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10.14.2004

What is wrong with President Bush?

I watched the debate last night and was bothered by something that no one on the right and not too many people on the left are talking about. What is wrong with the President? I don't mean his foreign policy failures or his infantile belief in his tax cut and spend economic stimulus package, I mean physically. Something is seriously physically wrong with the President of the United States of America.

Watching him attempt to take on John Kerry last night as he slipped into his third persona in as many debates, I began to be very concerned for the physical well being of a fellow human.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like Bush. I think he is the worst president in my memory. I also think he is not the "common man" his advisors would like us real commoners to believe he is. George W. Bush is the stereotypical rich kid, born, as Ann Richards (former governor of Texas) pointed out, with a silver foot in his mouth. He is an arrogant, intellectual ignorant, cocksure policy simpleton who has allowed religious and neoconservative idealogues run roughshod over his presidency.

No sir, I don't like him one bit. But...he is still a human being, one of my fellow men and, as such, deserves my compassion and sympathy if he is suffering.

The President has had a noticeable degradation in his speaking ability. He has detoriorated to the point that it is often uncomfortable to watch him attempt to answer questions without the aid of teleprompters. His speech defects have been played down by his handlers and actually promoted as a sign that he is a simple man who speaks plainly. The first debate was painful to watch, the second better. The third one presented a situation that inspired a whole new level of concern.

The first thing I noticed last night was that President Bush's face had a noticeable droop on the left side. The entire left side of his mouth was pulled down and it did not change no matter what expression he made. He was also apparently drooling and had to wipe his mouth several times during the debate. He seemed very thirsty and he also produced copious amounts of spittle on both sides of his mouth. He blinked constantly. His speech was slurred, worse some times than others. I am no doctor but these symptoms would seem to indicate a need for medical diagnosis and treatment.

Surely the President of the United States has access to the best medical care in the world. If something is seriously wrong with President Bush, his doctors would discover it and treat it, right? Wrong. At least publicly. The President has postponed his normal medical checkup this year until after the election. For the past three years, President Bush has had a medical checkup like clockwork every October. The results of this physical are then distributed to the media who then disseminate it to the public. Not this year.

The internet has made amateur diagnosticians of all of us. The ease of use and 24 hour availability makes it the first place to go for the identification of symptoms, so that is where I went.

From the information available (i.e. physical description of symptoms) I have been able to identify the following conditions:

Aphasia - Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage to the temporal lobe or higher up in the frontal lobe. It causes problems with receptive and expressive functions. Aphasia is an impairment in understanding and/or formulating complex, meaningful elements of language. It causes problems with words and word order making difficulties in reading and writing.

Behaviors of Aphasic Patients

1. Anomia-problem with word finding. They know what they want to say but can't find the words to say it. Sometimes they can be cued or recall by gestures.
2. Paraphasia-use of word substitutions; may use a word that sounds like the target word, or may use a word that means something similar.
3. Neologism-Use made-up words confidently as though they were the correct word.
4. Agrammatism-Leave out the function words, use broken speech; common in non-fluent aphasic patients.
5. Jargon-Convincing, fluent speech; irrelevant and has no meaning.
6. Verbal Stereotypes-have a few words or sentences that they use over and over again to answer every question.

Another diagnosis may be:

Acute Idiopathic Facial Palsy

Bell's palsy is a disorder caused by damage to cranial nerve VII, involving sudden facial drooping and decreased ability to move the face.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors Return to top

Bell's palsy is an acute form of cranial mononeuropathy VII, and it is the most common form of this type of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). Statistics indicate that the disorder affects approximately 2 in 10,000 people. However, the actual incidence is likely to be much higher (around 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000).

The disorder is a mononeuropathy (involvement of a single nerve) that damages the seventh cranial (facial) nerve, the nerve that controls movement of the muscles of the face. The cause is often not clear, although herpes infections may be involved.

The disorder is presumed to be associated with inflammation of the facial nerve where it travels through the bones of the skull. It may also be caused by head injury, tumor, hypertension, sarcoidosis, Lyme disease, or infarction (tissue death) of the nerve.

Symptoms

* Pain
o Behind ear
o In front of ear
o May precede weakness of facial muscles by 1-2 days
* Loss of taste
* Sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) on the affected side
* Headache
* Face feels stiff
* Face feels pulled to one side
* Difficulty with eating and drinking
* Change in facial appearance
o Facial droop
o Difficulty with facial expressions, grimacing
* Facial paralysis of one side of the face
o Difficulty closing one eye
o Difficulty with fine facial movements
* Drooling due to inability to control facial muscles
* Dry eye secondary to being unable to close eye properly because of facial
weakness


Herpes Zoster Oticus (Ramsey-Hunt Syndrome)-

Ramsay Hunt syndrome, also called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome type II, is a common complication of shingles. Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles occurs in people who have had chickenpox and represents a reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus. Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which is caused by the spread of the varicella-zoster virus to facial nerves, is characterized by intense ear pain, a rash around the ear, mouth, face, neck, and scalp, and paralysis of facial nerves. Other symptoms may include hearing loss, vertigo (abnormal sensation of movement), and tinnitus (abnormal sounds). Taste loss in the tongue and dry mouth and eyes may also occur.

The worst possible dignosis would be:

Pre-Senile Dementia (early onset Alzheimers disease -

Symptoms


* confusion

* disturbances in short-term memory

* problems with attention and spatial orientation

* personality changes

* language difficulties

* unexplained mood swings

Now, as I stated earlier, I am not a doctor but I am a reasonably intelligent and curious person who is genuinely concerned about the possibility that the leader of the free world may be having serious physical and or mental issues that are being hidden from us. The fact that this President has been less available to the public in unstructured situations, is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a number of serious illnesses, and has postponed an otherwise routine checkup indicates to me that there may be a problem with our President. A problem that could endanger our country and the institution of the Presidency itself.

The best thing for all of us would be that the people around Bush come clean. Submit the President for a complete and thorough physical exam prior to the election. The American people have the right to know if the President is healthy enough to fulfill his obligations. It would be irresponsible and even traitorous to knowingly foist a seriously ill man into a 4 year commitment to the office of president that he is physically and mentally unable to keep.

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