APWU Pittsburgh Retiree Record – March 6, 2020 (Belated Holiday Edition)

Via John P. Richards, President – Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter of the APWU



There has been a lot of speculation about the reason for the failure of the Chapter to send our usual holiday newsletter, which can be seen on the reverse. That page is typically set at our annual holiday party, which was rescheduled for December 5. After months of planning, the party was set to go.

Coincidentally, in the lead up to the party, I experienced a nagging problem, read pain, in my left ankle. Several visits to the Presbyterian Hospital emergency room where doctors there gave no relief, and in fact the pain increased. Later I leaned that they had misdiagnosed the problem, and in the course of treatment prescribed prescriptions that exacerbated the problem.

On the date of the party, which typically is a little busy with last minute details, I found to my dismay that I could not walk due to tremendous pain. So while my wife Charlotte, also a member, took over managing the last minute party details, I was taken by ambulance to Presbyterian Hospital. (More about the party later.) From there I wound up at my PCP, who had me admitted to Washington Hospital.

Thus began a journey through finding the correct diagnosis, which was cellulitis and Mrsa infections in the left ankle. The situation was rather serious requiring a month of intensive intervention which by that time also posed serious breathing problems. I was treated with a device that completely covered my face to deal with the breathing problem while the ankle was opened and drained, I was in that hospital for about a month until recovered enough to be transferred to the McKeesport long term acute care Hospital for further treatment. I was finally transferred from there to a skilled nursing home/rehab center in Washington. Altogether, my total time in hospitals was about two and a half months. When I was finally discharged my physical condition was such that I now require visiting nurses and physical and occupational rehab. According to their opinions, it will be a long haul to achieve a condition similar to that before this all began.

During this period I received many cards and calls from those members who were aware of the situation. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness. It really brightens your day when the mail is delivered.


4 thoughts on “APWU Pittsburgh Retiree Record – March 6, 2020 (Belated Holiday Edition)

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    Thanks to all who have posted kind thoughts and comments.

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Michigan State Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    Get better you cantankerous old dude. You a Union man and we fight! You done it before and I’m sure we will trade some equivalent of fisticuffs in L.A. Looking forward to seeing you there my fellow APWU Retiree.

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Michigan State Retiree Chapter & Flint MI Area Local #271 Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    MPWU State Retiree Chapter & Flint MI A.L #271 Retiree Chapter Advisor.
    Email Address

    Brother JPR: I can appreciate your health issues as I’ve had similar experiences, but not to the degree you have. As someone suggested; some of us have served our Union rank & file membership to the detriment of our own health. Too soon old, too late smart. Truth be known, if we were to get a do-over, we’d do it the same way again. You and I have had “our moments” over the years, but you are a Union Brother, and that’s better than whatever comes next in my book. I wish you a rapid and full recovery. After all, John; who else would I have to trade barbs with?! Seriously; nothing is more important than our health at this stage of life. Those coming behind us can pick up where we leave off. As humorist Will Rogers is to have said; “This old age ain’t for sissies!” Well John; you ain’t a sissie, and neither am I. Peace, Brother

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Lehigh Valley Area Local
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    John, Sorry to hear about your issues. Hope you are doing well, now.

    Many unionists have sacrificed their health, or delayed procedures and treatments because there was “too much going on” with the APWU, the USPS, and they felt the could not take time away from their union business.

    At some point, you realize there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and your health, and you owe no apologies, or explanations, for doing so.


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