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Monday, January 23, 2012

The Sad Inevitability

Gabrielle Giffords resigns this week:

It's a miracle that Giffords is alive. May she continue to get stronger and to improve as she focuses on her recovery! And may her husband remain encouraged of heart! He's suffering right along with her, you know.

After a year following a traumatic brain insult, recovery slows but doesn't cease altogether.

Mr. AOW and I fully know that fact two and a half years after his devastating brain hemorrhage of September 15, 2009, as he continues to make minuscule improvements. But at this late date, well beyond the window of one year when the most improvement occurs, recovery needs one's full focus.


  1. Very classy. I was afraid her supporters would try and use her as a puppet for a few years.

  2. I hope she does well, too.

    Recovery is a loooong process, as you well know. I know it from watching my mother recover.

  3. Hi AOW.
    I was shocked to discover on a 'obama blog' that they use this tragedy again to promote themselves, how low will these people go?
    See here: Warning take away all fragile objects before reading!

    Tittle: “we can change things, for the better”


  4. Oh, Will!

    Isn't that statement by Obama something else? Trying to score political points by using Giffords as "the true meaning of hope"! Hope -- one of the themes of Obama's 2008 campaign.


  5. Loony libs went for the extra-nutty toppings when they tried to blame rightwing tea partiers for a marxist pothead shooting a pro-gun right lawmaker...

    I wish Rep Giffords all the best. She's an inspiration to all Americans regardless.

  6. Wow. Contrast Giffords's video with Obama's slick new video lauding his own power.

  7. SF...they're still blaming the Right for it. I read some pieces a few days ago that were sent to me.

    I don't think she had a chance of staying in Congress with what's happened to her so it's no big surprise, but I sure do wish her the best. I wish liberals would wish the same when Cheney gets sick, or would have thought of passing on condolences instead of revelry when Tony Snow died, etc. I don't mean to make this political, but it strikes me as so positive and a source of pride that Conservative blogs always seem to get it right on sympathies for human beings without having to get ugly because the person's on the other side of the aisle. Thanks for this, AOW.

    God bless her husband, too....you're right, he's definitely suffering too, right now. You know this better than most people, AOW.

  8. Of course I am glad Mrs. Giffords survived. Her story is positive proof that miracles DO happen, if nothing else. I certainly wish her a complete recovery and long, prosperous happy, healthy life -- AWAY from the political arena.

    Of course, D'Rats will use ANYTHING to promote their disgusting agenda.

    Could you have forgotten The Wellstone Funeral already? What a disgusting travesty THAT was. Truly a revolting spectacle!

    And speaking of Democrats placed hors de combat by an unkind blow of Fate, whatever happened to Senator Tim Johnson? I know they :held his seat" for many months after he had a crippling stroke year ago. Was he ever replaced, or does someone who "tends" him send in votes for the D'Rat Agenda by proxy?

    Let's not get so filled with righteous compassion that we forget these filthy Marxian beasts are our sworn enemies.

    ~ FreeThinke

  9. You're title is right, why she waited so long I don't understand. Perhaps she continued to think she would fully recover enough to serve the people properly, but that looks doubtful.

    Right Truth

  10. She is definitely a courageous women, granted she is a Democrat, but politics aside she is still a human being and I am happy that she is recovering.

    God bless her.

  11. What a trooper! One just has to admire the lady. But she needed to go so the people in her congressional district would have a voice in congress.

  12. Lest we forget AOW, she was shot by an extreme wingnut.

  13. TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury and other insults to the brain are one of the most devastating injuries one can sustain. A person is often left healthy but with decreased function, either mental or physical. I have seen a 25 year old man in diapers being fed by his elder father. He will likely live for decades like this with no recovery, long after his father is unable to help him and even gone.


  14. You are ALL wrong!

    Gabi, in her condition did the best service to America then all the Congress CREAPOIDS put together!

    I'm still trembling!

    Long live - Gabi!

