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Recent Accident to My Son

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    I was in Baltimore for six days over Thanksgiving. Brian is doing well at work but the real proof will be when he goes to HR in January and protests his current grade level. I don't know how often protests like this are successful.

    On Saturday I installed the automatic light control on Brian's Honda Element. I found a website that had flawless instructions on how to install the 545T Nite Lite Module on a Honda Element. I'm tempted to call the auto alarm business that we paid $85 to install the Nite Lite but failed. The technician at the alarm shop spent several hours trying but in the end he just couldn't figure it out. His big mistake was he didn't want to listen to anyone because he thought that he could figure it out himself.

    Ann is flying back to Phoenix Dec 7 to go to Christmas party with her girl friends. She loves going to this annual party and hates it whenever she misses the party. On Dec 16 Ann and I fly to Baltimore for Christmas then a couple days later my daughter and her husband fly to Baltimore from LA to spend Christmas in Baltimore. It's going to be a crowded two bedroom condo again this year.

    Roger

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      Originally posted by Smashms View Post
      KLD i think he is not going to be as bad as everyone is making it out to be however we will have to wait and see!
      Much discussion in the last few days of his announced plans to get rid of Medicare entirely, and to "privatize" the system requiring people to purchase private insurance. I am dubious.

      Public health is not the same as all health care federal employees.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        Take it to the Politics forum. This is an awesome thread. Don't sully it.
        "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

        Comment


          Brian's manager at CMS treats him very well. Yesterday, Brian had to take off work because my wife was very ill. Brian took her to the emergency room where they did a CT scan to identify what was causing her so much stomach pain. It was finally determined that it was diverticulitis so she was given antibiotics and sent home.

          When Brian finally got home he logged onto his work computer and started working on a document that he needs to have done Thursday, he stayed up most of the night working on the document. Today, when Brian filled out his time card and put down that he took a vacation day yesterday his manager said no you didn't. She had seen that Brian was working on his computer from home. She told him to change his time card. In my opinion that's how a good boss manages. An employee is happy to put in extra effort.

          Roger

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            Great that Brian has an understanding boss. She rewards someone like him who is a dedicated employee.
            Just a question about the Honda Element you mentioned - I really like that model and a few years ago we went to look at it. Just wondering how Brian's Honda is set up for entering it. Is it a lift, a ramp? Are there other modifications for it, such as lowered floor. If a ramp, is he able to push up it independently?

            Comment


              Triumph

              Brian's Honda Element was modified by Freedom Motors in Battle Creek Michigan. The modifications were extensive, the floor lowered and a passenger side ramp. Brian can push up the ramp but lately he's been using a power chair. A few years ago Honda discontinued the Element model so I don't think that Freedom Motors is making any new modified Elements. Brian's Element is a 2009. He purchased a new Element then had it shipped to Freedom to be modified. The total cost for the Element was a lot. $22,000 for the Element and $33,000 for the modifications.

              There have been some mechanical problems that have been resolved so everything is working good. Brian purchased a Honda extended warranty that is proven to to worthless. Every time we took the car to Honda to have something fixed they said that there was no warranty coverage because the car was modified. Even when the modifications had nothing to do with the problem that I was attempting to get fixed.

              On the down side because of the stiffened suspension and the short wheelbase the ride is kind of rough for passengers in the back seat. Brian is thinking about buying a new SUV. Maryland vocational rehab has offered to pay for the modifications if Brian buys the SUV. He's looking for something a little larger because the powerchair is a tight fit in the Element.

              Roger

              Comment


                Thanks for the info. Didn't know the Element model was discontinued. They are also discontinuing the Ford full size van, which is a model we have used for years. Our 2010 has the two power side doors and Braun fully powered tri-fold lift, which I recently learned is another discontinued item. We have two 6 way power seats as well, and this system has worked reliably for us. (Both wheelers).
                We've also checked out the mini-van conversions, but very tight fit the two of us. Thankfully our vans (the other one is a 2005, also used regularly), are in good shape.
                Too bad there are not a lot of options for modified vehicles. A few decades ago we used cars with hand controls, but the shoulders started to give out from lugging the chair in and out.
                Hope Brian can get something super easy to use.

                Comment


                  I was talking to Brian the other day and he mentioned that he'll be on probation at CMS for two years. He was hired using an expedited process for an employee with a disability but as a result he's on probation for two years. He's not concerned about it because his boss has told him that he's doing very well. What bothers me is that Brian lost his UNUM disability payments as soon as he started working but he's on probation at CMS for two years. That just doesn't seem right. What would be fair is for UNUM to suspend the disability payments while Brian is working but if for some reason Brian was terminated during the two year probation period then the disability payments would resume.

