recumbent bike. After months of therapy, Mogul could walk using a cane.

He had bars installed in his bathroom at home and got used to wearing elastic shoelaces and going without a tie. He hired his father's former caregiver to give him daily help administering medicines and driving around town. And he became familiar with the CTA bus system.

His first attempt at public transportation proved particularly challenging. After he slowly walked to a bus stop one morning and struggled aboard the bus, an older woman stood up and gave Mogul her seat, which he took gratefully.

"It encapsulated how my position had changed a bit," said Mogul, chuckling.

Although doctors advised him to lighten his workload, Mogul said he still took a case fewer than two months after the stroke.

"Because my body failed me, I wanted to prove to myself, I think, that my mind was just as strong," Mogul said.

Mogul won the case, but the physical strain led him to scale back and focus on rehab. He took the summer off, dropped his teaching load to one class a semester and avoided going to court when possible.

Mogul still spends hours a week on his physical rehab and hopes to drive soon.

He said that in some ways the stroke has taught him about himself, what is important in life and what he is capable of withstanding.

Last week, Mogul stood in front of students at Wright College, steadying himself against the lectern with his left hand, and asked them to think about similar questions as they progressed through Plato's writings and their own lives.

"Does my life have any meaning?" Mogul instructed the students to ask themselves. "Does my life have a purpose? Who am I?"

kskiba@tribune.com

cdizikes@tribune.com

lbowean@tribune.com

Tonya Windham at 8:30 PM January 30, 2012 i hope this will help congress to pay more attention to stroke patients needs.
this is serious and in order to help medicare needs changes to meet needs and
have therapy that ones may need.
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History Teacher Lady at 9:24 AM January 29, 2012 These are all wonderful stories on recovery for those fortunate enough to have medical coverage. When my husband had his stroke Thanksgiving weekend of 2010 he went through all of the same recoveries until April of 2011. That was when we were informed that we no longer had medicaid because our son turned 18. He was still completing senior year but because my husband had lost his job earlier that year and I was laid off with 1200 other Teachers that year we had an income, unemployment (my sole unemployment) that was too high for a family of 2. We were a family of 3. I guess my son was suppose to quit school during his senior year once he turned 18.
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History Teacher Lady at 9:25 AM January 29, 2012 My husband has had to go without recovery therapies, doctors appointments, oh yeah, and is still on blood thinners for the rest of his life because of the stroke but it is not being monitored which it needs to be every month. We cannot afford the Doctors appointments. He is diabled but will not be eligible for Medicare till November of 2012, 24 months after the stroke due to his age. He was only 49 when he had his stroke. We pay out of pocket for 16 medications for him (3 of which do not offer generic. Our cost is over $600 a month). So all of these stories of wonderful recovery are made possible due to health care. My husband is disabled for life. He only recieved half of the treatment he should have because of Medicaid cutting him off. You have a one year window for gaining back the most. That window is closed and who knows when he will be able to have his blood thinners monitored again. Or when they will be able to ultrasound his leg to see if the clots that run the length of his leg have broken up due to the blood thinners. Or the cronic pain in his feet due to the neropathy will be addressed again at a Pain Clinic. All of the people in this article are fortunate beyond compare, they have the health benefits that will aid in their recovery. My poor husband has been left by the side of the road.
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History Teacher Lady at 9:25 AM January 29, 2012 As for teaching, one of the first programs they cut in schools, academically, is Social Science. I still recall at our last staff meeting at my old school the principal stated, "Anyone can teach social science." So they gave my position to someone who was not quilified nor endorsed to teach it. Every job fair has one or two history positions available and over 100 candidates in line for the job.
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Chgo resident at 10:48 AM January 29, 2012 Do you live outside Illinois?  I question why you cannot go to Cook County Hospital, which has in the past accepted people from other counties in Illinois and provides lots of care for illegal aliens.
Why don't you divorce him and see if he qualifies then?
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History Teacher Lady at 1:02 PM January 29, 2012 Not sure what your beliefs are but why should I have to divorce a man that I have made a pledge to for better or worse, just for his medical treatment? What do you say to your child, family, community? Sorry folks, just have to lie to the government about what our relationship is to get medical treatment. That seems insane to me.
As for Cook County, have you ever been there? Do you know what the paperwork and wait can do to a disabled person? It is real easy to pass judgement or say what you would do when you are not the one who is going through it.  

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levelhead at 6:01 PM January 29, 2012 History Teacher Lady, you're right that all of the recovery stories here assume medical coverage, and these people are fortunate to have it. I can't imagine what it would be like to go through this in your situation. It sounds outrageous.  No one should have to go through what you and your family are going through
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Tonya Windham at 8:43 PM January 30, 2012 this re to the letter under this one. i understand the stuff about medicaid and medican i had the same issues. the cost i went broke over therapy and medican. i have 2 kids and i had to keep my house. i took care of him and still do. in order to get any food stamps and other help from the state i was told i was going to have to get rid of a car or truck. i already spent all the savings on him so there was not that.we was getting ssi and that was 570 a month. it was hard. so i understand. i hope now that this man has had a stroke changes will be made and looked into. good luck to them. i wish you well. it is a hard road to go down. my husband to is disabled for life. limited words and can't use his right arm hand or leg or foot. the is no therapy.