  15. Well said Always, wish her all the best.

  16. I think that I understand why Giffords waited so long.

    Those with brain injuries cannot realize the extent of their injuries -- at least until a significant time has passed. Furthermore, people with brain injuries, for the benefit of the best recovery possible, have to come to the decision themselves; the decision should not be forced on them.

    As one whose husband has sustained a significant brain injury, my heart goes out to Giffords's husband. In many ways, the spouse of one with a brain injury suffers more!

  17. Liberalmann,
    Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter, was a schizophrenic and clearly in a manic phase at the time of the shooting. He is on medication now.

    I wouldn't classify his as a wingnut, but I'm not surprised that you so.

  18. Z,
    you're right, he's definitely suffering too, right now. You know this better than most people

    Yes, I do. To put it mildly, it ain't easy.

    Mr. AOW's brain injury doesn't interfere with his speaking or his thought processes; in other words, the effects are all physical -- very devastating physical effects, at that.

    In Giffords's case, she has difficulty communicating. I think that she knows what she wants to say but can't always find the words. Also, she has lost 50% of the vision in both eyes. She appears to have lost most, if not all, of the use of one hand, her dominant one. That means a lot of caregiving. I know what that's like for both the afflicted one and the caregiver/spouse.

    Her husband's life has to include an element of loneliness because of Giffords's loss of communication skills. Now that he is retired, he gets to spend a lot of time with her -- good for them both.

    At least she's not in a wheelchair! So, things aren't all bad, and she may recover even more, especially with speech and music therapy.

  19. Chuck,
    Yes, there are numerous young people with TBI's. Their recovery is stagnant, and their family and caregivers are trapped.

    About diapers....I have to say that one of the worst things I went through when Mr. AOW had his stroke was the wearing-diapers period in the hospital and nursing home. It was horrible to watch one's husband passively accepting diaper changes. One day Mr. AOW was working, the next he was in a completely dependent condition. At least I knew within a few weeks that things would improve and that I'd have a more independent mate again. But the independence that Mr. AOW once had will never return. It took me well over a year to accept that fact.

  20. FT,
    Let's not get so filled with righteous compassion that we forget these filthy Marxian beasts are our sworn enemies.

    We can have compassion on the human level and not on the political one. At least, I think that we can do so.

    I'll have to look up the details on the Wellstone funeral.

  21. Leticia and Ron,
    Giffords does set a good example in several respects.

    Her politics aside, I think she's a classy lady!

  22. FJ,
    I was afraid her supporters would try and use her as a puppet for a few years.

    I wonder if they did.

  23. Brooke,
    The recovery process is both long and grueling. Only a young person can hope for significant recovery when the brain injury is extensive.

  24. I just found this article, which may interest some here. Excerpt:

    ...Giffords faces a special challenge because she is a woman. "Women tend to have a more protracted and less complete recovery than men, for reasons that nobody clearly understands," says O'Shanick.

    And even if Giffords recovers most of her movement and thinking skills, she could suffer from a range of other lifelong complications; for example, she will have an increased risk of developing dementia or Parkinson's disease. Up to 50% of people who have a penetrating brain injury also go on to develop epilepsy, perhaps because bleeding in the brain after an injury exposes it to high doses of seizure-associated chemicals called haemosiderins, which arise as haemoglobins in the blood break down. Many patients with injuries to the left sides of their brains also experience depression, because a region on the left front of the brain is involved in mood control....


    I hope that Giffords and her husband are spared the worst of the complications. Her young age is one factor in her favor.

  25. Good morning, AOW.

    Here are some references that might encourage and cheer you and Mr. AOW -- and Gabriele Giffords and her husband as well:

    Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight | Video on TED.com
    www.ted.com/.../jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.htmlTED Talks Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion ...

    Jill Bolte Taylor | Profile on TED.com
    www.ted.com/speakers/jill_bolte_taylor.htmlJill Bolte Taylor - Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.

    Home - Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
    drjilltaylor.com/I care so much about this that I am willing to put my money where my mouth is and I have started a not-for-profit called Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, Inc., as a giving ...

    Dr. Jill's Book - Contact Us - About Dr. Jill - Stained Glass

    About Dr. Jill - Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
    drjilltaylor.com/about.htmlDr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996.

