February 2, 2013

"Am I going to die today? Just give me a percentage."

Senator Mark Kirk tells about his stroke. (The percentage the doctor gave him — in the ambulance — was 98% in favor of not dying.)
I was in my hospital bed when the waves came and I began to lose control of my body and mind. Unbelievable, I thought. I’m only 52. I didn’t even know anyone who’d had a stroke.

More than a week later, I regained a confused consciousness in the intensive care unit. I knew I was lying in a bed. I thought someone was sharing the bed with me, but it was my own leg. I vaguely remember a party the ICU staff had for the Super Bowl and the smell of the food they brought.
Later:
I regarded my left leg as a lifeless appendage. Mike kept insisting that it would bear weight. The moment I realized that it would, and that I could swing it from my hip and propel myself forward, was the breakthrough revelation of my rehabilitation.
IN THE COMMENTS: Someone snarks: "Show me when this paper has done a similar story for a Republican. *crickets*" — only to be told that Kirk is a Republican. I blogged this item without remembering Kirk's party affiliation or caring enough to check. But when the subject came up in the comments, I did check, went to Kirk's website, and saw his statement, released yesterday, rejecting Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense:
During yesterday's confirmation hearing, Senator Hagel instinctively called the Iranian government both elected and legitimate.  He initially offered strong support for containment of Iran, rather than President Obama's stated policy of preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout.  He could not clearly explain his past opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran – opposition as recent as 2008.  And at no time did he state his position on whether the European Union should formally designate Iran's terror proxy, Hezbollah, as a terrorist organization – a critical step to cut off the flow of funds to a group responsible for the murders of some 280 American citizens.
The statement is illustrated with the chilling photograph of "Neda Agha-Soltan who was killed during 2009 Iranian election protests."



Am I going to die today? Just give me a percentage.

49 comments:

kentuckyliz said...

Wow...frightening.

I have a colleague/friend that had a stroke at age 31.

MadisonMan said...

Going through something like that does, I think, invariably change someone for the better. Of course, you have to get through it.

How nice that he had good Health Insurance. You're welcome, Senator.

kentuckyliz said...

Although, at the end, it started sounding like sponsored content.

Show me when this paper has done a similar story for a Republican.

*crickets*

Mitchell the Bat said...

That experience getting to know his leg will serve him well when he needs Viagra.

MadisonMan said...

Show me when this paper has done a similar story for a Republican.

Sen. Kirk is a Republican, isn't he?

James said...

Mark Kirk is a Republican ( of the Illinois variety).

Rusty said...

Even if you don't like republicans you have to admire his courage.
Tough guy.

Phil 3:14 said...

Sounds like he had a right hemispheric stroke. Those are tough for rehab because of the left-sided neglect (note he didn't say his leg wouldn't move but that it felt like something not of his body)

One positive, I assume he had and has no speech deficits.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Over a year ago, my wife had the same thing occur: a carotid dissection, then it happened again a month later on the other side. Scary as hell, but she escaped unharmed.

We are so fragile, yet so resilient. Every day is a risk, every day is a percentage. I'm glad she's here, glad she recovered.

The Senator's story is a hopeful one. I am amazed he came back to work. Stroke knocks the stuffing outta you. It's surprising to see his drive remained intact.

bpm4532 said...

Yes, you need to be pretty tough and decent to succeed as a Republican in Illinois these days, though decent is easily degraded in the heat of a campaign when democrats can magically unseal sealed court documents.

Kenyah Jonathan said...

Fight for your family, friends, and your own life with the necessary tools.

MayBee said...

Yes, it Is good Mark Kirk had good insurance because he, unlike so many Senators, is not a multi- millionaire

MadMan, do you think you ared doing him a favor, having the taxpayers pay for insurance for someone who works in a constitutuinally- required position in government?

That just seemed abnormally snarky from you.

Inga said...

"Although, at the end, it started sounding like sponsored content.

Show me when this paper has done a similar story for a Republican.

*crickets*"

2/2/13, 8:33 AM

Yikes WaPo has become a righty rag. O_o

MayBee said...

My typing on this iPad is craptastic.

edutcher said...

When my blood pressure bottomed out due to Cushing's, I was a lot more conscious, but something was very wrong, obviously.

When the doctor told The Blonde at the ER was my potassium level was, I heard her say, "That's incompatible with life", so I can empathize.

James said...

Yes, you need to be pretty tough and decent to succeed as a Republican in Illinois these days, though decent is easily degraded in the heat of a campaign when democrats can magically unseal sealed court documents.

You can bet that the Illinois Dems will roll out Kirk's ex-wife in the next elections: Kirk's ex-wife files FEC complaint questioning campaign payments

MadisonMan said...

MayBee, I am very grateful to Wisconsin for my Health Insurance (even though I seldom need it at this point in life).

