Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It was upsetting to hear about Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor. When he was admitted to Mass. General Hospital last Saturday with a seizure, I told my partner that he most likely had a brain tumor. It’s amazing how television reporters handled the news about his initial hospitalization. They dismissed his problem as trivial when it was announced that he didn’t have a stroke. Geraldo Rivera even had a physician on the show who said that Kennedy would likely be okay and listed all the causes for a seizure except a tumor. I have known since I was a sophomore in medical school that a seizure in an adult isn’t a trivial thing and one of the most common causes is a tumor either primary or metastatic to the brain. Unfortunately, Ted Kennedy’s tumor turns out to be a glioma, which has a very bad prognosis and he probably has less than a year to live.

I have certainly not agreeded with the politics of the Kennedy’s but they are the nearest thing to a royal family America has ever had, with the possible exception of George Washington. JFK’s speech about putting a man on the moon in the next decade is one of the most visionary speeches I have ever heard. It’s most unfortunate that our image of the male Kennedy Clan has to be spoiled by their womanizing and philandering. JFK’s affair with Marilyn Monroe and others and Ted Kennedy’s escapade at Chappaquiddick and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne spoiled the whole image. As I have said, sexual arousal is produced by the drainage of blood from the brain to the organs of reproduction, thus rendering the victim void of any power of reasoning or logical thought. The same thing happened to Bill Clinton and other greats like Thomas Jefferson and FDR.

Nevertheless, JFK’s time in office was as close to Camelot as we will probably ever be. Borrowing the closing lines from the great book, “History of the American People,” by Samuel Eliot Morison; “With the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy something seemed to die in each one of us. Yet the memory of that bright, vivid personality, that great gentleman whose every act and appearance appealed to our pride and gave us fresh confidence in ourselves and our country, will live in us for a long, long time.” With demise of Ted Kennedy the same statement can be made for him as we see the close of the Kennedy Clan chapter in American history.

The above is only a reflection from the porch and does not express the political opinion of anyone.


Blogger jeff ludwick said...

I suppose that great minds must think alike, Doc. I also had a pretty good idea of what was wrong with Ted Kennedy and I even have problems spelling the word physician....

I only knew because an old family friend, George Dulany, a long time attorney in Belton passed away only a few days ago with the exact thing. He was a wonderful Christian man and I was fortunate to serve on a number of civic boards with him and I looked up to and admired him. He was a man who never wavered from his convictions and was fun to be around and very uplifting. My mother was his legal secretary for over 30 years and while I was in college I cleaned the offices of a number of attorneys and a church or two and he knew how much I needed the money but always treated me with dignity as I "janitored" for him.

Like you I am willing to lay down my political sword and only hope and pray that Kennedy's last weeks and months are not the torture that George endured. After watching my father suffer these past months I hope it is a long time before I see anyone I know go through that...even a Kennedy.

2:46 PM  

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