Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2012

Life choices

August 9, 2012


To the editor:

The article on the front page of the Sunday, Aug. 5 paper was disturbing to say the least. The subject was “waiting for assistance from the state.” She has heart problems, diabetes, fibromyalgia and other ailments. She has difficulty walking and has had numerous falls. She needs someone to do dishes and sweep and mop the floor. The article implies that she is “entitled” to help from the state — or those of us who pay taxes.

Not everyone with the same “ailments” expects or demands help for existence. I know a woman who has heart problems, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 20 years ago and has arthritis that has crippled her hands and back. Somehow, this woman managed to work until age 66, maintain a household, exercise almost daily, avoid diabetes in spite of it “running in her family” and decided that her pain and problems would never stop her from living to the fullest.

The woman in the article could improve her life and health by making decisions to manage diabetes with diet and exercise (starting very slowly and increasing as she gains strength), by getting rid of the clutter in her home and decreasing the possibility of falling and by learning some skills for the workplace.

Is it a matter of choice, determination and will to be the woman I know? She never asked for or expected help from the state although she qualified. I know her well. She is my wife.


Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

For the love of...

Not everyone is you or your wife. Each individual is affected differently by disease and medical conditions. Each individual responds differently to treatment and that is why different treatments exist for the same diseases and medical conditions.

Of course, you make the assumption that Ms. Essman has not paid taxes. One of the comments on the earlier article pointed out she ran the Veggie Wagon on 23rd St. for many years. She was employed and that means she paid taxes into the system. How arrogant of you to assume that she has not contributed into the system from which she would like to receive benefits. When you pay into a system, you are entitled to benefits from it should you need them.

And how exactly do you know what she is doing to manage her diabetes? Are you her doctor? You would have absolutely no way of knowing what her current treatment plan is for it.

The reason for her frequent falls & inability to stand at the sink to do her dishes has nothing to do with the "clutter" in her house. It is called diabetic neuropathy. And if you have any knowledge about diabetes, you'd recognize that. Your advice of diet and exercise will not heal nerve damage. She isn't being lazy and hoping that someone will do her housework for her because doesn't want to. She can't do it because the nerve damage in her legs makes physically impossible to do those things.

I swear, the assumptions people make and the arrogance that goes along with it. It isn't enough for them to count their blessings. They've got tear others who aren't as fortunate down.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

And some people know everything. The article looked to me to as someone bilking the system.

It might be said that some people have pride, others don't.

skinny 5 years, 9 months ago

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

It used to be.

Soon, it will be pay as you go, if changes aren't made.

The huge problem with SS is that the government lent out the money in the trust fund, and will have to replace it with interest. Nothing makes sense about lending oneself money and paying interest on it to me.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

The system is still pay forward. There's no cork in the bottom of the piggy bank.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I have no idea what that means.

Very soon, if changes aren't made, we'll be paying benefits out of current SS collections, and be able to pay about 75% of the benefits that way.

And, the "trust fund" has been lent, with interest.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes. I have always had a piggy bank . There is a cork in the bottom that keeps the bank closed until you need the money. Then, you pull the cork. In other words, there was no cork to keep the Social Security trust funds in the bank.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

She is entitled to life liberty and the persuit of happiness. None of which have anything with her current direction.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

My reply is to one among the disappeareded and not to Ragingbear.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

You know, if you took Mr. Vickers' advice and learned some skills for the workplace, you'd have something more productive to do to occupy your time instead of continually re-registering for an online forum whose owners have made it pretty clear that they are not interested in having you a part of.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

The reply was directed to someone who is now among the disappearded and not to Ragingbear.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

My reply was to one who is now among the disappeareded and not to Ragingbear.

Alyosha 5 years, 9 months ago

Above is an example of a comment wholly divorced from reality. The writer apparently believes that Obama (the writer disrespectfully refers to the duly elected President of the United States as "Flex") is responsible for this woman's choices — a ridiculous claim on its face.

Instead of a reasoned, historically accurate discussion of the social service and welfare legislation in the US, all this writer brings to the table is incomprehensible insider jargon and code words, understandable by no one not in on his jokes, that barely refer to any objective reality that reasonable adults interested in actual government would recognize.

False would be laughed out of a room of people involved in actual policy creation and implementation.

paulveer 5 years, 9 months ago

If your WAT is to FHNC, forget it. Just pat the child on the head and ignore.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

No, it was in reply to a poster who is now gone.

I just ignore FHNC.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 9 months ago

Pretty much covers it. I can't think of any others.I'm sure he won't be gone long.

Pete Kennamore 5 years, 9 months ago

Ah fibromyalgia! The middle age depressed white woman's disease that really doesn't exist. No discernible physical markers; just whining women. Treatment, variations on anti-depressants.

asixbury 5 years, 9 months ago

Say that to my crippled uncle who can barely move because of fibromyalgia. I have it to, but not to the extent that he does. I assure you, it is very real. If I prayed, I would pray you never get the disease. It is debilitating.

Are you a doctor? Because this disease has been certified by people who actually know what they’re talking about. It falls in the family of rheumatoid arthritis. It gets worse as you age.

You are a dimwit.

