From a comment under the article entitled “Walkup Calls for End of IMRF for McHenry County Board“:
This was in all caps so I could hold the paper away from my face to read it.The printing from a computer doesn’t contain ink.
It is a plastic that has been melted and sprayed onto the paper by the printer.
I get asthmatic reactions to the dust generated from photocopy and certain other types of paper when it I have to shuffle a set of papers in front of me such as a legal file or medical records.
Also perfumes, scented candles, air fresheners and some cleaning products. Individual pieces of paper are not so much of a problem. It is a chemical sensitivity, not an allergy, strictly speaking.
I take allergy treatments for my allergies.
There is no treatment for the chemical sensitivity other than avoidance.
Since having to close my law practice down in 2002 for this reason, I have been representing clients all over the country who have much worse sensitivity problems.
I do this out of a home based office which is paperless.
Many of my clients are homeless.
Most are women, who for some reason are much more prone to this type of problem than men.
Most don’t have problems with paper.
It is usually scented personal care products worn by others and various chemicals used in and around job locations, such as cleaning materials, pesticides, herbicides, air fresheners, Windex, etc.
They are living in tents in national forests, shipping containers, remote cabins, or out of their cars.
Others have been able to modify their homes and just avoid going out into the world.
I have helped many of them hang onto their jobs by obtaining ADA accommodations, or otherwise disability benefits from Social Security where that wasn’t possible.
I am very proud of the work I have been able to do and the people I have been able to help.
They are probably the most disadvantaged and helpless people in our entire country.
I am putting people back into homes instead of throwing them out of them like Mr. Franks.
Life has handed me some lemons but I have opened a lemonade stand.
I skipped a run at County Board in 2002 for this reason.
Back then everything was on paper.
Since then I tried a stint at the Park District after first verifying that I could get the meeting materials in advance on a memory stick and use a laptop during the meetings, which I did for five years without problems.
By then, the County had gone to I Pads.
Ironically, I had discussed this with Paula Yensen before running to make sure I could handle it.
I sit on an end seat at the Board meetings to avoid being wedged in between two people who might be wearing perfume or shuffling a lot of papers.
This has worked out well. You will notice in some photos that I lean back in my chair.
This keeps me away from my seat mate (no offense Diane), and helps with my back problems and fibromyalgia.
This also allows me to get up and stretch at the side of my desk.
I am in physical pain 24/7/365 and have been this way since the early 80’s.
It’s no fun, but I have overcome it and built a law practice which grossed over $500K per year.
For those who have suggested that I have not been successful in my law practice, that is the reason.
The addition of the chemical sensitivity to photocopy paper on top of the fibromyalgia made it impossible to continue. I receive disability benefits from a private insurance policy that I had paid for over a couple of decades of my practice.
I am allowed to do other things as per the type of policy that I had so I do not need the Chairman’s job for the money. I also don’t need the pension.
I do not anticipate any problems stemming from my chemical sensitivity or pain issues as Chairman.
Most information at the county is on the computer system. I do have to get some larger packets put onto zip drives occasionally, but that has not been a problem.
I do not have to sit for extended periods, or, if I do, I can get up a bit and move around. People who have back problems will be able to relate to that.
I hope this clears up the rumor mill on my medical situation.
It is what it is.