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alexjuice

President Kennedy's Ailments

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alexjuice

I admire John Kennedy. Like FDR, he had severe health problems but, unlike FDR, few people realize the extent of his disabilities. It amazes me to think a person could run for president of the United States and run the executive branch of government while living in near-constant agony. And, most amazingly, hiding these problems from nearly everyone.

 

Here are a few quotes from an ABC news piece.

 

"There was hardly a day that went by that he didn't suffer terribly," presidential historian Robert Dallek, a history professor at Boston University, told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

 

....

 

Kennedy suffered from colitis, prostatitis, and a disorder called Addison's disease, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar and sodium. He also had osteoporosis of the lower back, causing pain so severe that he was unable to perform simple tasks such as reaching across his desk to pull papers forward, or pulling the shoe and sock onto his left foot, Dallek said.

 

....

 

The medical records reveal that Kennedy variously took codeine, Demerol and methadone for pain; Ritalin, a stimulant; meprobamate and librium for anxiety; barbiturates for sleep; thyroid hormone; and injections of a blood derivative, gamma globulin, a medicine that combats infections.

 

During the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Kennedy was taking steroids for his Addison's disease, painkillers for his back, anti-spasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary tract infections, antihistamines for his allergies, and on at least one occasion, an anti-psychotic drug to treat a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed was brought on by the antihistamines.

 

I'm not bringing this in to draw attention to his prescriptions. In this case, I'm happy to say, his medications are beside the point I'm trying to make. That being:

 

Hang in. Never give up. Keep believing. If JFK could ascend to the presidency, perhaps we all can achieve our own goals.

 

Just don't give up.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=125593&page=1#.Tv1kp_KjdPY

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Claudius

I admire JFK too, just like Winston Churchill. Fortunately for them, there were no SSRI's in those days. Many of us got due to adverse effects and/or w/d into a state were it was hardly possible to function even close to normally, let alone become President :) But I do beleive just like you that we CAN come over this by staying on a med-free course to achieve at least some of our goals in life. Each day, despite my own ongoing problems, I am grateful that I finally discovered the truth, albeit a bit late, and did not end like a vegetable for life in the inhuman and merciless hands of psychiatry!

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Barbarannamated

The medical records reveal that Kennedy variously took codeine, Demerol and methadone for pain; Ritalin, a stimulant; meprobamate and librium for anxiety; barbiturates for sleep; thyroid hormone; and injections of a blood derivative, gamma globulin, a medicine that combats infections.

 

During the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Kennedy was taking steroids for his Addison's disease, painkillers for his back, anti-spasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary tract infections, antihistamines for his allergies, and on at least one occasion, an anti-psychotic drug to treat a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed was brought on by the antihistamines.

 

Not to belabor the point of addictive meds„but

Kennedy was on several : codeine/Demerol

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Barbarannamated

…Ritalin,meprobamate „methadone„etc…many of which are for pain and thought to be addicting but in the 60s this wasn't SS much of an issue ~did it become an issue when pharma stepped in and made it into an issue (Q) or had some new and improved $$$option~

I don't know the answer but I suspect there was far less emphasis placed on addiction and much less crime due to diversion and related criminal activities

 

On another note:there has been such a fear of addictive meds for pain that the new #1 treatment for chronic pain is CYMBALTA and TRAMADOL --both SNRIs

That ~to

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Skyler

Found this theoretical history of JFK's medical conditions fascinating!

 

http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g35.htm

 

You are right, it is fascinating. The friend of whom I spoke also had osteoporosis or rather was prone to over calcification. She was always challenged by this, but her spirit was amazing. One day she came to our book club with a new cast on her wrist and one foot..she had to open a heavy door by pushing it with a crutch to get into the room. Grin on her face, she said nothing would get in her way.. truly amazing. Speaking of 'profiles', would that I had half her courage.

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Barbarannamated

Just one more of interest...

 

"By nature or nurture, all the Kennedys, including Eunice, carried on their father's fiercely competitive spirit. They paid a price in emotional stress. 'All of the Kennedys",a close family friend said,"were blocked, totally blocked, emotionally. Eunice survived best. I don't know why.'"

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/eunice-kennedy-shriver-mental-health-campaigner-who-founded-the-special-olympics-1770670.html

 

Maria Shriver has the same gaunt look I have (and apparently the same poor judgment..).

 

:o

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Skyler

Trying to find humor here somewhere...

 

Kennedy and Hitler.. I'm trying to lean toward the former.

 

Thank you, Dr. Nassir Ghaemi !

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/books/a-first-rate-madness-by-nassir-ghaemi-review.html

 

Thanks for this!

“The best crisis leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal; the worst crisis leaders are mentally healthy.” At other times he captures the textbook experience via pedantic tone. “What made Churchill see the truth where Chamberlain saw only illusion?” he asks rhetorically. “A key difference was that Chamberlain was mentally healthy (which we’ll discuss more in Chapter 14), while Churchill was clearly not.”

Sounds right..

 

 

Just one more of interest...

 

"By nature or nurture, all the Kennedys, including Eunice, carried on their father's fiercely competitive spirit. They paid a price in emotional stress. 'All of the Kennedys",a close family friend said,"were blocked, totally blocked, emotionally. Eunice survived best. I don't know why.'"

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/eunice-kennedy-shriver-mental-health-campaigner-who-founded-the-special-olympics-1770670.html

 

Maria Shriver has the same gaunt look I have (and apparently the same poor judgment..).

 

:o

 

The Kennedys are in my back yard, so to speak. Everytime there is a family crisis, we are inundated with the latest stress'ama', very sad. They are basically good people, though Teddy was an over the hill cad.

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