Friday, January 6, 2012

My House Rep Gabrielle Giffords is recovering quite well from her Aphasia

This weekend January 8th our Tucson community is going to be commemorating the tragic mulitple shootings and six deaths, including a federal judge, last year outside my local Safeway grocery store. Memorial events and special activities are scheduled all over town with more than a dozen peaceful community events and prayer services as you can read about here.

FYI Please find two articles about Gabby's aphasia condition in the MED Page Neurology Gadget in the left side column of my blog. And or check out the Brain Injury Association website for facts about mild and traumatic brain injury. I wish they would mention the correct medical word for her condition so my dear meningimates with word finding issues would know what is really happening to them and would not become as emotionally frustrated as I was when it temporarily happened to me.

Gabby was recently interviewed on the ABC Evening News by Diane Sawyer and her physical recovery has been remarkable thanks to the extended "state of the art" brain rehabilitation,speech and cognitive therapy she has been receiving daily for the past full year. Obviously Federal health insurance is much better than what most ordinary Americans receive at their job or have to pay for themselves thanks to our tax dollars. (Jan 26th Now she has resigned) Even if she resigns or loses her job in Congress, she will not lose her federal health insurance plan benefits since she has been on the job five years. The Federal insurance plan for US government employees and elected officials is the best in the land and its socialism for powerful and influential politicans. None of them seem to object to the high quality socialized national health care that we provide for each of them. I'm just saying, wouldn't it be more democratic if they would provide the rest of us ordinary 99% with the same level of quality national socialized medical care that 2 million of them get?

Some of us living with a brain injury like mild aphasia, after one or two craniotomies or brain radiation and chemo may struggle very hard home alone to get cognitively back up to speed and go back to work. IF we can walk and talk, we may not be told about treatment for mild aphasia or balance problems or how to apply for or be able to afford a few weeks or months of physical therapy and professional speech therapy with word finding problems, facial retraining exercises, organizational and social skills retraining with a neuropyschologist, occupational therapy and the vestibular balance retraining she is getting and still benefiting from every day. We may need some professional counseling support to recover to the best of our ability and may need new social coping skills to avoid depression or new bad behavior habits after major brain injury or surgery, if we can afford it, because many of us do not have medical health insurance that covers any cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation. She can bravely sing a string of words from a song, yet she has great difficulty expressing her thoughts in her own words and forming complete sentences of more than a few words.

Back to my main social issue, "Triumph over Tragedy in Tucson" is this weekend. The ongoing tragedy is that the great state of Arizona has made more massive budget cuts to mental health care services for brain injured people, troubled youth and adults in Arizona despite this recent tragedy. The young shooter bought his gun and tons of ammunition at a Walmart. He was rejected by the US Army and ejected from the Pima County Community College campus and told to seek mental health services,that information should have been used to add his name to a no buy list wherever weapons are sold, in his condition that was on record, he never should been allowed to buy any weapons. And another major event scheduled in Tucson this weekend is the Pima County Fairground GUN SHOW. How sad and ironic that Pima County officials allowed this gun show to come here on this important symbolic anniversary weekend and some of my neighbors will be buying more new guns right here in her/my Congressional House District this weekend. No funds for mental health needs, or gun sale controls, but we will spend to have a special addition election for someone to take over her spot before the general election in November. What a waste of state funds since her district borders have been changed and gerrymandered out of Pima County to eliminate the NW Tucson area of two small growing towns. My new Rep will be serving Oro Valley, Marana and all the rural areas, Navajo and Apache lands all the way to the northern AZ state border along the eastern half of the state.

Perhaps I will call the gun show for more detailed information and to express my dismay since people are not allowed to bring their pet dogs to the Pima County Fairgrounds, and of course, there is no smoking, and here in rural Republican run Arizona they can bring their own guns almost anywhere they want, even into local bars. Now the strong AZ Gun NRA fans have proposed an AZ state law to allow concealed weapons on our three AZ University campuses. Are they crazy? Jan 7-8 AZ Tucson, Pima County Fairgrounds, Crossroads of the West 801-544-9125