                  Roger

                  Comment


                    Most Federal Employees have a 1 year probationary period after hire. Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Physicians Assistants, Podiatrists, Chiropractors, etc. are hired under a statute called "Title 38" and have a 2 year probationary period. It makes sense now why Brian's boss took up his cause to get him a pay grade raise. Physicians working in clinical roles are hired as "Medical Officers" at the GS-15 level. My best guess is that the cap for Brian's job was a GS-12 because it could have been filled by a non-medical person with healthcare administrative experience- someone with a Masters of Health Administration degree for example. Federal probationary period is not relevant to insurance companies. To them, Brian is a full time employee. The chances of him getting the boot after 2 years is minuscule. He will probably get promoted to a supervisory role after a year or so.

                    Comment


                      2drwhofans

                      Thanks for the explanation. Your conclusions fits the situation exactly.

                      I fly to Baltimore on Friday for Christmas. After Christmas my wife and I are taking the Greyhound bus to New York City. We're staying in NYC one night and going to the Radio City Christmas Show. I would have preferred traveling from Baltimore to NYC by train but it was way more expensive than the bus. A round trip ticket on Amtrak was $300 and a round trip Greyhound ticket was $80.

                      Roger

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                        We had a scare just before Christmas but it's okay now. Brian incurred a pressure sore. Fortunately he caught it early enough before it undermined. After he discovered the pressure sore he worked from home one day and stayed off of it over the Christmas Holiday. Now it's almost completely healed, thank God.

                        Brian thinks that it might have been the car seat that caused the pressure sore. He's looking into getting a cushion for the car seat.

                        Roger

                        Comment


                          Just wanted to mention that my husband, a para, recently went to a Seating Clinic and saw a seating specialist as well as a Physical Therapist, also a seating specialist. They "pressure mapped" his bottom as he sat on the device in his wheelchair, and then trimmed the wheelchair cushion (which they had prescribed 5 years ago), as there were noted some additional pressure areas developing. After they trimmed the cushion, they pressure mapped again and his pressure areas were acceptable. He can't stress enough the help he got from the Seating Clinic.

                          Also wonder what kind of power chair Brian uses as you mentioned it can be a little awkward maneuvering in the Element. Is he aware of the ZX-1 power scooter that attaches on the axel bar under a rigid frame wheelchair? That's what I have been using for about three years now - this device does not change the profile of the wheelchair itself. Allows a person to use a regular, rigid wheelchair, and is useful when one does not need a power wheelchair.

                          Comment


                            Roger, I have a Roho low profile cushion that I keep on the driver's seat and it seems to work fine even though it seems too thin to really do anything. I also recently got a Smartdrive, and find it much better than a power chair. I am able to leave the unit on my Icon ull time, and only use i when I have to go up hills, across grass and carpets, etc.
                            Don - Grad Student Emeritus
                            T3 ASIA A 27 years post injury

                            Comment


                              Brian filled out the paperwork to protest his grade level. It took a while to navigate through the 10 page resume form because he wanted to make sure that he used his work experience and publications to the maximum benefit. He's not sure how the federal hiring freeze might affect him.

                              I was suppose to go to Baltimore next weekend but because I'm busy at work I'm not going to be able to go. Ann decided that she's wanted to fly back to Phoenix next Sunday. She went to book a ticket and an interesting thing happened. She was looking at a non-stop ticket from Baltimore to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines, it was $460. Then for some reason she looked at a ticket from Baltimore to Las Vegas with a change of planes in Phoenix, that ticket was $200. It turns out the Baltimore to Las Vegas flight uses the non-stop Baltimore to Phoenix flight for the first leg of the flight to Las Vegas. So she booked a ticket on the Baltimore to Las Vegas flight. As long as she only takes a carry on bag she can just not get on the Phoenix to Las Vegas flight. I didn't think that the airlines did this anymore, kind of crazy.

                              Roger

                              Roger

                              Comment


                                Brian's grade level protest has been caught in Trump's freeze of federal employees. He submitted his protest but the human resources representative said nothing can be done because of the freeze that in effect. The money is not the important thing here. Brian likes the job but he wants his contribution to be properly recognized. I told him to do the very best job he possibly can and in the end he'll be able to pick his next job because of his reputation Brian agreed. One thing about Brian is that he has never done anything other than his very best effort whatever the assignment.

                                Roger

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