Pete Kennamore 5 years, 9 months ago

Please direct me to a reference to clinical test for fibro other than testimony from the "patient"

Claire Williams 5 years, 9 months ago

It's called "Diagnosis of Exclusion", and it's used very commonly, for many other diseases. Not all diseases leave physical traces, and can only be diagnosed through patient testimony and by ruling out other alternatives. These diseases include Bell's Palsy, sarcoidosis, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, and pretty much every psychological/psychiatric condition in existence. But by your logic, none of these diseases REALLY exist, as there isn't a handy little lab test YET that you can do to diagnose them. As we advance in study of diseases like these, researchers may find a physical marker or indicator to assist in diagnosis.

asixbury 5 years, 9 months ago

To be diagnosed, you go to a rheumatoid arthritis specialist. He tests certain pressure points and your reaction to the stimulus. If you react a certain way (with excruciating pain) then you probably have it. That is only the first step. They also test you to make sure it isn't something else.

Armored_One 5 years, 9 months ago

oh, like decreased sex drive in males... no actual physical markers, just whining men... just as many clinical tests as fibromyalgia...

Julie Jacob 5 years, 9 months ago

Elrond, I've had fibro for over a decade and it took nearly 5 years to get it diagnosed because of attitudes like yours. Explain to me how I can do nothing and end up in the same pain as if I did 5 hours of yardwork? Explain to me why my shoulders and back hurt so bad some days that i nearly cry just having a shirt on? Explain to me why my hands swell to nearly twice their normal size for no reason.

Just like Doug's wife, I continue to work and try to keep up with my household. I refuse to give in to this condition although I know someday my body will just give out.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow. guess you don't have much respect for people suffering from fibromyalgia and even less for women. What your really saying is women who have no observable symptoms should be placed into asylums for their protection like in the late 1800's. That is about as ignorant as treating them with manual manipulation or Lysol Douche for treatment of about everything including birth control.

bunnyhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey, Elrond! How's your ignorance treatment working for you?

jaywalker 5 years, 9 months ago

God bless you, Mrs. Vickers. Cop a clue, Doug.

Nellane Laney Croan Stussie 5 years, 9 months ago

According to Social Security, about 7.8 million people where receiving SS Disability or SS Income in 2006, with the average monthly payment of about $978. The average age was 52 and about 2.6 million people of the total were “disabled” for emotional or mental disorders.

While the vast majority of the people receiving SSI are disabled and deserve the payments they are getting, there are an increasing number of people who are claiming depression or other mood disorders as a reason for being unable to work. Mild mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety, often improve when the person gets a job or even works as a volunteer.

Most first time applicants are routinely turned down for SSI and are not successful until they hire an attorney who "knows the ropes" and can get the claim approved. The attorney gets about 25% of the award. If you are turned down for SSI and are later approved for the same disability, you get paid retroactive to your first refusal date.

Currently there is a backlog of about 750,000 applications for SSI, and in some areas of the US applicants have to wait up to two years for a first hearing.

Social Security disability is an important source of income for millions of Americans who unable to work. We must protect this critical safety net from people who's major goal is to get on some form of government assistance and avoid working at all, unless it is for under the table cash, of course.

To report suspected Social Security fraud, waste, or abuse:

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

And all the conservatives on this forum are jealous of that $987/ month. It's more than they make living in their mom's basement.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Some get mad when one says they are voting against the own best interest. Yet the angry middle to lower income Republicans will mindlessly keep voting for the same people that will do nothing to help their cause but kick them in the butt. Will see who they blame when they have no basement to live in because there mom was taxed out of her house or dies from lack of medical treatment. Better yet, when a middle class family is shredded because the bread winner was hurt on the job and there are no programs that can help them out and the employer gets a pass on picking up part of the tab because he is a business owner.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 9 months ago

"Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. At that point, you will be a mile away and will have his shoes." - a modified version of a Native American proverb

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

Spastic colon is a term for we don't know what is wrong with you also.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

It is fortunate for you that what ails you has a very distinct physical manifestation. It will make it easier for you to seek treatment.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Give it up, folks. Most of the posters on here think a man with no legs should pull himself up by his own bootstraps.

Carol Bowen 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't recall the woman in the article having a spouse for shared finances like maybe health insurance. I would not venture a guess that Mr. Vickers provides moral support.

JustNoticed 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey, Mrs. Vickers, time to dump that chump.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers.

Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay.

Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $400 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care. Physicians for a National Health Program

JackKats 5 years, 9 months ago

Let me help you out there Mr Vickers. “Honey, I am so proud of you. You have had these same ailments, and more, that have debilitated others to the point of utter hopelessness, yet you continue to push on and have worked through this pain. Wow what a strong woman you have been to face adversity. You are an inspiration.”

Shame on you Mr. Vickers for using your wife’s ailments in order to point out your perceived short comings of the woman in the article instead of just lifting up your wife in honor because of the way she has faced her burdens. Didn’t Ms. Essman get enough hateful comments, put downs, unsolicited advice and personal attacks on Sunday through the LJ Worlds comments' section? Whatever the truth of Mrs. Essman is, it does not give anyone the right to belittle her in the way it has been done on these boards.

I am ashamed of the LJ World’s community’s voicing the comments it made on this article. The tone of the comments on Sunday were reprehensible, vile, hateful, shallow and just plain evil. It reminded me of the verbal attacks made against the bus monitor that gained national attention and outrage. Thus I can only conclude that the mentality of those doing the attacks on these boards is at the same level and maturity of those that verbally berated the bus monitor.

So the editor’s of the LJ World stopped the comments on Sunday but allowed a LTE to run about the same subject? Your handling of this situation was and is showing lack of compassion, and a level of ineptness that has allowed the LJ World to reach new lows. Alex, you have failed miserably at your job.

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