10/27/2014

Kaci Hickox is neither a villian or hero

I decided to weigh in on the Ebola debate after reading Kaci Hickox's account of what happened to her when she reentered the United States after treating patients in Africa. Her story is publish in the Dallas News:http://www.dallasnews.com/ebola/headlines/20141025-uta-grad-isolated-at-new-jersey-hospital-as-part-of-ebola-quarantine.ece


If we didn't have enough to deal with in this countrry now we have an Ebola problem. I'm not talking about an outbreak nor am I really worried, but this recent Kaci Hickox story has once again made me stop and wonder that so maNy people in this country or dying. Why travel to Africa? There's a greater risk  of not getting the proper healthcare if the nurses and doctors themselves get sick. That should  have been her number one concern when she reentered the country. She's claiming her reward for helping people in a third world country was to be treated like a common criminal. Hickox, who currently isn't showing signs of Ebola, is claiming the people who detained her overreacted without consideration to the  fact she is a healthcare professional and therefor knows the risks and the  protocol if she developed symptoms. For the record I'm not worried about an Ebola outbreak nor do I slight Hickox for telling her side of the story.The government did overreact
However one of the takeaways I got from the article is on the one hand Ms Kickox is bemoaning the unprofessional behavior upon returning to this country, she has very right to be critical of her treatment. Hickox goes out of her way to highlight the failures of our government. She says by detaining her the government is denying her civil right and now she's filing a lawsuit . Govs. Christie and Cuomo have come underfire for supporting the quarantine but I am not sure that  this is warranted. Since she doesn't show signs she should be released, On the other hand if she was released and developed  the disease, there a risk she might pass it on to others and then the government would be b lamed for not detecting the threat. The government would also be blamed f or not treating her and  therefor putting the public at risk. It would  highlight another failure that our government isn't doing enough to keep us safe. That would cause even more fear and overreaction by everyone. Can you imagine the fall out?
I  wish Ms nHickox well

10/14/2014

Everyone agreeing not always good

It's October and we're in the midst of the political season which means endless phone calls, fliers and of course TV and Internet ads.  Every one hates them although like the horrific car accidents, you can't help but watch. There's always at  least  one ad that has everyone talking and this year Texas governor candidate Wendy Davis  found herself in hot water.  Davis is running against Greg Abbott, who is in a wheelchair due to a tree accident that left him paralyzed from the waste down. Being a Texas Republican, Abbott is of course a strong supporter of tort reform. The ad was designed to highlight Abbott's hypocrisy on the subject but like all provocative ads, it backfired and even Davis supporters gave the ad an "F". It's not everyday you have liberals and conservatives basically agree, and it's downright toxic to have it be in the  middle of the election season. That's the damage the ad did, it brought both sides together, but for the wrong reason,. It would be different if the ad triggered a bigger discussion on the policy issues regarding folks with disabilities and ways the government could make life easier, but it's too late for that now.  The damage is done and NOW it's in the news cycle. The only upside is  Davis is female and Abbott is male. If the gender roles were reserved and Davis was in a wheelchair, Abbott's fate wou ld have been sealed.
I   myself have seen the ad and have seen the reactions across the spectrum and  something remarkable has happened, people with disabilities  aren't upset as people without disabilities. While I'm not particularly fond of the ad myself, and would never have approved it, I'm also not "offended by it either.  Once I got past the initial shock of the ad, I happened to  agree with it, Greg Abbot did win a medical malpractice lawsuit and is at least giving tort  reform supporters a sympathetic ear. I think this needs to be addressed in the debate between them.
Actually  I am more pissed at Greg Abbott because again while his disability  doesn't define him as a person, it should give him a level of understanding and divorce him from the typical Republican brand. I think that IS fair game and Davis could have legitimately gone after him about it. However doing it now will ensure his victory. Only voters with disabilities will understand this move and I'm not even sure they'll buy it because the original ad is so toxic. It's a Hail Mary even the most saavy political operative couldn't pull off, not now. Abbot is up in the polls and doing this will ensure his victory
It would also do them  both some good if  they outlined their programs to assist people with disabilities with things like education, job placement and independent living. I think this needs to be addressed anyway, but given the fact one of them indeed has a disability it needs to be put in the forefront. It happened in 2008 when the first woman and the first black presidential candidates were running, what's the difference now?

10/01/2014

World CP Day 2014-- My advice for Max

This is the second year I have written something about World Cerebral Palsy Day. Last year I wrote about World CP Day. The need for more research, better oversight of doctors in the delivery room along with more explanations. I also tipped my hat to Ellen Seidman author of Love That Max, about  her 12-year-old son Max who has CP. Even though we haven't met yet, every time I read one of Ellen's posts I feel I know Max,He's also a fire buff and I have encouraged Ellen to get Max into patch collecting. Ellen encouraged parents to submit stories about their children. I decided to  jot down a few notes for Max as he gets older

  1.  Recognize other people have CP- while everyone is an individual there are commons themes that folks that only have CP can g et. Never compare yourself to other people but learn from their experiences  and share your experiences with other kids
  2. One minute you think you're on to of the world, the next minute it come crashing down CP has a funny way of getting in the way at the lousest time. Even when you're going out to dinner, try to eat at home, less food you eat less chance of it spilling on you
  3.  Not everyone is picking on you -  I still have a hard time telling the difference between a tease and sound advice.. It's an  art you need to master on your own
  4.  Sympathy sucks, understanding rocks Yeah this is another one that needs some good judgement on your part. Sympathy runs thin very fast and in the end yo u'll hate yourself for making people feel that way. Although when you're really frustrated  sympathy might make you  feel better, it will make you feel worse in the long run
  5.   Your parents are human- Yeah hard to believe sometimes with all the crap they go through to make your lifre easier, they still sometimes don;t get it. There will be times where you'll think they're horrible, but the really are always looking out for you.
  6.  Sabrina can be understanding and angry at you at the same time Trust me if your climb a 100ft mountain, she'll say you can climb 200 feet. If you upset her, she'll call you out on it. You'll always be her older brother but she'll always feel responsible for you. Speaking of siblings, some day she might make you an uncle.; It will be the coolest thing in the world
  7.  Some people just don't get it There will always be people who will treat you like a second class person, they're jerks. They don't have the capacity of caring anid so you shouldn't be bogged down thinking about them
  8. Stay away from  people who say they know what  you 're going through Pardon the langauge but that's pu re BS this is kind of an extention of #7 but I feel that people who say this are just trying to make you feel better. When this is the case just tell them you just need someone to- talk to
  9.  Never allow someone to label you If you are secure about who you are, nobody sho uld be able to  take that away from you.
  10. You' are your own best advocate Again this is one I haven't quit mastered myself, much to the dismay of my parents. You need to become vocal on your own behalf and vocal doesn't always mean speech.  You need to develop  your ways of communicating  NOW, you'll need them later

Please visit the World CP Day website for more information