I hope the Senator is similarly appreciative. Health Insurance is not a birthright (although it seems to be becoming one)

traditionalguy said...

Half a Captain Kirk is better than all of a Dr Spock.

Numbness is a handicap, but it is easy to overcome after the depression stage goes away.

traditionalguy said...

Half a Captain Kirk is better than all of a Dr Spock.

Numbness is a handicap, but it is easy to overcome after the depression stage goes away.

somefeller said...

IN THE COMMENTS: Someone snarks: "Show me when this paper has done a similar story for a Republican. *crickets*" — only to be told that Kirk is a Republican.

Basic research is for liberal elitists.

edutcher said...

When they do some, let us know.

Julius Reincarnate said...

I would like to know whether Senator Mark Kirk thinks that the government of, say, Saudi Arabia is elected and/or legitimate?

Was the Shah more elected/legitimate than Iran's current government?

Exactly what kind of government would Mark Kirk like to install in Iran? He should let it be known, since he clearly doesn't approve of the current government and wants the U.S. to at least credibly threaten to put in a new one. Would it be politically-oppressive like Saudi Arabia's or the old Shah's? Would it be corrupt and ineffective like Malaki's Iraq? Would it play both sides and still be somewhat corrupt and somewhat abusive like Pakistan's?

Where does Mark Kirk want to go with this? Or are you allowed to avoid such questions when you have had a stroke and even the ever-liberal Washington Post is doing a sympathy story on you?

Pastafarian said...

Althouse: "Just give me a percentage."

0.0137%. (-ish).

Of more importance than the actual number: it's nonzero. That's something I really need to bear in mind more often. I waste too much time doing things I don't want to do, and not doing things I won't always be able to do.

Julius Reincarnate said...

And Althouse's rhetorical trick of mashing the photo of the abused Iranian protestor with the quote "Am I going to die today? Just give me a percentage" is facile.

You can do this with any photo that shows human suffering. Take a photo of sadistic prisoner torture from Abu Ghraib or a photo of children injured or killed by an American drone strike or a Saudi Arabian protestor mauled by that government's thugs... you can do the same thing with the same quote.

Or just take the top photo of the day from Radley Balko's Agitator. Here it is-- a 12-year-old girl who was terribly burned when Montana police, supposedly searching for drugs and a meth lab that weren't there, dropped a flash grenade through her bedroom window. "Am I going to die today? Just give me a percentage."

bagoh20 said...

Two ghosts that have haunted my mind for years now are Neda Agha-Soltan and Nicholas Berg.

kentuckyliz said...

Yikes! I admit my faux pas.

Mea culpa!
Mea culpa!
Mea maxima culpa!

Isn't it a sad commentary, that we're so used to the MSM fellating Obama and giving a pass to the Democrats, and only having negative stories about Republicans, that I assumed it was about a Democrat?

You would think that they would tuck in a suspicion of him diddling the illegal immigrant underage housekeeper or some such thing.

Or, given the content of the article, hint that he was a Republican because he was a pessimist, and now that he's optimistic, many commentators believe he will become a Democrat.

kentuckyliz said...

Hey! (stomping foot like a toddler)--my comment makes the main page, but I don't get tagged?

I know, I effed up, but a tag is a tag. Tag me, woman!

somefeller said...

Isn't it a sad commentary, that we're so used to the MSM fellating Obama and giving a pass to the Democrats, and only having negative stories about Republicans, that I assumed it was about a Democrat?

It's only a sad commentary on your assumptions and inability to do a simple Google search. But nice try at blaming the liberal media for your stumble.

Rusty said...

"Neda Agha-Soltan who was killed during 2009 Iranian election protests."

And the administration sat on their hands.

bagoh20 said...

"But nice try at blaming the liberal media for your stumble."

If you didn't know, which party would you bet your paycheck it was about?

If you are gonna guess, it was the only logical choice.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hey! (stomping foot like a toddler)--my comment makes the main page, but I don't get tagged? I know, I effed up, but a tag is a tag. Tag me, woman!"

I shielded you from embarrassment! I thought you wouldn't want to be named. But tags are tags. Any press is good press. Just spell my name right.

bagoh20 said...

It's very rough examples but my first three searches to test a theory retrieve this:

"republican courage" = 4.4M
"democrat courage" = 35.0M

"republican miraculous recovery" = 484K
"democrat miraculous recovery" = 2.48M

"republican corruption" = 27.8M
"democrat corruption" = 13.8M

bagoh20 said...

"republican lies" = 51M
"democrat lies" = 21M

bagoh20 said...

"dumb republican" = 13.3M
"dumb democrat" = 7.2M

But:

"sexy republican" = 20.8M
"sexy democrat" = 6.1M


bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Cowardly, corrupt, dumb, lying, sexy Republicans.

bagoh20 said...

