Stroke and Recovery: Changes In a Politician’s Perspective

stroke rehab

Medline Plus information on Stroke Rehabilitation

If you have ever had a stroke event in your family, you know — as we do — about the frustrating process of recovery and rehabilitation, as well as the constant bickering with benefits providers when it comes to whether a person is making “enough” progress to merit continuing rehab sessions.

If this is a familiar story, take a few minutes to read a stroke recovery article from the February 3, 2013 Washington Post, penned by United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). He writes about his stroke and the year-long road to recovery, including a description of how this dramatic health event has changed his perspective on his life and as a politician.

Yes, Senators have very good health benefits, but it is clear from the article that Senator Kirk, after interacting with many other stroke survivors during his post stroke rehabilitation, now has far more understanding of the need for better health care for everyone. More importantly, he reports that he now feels humbled as he goes about helping to govern.  Humility, I believe, is in short supply these days.

In an article published in the Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, Senator Kirk commented that his stroke recovery experience has made him more interested in the needs of Medicaid patients. The article quotes a report by the Chicago Sun Times about Senator Kirk’s thoughts, particularly on Medicaid, which limits post-stroke rehab to eleven sessions.

Interesting Quotes from the Sun Times Article

  • Had I been limited to that I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I’m much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face.
  • I will look much more carefully at the Illinois Medicaid program to see how my fellow citizens are being cared for who have no income and suffer from a stroke.

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