Tim Johnson on the mend

US Senator Tim Johnson's office has released several photographs - the first since his medical event - along with a statement from his office:
Johnson Thanks South Dakotans

March 13, 2007
Doctors Say Johnson Continues to Progress

Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) continues to make encouraging and steady progress in his recovery.

"I want to thank the people of South Dakota and all of our dear friends for their support and prayers. This has been an unexpected journey and there is a long road in front of me. I am determined and focused on my recovery, and I look forward to returning to the Senate on behalf of South Dakota," said Senator Johnson.

The medical staff at the rehabilitation center has informed the Johnsons that the Senator continues to progress as expected. The attending physician states, "Senator Johnson is making significant and regular gains. He is doing very well cognitively. We are focusing on standing and balance training as the foundation upon which to base the course of his ongoing physical recovery."
Read it here.

Not to be too cynical, as I certainly hope for the Senator's return to health, but this picture as included among the others really struck me as odd. Why? Because it's considerably cropped in comparison to the others. In fact, of you look at all of the photos, they go out of the way to avoid the Senator being pictured in his wheelchair.

Now, while I have no medical background whatsoever, I have some suspicions about the pillow on the tray. If you look at all of the photos, you don't see any evidence of mobility in his right hand. I'm not sure if the Senator is a leftie (as in left-handed), although I suspect he is from old photos. This makes it harder to tell if there are problems with his right hand, as seeing it unused just kind of threw me. If he was right handed, it would be really telling.

Obviously, the photos were carefully selected, and in one case, edited. If it's a matter that his staff is concerned that the Senator might be depicted as less than vital given his current state of infirmity, I don't know if these helped or just raised more questions.

It might just be pure nosiness, but I'm at the point where I'd like to know more of what's going on, and I don't know if this ekeing out of the same information repeated over and over suffices. I'm sure that's why the pictures were released because it was starting to be noticed. When will we see more on the Senator's recovery? Only time will tell.

Until then, We wish him good health and a continued recovery.


Anonymous said…
Does it matter that he is in a wheelchair?
Does it matter if he has problems using his right side?
Anonymous said…
If it didn't why would they hide it?
Unknown said…
I saw the wheelchair, the issue with his right side is obvious with the pillow. The man had a brain issue, did you think he would be perfect. Tim is strong of mind, if not body right now. EASE FREEGIN UP, this is not the Zapruder film, this is our guy Tim reaching out us.

I got news for your all too, a weaker Tim is still better than most of the current Senate.
Anonymous said…
From the looks of the top picture, he could also be in a transport chair, which is a chair with 8 inch wheels all the way around.

Being in a transport chair gives no information about the condition of the patient one way or the other. Those chairs are strictly for the benefit of the caregiver/transporter.
Anonymous said…
Hey lefties, quit being so defensive!! I recognize his wife, but is the cute chick his daughter?
Anonymous said…
I hope for Tim's recovery and respect his privacy. I think these pictures seem kind of staged. They were obviously carefully selected. If the Johnson people want to tell us about his condition, then tell us. If they don't, don't.

But there is nothing wrong with using the pictures that were sent out to ascertain how he is doing - that is the idea.

He looks ten years older than he did before the stroke - that is understandable.

In the two pictures with his daughter, she and Barb are both laughing hysterically, but Tim has more or less the same expression.

Just some observations.
Anonymous said…
Someone should analyze the plants in the background and the angle of the shadows to ascertain where he is.
Anonymous said…
When did they decide "determine" he had a "stroke". That was ruled out from the reports i recall.

He is thinner, pale, and was the surgery on the left side? That would be why part of his right side is affected.

You know no one here is a doctor or atleast i am assuming (not good to do) but, i feel safe in saying so.
Anonymous said…
What a bunch of smoke, he's done!
Anonymous said…
What a mean, petty, and carping observation. But it gives your piranhas something to chew on. Let's hope someone of the caliber of Tim Johnson really represents what South Dakota is becoming.
Anonymous said…
What a mean, petty, and carping observation. But it gives your piranhas something to chew on. Let's hope someone of the caliber of Tim Johnson really represents what South Dakota is becoming.
Anonymous said…
10:49 & 10:50, lather, rinse, repeat.
Anonymous said…
...Oh, and one of the best lines from any movie..."YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"
Anonymous said…
I am done reading this blog. What a bunch of ass____s.

The same 200 people with nothing good to say about anything or anyone.
Anonymous said…
I dont care if she is a DEM.
His daughter is cute.
I am all for interparty relationships.
Anonymous said…
1:19, you'll be back after you dry your tears. Sniff Sniff!
Anonymous said…
1:19-- yeah, I know..the same 200. Day after day. Not like Mt. Blahgmore with it's regular 9, stimulating mental giants...hahahahaha.
Anonymous said…
The Argus editorializes weekly about the need for open government but they do not seem to be very curious about Senator Johnson's prognosis.

After three months, I do not think it would be unreasonable for the media to talk to the doctors and meet with the Senator personally. While everone wishes him the best, this does seem a little too cagey.

I believe that spouses and children of politicians should be allowed a great deal of privacy but an office-holder has a duty to the public to keep them informed of major impairments like this.
Anonymous said…
He also appears to have a strap holding his legs together with the chair. That is a clear indication that it isn't just a "transport" chair.

Also: His family doesn't appear to be acting natural at all. He's just smiling with the same expression and they are laughing hysterically? Give me a break! What is this, Stalinist Russia?

"Yes, Mrs. Johnson, act naturally...look like you are laughing and having a very good time. Laugh harder, I say, HARDER! Must look convincing for public! Good, Good...that is enough. Now you go home. No, you may not take pictures of him. No, you must leave now. You may see your husband and father next week and we will take more photos for public. Not to worry, not to worry. The DNC will let you know when you may come back. Now you go. No more questions."

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