Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Medically Mended Maladies of McCain

Despite a 15 year history of skin cancers, including a minor one last February, precancerous polyps in his colon, cysts in his kidney, stones in his bladder, John McCain's doctors suggest he is as healthy as a horse. He takes several medications for high levels of cholesterol, for kidney stones, and an occasional pill to help him sleep. It is perhaps an occasional pill because he takes it only when he needs to sleep. He also suffers from bouts of vertigo when he abruptly rises from a chair, but it's not connected in any way to a heart condition. And yes, he's as healthy as a horse.

McCain had surgery for the removal of a cancerous melanoma from his left temple, leaving a scar 2 inches in diameter that required the removal of underlying lymph nodes. As a matter of fact, he has had four malignant melanomas removed along with other skin cancers. The most serious one left a depression that exaggerated the jaw muscle, leaving what appears to be a lump on his face that distorts the symmetry of his facial contours. He had surgery on this lump and for some time wore a face mask at night to reduce scarring. This has caused him discomfort and made him concerned about his looks. But he's still as healthy as a horse.

John McCain is a veteran of the Vietnam war who ejected from his plane but broke both arms and a leg in the process. He was captured by the Vietnamese and remained a POW for over 5 years. He was also subjected to torture in that condition, and without medical attention, the arms healed without proper repair. This has caused him difficulty in raising his arms and getting dressed. A salute may also not be possible under the circumstances. Prior to this episode, he was struck in the legs and chest by fragments of a bomb that exploded during a fire at the US Forrestal, where he was at the center of the flames. But he's as healthy as a horse.

The release of McCain's medical records, all 1,173 pages of them to a select group of reporters is to quell all doubts about his capacity to lead as President of the United States. A summary was provided to the rest of the news media. McCain's health records show that he is a medically mended man whose maladies are nothing more than mere scratches in a body that in its younger days had endured and survived more than the average man could. But he's as healthy as a horse.

The life span of a horse is between 20 to 30 years. The current life expectancy average for males in the United States is 73.6 years. John McCain would have lived out 97.82% of his life by the time he assumes the Presidency, should he be victorious in November. But he would still be as healthy as a horse, one that has lived for 29 years and 3 months.



Zhu said...

I wouldn't vote for McCain because of its political views. But his health doesn't bother me at all.

I mean, worse case scenario, should a President get sick while in power, there's a vice-president and a whole political system behind him. It's not like we would be left to anarchy (as long as no member of the Bush family goes back in power of course :D ).

We just can't judge someone on his health or potential problems that could arise because of age. Otherwise, let's just not elect disabled people, women (who could get pregnant -- I know it's too late for Hilary :D ), young people who usually take more risks etc.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

That is the point of the entire post. I leave it up to the voters to decide what the implications of age are on the pressures of the Presidency.The medical records were made public with assurances from the doctors. I merely made a summary and a comparative evaluation with what they suggest his strength compares with, a horse. But with all the battering he received, could he really be that healthy?

Decisions made especially in face-to-face meetings with other heads of state, when illnesses or fatigue because of age come to the fore, could be compromised. Also, an early demise would leave a void if the successor is not well versed or is inexperienced in matters of policy and foreign relations.

The key for the Republicans would be to select a running mate who could be an able replacement for the President. There is greater need for them to find this candidate than the Democrats, because the risks are higher. And from the pool of possibilities, none comes close in stature. For that matter, even McCain does not have the economic savvy to handle the current woes of America, when it is their biggest concern and area of weakness. :-) --Durano, done!

The Immortal said...

I admire John McCain for what he went through during the Vietnam War, and his concern for the soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But his mindset may be lingering in the 60's and 70's when America was the world's undisputed power.

This is not so today. Putting forth policies with that stubborn belief is a risk the US can ill afford. This is the obstinacy of an old man who wants to relive lost wartime glory. Age does matter in voter's decisions.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he can last the distance. And if Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee assumes the Presidency, we are doomed!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Immortal,

I cannot say, what if any lingering thoughts McCain has about the Vietnam war; and whether or not he intends to reclaim lost glory.

But I do agree that pursuing a war that's costly in lives and resources without a clear victory is too much of a risk. I also agree that age does matter in the election of the President. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Anonymous,

It is critical for the GOP to select the appropriate running mate. I believe it will be a big factor in the general elections who McCain's Vice-Presidential candidate will be. :-)--Durano, done!