"evil conservative" = 188M
"evil liberal" = 30M

Inga said...

"manly republicans"=1M

"manly democrats"=24M

Whoa that's not good.

Cedarford said...

Kirks harangue against Hagel is mainly based on an event 30 years ago, "the murder of 280 US citizens", it being the bombing of the Marine Baracks. We know that it was by a pre-Hezbollah militia that later became part of Hexbollah, and it likely had Syrian assistance.
However, it came as a response against a US military and French military (another bombing by the Shiites the same day killed 53 French paratroopers). Because the French and US at Israeli and the then Christian Maronite government..had seen their mission change from peacekeepers to launching large scale, lethal strikes on Shiite and Druze positions at the behest of Israel for its Phalangist proxies. These included French airstrikes against targets the Israelis gave them - mainly Shiite but also some Syrian forces And the US, contrary to the he Peacekeeping forces military Commender, launched the heaviest naval bombardment since Korea - including 300 heavy battleship shells and multiple frigate missiles..killing hundreds of Shiites and Druze.
The Lebanese opposition declared the US an active enemy force, not a peacekeeping force.

The Marine Peacekeeping Force Commander Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, during the incident, has said that the Marine and the French headquarters were targeted primarily because of "who we were and what we represented;"and that,

"It is noteworthy that the United States provided direct naval gunfire support -- which I strongly opposed -- for a week to the Lebanese Army at a mountain village called Suq-al-Garb on September 19 and that the French conducted an air strike on September 23 in the Bekaa Valley. American support removed any lingering doubts of our neutrality and I stated to my staff at the time that we were going to pay in blood for this decision."


As for why Reagan withdrew - his staff soon came to a belief they were lied to and betrayed by the Maronite gov, the Israelis, the Shiite opposition, and Syria and - "None of those ^$#*!s can be trusted". A policy determination was reached that staying would be a steady war of attrition, bushwacking Americans and drawing us in deeper and deeper until America was in a major "no-win" war fighting on one side. Which Reagan's people, notably James Baker, thought was exactly what the Israelis, the Leb goverment, and Israel's proxy Phalangist forces wanted.

The fact is that for 30 years, Hez and America have regarded each other as enemies..but it is mostly a Cold War. We helped kill a couple of theirs post-1983 by feeding intel to their foes, they helped the Noble purple fingered Freedom Lovers in Iraq kill US troops.
But it is more analogous to what the US and the Soviets did for 40 years - arming proxies that kill the principal party their sponsor dislikes.. or using the proxies to undermine US or Soviet military adventures abroad - than terrorism.


The claim that the Beruit bombing was a terrorist attack because the troops killing Lebanese Shiites were "off-duty at the time" (the US claim) is pretty tenuous.
The US greatly prefers to sneak up and whack whole barracks full of sleeping AQ or Iraqi Army or Talibani at night rather than trying to kill awake enemy firing at us on the "battlefield" in daylight. That doesn't make us terrorists.

bagoh20 said...

Not manly, but sexy? What's up with writers?

bagoh20 said...

Inga, I think your result is because when you say "Republican", "manly" is redundant.

EMD said...

"manly republicans"=1M

"manly democrats"=24M

Whoa that's not good.


Anyone doing this should put the two together in quotes. Otherwise you're getting hits where the words may not relate to one another.

"manly republican" = 3,510
"manly democrat" = 4,670

"republican courage" = 6,410
"democrat courage" = 1,170

"sexy republican" = 16,400
"sexy democrat" = 1,200

"evil liberal" = 51,100
"evil conservative" = 82,300

Lyle said...

Powerful.

Yemen caught a boat of explosive/weapons from Iran just yesterday.

Iran is funding al Qaeda and cohorts the world over.

Fuck them!

furious_a said...

you need to be pretty tough and decent to succeed as a Republican in Illinois these days,

...and divorce records, burn one's divorce records.

furious_a said...

If being on the defensive throughout is a prerequesite for Secretary of Defense then Chuck Hagel in an outstanding nominee.

Gene said...

The artist, Maurice Sendak, once told he that decades ago he had a bad heart attack and as he was lying there on death's doorstep he made a vow by all that is true and holy that if he lived he would totally change his life--and be more honest, less self-centered, more generous, honor his friends, to live in the here and now, to smell the flowers.

And then he recovered. His vows to change his life lasted two days and then, he said, he never thought of them again.

Gary Rosen said...

Unsurprisingly, an imbecile like C-fudd defends an imbecile like Hagel.

Snackeater said...

If you consider a politician who is pro-gun control, pro-abortion, and pro-tax and spend then yes, I guess Kirk is a Republican. Kinda like Lyin' Ryan.

I'm so glad I moved from that worthless state.