This 80-year-old Senator from Arizona might be one of the most memorable names in D.C. Senator John McCain has been a United States Senator for 30 years and served in the military prior to that. The seasoned politician knows his way around Washington, and while he’s not exactly President Trumps biggest fan, he’s towing the Republican party line with the best of them.
To say that being a Senator is a stressful job would be the understatement of the century. No matter how good you are at your job, public opinion can turn on you at a moments notice, and there’s always someone younger and with brighter ideas than you coming up behind, trying to take your job away. Even a veteran such as McCain isn’t without opposition, and that can’t be easy.
That stress to keep a highly coveted job could be the reason that the aging Senator somewhat understated the illness that he was having treated back home in Arizona. McCain went home to a Mayo Clinic hospital to have a procedure done that should have had him back on his feet in days, but things didn’t turn out that way. This is troubling not only on the personal level for the Senator but for the votes that he will be missing while convalescing.
Via Daily Mail:
“Arizona Senator John McCain’s surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye may be more serious than he is letting on, medical experts said on Sunday.
The Republican lawmaker announced on Saturday that he would spend this coming week recuperating in Arizona.
McCain’s office announced that the senator underwent a procedure Friday to remove the blood clot at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix.
The senator’s office was not immediately available to comment on when he would return to Washington.
Soon after news of McCain’s surgery broke, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s office issued a statement announcing that he would ‘defer’ a vote on the health care legislation.
McCain’s absence gave McConnell little choice, with Republicans so divided that the subtraction of a single ‘yes’ vote could doom the healthcare bill.
The statement put out by McCain seemed to imply that it would take him a week before he could return to work.
Medical experts interviewed by The New York Times said, however, that it could take at least two weeks, perhaps more, for McCain to recover given the nature of the procedure.
McCain’s office released a statement saying that doctors took out a two-inch blood clot from ‘above his left eye’ in what was a ‘minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision.’
The operation was ordered ‘following a routine annual physical.’
A craniotomy is the removal of a part of the bone that makes up the skull.
Medical experts say that an eyebrow incision is needed if the surgeon needs to reach a clot that is either in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain.
‘Usually, a blood clot in this area would be a very concerning issue,’ said Dr. Nrupen Baxi, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
‘The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks,’ he said.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic said they would provide more information in the coming days once they see results of tissue pathology reports.
Last month, McCain left observers baffled when he fired off a series of seemingly incoherent questions at former FBI Director James Comey during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The senator acknowledged the bizarre questions the next day, joking that he shouldn’t stay up late to watch baseball games.
But the episode seemed to bring renewed focus on McCain’s age – he turns 81 next month – and mental status.
‘Usually, a blood clot like this is discovered when patients have symptoms, whether it’s a seizure or headaches or weakness or speech difficulties,’ Dr. Baxi said.
‘Generally, it’s not found on a routine physical because doctors would not know to look for it.’
McCain’s doctors have not said what caused the clot, but experts say the range of possibilities include a fall, a blow to the head, a stroke, or changes to the brain that are inherent with aging.
Another possibility could be related to McCain’s history of melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that could spread to the brain and cause bleeding.
Medical experts say the clot could have been removed from a number of areas: between the skull and the dura, the membrane that covers the brain; between the dura and surface of the brain; or inside the brain itself.
A best-case scenario for McCain, according to one doctor, is a subdural hematoma – a collection of blood between the dura and the brain.”
When you swim with sharks, it’s not a good idea to start bleeding, and McCain no doubt was feeling that very strongly when he faced the idea of missing work for a medical procedure. However, the best thing for his party would have been for him to be upfront and honest about how long he would be out. When your party and your constituents are counting on you to show up for a vote, it’s not a good idea to stand them up.
The Senator is slated to recover just fine, only with a little longer time in bed than planned. Let’s just hope that the Republican agenda isn’t being steadily chipped away at while the party is scrambling to count their votes in his absence.
(Source: Daily Mail)
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