The Great Depression of the 2010's musings part 10-Is it just me?


I have to actually cut and paste the article because I am afraid it may disappear. Yet again, an article is posted TODAY, I make a comment on it and it is no longer on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. It has to make me wonder why. This is twice that I have posted a comment about the truth in medical treatment for stroke survivors in Illinois after they have lost their job and Medicaid cuts them off. The article is pulled from the front page as soon as I bring it to light. I have posted the link to the article above and will cut and paste the article below with my comment so it can be read. 

Time to move on Medicaid spending

 When Gov. Pat Quinn spoke Wednesday about the state of the state, he gave a brief nod to the groaning cost of Illinois' single biggest operating expense: Medicaid.

The state expects to have about $1.7 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills on hand at the end of fiscal 2012. That backlog will balloon to
$21 billion in just five years if the state doesn't overhaul Medicaid spending.

That will be a diaster for the 2.7 million Illinoisans who depend on Medicaid, for taxpayers and for medical providers. More doctors are likely to stop accepting Medicaid patients because they won't get paid remotely close to on time.


Quinn's budget address is Feb. 22. That's when we should learn the details of how he proposes to curb Medicaid spending.


Here's what he needs to do:


• Speed the switch to managed care. Half of Illinois' Medicaid patients are supposed to be moved into managed care by 2015. The overarching strategy is to improve health care for Medicaid patients and save the state tens of millions of dollars. Managed care generally means patients are assigned a "medical home" — a doctor (it could be an HMO-style clinic) who oversees their care. Doctor and hospital fees are geared to delivering better health care, not just more of it.


So far, only about 40,000 patients have been switched to managed care. The state needs to dramatically pick up the pace of this vital program. The faster patients move to managed care, the better the care, and the more the state saves in cost.


• Accelerate the move of residents from obsolete and expensive institutions for the developmentally disabled to community-base care. Quinn's on the right track here with his plans to shut down two state institutions. The residents will get better care and the state will save money. But Illinois still lags far behind many other states in making this transition. Last year, Quinn proposed that several state facilities be shut. He needs to keep the state on course to reach that goal.


• End Illinois Cares Rx. That's a
prescription drug program that supplements coverage for seniors. But the feds don't help pay for it. Eliminating it will save $54 million.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services director Julie Hamos is expected to deliver a wide-ranging list of Medicaid cost-cutting options to a bipartisan committee of state lawmakers later this month. The goal: Save as much as $2.7 billion in the $14 billion Medicaid budget.


"Everything has to be on the table to keep the program solvent," Illinois Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, tells us.


Nothing's final yet. But we like what we're hearing.


The state could save big, for instance, by capping how much it will pay per patient for so-called "optional services." That includes dental work and prescription drugs. The idea: Patients should be allowed to choose from those services, but the state would set a cap on how much it will spend for each patient.


Another good idea: Require a co-payment from Medicaid recipients for emergency room visits that aren't emergencies. That could save millions by cutting down on expensive visits to the ER.


Providers also need to be in the savings mix. For Medicaid to thrive, hospitals need to reduce costly readmissions. Illinois has the highest rate of such readmissions in the nation, according to a 2010 study by the Center for Health Care Strategies Inc. The state should offer hospitals incentives to cut that rate, and penalize hospitals that fail.


Those are just some of the ways to save money while delivering quality care. There are many more.


Let's also remember that the state's Medicaid program will add up to 800,000 people beginning in 2014, when the federal health care overhaul kicks in. The feds will fully reimburse the state for those beneficiaries ... for three years. Then Illinois will be stuck with a slice of that bill.


Bottom line: Illinois needs to curb Medicaid spending dramatically starting
now. Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

 

 

History Teacher Lady at 11:21 AM February 4, 2012
"The state could save big, for instance, by capping how much it will pay per patient for so-called "optional services." That includes dental work and prescription drugs. The idea: Patients should be allowed to choose from those services, but the state would set a cap on how much it will spend for each patient."
I love this. Prescriptions are considered optional services. Tell this to a stroke survivor, like Senator Kirk, who is on 16 medications. Maybe the physical and occupational therapies are optional too. You know the things you need to learn how to walk and function again.
Medicaid seems to think that when you suffer a debilitating stroke you have too large of an income with disability to qualify for Medicaid. Let's not forget that you do not qualify for Medicare until 24 months after your stroke because of your age.  Now all of your 16 prescriptions are paid out of pocket (+$600 a month) and you can no longer get your blood thinner levels monitored every month as they need to be. Yeah, those pesky optional blood thinners that were prescribed to PREVENT the clots running the length of your leg to get bigger and cause another stroke. Yeah, let's make sure none of that is monitored because Medicaid is paying for all of that optional life saving treatments.
This just makes me sick.