    Jill Bolte Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Bolte_TaylorJill Bolte Taylor (born 1959 in Louisville, Kentucky) is a neuroanatomist who specializes in the postmortem investigation of the human brain. She is affiliated with ...

    Stroke of Insight - Book - Movie - Ballet
    Home - My Stroke of Insight
    mystrokeofinsight.com/If you have read My Stroke of Insight (New York Times Bestseller published by Viking in May 2008) by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor or experienced her keynote speeches ...

    One of my longtime friends has met Jill Bolte Taylor, and talked with her after reading her book. Apparently, there's much more that has bearing on our well being than orthodox science can even begin to understand.

    Not accepting the limitations imposed on us by orthodox thinking is vitally important in successfully fighting many challenges.

    All the best always,


  26. AOW: I believe you are correct. My mother being 28 had much to do with the extent of her recovery, however, much like Giffords she had and still now has some minor problems with commication.

    I recall my little brother and I filling in words and finishing sentences for her while we were still learning our own vocabulary and grammar.


  27. Rep. Gabrille Giffords resigned from Congress today in an emotional session of the House after an anti-drug smuggling bill that she championed passed by a 338-70 margin.

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a longtime friend, read Giffords’ letter of resignation on the House floor. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called her “an inspiring symol of inspiration and courage to millions of Americans.”

    Giffords, 41, was shot in the head on January 8, 2011, during a shooting rampage that killed six people during an event where she was meeting constituents in Tucson. She still is recovering from her injuries, and her right side remains weak.


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  28. "I always fought for what I thought was right. But never did
    I question the character of those with whom I disagreed". She brought
    'nice' to the House of Representatives. Small wonder that
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz and John
    Boehner, opposition leaders, were both moved to tears.

  29. Sorry to be the one to say it on an otherwise kind-hearted thread, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a TURD.

    Having her as a friend should be considered a blot in anyone's copybook.

    I'm absolutely sure Gabby Giffords is a lovely person. I happen to be an intimate friend of someone whose daughter went to school with Gabriele, and apparently Gabby has always been one of the kinder, gentler, more considerate and honorable women of her generation. May God bless her with complete recovery.

    Victimhood, however, does not -- and should not -- automatically confer sainthood on anybody. Too often we lost sight of that great truth in the ocean of bathos that too often wells up after tragedy occurs in the life of prominent figures.

    Debbie Wasserman -Schultz is POISON -- a CANCER on the body politic. Disbelieve that at your peril. Sorry, but havng had a close association with DWS does not speak well for Gabriele Giffords' taste or judgment.

    ~ FreeThinke

  30. It's supposed to mean something that John Boehner was moved to tears? A flock of Canada Geese would bring John Boehner to tears.

  31. FT,
    DWS is an attention whore.

    Were DWS and Giffords actually friends?

    The kind of injury that Giffords has does affect her emotional state. She has a real need for being "cuddled." I saw that same need all the time in the stroke unit and in the nursing home: various patients, including Mr. AOW, needed something soft against their skin, particularly their faces and necks -- on the side unaffected by the injury. Yes, there was a big demand for stuffed animals.

    Mr. AOW finally got past that need about 6 months post-stroke. But his brain injury was primarily on the other side of his brain. Those with injuries such as that of Giffords often have a lifelong need for cuddling with something soft -- not to mention the issue of the lack of verbal skills.

    I cringed when I saw some of the film footage from Giffords last moments on the House floor. I don't say that she is a saint, but she is worthy of our pity -- now.

  32. Patrick,
    Good one.

    Yeah, Boehner is a weeper. One of the effects of alcohol?

  33. AOW: If I were Boehner, having to endure sitting behind Obama and next to Biden, I might be weeping due to the LACK of alcohol at that moment. ;)

  34. Oh, sorry. He was crying for Giffords. Well, he does cry a lot.

    I have to admit I was watching a clip from the SotUA while reading your comment, and just kind of assumed, since Boehner looked like he was going to start the waterworks for most of that speech.


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